December 22, 2010
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski layered compromise upon compromise to get the commission's approval Tuesday for a Net neutrality proposal that at least some major Internet and telecommunications companies can live with. Those compromises disappointed advocates of a strong rule, and they weren't enough to placate Republicans who oppose the very idea of regulating broadband providers. Nevertheless, the result is both workable and necessary. At issue is the control broadband providers such as AT&T and Comcast can wield over the content, services and applications that are available online.
December 21, 2010 |
After years of debate, the Federal Communications Commission adopted the first-ever regulations to forbid owners of high-speed lines and airwaves from favoring their services over competitors. The rules are aimed at preserving open access to the Internet and allowing consumers the continued, unfettered use of such online services as Netflix and Hulu video and Skype and Vonage phone. The FCC's action, in a 3-2 vote Tuesday along party lines, comes as consumers are increasingly using broadband Internet connections for both wired and wireless devices to watch TV shows, movies and video snippets ?
October 20, 2010
A rancorous dispute between News Corp. and Cablevision has baseball fans in Long Island missing more playoff pitches than Alex Rodriguez. News Corp. has barred Cablevision from carrying its television programming, including the baseball playoff broadcasts from Fox TV stations in New York and Philadelphia, unless Cablevision pays significantly higher fees. The company even barred Cablevision's broadband subscribers from watching Fox programs from News Corp. outlets online for several hours on Saturday.
October 5, 2010 |
Some leading minority advocacy groups long have supported AT&T Inc., Comcast Corp. and other major telecommunications firms in the industry's efforts to win approvals for mergers, get rid of old regulations and avoid new government rules. And the telecom firms, in turn, have poured millions of dollars of donations and in-kind services, including volunteer help from the carriers' executive suites, into charitable groups in the communities they serve. Consumer and public advocates used to whisper about the possibility of conflicts of interest, but now they are openly critical as the battle heats up over proposed federal regulations over net neutrality, the principle that Internet service providers should not restrict content, programs and other uses on their networks.
August 29, 2010 |
Back in prehistoric times, when Google was going public, its founders wrote in its stock registration statement: "Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one. " I suggested in response that good intentions such as that were often thwarted by little things, like showers of money. But it was 2004, an innocent time, before smart phones and video that could be downloaded on your handset, and the message of hope being wholesaled by Larry Page and Sergey Brin seemed uplifting.
August 10, 2010 |
Google Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. reached an agreement Monday on how the Internet should be regulated, but it was very different from the controversial pact that was expected. Last week, the broadband provider and the Internet search giant were rumored to be close to a deal under which Verizon would deliver Google content more quickly — for a price. Such a deal would fly in the face of efforts to establish net neutrality, under which Internet service providers would be required to give equal treatment to all legal Web traffic.
August 6, 2010 |
Federal regulators are giving up efforts to negotiate a compromise between Web companies and Internet service providers over so-called net neutrality rules intended to prevent discrimination in the way online traffic is treated. The Federal Communications Commission said Thursday it would no longer try brokering a deal among various phone, cable TV and Internet companies, saying that weeks of talks had not "generated a robust framework to preserve openness and freedom of the Internet."