‘What’s Hot’ List: 01/09/15

‘What’s Hot’ List, 01/09/14

 FCC Schedules Net Neutrality Vote for February 26 (BillMoyers.com, 01/05/14)The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on a new and updated version of Net neutrality rules at its February monthly meeting, currently scheduled for February 26.

CES: Dish Sling TV Streaming Service to Cost $20 a Month (Broadcasting & Cable, 01/05/14) Dish Network thinks cord-never, broadband-only consumers will pay $20 a month for Sling TV, its new over-the-top streaming product. Unlike most broadband services offering programming on demand via streaming, Sling TV also offers live programming, headlined by the single most expensive cable channel ESPN (and ESPN2), which brings its assortment of popular sporting events to the party.

AT&T’s CES splash: It’s not about smartphones anymore (CNET, 01/05/14) AT&T had a lot to share at its developer conference, including new partners for its smart home and connected car programs and a panel discussing the Internet of Things. Oh, and the company quietly slipped in an announcement that it will carry LG’s G Flex 2.

Verizon reportedly in talks with AOL (RCR Wireless, 01/06/14)Verizon Communications has reportedly approached media conglomerate AOL about a possible deal that could include either a content partnership or outright acquisition. Bloomberg reported that the telecom giant has not yet made a formal proposal to AOL, but that it has approached the company about either option. The report noted that Verizon’s interest in AOL is centered on “programmatic advertising technology” that it describes as the “automated buying and selling of ads online.”

FTC Officials Worried About Downside of Internet of Things (Recode, 01/06/14)Connected home devices or cars, health trackers and other wearables can be useful tools for consumers, but the collection of personal data by the devices has some regulators worried. Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez on Tuesday raised concerns about potential abuse of private user information during a session at CES, saying companies need to do more to develop products that protect consumer privacy and data.

Verizon’s McAdam: Some wireline assets would be better off in someone else’s hands (Fiercetelecom.com, 01/06/14) Verizon (NYSE: VZ) CEO and Chairman Lowell McAdam says that a potential sale of some of its wireline assets could provide the company with various operational and process benefits. Speaking at the Citi 2015 Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference, McAdam said that there are some assets in certain markets that could be a more relevant fit for another service provider.

How the FCC Plans to Stretch Budget to Support New Broadband Speed Target (Telecompetitor.com, 01/05/14) When the FCC in December raised the broadband speed target for the Connect America Fund to 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream, some stakeholders questioned carriers’ ability to meet that target without an increase in the size of the fund, considering that the previous downstream speed target was a considerably lower 4 Mbps. The order raising the target speed has now been made public – and in it the FCC offers more details about how the new target speed will be implemented, along with the thinking behind the commission’s latest decisions on the CAF program.

New Consumer Help Center Is Designed To Empower Consumers, Streamline Complaint System (FCC Blog, 01/05/14)The first responsibility of the FCC is to represent consumers. Facilitating consumer interface with the Commission is a major component of that responsibility. Today, we are proud to announce the launch of a new online Consumer Help Center.

Balancing net equality and net neutrality (The Hill, 12/21/14) While enormous attention has been paid recently to net neutrality, net equality –which is a far more immediate problem–has received less focus.   The Internet must be both available to and affordable by all.  As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) explores approaches to net neutrality, it must not endanger investment in and affordability of broadband Internet access by reclassifying it as common carriage under Title II of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.