‘What’s Hot’ List: 12/05/14

‘What’s Hot’ List, 12/5/14

Outdated Regulations Will Make Consumers Pay More for Broadband (Hal Singer and Robert Litan, Progressive Policy Institute, 12/1/2014) Self-styled consumer advocates are pressuring federal regulators to “reclassify” access to the Internet as a public utility. If they get their way, U.S. consumers will have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for both residential fixed and wireless broadband services.

Analysis : Consumer Bills Could Soar Under Title II (Multichannel, 12/1/2014) Consumers’ broadband bills could go up close to $90 a year if the FCC reclassifies Internet access service under Title II common carrier regs, according to an analysis by the *Hal Singer of the Progressive Policy Institute and **Robert Litan of Brookings.

Study: Strong net neutrality rules could cost you $84 a year or more in new fees (The Washington Post, 12/1/2014) It’s no secret Americans hate the idea of abandoning net neutrality. Part of the fear is that if Comcast or Cox were allowed to start charging content companies for faster, smoother service, then smaller start-ups might find themselves at a disadvantage, while the larger firms could pass the costs of those deals onto their customers.

Sprint halves rate plans for AT&T and Verizon defectors (Cnet.com, 12/2/2014)Struggling Sprint has a fresh plan up its sleeve to attract new customers in the roiling war waged over subscribers. The carrier is now vowing to slash monthly payments in half for customers who leave Verizon and AT&T for Sprint’s wireless service

Cisco talks QoS issues, virtualization potential (RCR Wireless, 12/02/2014)The drive towards network simplicity continues to run up against the need for mobile operators to support two separate networks in order to handle voice traffic (2G/3G) and growing data demand (LTE). The solution everyone is looking to move towards is running voice traffic over data networks, whether that network is LTE or Wi-Fi. However, challenges remain before such a seemingly simple move can be made.

GAO Wants FCC to Track Usage-Based Pricing by Home Internet Service Providers (Roll Call, 12/02/2014) The Government Accountability Office has two recommendations for the Federal Communications Commission when it comes to usage-based pricing by Internet service providers: work with home Internet service providers to develop a voluntary code of conduct to help consumers understand their data usage and track home Internet service providers use of these types of plans and how they affect consumers, using data the agency already collects.

The FTC just scored a victory in its suit against Amazon (The Washington Post, The Switch Blog, 12/02/2014) A federal judge won’t dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit against Amazon over the company’s practice of billing parents for in-app purchases their children made without parental approval.

Obama’s Internet plan plays favorites, and Netflix is one of the darlings (Computerworld, 12/01/2014) President Obama recently announced his plan to regulate the Internet under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act. This law nurtured America’s telephone monopoly for 50 years. Under the president’s plan, Internet service would be treated like a public utility, subject to rate regulation and state utilities commission oversight. The plan Obama proposes to prevent Internet service providers (ISP) from playing favorites with content ironically reveals him to be playing favorites with content providers such as Netflix.