‘What’s Hot’ List: 5/1/15

The ‘What’s Hot’ list the week of 5/1/15.

After Comcast’s failed bid, Charter wants to give Time Warner Cable another try (The Washington Post’s The Switch Blog, 4/24/15) Time Warner Cable, blocked from merging with Comcast this week by federal officials, may have a new suitor: Charter Communications Charter, the nation’s fourth largest cable company, has begun exploring a bid for Time Warner Cable, an industry official familiar with the matter said Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no public announcement has yet been made. Charter declined to comment.

Don’t choke Internet with government overreach [Commentary] (The Tampa Tribune, 4/27/15) The Federal Communications Commission’s recent decision to tighten regulations on the Internet will have a chilling effect on Florida’s economy. The Internet has thrived over the past two decades under a restrained regulatory regime, and it makes no sense to turn our back on this record of success. Instead, Congress should try to forge bipartisan legislation to usher in lasting net neutrality protection.

Verizon: Dish & Cos. Colluded on AWS-3 Auction Bids (Broadcasting & Cable Blog, 4/27/15) Verizon has alleged that Dish illegally colluded with designated entities (DE’s) Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless during the ASW-3 auction bidding, according to ex parte notifications of meetings it held with top FCC officials. Dish counters that it complied with all legal requirements, including antitrust laws. The FCC is now deciding whether those latter two companies should get billions in bidding credits given that they were essentially bidding with Dish dollars — Dish owns a majority stake in both companies.

Verizon: Dish & Cos. Colluded on AWS-3 Auction Bids (Broadcasting & Cable Blog, 4/27/15) Verizon has alleged that Dish illegally colluded with designated entities (DE’s) Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless during the ASW-3 auction bidding, according to ex parte notifications of meetings it held with top FCC officials. Dish counters that it complied with all legal requirements, including antitrust laws. The FCC is now deciding whether those latter two companies should get billions in bidding credits given that they were essentially bidding with Dish dollars — Dish owns a majority stake in both companies.

AT&T says common interconnection standards will drive new Ethernet growth (Fierce Telecom, 4/28/15) AT&T may be the largest Ethernet provider in the U.S., but to fulfill the requirements of large multi-national corporation customers (MNCs) that reside outside of its wireline territory, it would like to have a standard method to establish Ethernet interconnection with other providers. Dan Blemings, director of Ethernet product management for AT&T mobile and business solutions, said in an interview with FierceTelecom that Ethernet interconnection even today is still a challenge.

ACLU won’t support new NSA bill (The Hill, 4/28/15)The Americans Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday quickly pulled support from a congressional bill to reform the National Security Agency. The group said the bill, which also reauthorizes portions of the Patriot Act until 2019, does not go far enough and only makes incremental changes. “Congress should let Section 215 sunset as it’s scheduled to, and then it should turn to reforming the other surveillance authorities that have been used to justify bulk collection,” said Jameel Jaffer, the group’s deputy legal director.

USA Freedom Act Reintroduced (Multichannel, 4/28/15)The USA Freedom Act, which would end the bulk collection of communications metadata by the National Security Agency, has been reintroduced in the House and Senate. A similar bill lost steam last fall after getting some traction in both the House and Senate. The new bill is expected to be taken up by the House Judiciary Committee later this week. The Obama administration backed the bill in the last Congress, and has taken steps to rein in bulk collection.

Supreme Court Grants Cert in Spokeo v. Robins (Privsec Blog, 4/28/15) In a case that may have vast consequences for online privacy cases, the high court will weigh whether plaintiffs need to point to cognizable harm to sustain claims of federal statutory violations or whether a violation of a statute alone is enough to confer standing.

Tech Employment: More Diverse Than You Think (Wall Street Journal, 4/30/15)It’s no secret that Silicon Valley has a diversity problem. That became evident after the disclosure of workforce-diversity statistics last year at Google Inc., Facebook Inc., and other tech firms, which showed that some of the biggest corporate names—and wealth generators—in the U.S. employ small numbers of African-American and Hispanic professionals and a disproportionate number of male employees. Those numbers may be obscuring a more nuanced picture of the tech labor market, one that shows strong progress for racial minorities, though not for women, according to a paper to be released Thursday by the Progressive Policy Institute.

Net vitality should be the cornerstone of US broadband policy (The Hill, 4/24/15)The Federal Communication Commission’s recent Open Internet Order is intended to develop an enforceable regulatory scheme to ensure that net neutrality would be achieved. One of its rationales is that unless such government intervention is put in place, the United States is likely to slip into the category of Internet also-rans, hurting innovation and our economy as a whole as Internet “fast lanes” and “slow lanes” thwart competition and impede consumer demand.