‘What’s Hot’ List: 6/12/15

The ‘What’s Hot’ list for June 12, 2015.

Net neutrality takes effect today. Here’s how it affects you (The Washington Post’s Switch Blog, 6/12/15) It’s official: As of Friday morning, the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules became the law of the land when a federal court rebuffed a plea by Internet providers to block the regulation. Here’s exactly what they do, and what you can expect…

House to Take Up Internet Tax Bill … Again (Broadcasting & Cable, 6/08/15) The House Tuesday is scheduled once again to tee up a bill that would make permanent the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA). In January, a bipartisan group of House members reintroduced the bill. ITFA prevents state and local taxes on Internet access in all but a handful of grandfathered jurisdictions.

FCC vote ends local regulation of cable rates (Fierce Cable, 6/4/15) FCC commissioners voted unanimously to strip local governments of the ability to regulate the rates of cable operators. The 5-0 vote ends the ability of states, cities and other local authorities to force cable operators to prove they have competition in their market in order to avoid rate regulation. Previously, operators had to seek recourse with the FCC to escape local rate regulation.

AT&T, DirecTV Talk Conditions With FCC (Broadcasting & Cable, 6/08/15) No big surprise here, but AT&T and DirecTV executives met with FCC staffers to talk up their proposed merger, both what they would and would not do if the FCC allowed them to get together. The FCC has not restarted the 180-day informal shot clock on the deal, which was stopped (at day 170) back before a D.C. federal court decided.

Internet gatekeeping policies and the test of time [Commentary by Stuart Brotman] (Brookings, 06/10/15) In March, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler traveled to Columbus, Ohio to deliver a major policy address at his alma mater, The Ohio State University. Chairman Wheeler indicated that he was going to “think out loud…about the choices that government agencies must make.”

Bloomberg: Apple is building a massive high-speed network to ensure first-rate cloud services (BGR Blog, 6/8/15) It seems Apple is tired of people saying it can’t do cloud services as well as Google, Microsoft and Amazon. Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is building a giant high-speed network to boost its cloud capabilities and put them on par with Amazon and others. This investment comes as Apple will launch its own Spotify-like music streaming service and as it prepares to announce a Netflix-like video streaming service in the fall.

U.S. Antitrust Reviews of Mergers Get Longer (Wall Street Journal, 06/07/15) Mergers and acquisitions have accelerated sharply since the financial crisis faded, but the government’s pace for reviewing proposed deals is slowing. The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are taking more time to investigate their most intensely scrutinized mergers, according to data compiled by antitrust lawyer Paul Denis of Dechert LLP.

How Washington keeps states from regulating Internet providers (The Washington Post’s The Switch Blog, 6/8/15) The U.S. House is expected to vote Tuesday on a bill that would prevent state and city governments from levying taxes on Internet access. The bill is important for a number of reasons, not least because it could help determine what you ultimately pay for service. But it also highlights an important tension between Washington and the states — one that affects how we regulate what has become the most important connection technology of our time

Elon Musk joins mobile Internet space race (RCR Wireless, 6/10/15) “Rebuilding the Internet in space,” is how SpaceX describes its plan to provide the entire world with Internet service via satellite. In an FCC filing, the company said that it wants to launch 4,000 low-orbit satellites that circle the globe.