‘What’s Hot’ List: 6/19/15

FCC head says all phones should come with theft-prevention features (The Verge, 6/12/15) Federal Communications Commission head Tom Wheeler has called for all smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers to make it harder for thieves to steal smartphones and other mobile devices. In a statement made yesterday, the FCC chairperson called on the wireless industry to act on advice from the regulatory body, adopting features such as remote locking, remote data-wiping, and the ability to call 911 from the lock screen, all at “no cost to the consumer.”

Net Neutrality In Effect, But The Fight For An Open Internet Is Far From Over (Forbes Tech Blog, 6/12/15) The Federal Communication Commission’s net neutrality laws went into effect on Friday after a federal judge approved the introduction of the regulations despite strong objections from cable and telecommunication companies. Opponents sought to stay the legislation while lawsuits against the FCC were still pending, but the court denied their request on Thursday.

Kagan: Wireless spectrum shortage growing (RCR Wireless, 6/15/15) A shortage of wireless spectrum is a real and growing problem the industry faces. If the crisis is not averted, it has the very real potential to interfere with the way we use smartphones on wireless networks. If we don’t solve the problem, we may all pay the price with poor and slow service. Perhaps we are looking for a solution the wrong way.

FCC Names Ombudsperson to Hear Your Net Neutrality Complaints (Recode, 6/15/15) Do you think your Internet provider is deliberately slowing your connection or trying to block your access to a site or service? Now that new net neutrality rules are in effect, the Federal Communications Commission has appointed a new ombudsperson to field any complaints.

Time Warner Cable will be the first to get hit with a net neutrality complaint (The Washington Post’s Switch Blog, 6/16/15) The government’s new net neutrality rules have only been active since Friday, but one company is wasting no time invoking them in a federal complaint against Time Warner Cable — the first one to be filed since the rules went into effect.

TWC ‘Well-Positioned’ to Bring 1-Gig Across L.A. (Multichannel, 6/16/15) Time Warner Cable said it is “well-positioned” to bring speeds of 1 Gbps across its Los Angeles footprint in the wake of a request for participants (RFP) issued by the city last week.   TWC  said it will be able to hit those speeds across the city, rather than just in individual neighborhoods, as DOCSIS 3.1  technology begins to mature. D3.1, which the cable industry is promoting under the “Gigasphere” consumer brand, will enable cable operators to deliver multi-gigabit speeds on their hybrid fiber/coax networks. 

Privacy advocates quit facial-recognition group in protest (The Verge, 6/16/15) Starting in February of last year, privacy advocates joined with marketing and retail industry leaders to look for common ground on consumer surveillance. The goal was to produce a voluntary code of conduct for companies using facial recognition in their business, overseen by the Department of Commerce.

St. Louis Cardinals Are Said to Have Breached Rival’s Database (New York Times, 6/16/15) Front-office personnel for the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the most successful teams in baseball over the past two decades, are under investigation by the F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors, accused of hacking into an internal network of the Houston Astros to steal closely guarded information about players.

Entner: T-Mobile and Dish merger would follow macro trend as media, networks converge (Fierce Wireless, 6/10/15) As media and networks are converging, T-Mobile US and Dish Network are reportedly talking about merging. The two companies share a mindset as aggressive challenger brands with a maniacal focus on cost cutting, something both companies have to focus on because they entered their respective markets late. When you are the proverbial runt of the litter, you have to work that much harder to be successful, but both companies have shown that it is very much achievable.

Seattle officials: Municipal broadband too risky and expensive for city to build alone (Geek Wire, 6/9/15) A long-awaited study says building a municipal gigabit fiber network in Seattle would cost $480 million to $665 million — less than past projections, but still too much for the city to take on without outside financing or a major partnership, say two high-ranking Seattle officials.