What’s Hot List 7.8.16

Set-top saga: Comcast says it’s “not feasible” to comply with FCC cable box rules (ARS Technica 7/6)

It’s no secret that cable companies hate the Federal Communications Commission plan to make TV channels more widely available on third-party devices and applications.

The proposal would force pay-TV providers to make channels and on-demand content available to third parties, who could then build their own devices and apps that could replace rented set-top boxes. Supporters of the proposal say Comcast and other cable companies just don’t want to sacrifice revenue they get by renting set-top boxes to their customers.


Ad Hockery Makes A Mockery Of An FCC Proceeding (Forbes- Commentary 7/5)

Administrative law is designed partly to ensure that federal regulations are created in a transparent manner so that ordinary citizens and businesses can participate, if so inclined. When standard administrative procedures are discarded for ad hockery, there is usually a sad story to be told.


Broadband Privacy Plan Opposition Floods FCC (Multichannel 7/6)

The Protect Internet Freedom coalition said those with concerns about the FCC’s proposal on broadband privacy have submitted more than 250,000 comments to the FCC as of Wednesday (July 6), which is the deadline.

A spokesperson for the group said that was the total that had been submitted from its online platform.


Ten States Challenge FCC Broadband Subsidy Fast-Track (Bloomberg 7/6)

Ten states are asking a federal appeals court to scrap an expedited process for broadband providers to enter a subsidy program for high-speed Internet service.

In a Wisconsin-led June 30 petition , the states called on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review and ultimately vacate a new process the Federal Communications Commission established to determine telecommunications providers’ eligibility for the Lifeline program, which offers subsidies for voice and broadband service to low-income Americans.


Entire federal government exempt from robocall laws, FCC rules (The Hill 7/6)

The entire federal government is exempt from consumer protection laws that limit unwanted robocalls, the Federal Communications Commission decided in a ruling issued Tuesday night.

While the Telephone Consumer Protection Act bars businesses from making numerous autodialed or prerecorded calls to a person’s cellphone — and similar telemarketing calls to a person’s home phone — the FCC ruled that the 1991 law doesn’t apply to the federal government.







First Part of the FCC Incentive Auction Sets Hefty Price (Yahoo Finance 7/4)

The 600 MHz low-band wireless spectrum auction, popularly known as Incentive Auction, kicked off by the U.S. telecom regulator Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Mar 29, 2016, recently completed its first part. Low-band spectrum is crucial for wireless operators as the signals can be transmitted over longer distances and through brick-and-mortar walls in cities.


FCC moves toward second part of historic spectrum sale (The Hill 7/5)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will name the bidders who qualify for the second part of a first-of-its-kind wireless spectrum auction later this month.

Gary Epstein and Howard Symons, who lead the task force behind the auction, said in a Friday blog post that they would release the names once they had processed upfront payments from companies interested in buying spectrum, the wireless frequencies that carry data to mobile devices.


FCC Acquires Large Swath of TV Airwaves in Auction (Wall Street Journal 6/29)

The Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday it acquired $86.4 billion worth of wireless airwaves from television broadcasters in the first phase of a complex auction, an effort designed to free up TV spectrum for cellular use.

The agency hopes wireless carriers, cable companies and other bidders will be willing to spend that much when it resells the airwaves in an auction that will start later this summer.


Why a court win for the FCC is a net loss for consumers (The Hill 7/1)

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently ruled in favor of the FCC’s new regulations on the Internet. By approving the agency’s Open Internet Order, or net neutrality regulations, as well as its reclassification of broadband Internet to a regulated public utility, the court handed the Obama administration and the FCC a major political and administrative victory. The FCC can regulate how Internet Service Providers (ISPs) manage their networks, all under the guise of keeping the Internet open.