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Posts Tagged ‘federal communications commission’

FCC Smooths the Path For Airlines’ In-Flight Internet

December 28th, 2012 12:52 admin View Comments

Government

The Washington Post reports on a development that may push Internet access on commercial aircraft from a pleasant luxury (but missing on most U.S. domestic flights) to commonplace. Writes the Post: “The Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved an application process for airlines to obtain broadband Internet licenses aboard their planes. Previously, airlines were granted permission on an ad hoc basis. Airlines need the FCC’s permission to tap into satellite airwaves while in flight that enable passengers to access the Internet. They also need permission from the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees the safety of inflight Internet systems.” I hope that on-board Internet not only becomes the default, but that free advertising-backed access does, too; especially for short flights, the “24-hour pass” paid access I’ve seen on United and Delta is tempting, but too pricey.

Source: FCC Smooths the Path For Airlines’ In-Flight Internet

FCC Chief Urges FAA To Ease Airplane Electronics Ban

December 8th, 2012 12:25 admin View Comments

Handhelds

Hugh Pickens writes “AFP reports that Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski is calling for an easing of the ban on using mobile phones and other electronic devices on airplanes during takeoff and landing, saying devices such as smartphones ‘empower people’ and can boost economic productivity. ‘I write to urge the FAA to enable greater use of tablets, e-readers and other portable electronic devices during flight, consistent with public safety,’ the FCC chief said in the letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. The ban is in place based on the assumption that devices could interfere with an airplane’s navigation equipment. But a number of news stories have questioned the validity of this claim, and many point out that some people forget to turn off their devices during flights. The FCC studied the question several years ago but found insufficient evidence to support lifting the ban at the time. But not everyone has been forced to put their gadgets away. Earlier this year the FAA approved iPads instead of paper flight manuals in the cockpit for pilots, but the agency still refuses to allow passengers to read on Kindles and iPads during takeoff and landing.”

Source: FCC Chief Urges FAA To Ease Airplane Electronics Ban

Senate Bill Rewrite Lets Feds Read Your E-mail Without Warrants

November 20th, 2012 11:44 admin View Comments

Government

concealment writes “A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans’ e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law. [Sen. Patrick] Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans’ e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge.”

Source: Senate Bill Rewrite Lets Feds Read Your E-mail Without Warrants

An Open Standard For Wireless Charging?

October 30th, 2012 10:51 admin View Comments

Power

Charging portable devices without needing to carry a power adapter sounds handy, and it’s slowly getting closer to widespread use. IPAQ2000 writes that AT&T, Google and Starbucks announced yesterday “that they have joined the Power Matters Alliance (PMA). Founded by Powermat Technologies and Procter & Gamble, the PMA’s Honorary Chairman is Google’s Vint Cerf – one of the fathers of the Internet — and its board now also includes AT&T, Duracell, Google and Starbucks. The U.S. Government’s Energy Star and Federal Communications Commission – both PMA members — are board observers.” (How does Starbucks come into it? They’re “testing PMA-compatible Wireless Charging Spots in select Boston stores.”)

Source: An Open Standard For Wireless Charging?

19 Million Americans Cannot Get Broadband Access

August 23rd, 2012 08:02 admin View Comments

The Internet

First time accepted submitter paullopez writes “The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced during its eighth annual broadband progress report on the state of broadband/Internet access in America, that 19 million Americans still do not have access to high-speed broadband above the 3Mbps threshold. However, the report also detailed the advances the progress that is being made, including ‘LTE deployment by mobile networks.’”

Source: 19 Million Americans Cannot Get Broadband Access

AT&T Defends Controversial FaceTime Policy Following Widespread Backlash

August 22nd, 2012 08:53 admin View Comments

AT&T

zacharye writes “AT&T is wasting no time hitting back at critics of its decision to limit the use of popular video chat app FaceTime over its cellular network to users who sign up for its shared data plans. In a post on the company’s official public policy blog on Wednesday, AT&T chief privacy officer Bob Quinn sneered at criticisms that restricting FaceTime over cellular to shared data plans violates the Federal Communications Commission’s network neutrality rules for wireless networks.”

Source: AT&T Defends Controversial FaceTime Policy Following Widespread Backlash

FCC Asked To Reassess Cell Phone Radiation Guidelines

August 8th, 2012 08:58 admin View Comments

Wireless Networking

An anonymous reader writes “A U.S. government report released on Tuesday says the Federal Communications Commission needs to update its guidelines for limiting cell phone radio-frequency exposure. The limit was set in 1996 to an exposure rate of 1.6 watts per kilogram, and has not been updated since. The report does not advocate in favor of any particular research, and actually points out that the limit could possibly be raised, but says the FCC’s rules have not kept pace with recent studies on the subject one way or the other. An executive for The Wireless Association said, ‘The FCC has been vigilant in its oversight in this area and has set safety standards to make sure that radio frequency fields from wireless phones remain at what it has determined are safe levels. The FCC’s safety standards include a 50-fold safety factor and, as the FCC has noted, are the most conservative in the world.’”

Source: FCC Asked To Reassess Cell Phone Radiation Guidelines

Comcast Pays $800,000 To U.S. For Hiding Stand-Alone Broadband

June 27th, 2012 06:26 admin View Comments

Government

First time accepted submitter vu1986 writes “The Federal Communications Commission has settled with Comcast over charges that the cable company made it hard for consumers to find stand-alone broadband packages that don’t cost an arm and leg. As part of the settlement Comcast paid the U.S. Treasury $800,000 and the FCC extended the length of time Comcast had to provide such a service.”

Source: Comcast Pays $800,000 To U.S. For Hiding Stand-Alone Broadband

Sprint To Shut Down Nextel iDEN Network Next Year

May 29th, 2012 05:21 admin View Comments

Wireless Networking

Stephenmg writes “Sprint will be shutting down their iDEN network from its merger with Nextel and will migrate users to Push to Talk over CDMA. It will then use the 800mhz frequency to build out its LTE network. From the article: ‘Sprint has been decommissioning iDEN base stations as part of its methodical transition to Network Vision, a flexible infrastructure intended to accommodate both the carrier’s 3G CDMA technology and its emerging 4G LTE system. About one-third of the iDEN radios are scheduled to be removed by the end of this year. The iDEN system only offers downstream speeds below 100K bps (bits per second), a trickle compared with the multiple megabits per second available from LTE and from WiMax, Sprint’s current 4G technology, which is provided by Clearwire. One major benefit to Sprint from shutting down iDEN will be the ability to reuse its 800MHz frequencies for the Sprint LTE network, which a U.S. Federal Communications Commission ruling last week made possible. The LTE service is scheduled to launch in the middle of this year on another spectrum band and later expand to 800MHz.’”

Source: Sprint To Shut Down Nextel iDEN Network Next Year

Call For DOJ To Reopen Google Wi-Fi Spying Investigation

May 25th, 2012 05:07 admin View Comments

Google

angry tapir writes “Two U.S. lawmakers have called on the U.S. Department of Justice to reopen its investigation into Google’s snooping on Wi-Fi networks in 2010 after recent questions about the company’s level of cooperation with federal inquiries. Representatives Frank Pallone Jr., a New Jersey Democrat, and John Barrow, a Georgia Democrat, called on the DOJ to fully investigate Google’s actions for potential violations of federal wiretapping laws. In light of a recently released U.S. Federal Communications Commission report on Wi-Fi snooping by Google Street View cars, the DOJ should take a new look at the company’s actions, wrote the lawmakers in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.”

Source: Call For DOJ To Reopen Google Wi-Fi Spying Investigation

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