FCC fines major telcos for selling users’ location data

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined major US telcos for illegally selling their subscribers' location data to third-party data brokers.

According to an FCC statement, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile US – the latter two having merged in 2020 – were ordered to pay $57 million, $47 million, $12 million, and $80 million, respectively, for their involvement in the unauthorised sharing of customers' sensitive location information.

"Our...

FCC votes to restore net neutrality protections

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to reinstate net neutrality protections, marking a significant shift in policy that aims to ensure the internet remains fast, open, and fair for all users. The decision comes after years of public outcry and regulatory shifts that saw the rollback of previous net neutrality rules.

The rules prohibit Internet service providers from blocking and throttling lawful content and ban paid prioritisation. Cable and telecom companies...

EU antitrust chief warns against telecoms mergers  

EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager has issued a stern warning against further consolidation in the bloc's telecommunications industry, countering a recent EU report that advocated for mergers among operators to bolster networks.

Speaking at a conference in Brussels, Vestager forcefully rejected the notion that more concentrated national telecoms markets would lead to better outcomes.

"No evidence suggests that more concentrated national markets lead to better...

FCC to decide on net neutrality’s future

The FCC is gearing up for a vote aimed at regaining regulatory power over ISPs and reinstating federal net neutrality rules discarded by the Trump administration in 2017. Net neutrality is designed to ensure that the choices of internet users, not ISPs, dictate online activities.

Early in April, the FCC revealed its draft rules, which have since garnered praise for various reasons. Notably, the rules demand an end to the practice by mobile carriers such as T-Mobile, AT&T, and...

FCC denies spectrum request for Starlink’s mobile service

SpaceX's plans to expand Starlink to provide mobile services have encountered a roadblock as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dismissed the company's application to use several spectrum bands.

Starlink – the satellite internet division of SpaceX – is seeking approval to use up to 7,500 second-generation satellites with spectrum in the 1.6 GHz, 2 GHz, and 2.4 GHz bands to provide mobile services.

However, the FCC's Space Bureau ruled this week that SpaceX's...

CMA raises concerns about proposed Vodafone-Three merger

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has expressed concerns over the proposed merger between Vodafone and Three, two of the UK's four major mobile network operators.

The regulator launched its initial Phase 1 investigation in January after the two companies announced a joint venture agreement last year that would combine their 27 million customers under a single network provider.

The CMA's 40-day Phase 1 review aimed to identify whether the deal could lead to a...

Comcast agrees to stop misleading ’10G’ marketing

Comcast has agreed to discontinue its "Xfinity 10G Network" brand name following a ruling that deemed the term misleading. The decision, handed down by the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), comes after challenges from industry rivals.

Verizon and T-Mobile both challenged Comcast's advertising of "10G," a term cable companies have used since 2019 to refer to potential 10Gbps connections. Those speeds are much faster than what Comcast's standard cable networks can currently...

Ofcom plans to improve mid-contract price rise transparency

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced plans to improve transparency around mid-contract prices.

The regulatory body has expressed concerns about the prevalent practice of mid-contract price rises – often linked to unpredictable inflation – adopted by major phone, broadband, and pay TV companies. In response, Ofcom is suggesting tougher protections for consumers by considering a ban on this practice.

Confusing price rise terms

Ofcom argues that unclear terms...

FCC to investigate AI’s impact on nuisance calls and texts

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel unveiled plans today to launch a comprehensive inquiry into the impact of AI on the proliferation of illegal and unwanted robocalls and texts.

Speaking at an event in collaboration with AARP, Rosenworcel announced her intention to present a proposed inquiry to her colleagues.

If approved at the Commission’s public open meeting on November 15, 2023, the inquiry would mark a pivotal moment in...

FCC opens 6 GHz band for low-power AR/VR devices

The FCC will allow low-power wearable technology, including AR and VR devices, to access the 6 GHz frequency band without the need for a license. This decision comes amidst a surge in mixed reality devices flooding the market.

The FCC's announcement enables low-power devices to use the 6 GHz band, offering faster speeds, enhanced bandwidth, and lower latency. According to the FCC, this decision will stimulate economic growth and enrich consumer experiences.

Leading tech...