Jon Brodkin

Canada demands 5% of revenue from Netflix, Spotify, and other streamers

Canada has ordered large online streaming services to pay 5 percent of their Canadian revenue to the government in a program expected to raise $200 million per year to support local news and other home-grown content. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced its decision after a public comment period. The fees apply to both video and music streaming services.

ISPs seek halt of net neutrality rules before they take effect

As expected, broadband industry lobby groups have sued the Federal Communications Commission in an attempt to nullify net neutrality rules that prohibit blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. Lobby groups representing cable, telecom, and mobile Internet service providers sued the FCC in several US appeals courts.

Another US state repeals law that protected ISPs from municipal competition

Minnesota eliminated two laws that made it harder for cities and towns to build their own broadband networks. The state-imposed restrictions were repealed in an omnibus commerce policy bill signed on May 21 by Gov Tim Walz (D-MN). Minnesota was previously one of about 20 states that imposed significant restrictions on municipal broadband.

Municipal broadband advocates fight off attacks from “dark money” groups

Cities and towns that build their own broadband networks often say they only considered the do-it-yourself option because private Internet service providers didn't meet their communities' needs.  Hundreds of municipal broadband networks have been built around the US as a result, including dozens that have started operating since 2021. The rise of public broadband hasn't happened without a fight, though.

AT&T paid bribes to get two major pieces of legislation passed, US government says

The US government has provided more detail on how a former AT&T executive allegedly bribed a powerful state lawmaker's ally in order to obtain legislation favorable to AT&T's business. Former AT&T Illinois President Paul La Schiazza is set to go on trial in September 2024 after being indicted on charges of conspiracy to unlawfully influence then-Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D).

AT&T loses key ruling in attempt to escape Carrier-of-Last-Resort obligation

AT&T's application to end its landline phone obligations in California is likely to be rejected by state officials following protest from residents worried about losing access to phone lines. An administrative law judge at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recommended rejection of the application in a proposed decision.

Congress lets broadband funding run out, ending $30 low-income discounts

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel made a final plea to Congress, asking for money to continue a broadband-affordability program that gave out its last round of $30 discounts to people with low incomes in April. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has lowered monthly Internet bills for people who qualify for benefits, but Congress allowed funding to run out. People may receive up to $14 in May if their ISP opted into offering a partial discount during the program's final month.

FCC won’t block California net neutrality law, says states can “experiment”

California can keep enforcing its state net neutrality law after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implements its own rules.

Starlink mobile plans hit snag as FCC dismisses SpaceX spectrum application

Starlink's mobile ambitions were dealt at least a temporary blow when the Federal Communications Commission dismissed SpaceX's application to use several spectrum bands for mobile service. SpaceX is seeking approval to use up to 7,500 second-generation Starlink satellites with spectrum in the 1.6 GHz, 2 GHz, and 2.4 GHz bands. SpaceX could still end up getting what it wants but will have to go through new rulemaking processes in which the FCC will evaluate whether the spectrum bands can handle the system without affecting existing users.

Cable internet service provider is fined $10,000 for lying to FCC about where it offers broadband

An Internet service provider (ISP) that admitted lying to the Federal Communications Commission about where it offers broadband will pay a $10,000 fine and implement a compliance plan to prevent future violations. Jefferson County Cable (JCC), a small ISP in Toronto (OH) admitted that it falsely claimed to offer fiber service in an area that it hadn't expanded to yet.