AT&T and T-Mobile are fighting a Federal Communications Commission plan to require drive tests that would verify whether the mobile carriers' coverage claims are accurate. The carriers' objections came in response to the FCC seeking comment on a plan to improve the nation's inadequate broadband maps.
Verizon is adding some perks to its wireless plans, but some things aren't changing: Verizon still restricts 5G service to its most expensive unlimited-data plans. If you want to save money by getting a limited-data plan, you'll have to make do with 4G only—which, admittedly, is not a big problem for most people given how sparse Verizon's 5G network is. AT&T still enforces a similar restriction, including 5G only in its unlimited-data plans while selling limited-data plans without 5G.
Charter can charge Netflix and other online video streaming services for network interconnection despite a merger condition prohibiting the practice, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled. the decision overturns two merger conditions that the Obama administration imposed on Charter when it bought Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in 2016.
The Trump Administration and broadband industry are resuming their fight against California's network neutrality law, with the Department of Justice and Internet service provider lobby groups filing new complaints against the state Aug 5. The case is nearly two years old but was put on hold because California in Oct 2018 agreed to suspend enforcement of its law until after litigation over the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of US net neutrality rules and the FCC's attempt to preempt state net neutrality laws.
Nonprofits and local politicians are lining up to support a Charter Communications petition that would let the ISP impose data caps on broadband users and seek interconnection payments from large online-video providers. Charter filed the petition with the Federal Communications Commission in June, asking the FCC to eliminate merger conditions applied to its 2016 purchase of Time Warner Cable two years early.
AT&T lost broadband customers in the second quarter of 2020, dropping from 14.05 million to 13.94 million. Fiber customers rose from 4.1 million to 4.32 million during the three-month period, but losses in the DSL category brought the total number of customers down.
Maine judge rejects broadband industry’s preemption and First Amendment challenges to broadband privacy law
The broadband industry has lost a key initial ruling in its bid to kill a privacy law imposed by the state of Maine. The top lobby groups representing cable companies, mobile carriers, and telecoms —ACA, CTIA, NCTA, and USTelecom — sued Maine in Feb, claiming the privacy law violates their First Amendment protections on free speech and that the state law is preempted by deregulatory actions taken by Congress and the Federal Communications Commission.
Major internet service providers will resume data caps on broadband and data usage, as commitments to remove them in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are set to expire. This is occurring as the coronavirus continues to spread, and many workers and students are still working remotely in an effort to curb the virus’s spread through social distancing. Many Americans are still using high-bandwidth video chat software such as Zoom, Facetime, and Google Hangouts to keep in touch with loved ones and to do their jobs.
The Federal Communications Commission is helping Charter avoid broadband competition in New York State with a decision that will block government funding for other broadband providers in locations where Charter is required to build. The FCC plans to award providers up to $16 billion over 10 years from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) in a reverse auction scheduled to begin in October.
T-Mobile is already trying to get out of merger conditions imposed by state regulators in California less than three months after completing its acquisition of Sprint. T-Mobile filed a petition with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), asking the agency to provide two extra years to meet 5G build-out requirements and to eliminate a requirement to add 1,000 new employees. T-Mobile, which had agreed to other conditions imposed by the federal government, completed the Sprint merger on April 1 without waiting for California's approval.