Telecommunication

Communication at a distance, especially the electronic transmission of signals via the telephone

Consumer Alert: 'Can You Hear Me' Scams

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission is alerting consumers to be on the lookout for scam callers seeking to get victims to say the word “yes” during a call and later use a recording of the response to authorize unwanted charges on the victim's utility or credit card account.

FCC Acts To Confront 'IRS Debt' Scam Robocalls and Malicious Caller-ID Spoofing

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Federal Communications Commission is seeking comment on rules that would codify the “Do-Not-Originate” initiative proposed by the FCC and launched by the industry strike force, allowing the effort to continue to grow and help more consumers.

FCC Acts To Improve Video Relay Service To Help Americans With Hearing And Speech Disabilities

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission approved new rules to improve the quality and efficiency of video relay services. Video relay services (VRS) enable people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech disabled to make calls over broadband through intermediaries using American Sign Language and a videophone. These changes respond to requests from VRS users for improved relay services – and a more robust marketplace of service providers – that are functionally equivalent to those available to hearing individuals.

FCC Proposes To Eliminate And Streamline Burdensome International Reporting Requirements

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Federal Communications Commission took steps to streamline and eliminate certain international reporting requirements. Specifically, the Commission proposes to eliminate the annual Traffic and Revenue Reports, and seeks comment on whether there are ways to further streamline the Circuit Capacity Reports. The Commission believes these reports may no longer be necessary in their current form.

Eying an Opening, CenturyLink and Frontier Seek Regulatory Relief for Business Data Services

Location:
Frontier Communications, 3 High Ridge Park, Stamford, CT, 06905, United States
Recommendation:
3

CenturyLink and Frontier apparently see the current Federal Communications Commission administration as potentially sympathetic to their concerns about business data services regulation.

FCC Proposes Extension of the Freeze of Jurisdictional Separations

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

In this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Further Notice), we propose a further eighteen month extension of the freeze of jurisdictional separations category relationships and cost allocation factors for rate-of-return incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) while we continue to work with the Federal-State Joint Board on Jurisdictional Separations (Joint Board) to overhaul our separations rules.

Public Knowledge Responds to NYC Complaint Alleging Verizon Breached Deployment Promise

Location:
Public Knowledge, 1818 N Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
3

The allegations that Verizon has failed to build out to nearly a million New York City households it is obligated to serve are troubling. Although new broadband deployments are costly and time intensive, broadband providers have a responsibility to comply with their franchise agreements.

Broadband Equipment Supplier Adtran: Connect America Fund Broadband Technologies Will Be a Mixed Bag

Location:
Adtran, 901 Explorer Boulevard, Huntsville, AL, 35806, United States
Recommendation:
3

Telecommunication companies are likely to use a mixture of technologies — including fixed wireless, copper bonding and vectoring – to meet deployment requirements of phase two of the Connect America Fund (CAF), said Kurt Raaflaub, head of strategic solutions marketing for broadband equipment supplier Adtran.

1 million NYC homes can’t get Verizon FiOS, so the city just sued Verizon

Location:
New York City Hall, 260 Broadway, New York, NY, 10007, United States
Recommendation:
3

New York City filed a lawsuit against Verizon. The city claims Verizon failed to complete a citywide fiber rollout by 2014 as required in its cable franchise agreement.

FCC Mobility Fund Plans Call For Two Year CETC Support Phase-out

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

Wireless carriers, known as competitive eligible telecommunications carriers (CETCs), who currently receive Universal Service funding in areas that will no longer be eligible for support will have that funding phased out over a two-year period beginning one month after completion of an upcoming mobility fund reverse auction. Details about the CETC support phase-out are included in an Federal Communications Commission order adopted Feb 23 and released to the public this week.

Sens Markey, Lee introduce bill to crack down on certain robocalls

Location:
Capitol Building, E Capitol St NE & 1st St NE, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
3

Sens Ed Markey (D-MA) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced a bill aimed at cracking down on robocalls from government contractors.

Sprint’s long VoIP patent war leads to $140M verdict against Time Warner Cable

Location:
Sprint Nextel, 6550 Sprint Parkway, Overland Park, KS, 66251, United States
Recommendation:
3

Sprint has been filing patent lawsuits over VoIP for more than a decade now, and the company may have just scored its biggest payout yet. On March 3, a jury in Sprint's home district of Kansas City (MO) said that Time Warner Cable, now part of Charter Communications, must pay $139.8 million for infringing several patents related to VoIP technology.

FCC Grants Emergency Waiver to Help Protect Jewish Community Centers

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission issued an emergency temporary waiver to Jewish Community Centers and telecommunications carriers that serve them to allow these entities and law enforcement agencies to access the caller-ID information of threatening and harassing callers.

FCC Announces Tentative Agenda For March 2017 Open Meeting

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the March Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 23, 2017.

FCC Statement on Request to Help Jewish Community Centers

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is very concerned about the bomb threats being made to Jewish Community Centers across our country. These threats have instilled fear and disrupted lives throughout the United States, and Chairman Pai condemns such anti-Semitic acts in the strongest possible terms. The FCC is actively exploring what steps the FCC can take quickly to help Jewish Community Centers and law enforcement combat these threats.

Sen Schumer asks FCC for waiver to trace Jewish center bomb threats

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) asked the Federal Communications Commission for a waiver to unscramble anonymous phone numbers that had been used to call in bomb threats to a New York Jewish Community Center.

FCC: I Do Believe We’re on the Eve of Destruction.

Location:
New Networks Institute, United States
Recommendation:
1

On Thursday, February 23rd, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission held its first official meeting with the new FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai. And like a polluted stream filled with dead fish floating belly up, the meeting just added to the stench from the FCC we’ve seen in this ‘transition’.

Bringing back real consumer protection to the FCC

Location:
American Enterprise Institute (AEI), 1150 Seventeenth Street, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
1

There are literally millions of consumer complaints about robocalls, a doubling over the last 5 years, but just a few thousand about network neutrality.

FCC Reduces Or Eliminates Burden Of Unnecessary Accounting Requirements For Carriers

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Taking further steps to minimize unnecessary burdens on carriers, the Federal Communications Commission streamlined various accounting requirements for all carriers and eliminated certain accounting requirements for large carriers. Specifically, the FCC eliminated the requirement that large carriers keep a separate set of regulatory accounting books in addition to their financial accounting books.

FCC Defends Prison Call Shift

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

Although Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai believes there’s market failure in the prison phone call industry, the FCC’s “well-intentioned efforts have not been fully consistent with the law,” the agency’s acting general counsel told lawmakers in a letter Feb 21.

Project Loon’s latest breakthrough to reduce costs for telcos

Location:
Google, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA, United States
Recommendation:
3

Instead of sailing balloons around the world to deliver internet access, engineers at Alphabet's Project Loon will send small teams of balloons to form a cluster over specific regions where people need internet access—a discovery that will help reduce the costs of operating a Loon-powered network.

FCC Settles Investigation Of Relay Service Providers

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission announced a $9.1 million settlement with two companies which provide telecommunications services to consumers with hearing and speech disabilities.

Amazon and Google Consider Turning Smart Speakers Into Home Phones

Location:
Amazon, 1200 12th Avenue South, Seattle, WA, 98144, United States
Recommendation:
3

Amazon and Alphabet’s Google are considering a new use for their popular home speakers: becoming the home phone.

FCC Releases 2017 Urban Rate Survey

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau announced the 2017 rate floor for incumbent eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) and reasonable comparability benchmarks for fixed voice and broadband services.

The strange case of prison phone calls

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

The prison phone industry is strange.

CBO Scores Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act of 2017

Location:
Congressional Budget Office, Second and D Streets, SW Ford House Office Building 4th Floor, Washington, DC, 20515-6925, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act of 2017 (S 102) would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to study ways to enhance access to telecommunications services during emergencies when mobile service is unavailable.

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When the Pai FCC Abandons the Public Interest, Who You Gonna Call?

On February 6, 2017, Andrew Jay Schwartzman – the Benton Senior Counselor at the Public Interest Communications Law Project at Georgetown University Law Center's Institute for Public Representation – appeared before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in an unusual role. The Federal Communications Commission was scheduled to defend its rules to lower the predatory prices inmates and their families pay to make prison phone calls. But with new FCC leadership in place, the FCC decided to not defend the rules, thus abdicating to Schwartzman the protection of the public interest.

My Personal Story in Search of #PhoneJustice

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

It is 9:10 am on Monday, February 6, 2017, and I am sitting in the courtroom without my cellphones. Like many who find themselves disconnected from their mobile device(s) for any length of time, I feel extremely uncomfortable and detached from the rest of the world. But whatever my discomfort, it pales in comparison to the day-to-day economic and personal torture felt by millions who remain on the wrong side of the economic justice divide and struggle to stay in touch with incarcerated loved ones.

The FCC’s legal battle over prison phones just took a weird turn

Location:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 333 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
2

In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission moved in to cap what many consider to be exorbitant rates for inmate phone calls. Shortly thereafter, the agency was sued by the prison phone industry, which challenged the agency’s authority to set rates for calls within state lines. The lawsuit has been advancing, but the presidential election brought a new administration to the White House. Ajit Pai, the new, Donald Trump-appointed Chairman of the FCC, said in a letter that the agency would no longer defend the agency’s in-state rate caps in court.

Statement of FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn on Inmate Calling Services Oral Argument in D.C. Circuit

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Today we took yet another step towards #PhoneJustice on behalf of the millions burdened by the egregious costs of communicating with a loved one who is currently incarcerated. I am grateful to the individuals who argued on behalf of justice for the inmates, their families and their legal representatives, and am confident that the court grasped the nuance of the legal arguments. Regardless of how the Court rules, I will continue to press forward to ensure that inmates and their families receive just, reasonable, and fair phone rates. Justice demands it, and so do I.

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