Communication at a distance, especially the electronic transmission of signals via the telephone
The Federal Communications Commission eliminated legacy unbundling and resale rules where they stifle technology transitions and broadband deployment. The rules date back to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which required monopoly local telephone companies to make portions of their networks and services available to competitors at regulated rates. The Order eliminates rules requiring unbundling of the following network elements, subject to certain conditions and multiyear transition periods:
Verizon Communications reported third-quarter results highlighted by increases in total Fios Internet net additions and wireless service revenue. The company reported 139,000 Fios Internet net additions in third-quarter 2020, an increase from 30,000 Fios Internet net additions in third-quarter 2019. Including both business and consumer segments, the company reported 144,000 total Fios Internet net additions, the most Fios Internet net additions since fourth-quarter 2014.
Frontier Communications has secured approval for its Chapter 11 restructuring plan from the New York Public Service Commission. With New York checked off, Frontier said it has received regulatory approval, or "favorable determination," from 10 of the 25 states in its footprint. Those states include: Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia. Frontier is targeting early 2021 to exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a federal court issued a temporary restraining order against Marc and Courtney Grisham and two companies they operate, Disruption Theory LLC and Emergent Technologies LLC, which do business as inmatecall.com and inmatecallsolutions.com. In its complaint, the FTC alleges that the operators advertised and marketed calling plans for unlimited minutes, which they did not provide.
Why are prison phone rates so high? Experts say inmates are subject to monopolies and surcharges because they're unable to shop around for phone providers. Nationwide, the average cost of one 15-minute phone call from jail is $5.74, but that amount can range as high as $24.82, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. Those rates don't include additional fees, such as charges for setting up an account or listening to voicemails. Most people detained at county jails are typically held temporarily, often housing those awaiting trial or intake into the state system for longer sentences.
The past few months have underscored a basic truth: full participation in civil society requires an internet connection. Wireless technologies, including emerging 5G technologies, have an important role to play here. That’s why we must do more to make high-quality, affordable broadband, including 5G wireless service, available to everyone. In planning and promoting the deployment of advanced wireless networks, we have an opportunity to promote digital inclusion and combat longstanding inequalities.
When the telecommunications industry was liberalised in Europe and North America in the 1980s and 1990s, it inherited a legacy of monopoly providers whose footprint was national or multi-regional in its character. The regulatory framework, particularly that adopted in EU member states, reflected this pattern of relatively homogeneous deployment achieved, in part, by decades of cross-subsidised pricing and universal service goals.
The next administration should revitalize the Federal Communications Commission and use its dormant regulations to break up monopolies in the telecommunications industry. The FCC once used its mandate to regulate abusive and exclusionary behavior by fostering a fair and competitive marketplace that serves the public interest. Between 1934 to 1975, the FCC implemented some of the most progressive anti-monopoly policies in our nation’s history. Although monopolies blight the current communications landscape, the wave of litigation against them is an encouraging sign.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the items below are tentatively on the agenda for the October Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 27, 2020:
I can say for sure that the agenda for the Commission’s October meeting will be filled with treats for consumers and innovators.