Yesterday, Public Knowledge, joined by Common Cause and United Church of Christ OC, Inc., filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission asking the agency to deny the proposed merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media. If approved, the purchase of Tribune Media’s 42 stations would enable Sinclair to reach 72 percent of U.S. households.
The recent Internet Day of Action for net neutrality illustrates how intensely consumers feel about net neutrality protections, as more than 50,000 people, websites, and organizations demonstrated in favor of a free and open internet. Many Internet Service Providers claim that they, too, want net neutrality, but with one exception: they don’t want any rules that can be enforced against them. Asking giant internet providers like Comcast to behave is, quite frankly, implausible given their history of anti-competitive behavior.
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed several pieces of legislation focused on improving next-generation wireless networks and broadband infrastructure deployment, ensuring that rural areas have reliable voice services and protecting consumers from spoofing.
Today, reports indicate that Verizon Wireless reduced connection speeds for mobile subscribers accessing streaming video services as part of a “video optimization” systems test. The company issued no warnings to consumers prior to testing, but claims “the customer video experience was not affected”.
Today, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced the Video Visitation and Inmate Calling in Prisons Act of 2017, which would clarify the Federal Communications Commission’s authority to cap intrastate inmate calling rates. The bill requires the agency to establish rules governing the procurement and use of video visitation and inmate calling services to make sure rates are “reasonable, fair and just”.