The average downstream broadband speed is now 33.9 Mbps in the U.S., up by around 10 Mbps from last year, according to Broadband Reports. But U.S. downstream speeds still lag behind those in 26 other countries, including South Korea and Japan.
Google will bring its 1GB fiber service to Salt Lake City, the Verge reports. The company has already launched its fiber-optic service in seven other locales -- Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Kansas City, Austin, and Provo -- and is exploring options with Portland and San Antonio, among other cities.
The bankrupt RadioShack wants to auction off its customers' personal information, including 13 million email addresses and 65 million names and physical addresses, Bloomberg reports. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is challenging the plan, arguing that RadioShack told customers it wouldn't ever sell their data.
Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai, who vocally opposed the new net neutrality rules, is asking Congress to prohibit the FCC from using funds to implement the regulations, Ars Technica reports. "Not only is this plan bad policy; absent outside intervention, the Commission will expend substantial resources implementing and enforcing regulations that are wasteful, unnecessary, and affirmatively detrimental to the American public," Pai said in a prepared statement.
Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Luke Messer (R-Ind.) are expected to introduce legislation aimed at protecting students' privacy. The Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act would prohibit companies that operate school services from knowingly disclosing students’ personal information to tailor advertisements, and from using student data for marketing profiles, The New York Times reports. But privacy advocates say the bill has too many loopholes.
Record companies are criticizing streaming services that allow people to listen to ad-supported music for free. But clamping down on free music services could lead to another “Napster moment,” some critics say. “The major labels screwed Napster and screwed the market by killing what was potentially the biggest opportunity the industry could imagine in getting into the digital space early. If they follow through with this, they are going to do it again,” one observer tells Quartz.
European lawmaker Ramon Tremosa i Balcells is pushing EU antitrust officials to bring charges against Google, The New York Times reports. The lawmaker says a recently uncovered 2012 Federal Trade Commission staff report about the company is a “new element and evidence” against it. EU antitrust officials have been negotiating with Google for the last five years.
George Mason law professor Todd Zywicki debunks The Wall Street Journal's claim that the FTC acted unusually by not following some staffers' recommendation to bring an antitrust case against Google. That statement, “is not accurate, and to the extent it is, it is much more complicated than the WSJ suggests,” he writes in the Washington Post's Volokh Conspiracy. One complicating factor: The FTC's economic bureau didn't support suing.
Florida Senator Bill Nelson, the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce, says he's open to a bipartisan bill that would impose net neutrality regulations, but only if it “fully protects consumers, does not undercut the FCC's role and leaves the agency with flexible, forward-looking authority to respond to the changes in this dynamic broadband marketplace,” the Washington Post reports.
New York state regulators are again delaying a decision about whether to approve Comcast's $45 billion merger with Time Warner, Stop the Cap reports. The state's Public Service Commission now expects to issue a decision by April 20. Federal regulators also recently suspended their review of the merger.