Charter Communications says it will roll out broadband with a minimum speed of 60 Mbps to all customers, if its $66 billion merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House is approved. The company also says it will create thousands of new U.S. jobs. In the past, however, other Internet service providers have failed to live up to their merger promises, DSLReports notes.
In a rejection of net neutrality principles, regulators in Europe have agreed to create a two-tiered Internet, Ars Technica reports. Regulators have proposed a set of rules that will allow telecoms to create online fast lanes for “specialized services.” The rules also will allow telecoms to exempt services of their choosing from consumers' data caps.
Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Hulu are among the Web companies that reserve the right to transfer information about consumers to third parties in the event the company is sold or goes bankrupt. An analysis by The New York Times of the top 100 Web sites found that 85 had privacy policies that reserved the right to transfer consumers' data if the company was sold or went bankrupty. At least 17 of those sites promised to alert consumers to any data transfer, but only two -- Etsy and Weather.com -- promised to allow consumers to opt out of sharing …
A new Yelp-funded study, co-authored by legal scholar and net neutrality proponent Tim Wu, concludes that Google “appears to be strategically deploying universal search in a way that degrades the product so as to slow and exclude challengers to its dominant search paradigm.” Wu, who previously defended went on record defending Google's search results, tells Re/code that he changed his mind due to new evidence. “They are paying me for my time,” Wu said, referring to Yelp. “But I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think this new evidence was a game-changer.”
Search engine DuckDuckGo, which touts itself as privacy-friendly, now accounts for more than 10 million searches per day, up from 1.5 million in May of 2012, Ars Technica reports. DuckDuckGo, which says it doesn't log IP addresses, saw traffic spike after former NSA contractor Snowden's initial revelaions in June of 2013. Growth continued last year, after Apple included DuckDuckGo in new versions of Safari and Mozilla added it as a Firefox option, according to Ars Technica.
Regulators appear poised to approve AT&T's merger with DirecTV, according to The Washington Post's Cecelia Kang. “Filings show that top AT&T and DirecTV executives have met with antitrust officials and commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission to answer a slew of last-minute, detailed questions in recent weeks -- a major sign that regulators are likely to approve the $45 billion merger that would create a mobile video powerhouse,” she writes.
Apple's upcoming iOS 9 reportedly will prevent apps from learning what other apps are installed on users' devices. The expected move -- which is part of Apple's plan to protect users' privacy -- will mean that apps like Facebook and Twitter won't be able to target ads to users based on the other apps they've downloaded, Apple Insider reports.
Some of T-Mobile's “unlimited data” subscribers could find their connections slowed down after consuming more than 21 GB a month. The new “soft cap” will only result in slowed speeds when users are on a “heavily-loaded tower,” according to DSLReports.
Fewer than one in 20 Web users worldwide access the Internet at speeds of at least 25 Mbps, according to Akamai's latest State of the Internet Report. The firm also reported that average connection speed reached 5 Mbps in the first quarter of this year, up 10% from the first three months of 2014.
A Microsoft executive discovered that Samsung is disabling Windows Update on some PCs, Ars Technica reports. Samsung apparently is doing so in order to make sure its USB ports work, but the technique represents “an incredibly brute-force” method -- “especially as users get no say in the matter,” Ars Technica writes.