Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has been saying all year that he wants to invalidate state restrictions on municipal broadband. Now, Wilson, N.C. and Chattanooga, Tenn. -- two cities that built their own high-speed fiber networks -- are giving Wheeler the chance to do so. Both recently filed petitions asking the FCC to vacate laws in their states that are hindering cities from building other new muni-broadband networks.
Last week, more than four dozen mayors, including Michael Nutter of Comcast's home base, Philadelphia, said they supported Comcast's proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable. Absent from that roster was Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, where Time Warner is headquartered. This week, de Blasio weighed in on the potential deal. De Blasio said in a letter to the FCC that he had "concerns" about the deal, and asked regulators to impose conditions on it.
Five privacy organizations are asking a judge to scuttle Google's $8.5 million settlement of a class-action privacy lawsuit. "The proposed settlement is bad for consumers and does nothing to change Google's business practices," the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Watchdog, Patient Privacy Rights and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse said today in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, Calif.
Online video company Netflix is asking the Federal Communications Commission to put the kibosh on Comcast's proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable. The proposed deal "would set up an ecosystem that calls into question what we to date have taken for granted: that a customer who pays for connectivity to the Internet will be able to get the content she requests," Netflix says this week in a 256-page filing with the FCC.
Comcast's proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable "poses a substantial threat to the open Internet," Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) told the Federal Communications Commission today. "The proposed acquisition would give Comcast exclusive control over the only roads on the information superhighway that end in the living rooms and offices of tens of millions of Americans," Franken says in comments filed with regulators today.
Comcast's proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable got support this week from a coalition of 52 mayors, who say the deal will boost broadband. "Cities joining the Comcast service area will benefit from increased network investment, faster Internet speeds, improved video options and leading community development programs to help us tackle important community challenges like the digital divide," the mayors state in a letter.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has said he wants to nix laws that prevent cities from building their own broadband networks. But he might lack the ability to do so -- at least according to Matthew Berry, chief of staff to Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai.
Netflix is now paying Time Warner extra fees in order to interconnect directly with its network, which should result in better-quality streaming video. The so-called "peering" deal -- which reportedly was signed in June -- is rolling out this month, according to GigaOm. Earlier this year, Netflix announced similar deals with Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.
Democratic lawmakers are pressing Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to make good on his promise to vacate state laws that restrict muni-broadband. "What the broadband market needs today are more options and greater local choice, not barriers that prevent cities and towns from participating fully in the global economy," Sen. Ed Markey said in a statement issued on Tuesday. "I encourage the Commission to use its authority to ensure municipalities have the power to make decisions about their broadband infrastructure."
Google has convinced a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Illinois resident Alice Svenson, who said Google violated users' privacy by sharing the names of app buyers with developers.