Turns out that AT&T's chief executive was overstating matters when he threatened to put the brakes on broadband expansion plans. "AT&T still plans to complete the major initiative we announced in April to expand our ultra-fast GigaPower fiber network in 25 major metropolitan areas nationwide, including 21 new major metropolitan areas," SVP Robert Quinn said this week in a letter to the FCC. Quinn's letter comes in response to the FCC's demand that the company explain a statement earlier this month by CEO Randall Stephenson, who tried to link the company's expansion plans to the prospect of net neutrality regulations.
In the latest data grab by a Silicon Valley company, Twitter said today that it will start collecting information about which other apps are installed on its users' phones. The company says it is doing so in order to "build a more personal Twitter experience" and "deliver tailored content" -- both of which are odd justifications, considering that Twitter users already personalize their experiences by deciding which other users to follow.
Late last week, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said what some observers have long thought was obvious: New net neutrality rules will lead to another round of court challenges. "Look, the big dogs are going to sue, regardless of what comes out," Wheeler reportedly told journalists on Friday.
Faced with pressure from the Federal Communications Commission, T-Mobile has agreed to change the information it gives to pay-per-byte consumers who are throttled for exceeding their data caps. The company will now send a text message to consumers who reach their maximum allotment, and a link to a speed test that will show the actual reduced speeds -- either 128 kbps or 64 kbps, depending on the plan.
When Mozilla and Yahoo announced their blockbuster new search partnership, which makes Yahoo the default search engine on Firefox, the companies also said that Yahoo will honor do-not-track commands sent by Firefox users. But what the companies meant was that Yahoo won't send some types of behaviorally targeted ads to Firefox users who have turned on do-not-track.
To the disappointment of net neutrality advocates, it looks like the Federal Communications Commission will put off a decision on net neutrality until at least next year. The agency's tentative agenda for its Dec. 11 meeting, released this afternoon, doesn't include a vote on open Internet rules.
Back in 2006, when the listings site Kinderstart found itself excluded from Google's organic search results, the site filed a federal lawsuit against the search company. In 2007, U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel not only threw out the case, but ordered Kinderstart's lawyer to pay Google $7,500 in sanctions. Last week, Google once again defeated a challenge to its practices.
Car manufacturers won't be able to provide precise geolocations for automobiles to marketers without drivers' opt-in consent under a new privacy code adopted by the industry.
Net neutrality advocates have spent the better part of this year urging the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify broadband as a "telecommunications" service. That push gained significant momentum this week, after President Barack Obama called on the agency to declare that broadband will be regulated as a utility -- a move that many observers think is necessary in order for the agency to pass the kinds of net neutrality regulations that would prohibit companies from creating paid fast lanes. The FCC hasn't yet said what it intends to do, but Internet service providers are wasting no time making clear that …