Grant Gross

About the Author Grant Gross


FCC chairman to announce plans to repeal net neutrality

The chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is expected to announce plans to repeal the agency’s 2015 net neutrality rules on Wednesday.

Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, will likely announce a plan to reverse course on the 2-year-old regulations and end the agency’s classification of broadband as a regulated, common-carrier service. In a Wednesday speech, Pai will reportedly announce that he is scheduling a vote for the FCC’s May 18 meeting to begin the process of repealing the rules.

Pai has called the net neutrality rules a mistake that “injected tremendous uncertainty into the broadband market.” President Donald Trump, who appointed Pai as the FCC’s chairman, has also criticized the regulations.

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FCC ends price caps on many business data lines

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to deregulate the providers of the business data lines connecting broadband service to many small businesses, schools, hospitals, and ATM machines.

The deregulation of business data services, or BDS, could mean broadband price hikes for those businesses as well as for mobile phone customers, critics said. BDS provides the backhaul that connects mobile towers to the wired internet.

The commission’s 2-1 party-line vote ends price caps on much of the BDS market across the U.S., while retaining price regulations in about a third of the country.

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FCC ends price caps on many business data lines

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to deregulate the providers of the business data lines connecting broadband service to many small businesses, schools, hospitals and ATM machines.

The deregulation of business data services, or BDS, could mean broadband price increases for those businesses as well as for mobile phone customers, critics said. BDS provides the backhaul that connects mobile towers to the wired internet.

The commission’s 2-1, party-line vote ends price caps on much of the BDS market across the U.S. while retaining price regulations in about a third of the country.

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FCC’s deregulation of business data lines could mean a price hike

If you operate a small or medium-size U.S. business, you can expect to pay more for broadband services in the near future because the U.S. Federal Communications Commission plans to deregulate providers of business data lines, critics of the proposal say.

Users of ATMs, shoppers in stores that use credit card scanners, and mobile phone customers could also see prices go up after the FCC deregulates the so-called business data services (BDS) market. Schools and hospitals also depend on BDS for their broadband service, and prices could rise as much as 25 percent in areas where the FCC removes price caps, critics warn.

The FCC is scheduled to vote Thursday on a proposal from Republican Chairman Ajit Pai that would deregulate large parts of the BDS market, which generates an estimated US$45 billion a year for AT&T, Verizon, and other telecom carriers. Incumbent telecom carriers welcome the plan, saying there’s plenty of competition in the BDS market, sometimes called special access.

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FCC kills plan to allow mobile phone conversations on flights

Imagine a fellow airplane passenger sitting next to you and yelling into his mobile phone for six hours during a cross-country flight.

If simply thinking about that scenario gives you a headache, you’re not alone. On Monday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission killed a plan to allow mobile phone calls during commercial airline flights.

Since 2013, the FCC and the Federal Aviation Administration have considered allowing airline passengers to talk on the phones during flights, although the FAA also proposed rules requiring airlines to give passengers notice if they planned to allow phone calls.

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US FCC kills plan to allow mobile phone conversations on flights

Imagine a fellow airplane passenger sitting next to you and yelling into his mobile phone for six hours during a cross-country flight.

If simply thinking about that scenario gives you a headache, you’re not alone. On Monday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission killed a plan to allow mobile phone calls during commercial airline flights.

Since 2013, the FCC and the Federal Aviation Administration have considered allowing airline passengers to talk on the phones during flights, although the FAA also proposed rules requiring airlines to give passengers notice if they planned to allow phone calls.

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FCC kills plan to allow mobile phone conversations on flights

Imagine a fellow airplane passenger sitting next to you and yelling into his mobile phone for six hours during a cross-country flight.

If simply thinking about that scenario gives you a headache, you’re not alone. On Monday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission killed a plan to allow mobile phone calls during commercial airline flights.

Since 2013, the FCC and the Federal Aviation Administration have considered allowing airline passengers to talk on the phones during flights, although the FAA also proposed rules requiring airlines to give passengers notice if they planned to allow phone calls.

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Update: Spain arrests accused Russian spammer at U.S. request

A Russian man long connected with sending spam emails has been arrested and is being held in Spain, with a law enforcement source contradicting news reports saying he was involved with a computer virus linked to President Donald Trump’s recent election victory.

 

The arrest of Piotr Levashov at the Barcelona airport on Friday was not tied to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, said the source, who is close to the investigation. That contradicts news reports from Agence France-Presse (AFP) and other news outlets, which said Levashov’s wife, Maria Levachova, was told his arrest was connected to Trump’s election.

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U.S. trade lobbying group attacked by suspected Chinese hackers

A group of what appears to be Chinese hackers infiltrated a U.S. trade-focused lobbying group as the two countries wrestle with how they treat imports of each other’s goods and services.

The APT10 Chinese hacking group appears to be behind a “strategic web compromise” in late February and early March at the National Foreign Trade Council, according to security vendor Fidelis Cybersecurity.

The NFTC lobbies for open and fair trade and has pledged to work with U.S. President Donald Trump to “find ways to address Chinese policies that frustrate access to their market and undermine fair trade, while at the same time encouraging a positive trend in our trade relationship.” Trump will meet with China President Xi Jinping in Florida this week.

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Politicians’ web browsing history targeted after privacy vote

Two GoFundMe campaigns have raised more than $290,000 in an effort to buy the web browsing histories of U.S. politicians after Congress voted to allow broadband providers to sell customers’ personal information without their permission.

It’s unclear if those efforts will succeed, however. Even though Congress scrapped the FCC’s ISP privacy rules last week, the Telecommunications Act still prohibits telecom providers from selling personally identifiable information in many cases. 

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Politicians’ web browsing history targeted after privacy vote

Two GoFundMe campaigns have raised more than $290,000 in an effort to buy the web browsing histories of U.S. politicians after Congress voted to allow broadband providers to sell customers’ personal information without their permission.

It’s unclear if those efforts will succeed, however. Even though Congress scrapped the FCC’s ISP privacy rules last week, the Telecommunications Act still prohibits telecom providers from selling personally identifiable information in many cases. 

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China Oceanwide completes its purchase of IDG

The sale of tech publishing pioneer International Data Group to China Oceanwide Holdings Group and China-based IDG Capital is final.

The deal for China Oceanwide Holdings Group to acquire a majority stake in International Data Group was first announced in January. Tech analyst firm IDC and venture capital firm IDG Ventures are included in the deal.

China Oceanwide hosted an event in Bejing today to announce the closing of the deal. The companies did not disclose the terms of the sale.

China Oceanwide has said it will focus on growth at IDG and IDC.

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