House Votes to Curtail FCC Powers, But Obama Hints at Veto
The U.S. House of Representatives today passed HR 3309, the FCC Process Reform Act of 2012. The act, as it is written, would limit the Federal Communications Commission's ability to draft rules or block transactions. In order to have any sort of effect on transactions, the FCC would have to "analyze the specified market failure, actual consumer harm, burden of existing regulation, or failure of public institutions that warrants the rule or amendment; and determine that the benefits justify its costs." The FCC has recently flexed its muscle by blocking the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile acquisition and asserting net neutrality rules. The House is controlled by Republicans, however, and the Democrat-led Senate will likely not approve the bill. Additionally, the Obama administration argued the bill "would harm the Federal Government's ability to promote the most effective competitive outcome in any given transaction involving communications firms." The bill is on its way to the Senate, but there's no indication when the Senate will vote on it.
More Carriers and Phone Makers Agree to Adopt Google's RCS-Based 'Android Messages' Service
Google today said more wireless network operators and handset manufacturers will use Android Messages, its RCS-based messaging service, as the default SMS/MMS tool on their phones. (Android Messages was previously known as Google Messenger.) Some of the features of RCS, which is a global standard, include group chat, high-resolution photo sharing, advanced calling features, and read receipts.
Alcatel A30 Reaches Amazon Prime for Just $60
Amazon recently added the Alcatel A30 to its roster of Prime Exclusives. This entry-level Android handset includes a 5-inch HD screen and a 1.1 GHz Snapdragon 210 processor with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage.
Galaxy S8 to Cost $750, S8+ to Cost $850: Carriers Share Launch Details
Samsung's new Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones will cost $750 and $850, respectively. The phones share almost all features other than size and both ship with 64 GB of internal storage.
Houses Passes Bill that Could Cripple FCC's Net Neutrality Rules
The U.S. House of Representatives today passed bill HR 2666, which could interfere with the FCC's ability to enforce net neutrality provisions.
Republicans Target Net Neutrality Rules with Budget Trickery
A new budget proposed by House Republicans would hobble the FCC's attempt to enact and enforce its proposed net neutrality rules. The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill "prohibits the FCC from implementing net neutrality until certain court cases are resolved, requires newly proposed regulations to be made publicly available for 21 days before the Commission votes on them, and prohibits the FCC from regulating rates for either wireline or wireless Internet service." Republicans have used several different avenues through which to block the FCC's proposed rules.
who would have policed this situation then?