Government Shutdown May Delay Phone Approvals
The Federal Communications Commissions has outlined all the activities that it will cease to perform during the government shutdown. According to the FCC, "Equipment authorizations, including those bringing new electronic devices to American consumers, cannot be provided." This means the FCC staff that oversees the testing of wireless devices, including cellphones, will be furloughed and these authorizations cannot take place. Depending on the length of the government shutdown, this could delay the arrival of new cell phones in the U.S. Wireless devices may not be sold in the U.S. until they are first tested by the FCC and deemed to be safe for use by the public. The FCC also said that it cannot answer consumer complaints or its inquiry phone lines; it cannot perform consumer protection and local competition enforcement; it cannot perform licensing services, including broadcast, wireless, and wireline; and it cannot continue its management of radio spectrum. The FCC is keeping about 40 vital staffers on hand to "protect life and property," but is furloughing more than 1,700 other workers. The acting FCC chairperson, Mignon Clyburn, and two other commissioners will report to work because their compensation is financed by a resource other than annual appropriations.
FCC Agrees to Open 3.5GHz for Wireless Service
The FCC today voted unanimously to approve a Report and Order that will free up 150MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band. The idea had been floated by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler last month.
FCC Pushes Privacy Rules Forward
The FCC on Thursday followed through on plans to tackle consumer privacy. The agency issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to govern the use of consumer data by broadband providers, both wired and wireless.
FCC Votes to Scrap Net Neutrality Protections
The FCC today voted on party lines to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality regulations. The vote was led by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was supported by his fellow Republican Commissioners Brendan Carr and Michael O'Reilly.
Wireless Users May Eventually Receive Government 'Blue Alerts'
The FCC has added a new type of alert to the Emergency Alert System that is specifically meant for law enforcement officers and other first responders. Joining the Amber Alert and Silver Alert, the new Blue Alert can be used by state and local authorities to notify the public of threats to law enforcement and request help in apprehending suspects.
FCC Commish Uses Sprint As Launch Point to Bash Auction
Following Sprint's decision to skip next year's 600MHz incentive auction, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai had harsh words for the FCC's plans. "Sprint's decision highlights the folly of the FCC's attempt to pick winners and losers before the auction begins," said Pai, in reference to the rules being assigned to the auction.
Leave it to political squabbling