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 Commissioner Wants More Spectrum for WiFi
FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel today said the government needs to do a better job of allocating spectrum for unlicensed access, such as WiFi. Rosenworcel, speaking at the State of the Net Conference, emphasized the importance of WiFi and the role it plays in the economy.
T-Mobile Urges Consumer Action Against 'Twin Bells'
T-Mobile CEO John Legere today asked consumers to help guide the FCC's rule-making process for the upcoming 600MHz reverse auction. Legere hopes consumers will write to the FCC and ask the agency to create rules that will lead to more competition.
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