Interest Groups Take MetroPCS to Task Over Net Neutrality
A number of public interest groups have sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission alleging that MetroPCS' new LTE mobile broadband plans violate net neutrality laws and are too vague. The groups say MetroPCS' new plans claim to offer unlimited mobile web, but only to select sites. For example, YouTube is the only streaming video site supported, while others are blocked. The FCC passed rules in late 2010 (which go into effect later this year) that prevent broadband providers from blocking access to content. In the letter, the groups said, "The service plans announced by MetroPCS create distinctions between different users of the Internet that lack any engineering merit. By permitting YouTube videos and Web sites to be viewed without limit, while simultaneously disallowing or restricting the use of other voice and video Web sites and services, MetroPCS' actions harm competition, consumer choice and innovation." Those involved with the action include the Media Access Project, Free Press, Center for Media Justice, New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative, and Presente.org. "The lack of clarity is troubling to us," said Matt Wood, associate director of the Media Access Project. "They're splitting Web access from data access." MetroPCS responded to the allegations on January 12, saying, "The complaints about our new, pro-consumer, pro-competitive 4G LTE rate plans are erroneous. We continue to offer consumers a full service, unlimited data plan... These new rate plans comply with the FCC's new rules on open mobile Internet."
Court to Allow Net Neutrality Rules to Take Effect
A federal appeals court today refused to block the FCC's net neutrality rules from going into effect. USTelecom, the CTIA, and other groups sought to prevent them from becoming law while the rules are being litigated.
Consumer Groups Demand Broadband Privacy Laws
Dozens of consumer action groups have petitioned the FCC to install regulations that would protect the privacy of the nation's wired and wireless broadband users. The groups believe broadband providers — including AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Verizon, and others — should be subject to tough privacy standards.
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.
Montana Governor Seeks to Make Net Neutrality Compulsory
Montana Governor Steve Bullock today signed an executive order that would force internet service providers to comply with several basic tenets of net neutrality. Specifically, Bullock said any ISP that has a contract with the state government cannot block web sites or create for-pay fast lanes that would impact its other customers.
The internet is not a big truck