Senators Intro 4G Disclosure Bill
Three U.S. senators, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken of Minnesota, today introduced a bill that would require U.S. wireless network operators to clearly define 4G services and speeds. The bill is similar to one proposed in June by representative Anna Eschoo of California in the House of Representatives. "When consumers purchase a 4G wireless plan, they have the right to know exactly what they're getting for their money," Klobuchar said today. "This legislation will help ensure that wireless companies are honest about their product's capabilities so consumers can get a fair deal." As proposed, the bill seeks to force network operators to disclose guaranteed minimum data speeds, 4G network reliability and 4G coverage maps, pricing options, the 4G technology being used by that operator, and mitigating circumstances (foliage, terrain, population density) that could have an impact on the 4G network performance. The bill would also force the Federal Communications Commission to evaluate the speed and pricing of the 4G services offered by the top ten U.S network operators and provide a side-by-side comparison to consumers. The CTIA Wireless Association issued a statement in response to the legislation. "As we have said before, this bill proposes to add an additional layer of regulation to a new and exciting set of services, while ignoring the fact that wireless is an inherently complex and dynamic environment in which network speeds can vary depending on a wide variety of factors. Congress should not impose new regulations. Instead, they should focus on the real issue, which is making sure that America's wireless carriers have sufficient spectrum to lead the world in the race to deploy 4G services."
Bill Would Compel Companies to Break Encryption
A new bill introduced by members of the House and Senate would force smartphone makers to crack encryption on devices any time law enforcement asks. A draft of the bill, submitted by Senators Diane Feinstein of California and Richard Burr of North Carolina, says tech firms "must provide in a timely manner responsive, intelligible information or data, or appropriate technical assistance to obtain such information." Feinstein and Burr have been threatening such legislation since last year, but the notion has taken a new direction ever since the FBI asked Apple to help decrypt an iPhone and Apple refused.
Senators Revise Anti-Encryption Bill, Opposition Mounts
Senators Diane Feinstein of California and Richard Burr of North Carolina have circulated a revised draft of the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016. The bill would require tech companies to "provide in a timely manner responsive, intelligible information or data, or appropriate technical assistance to obtain such information or data." If passed into law, it would largely negate the benefits of using encryption on mobile devices, which are meant to protect personal information.
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.
Cricket Offering Bill Credits to Switchers
Cricket Wireless recently unveiled an offer meant to lure in customers of competing carriers. Through July 14, Cricket will reward consumers who port in their number with $50 in bill credits.
Republicans Attempt to Defang the FCC
Republicans proposed net neutrality legislation of their own on Friday that could significantly weaken the FCC's power over regulator internet providers. The bill, drafted by Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, would make it illegal for network operators to throttle data or offer paid prioritization schemes — except for data management purposes.
I applaud this!
although I'm still unsure if customers (the average ones atleast) will still understand anything about LTE, HSPA, speeds and such.