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Senators Want FCC to Keep Messaging Classified as an Information Service as FCC Probes Carrier Coverage Maps

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Dec 7, 2018, 6:45 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

A handful of Senators are asking the FCC to protect messaging services by keeping them classified as an information service. Last month, the FCC announced plans to reduce robocalls and spam messages. Part of that effort includes reclassifying text messages as a telecommunications service. This would give carriers more power to control messaging services through robotext-blocking and anti-spoofing measures. The FCC sees this as a positive for consumers, but 10 Democratic lawmakers, led by Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, have asked the FCC to leave messaging alone. They posit that this would allow carriers to block or censor the content of messages if the carrier decided the messages were in violation of terms of service. The FCC is set to vote on this matter later this month. Separately, the FCC has said it plans to investigate whether or not carriers have been honest concerning their coverage, particularly in rural areas. Under the Mobility Fund Phase II program, the government is looking to provide up to $4.53 billion in funding over the next 10 years to help carriers expand coverage in rural areas. The major carriers were required to submit data on their coverage to establish where government funding is needed. This data appears to have caught the attention of the FCC. "A preliminary review of speed test data submitted through the challenge process suggested significant violations of the Commission's rules. That's why I've ordered an investigation into these matters," said Ajit Pai, Chairman of the FCC. The agency is suspending the Mobility Fund project until it completes its investigation.



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Dec 10, 2018, 10:02 AM

Dear Senators

You do realize that YOU are the ones with Constitutional authority to make laws and regulations, don't you? The fact that your predecessors ceded that authority to an executive branch agency is something you could rectify.
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