Just as net neutrality opponents were celebrating the claim that their
outrage-o-matic form letter campaigns resulted in more FCC-filed comments than neutrality supporters
, the FCC has announced that it somehow managed to lose roughly 600,000 net neutrality comments during processing. According to a blog post by the FCC
, the agency says that the comments were misplaced due to the agency's "18-year-old Electronic Comment Filing system (ECFS)."
These aging systems resulted in FCC IT staffers having to "cobble solutions together MacGyver-style." More specifically:
In parsing the XML files in question, it appears that nearly 680,000 of the comments were not transferred successfully from ECFS to the XML files. This is due to a technical error involving Apache Solr, an open source tool the FCC used to produce the XML files. We plan to fix this problem by issuing a new set of XML files after the New Year with the full set of comments received during the reply period. Despite the fact that this group of comments was not transferred to the XML files, our review indicates that these files were uploaded to ECFS for public review.
The FCC says it will re-release a file with all of the neutrality comments included. It didn't take long for some Republican FCC staffers to claim this was part of a conspiracy to discredit net neutrality opponents:
Everyone here at DSLReports wishes you a happy, healthy and safe Christmas holiday. Front page news will return on Monday, December 29.
It's cable and broadband rate hike season once again, with companies sending out missives to customers trying to explain while they'll be paying more money for the same service in the new year. Time Warner Cable is the latest, telling customers
they'll soon be paying a new $2.75-per-month fee for sports programming. Customers are also seeing a hike in the company's "Broadcast TV fee" (which is just a new effort by multiple companies
to bury programming costs buried below the line to keep advertised rates the same) $2.25 to $2.75. Users will also see a hike in their modem rental fees, from $6 to $8 per month.
Pushing the marketing mania over gigabit speeds to new heights, Minnesota-based US Internet this week announced that the company would begin offering 10 Gbps speeds to residential and business customers. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune
, the company will begin offering the 10 Gbps offering in portions of Southwest Minneapolis starting this week. The company says they'll be offering the ultra-fast speed tier at a price point of $400 per month, though only if you're one of the company's 30,000 locations served in the city. The company's 1 Gbps service currently costs $65 a month, while their 100 Mbps service is $47 a month.
Google has delayed the company's planned announcement specifying the next city or cities to get Google Fiber. Back in February Google announced
it was working with 34 potential cities for future Google Fiber deployment.
Dish customers lost access to the Fox News Channel over the weekend as Dish found itself in the midst of yet another retransmission feud. It has been a busy retrans dispute season for Dish, which also recently battled CBS
and Turner Broadcasting
over soaring carriage fees.
Comcast has officially joined the 4KTV era, but like other providers they're only dipping a big toe into the higher-resolution waters -- offering very select content on only very specific hardware. A Comcast announcement
states that customers can now watch current seasons of NBC and USA Network shows in the 4K, UHD format -- but only via an on-demand programming app specifically on Samsung UHD TVs.
Here's instructions for the likely limited number of people who've already made the 4KTV leap specifically via a Samsung set:
Beginning today, Xfinity TV customers with 2014 Samsung UHD TVs can simply download the Xfinity in UHD app from the SMART Hub, login using their Xfinity credentials, and immediately begin streaming, via the Internet, every episode of the current season from hit series including Chicago Fire (NBC), Suits and Covert Affairs (USA), with Parks and Recreation (NBC) set to debut in February.
Comcast's limited entry into the 4KTV market comes on the heels of a similarly timid and Samsung-only on demand launch of 4K content by DirecTV
. DirecTV repeatedly stated their caution in getting into 4K was in part due to the overhype of 3DTV, but also because the company's latest satellite is not commercially operational yet.
Over the week Dish Network customers lost access to the Fox News Channel
, after the two sides couldn't come to a reasonable agreement on new retransmission fees. Since then, the two sides have been telling news outlets they've simply stopped negotiating entirely, and it seems unlikely the stand off is going to be settled before Christmas, or even potentially before the start of the new year, as the pace of most business deals slow for Santa.
As the FCC comment cycle for Comcast's $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable closed today, top Comcast lobbyist David Cohen once again took to the company's blog
to insist that deal critics have it all wrong, and that the Comcast Time Warner Cable merger will only result in positive benefits for consumers and competitors alike. Comcast again cites that the company has a broad coalition of support across many organizations (you're to pretend Comcast gives most of them money to express this position).
Currently in Buffalo, New York, many are clamoring for a municipal broadband option due to the monopolistic grip
that Time Warner Cable and Verison DSL have on the area. One big reason for the consumer anger is that both Time Warner Cable and Verizon refuse to expand their faster internet speeds to more parts of the areas.
The FCC can do nothing about this year's scuff up between Netflix and the nation's biggest ISPs, according to a Verizon FCC filing
(via Ars Technica
). Netflix and transit companies like Level 3 and Cogent spent much of the year claiming the biggest ISPs let their peering points get intentionally congested in order to force Netflix to pay these fees if they want subscribers to see normal performance.
As we've been covering, the nation's biggest carriers have been fighting Title-II based net neutrality rules tooth and nail. While they've acknowledged recently that Title II really won't hurt investment
as previously claimed, most are worried that such rules would restrict their ability to engage in "creative" monetization schemes.
This is relatively funny (at least the ending is). Hopefully we'll see AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam post similar fireside Christmas video chats soon too, right?
Back in September, representatives of state and local governments in Hartford, New Haven and Stamford joined forces
to try and bring faster broadband networks to Connecticut. The collective group issued an RFQ to promote the deployment of gigabit broadband networks and services in "targeted commercial corridors" and locations "with demonstrated demand."
At the time, the group also put the call out to any additional under-served communities, who can add an addendum to the RFQ to get involved.
Confirming rumors that had been circulating for weeks
, the FCC has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rule Making aimed at treating streaming video providers like traditional cable companies. The rules mean that OTT players would technically be classified as MPVDs, meaning they'd get FCC-enforced access to vertically integrated programming, but they'd also have to negotiate retransmission consent with broadcasters. You can check out both the FCC announcement
, and a statement by FCC boss Tom Wheeler
explaining how he hopes this will encourage streaming providers to be more serious competition to cable, phone and satellite television.
Dish pulled no punches in its filing with the FCC opposing Comcast's $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. To hear Dish tell it
, Comcast's deal would be particularly bad news for online video service, whether that's thanks to Comcast's slow deployment of usage caps in uncompetitive markets, or the use of interconnection fees to create a new revenue stream for the cable operator.
Mexico's competition watchdog has signed off on AT&T's $2.5 billion acquisition of Mexican wireless carrier Iusacell, a deal that was originally announced last month
. According to Reuters
, Mexico's Federal Competition Commission did impose some unspecified conditions on the deal to "avoid risks to the process of competition." AT&T's Iusacell will compete with Carlos Slim's America Movil, in which AT&T owned a minority stake until shortly before this new deal was announced.
DirecTV has joined a rush of companies in offering a new subscription video streaming service that doesn't require a traditional cable service -- though initially the service will only be aimed at Hispanic families. The company's Yaveo
service runs $7.99 per month, with the first month free. The service includes three live TV feeds channels and roughly 2700 hours of on-demand content, according to DirecTV. The service isn't available to users outside the U.S., though unlike many pay TV company efforts to appease cord cutters, doesn't force users to have a traditional cable TV subscription.
The FCC today announced that the agency has paused their review of Comcast's $45 billion acquisition, citing belated turnover by Time Warner Cable of thousands of requested documents. According to a letter sent to Time Warner Cable
(pdf), the agency's going to pause the clock for three weeks -- or until January 12 -- to review the new material. "Beginning in December 2014, Commission staff learned that in excess of 7,000 responsive documents had been withheld based on an inappropriate claim of attorney client privilege," notes the letter. Time Warner Cable was to originally have provided the documents in early September.
by Revcb 06:46AM Wednesday Dec 24 2014
by Revcb 07:03AM Tuesday Dec 23 2014
by Revcb 08:07AM Monday Dec 22 2014