Small Massachusetts town decides to spend $1.4m building its own fiber, rather than paying Comcast $500K for shitty broadband

Comcast offered to get internet service to (96% of) the good people of Charlemont, Mass in exchange for a $462,123 subsidy; instead, the town of 1300 voted to reject the offer and spend $1.4M to build their own super-fast fiber network. Read the rest

Trump's FCC seems to have ended the practice of releasing its ISP speed-tests, leaving Americans in the dark about what they're paying for

When Trump's FCC Chairman Ajit Pai killed Net Neutrality (by deliberately ignoring comments from actual humans in favor of comments left by obvious bots), he said that removing regulation from telcos would boost investment, finally ending the US's status as the worst broadband nation in the world. Read the rest

Coalition of small cable operators calls for antitrust investigation into Comcast (Trump agrees)

The American Cable Association (ACA) represents 700+ small/medium US cable operators; they've written to the Assistant Attorney General calling for an "immediate" antitrust investigation into Comcast's business practices, a call that was supported by Donald Trump in a tweet. Read the rest

Canadian regulator wants your comments on ISP rules requiring simple contracts, easy switching

The CRTC has proposed a code of conduct for Canadian ISPs that would "easy to understand, and make it easier for Canadians to switch providers to take advantage of competitive offers" -- but the new plan doesn't address the epidemic of fraudulent promises made by Canadian ISPs (that's part of a separate, ongoing government inquiry). Canadians hate their ISPs, with complaints rising by 36% in 2017. Canada has one of the world's most concentrated telcoms sectors, with the big cable and phone companies routinely gobbling up each other (and many media companies) with nary a peep from Canada's asleep-at-the-wheel competition regulators. Read the rest

AT&T disconnects whole families from the internet because someone in their house is accused of copyright infringement

It's been five years since America's super-concentrated telcoms sector announced their "voluntary Copyright Alert system" (AKA Six Strikes), a system that said that if your someone in your household was accused of six acts of copyright infringement, everyone in your house would get the internet death penalty, having your net connection terminated. Read the rest

Vote for Net Neutrality and share your selfie!

Evan Greer writes, "Hey Internet -- it's election time, and shills for Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T are going around telling our elected officials in Congress that no one cares about net neutrality anymore. They want our lawmakers to think they can just keep raking in campaign contributions and screwing over Internet users without any consequences. We need to prove them wrong. So we're flooding the Internet with short individual stories from voters who care about the free and open Internet. Can you add yours? Read the rest

Trump FCC official publicly lying about censorship on municipal broadband

FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly gave a speech to the Media Institute in which he falsely claimed that municipal fiber networks (which provide competitive services that are cheaper and better than those provided by commercial telcoms monopolies, and which are a major target for dark-money billionaire smear campaigns) have onerous terms of service that allow them to censor users' speech, and that they use this power to suppress right-wing political views. Read the rest

New York Attorney General expands law-enforcement investigation into the bots that killed Network Neutrality

The FCC justified its Net Neutrality-killing order by claiming that comments it received showed strong public support for dismantling the rules that stop your ISP from deciding which parts of the internet you get to use; but it was widely reported that the comments in the Net Neutrality docket were flooded by bots that opposed Net Neutrality, using names and personal information from stolen identities of dead people, sitting US senators, journalists and millions of others. Read the rest

America's cities sue FCC for handing billions in municipal subsidy to wireless carriers

The FCC has ordered American cities to hand discounted access to public resources for 5G access, and to operate a bureaucracy that rubberstamps applications to use city resources without delay. The FCC prices this subsidy at $2 billion. Read the rest

America's super-concentrated telcoms industry unites to sue California over Net Neutrality law

Competition scholar Tim Wu has described how industries over time become more concentrated and less competitive, as executives move sideways from one giant company to another, creating a web of backchannels that lets the companies unite to pursue their industry-wide goals rather than competing with each other to deliver better service at better prices to their customers. Read the rest

American tech adoption has flatlined

The Pew Center reports that there's been virtually no growth in US adoption of broadband, computers, mobile devices, or smart home devices for two years, and not just because of saturation: the top culprit is substandard, unavailable and/or overpriced broadband; also prominent is older peoples' fear of their own technological illiteracy. (via /.) Read the rest

California's Net Neutrality bill is now law

Ajit Pai called it "illegal." EFF called it "the strongest Net Neutrality measure in the country." The telecoms companies got their employees to demand that California Governor Jerry Brown veto it. Jerry Brown just signed it. Read the rest

Carriers to FCC: Americans would totally be happy with throttled, capped wireless at home instead of home fiber

Every year, the FCC checks in with the industry it nominally regulates to see whether broadband deployment is going well; if it determines that Americans are getting the internet they need, then it can legally shrug off its duty to regulate the carriers and force them to step up the pace. Read the rest

Your wireless carrier is definitely throttling video, but not because of network congestion (Verizon's the worst)

Northeastern University assistant computer science prof Dave Choffnes built an app called Wehe that monitors network usage and throttling; it has users in 161 countries and has been used to produce one of the most comprehensive looks at video throttling by wireless carriers. Read the rest

Ajit Pai: California net neutrality law is "illegal"

California's best-in-America Net Neutrality law goes a long way to restoring the protections that Trump's FCC Chairman Ajit Pai destroyed when he unilaterally and illegally repealed the FCC's national Net Neutrality rules. Read the rest

North Carolina Verizon customers, trapped by Hurricane Florence, say they're being throttled and upsold

Redditor AbeFroman21 posted that he and his family are without power or internet due to Hurricane Florence, and that Verizon has throttled their internet access to an unusable trickle, offering to unblock them if they pay for a higher tier of service. Read the rest

Charter, ordered out of New York State, begs for its life

This summer, Charter Communications was ordered to leave New York State, reversing its acquisition of Time Warner Cable and selling off the assets; the move came after the cable company broke its promises to expand broadband access in the state to less-profitable markets and then repeatedly lied to state authorities about. Read the rest

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