Ajit Pai promised that killing net neutrality would spur network investment, but instead Comcast cut spending by 10.5%

When Trump FCC Chairman Ajit Pai used fraud and skullduggery to kill net neutrality, he promised that clearing away the allegedly burdensome regulation of delivering the data your customers request would finally spur investment in America's worst-of-bread, ancient network infrastructure. Read the rest

Frontier, a terrible company, is going bankrupt

Frontier is the bottom-rung of the top-tier of US ISPs, serving customers in 29 states. Despite enjoying monopoly control over its customers' online lives, and despite massive government handouts and a lackadaisical approach to maintenance, and despite out-and-out theft from customers, the company is filing for bankruptcy, having accumulated $16.3b in debt through mismanagement. Read the rest

Big Telco wants more federal money to offer slower rural broadband

Comments filed with the FCC by AT&T, Frontier, Windstream and Ustelcom (an industry group representing telcoms companies) have asked the FCC to change the rules for its next, $20.4 billion/10 year rural broadband subsidy fund to allow them to offer slower service than the (already low) speeds the FCC has proposed. Read the rest

New York Times analyzes a leaked set of location data from a private broker, sounds the alarm

In 2017, a string of reports revealed that data-brokers were acquiring and linking titanic sets of location data from apps and mobile carriers and mining that data (and sometimes selling it outright). The carriers promised they'd end the practice, but they were lying. A year later, fresh reports surfaced of both app- and carrier-derived location data being sold, often by companies whose lack of elementary security meant that the data was effectively available to anyone. Then we learned that carriers were supplying fine-grained, realtime location data that was ending up in the hands of bounty hunters, skip tracers, and crooks and stalkers (naturally Ajit Pai's FCC had helped them get away with it0. Read the rest

With 5G, 2019 reached peak bullshit

Mitch Wagner writes, "My colleague Iain Morris takes a hammer to 5G hype in an article that's so, so good. The world went bonkers in 2019 and 5G hype is part of that. Yes, 5G is inevitable, Iain notes. And it will prove useful. But it's not the miracle technology it's being hyped as. " Read the rest

Kentucky's governor insisted that investment bankers could provide broadband. He was wrong.

When Steve Beshear was governor of Kentucky, he told experts to go fuck themselves and instead allowed the Australian investment bank Macquarie Capital to manage Kentuckywired, a program to build out broadband to rural Kentuckians. Read the rest

FCC Chairman Pai's former employer, Verizon, lied about coverage, and then Pai tried to bury the news

America's telcoms sector is hugely concentrated and corrupt, and systematically underinvests in maintenance and infrastructure even as it gouges customers, which it can get away with thanks to its monopoly power, leaving Americans with some of the world's worst, most expensive communications services. Read the rest

Labour pledges universal broadband and nationwide fibre, will renationalise the farcical, terrible BT Openreach

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party have pledged universal, free broadband and a nationwide fibre buildout by 2030 if elected; they plan to renationalise parts of BT and tax Big Tech to pay for the fibre rollout. Read the rest

Researchers' budget blown when a migrating eagle's tracker chip connects to an Iranian cellular tower and sends expensive SMSes

Volunteers at Novosibirsk's Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre put trackers on 13 wild eagles to track their migration patterns; the trackers connected to cellular towers and message the researchers with the birds' location. Read the rest

AT&T hikes business customers' bills by up to 7%, charging them to recoup its own property taxes

AT&T business customers, including those who've been promised a locked-in rate inclusive of all taxes and fees, are finding "property tax" surcharges on their bills of up to 7%. These charges represent an attempt by AT&T to pass on the property taxes it pays on its own offices and other facilities to its customers. Read the rest

America's rotten ISPs object to encrypted DNS, argue that losing the ability to spy on your traffic puts them at a competitive disadvantage

I'm 100% in favor of pro-competitive regulation of Big Tech, and that is because I'm 100% in favor of pro-competitive regulation of all our hyper-concentrated, monopolistic industries. Read the rest

AT&T employees took over $1 million in bribes to plant malware and unlock millions of smartphones: DOJ

”AT&T employees took bribes to unlock millions of smartphones.”

Small town, independent and municipally owned ISPs offer America's best connectivity

An article of faith among neoliberals is that monopolies are efficient because they are so profitable that they can offer better prices to their customers as well as better services. Read the rest

5G won't fix America's terrible broadband

5G cellular networks are able to transmit data at very high speeds, with incredible spectrum sharing that allows multiple 5G towers to operate in close proximity without their transmissions clobbering one another. Read the rest

Frontier: if you don't buy your router, we'll charge you a rental fee; if you DO buy your router, we'll charge you a "support" fee

Frontier bought out Verizon's FIOS business in Texas, California, and Florida; some of Verizon's (former) customers had shelled out $200 to buy their routers rather than endure the indignity of being charged a monthly rental fee by Verizon -- but now, Frontier is charging them a rental fee even though they're not renting a router. Frontier says that this is because supporting third-party hardware costs them so much that they have to charge a fee to recoup it. Read the rest

NYC Mesh, a neutral, nonprofit meshing ISP, dramatically expands access in Brooklyn

NYC Mesh -- the meshing, neutral, community based wireless ISP in New York City -- has undergone a drastic expansion beyond its initial supernode. Read the rest

"Massive scale" intrusion into mobile carriers' networks exposed customers' location, call data for years

The security firm Cybereason says that it has identified a likely state-sponsored attack on ten global mobile phone networks that they have attributed to "the Chinese-affiliated threat actor APT10," which has been "underway for years." Read the rest

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