Level 3 Communications cleared two major decisions in its move to acquire tw telecom, announcing that both the FCC and the stockholders of both companies have approved its acquisition of the competitive provider.
The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against AT&T Mobility, alleging that the carrier misled as many as 3.5 million customers with legacy unlimited data plans by throttling their data speeds and changing the terms of their plans. AT&T said the lawsuit does not have any merit.
The FCC said it will look at updating rules that regulate cable systems, a move that could allow over-the-top providers to more easily deliver broadcast television over the Internet, rather than over the air or through closed cable systems. Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Tuesday that says MVPDs, like other forms of communication, should be "technology-neutral."
The FCC has circulated a memo through its Media Bureau, formally proposing that linear over-the-top services like Aereo be considered multichannel video program distributors, with accompanying rights to retransmission consent licensing agreements.
The FCC decided to delay the start of the 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum incentive auction from mid-2015 to early 2016. The delay marks the second time in less than a year the FCC has pushed back the start date of the auction, and is an indication of the both the complexity in designing the auction and the problems stemming from a legal challenge against the auction by the National Association of Broadcasters.
Few people think that Comcast's proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable is in regulatory jeopardy. "But the market is worried," said high-profile media analyst Craig Moffett, citing the growing spread between the two companies' respective share prices--a metric that has swelled to over 8 percent, the highest it's been since the deal was first announced in February.
Rock Wireless, a division of Standing Rock Telecom, has launched LTE service on an American Indian reservation straddling remote parts of North and South Dakota thanks to funds awarded via the FCC's Mobility Fund. Rock Wireless, the first tribally-owned wireless carrier, is aiming to give Verizon Wireless some competition for service in the high plains.
AT&T may be the largest landline voice provider in the United States, but it said that as this once lucrative service source continues to decline, the FCC's Connect America Funds part II (CAF-II) funds should focus solely on broadband and not voice.
The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee has asked Comcast to permanently ban Internet fast lanes, putting further pressure on the conglomerate as it tries to get its increasingly controversial purchase of Time Warner Cable through regulatory processes.
The short-seller activist investor who declared war on Globalstar is not backing down, releasing yet another scathing report against the company. In its latest salvo, hedge fund Kerrisdale Capital released a report saying it conducted tests using an independent firm, Allion Engineering Services--the same firm that Comcast uses to test its Wi-Fi--and found the test results that Globalstar filed with the FCC in June 2013 "do not reflect real-world tests."