The Federal Communications Commission announced today that it’s slapping AT&T with a hefty fine for misleading subscribers about unlimited data plans. At a grand total of $100 million, it’s the largest fine the agency has proposed, after AT&T was caught throttling speeds of unlimited data plans without telling them.
Today the FCC made a historic move to protect net neutrality. By reclassifying ISPs under Title II of the Communications Act, the internet is now regulated like a utility.
“While some other countries try to control the internet, the action that we take today is an irrefutable reflection of the principle that no one, whether government or corporate, should control a free and open access to the internet,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler during a packed meeting today in Washington DC.
In attendance at the meeting was Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who called the FCC’s decision a “victory for the people.”
On otherwise flawless devices that strip away any unnecessary components, the ugly small print on the back of an iPhone or iPad — including the serial number, FCC logo, CE logo and model number — has always stood out.
Well, thankfully Jony Ive and the rest of his design-obsessed team can finally do away with it for good, thanks to the E-label Act law signed in by President Obama on Wednesday. The bill, which unsurprisingly was heavily supported by those in the tech industry, means that gadget makers can now add software-based labels as opposed to having to print the identifying information onto their hardware.
A proposed change in U.S. regulations could have massive implications when it comes to bringing about the kind of integrated Apple television set Steve Jobs talked about producing.
Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed a revision of rules that would afford Internet streaming services the same treatment as traditional cable and satellite television companies when it comes to negotiating with channel operators like HBO.
If the change is made, online providers would gain “access to programming owned by cable operators” and be able to negotiate licensing deals with content providers like HBO or local TV stations. Wheeler says the move would “encourage new video alternatives by opening up access to content previously locked on cable channels,” similar to the way regulatory changes in the ’90s enabled satellite TV to compete with cable operators.
Each second wasted during a 911 call could be the difference between life and death, making precise location data crucial to the whole lifesaving process, but according to the top U.S. cellphone carriers, getting that exact location to responders is just a little too expensive on 911 calls from a smartphone.
AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are fighting back on an FCC proposal that aims to save lives by making it easier to locate 911 callers. The government proposal calls on carriers to upgrade their networks so that tracking callers indoor is easier, but AT&T says the project would be a waste of scarce resources.
This week: now with over 300,000 followers, we welcome back professional Instagram’er Cory @WithHearts Staudacher to share his iPhone photo editing tips and reveal which camera apps he relies on daily. Also on the docket: why our cities deserve municipal internet; unlocking your iPhone gets legal (again); great changes on the horizon for Apple’s Podcasts app; and our musings on the freshly-updated 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pros.
Kick back and relax whilst we amuse you with each week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the chuckles begin.
Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode! Treat yourself to a brand new website with the help of Squarespace – a drag-and-drop, do-it-yourself site builder with everything you need to create an exceptional website. Start a free trial at squarespace.com and use the offer code “CultCast” to save 10% on any order.
The back of your iPhone is about to get a little more minimalist.
Thanks to a new bill introduced in the Senate, manufacturers may soon be allowed to use digital stamps on smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets, instead of using the strange symbols etched onto the back of your iPhone.
When AT&T announced it’s new Sponsored Data program on Monday, they raised the grim spectre of Net Neutraility by suggesting a plan that would let advertisers pay for data. What people worried about was that AT&T’s new plan would slow data connections to non-partner sites, a big no-no according to the FCC.
So what does the FCC think of all this? Asked about AT&T’s new plans at CES, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was surprisingly chill about the whole thing: let’s just wait and see before freaking out, shall we?