FCC

Isn't it good that there will be less regulation of the internet?

Episode 1450

Bryan from Panama City, FL
Network Neutrality

Bryan wants to know if Leo is for or against repealing the Net Neutrality rules. Leo says he's definitely against repealing it, as he believes it will benefit the big ISP companies and not the end user. Sure, it's government regulation, but if you trust the water coming out of your tap, why not trust regulating the internet to keep it open and neutral? By throwing out rules that keep ISPs common carriers under Title 2, it now gives ISPs the power to do whatever they want and charge whatever they want. Leo understands the mistrust of government. Many technology types are libertarians.

Isn't it good that there will be less regulation of the internet?

Episode 1449

Bryan from Panama City, FL
Network Neutrality

Bryan wants to know if Leo is for or against repealing the Net Neutrality rules. Leo says he's definitely against repealing it, as he believes it will benefit the big ISP companies and not the end user. Sure, it's government regulation, but if you trust the water coming out of your tap, why not trust regulating the internet to keep it open and neutral? By throwing out rules that keep ISPs common carriers under Title 2, it now gives ISPs the power to do whatever they want and charge whatever they want. Leo understands the mistrust of government. Many technology types are libertarians.

RIP Net Neutrality

Episode 1448

Ajit Pai

In a strict party-line vote, the FCC voted 3-2 to kill Net Neutrality rules, in spite of overwhelming support to protect it. Leo says that while the rules were in place in 2015, we've really had it since the beginning. Leo says he believes the smaller ISPs will probably still keep the spirit of Net Neutrality, but he believes the bigger companies like Time Warner, Comcast and others will probably charge Google, Facebook, and others for access to their customers. He doesn't believe at this point that customers will see a direct impact, though.

Net Neutrality Rules May Be Thrown out Next Month

Episode 1442

Ajit Pai

Leo says that the FCC has decided to completely ignore the comments of the public, which amounted to nearly 50 million, and apparently will toss out existing Net Neutrality rules. Most people just don't care that much about it. We have fought this back time and time again, but Leo says we're probably going to lose this round, and heaven only knows what will happen next.

Read more at nytimes.com.

What are my options for rural internet access?

Episode 1428

Lucas from Santa Barbara, CA
Network cable

Lucas does a lot of video streaming and gaming, but he's moving to a rural area and will have to find new high speed internet. What can he do? Leo says that rural internet access is a real issue here and Leo doesn't believe the FCC cares enough to make it happen. Satellite isn't the answer because it's got terrible latency and bandwidth caps. That being said, the best satellite provider is WildBlue's Exede. It's that or dialup.

Net Neutrality Day of Action Was This Week

Episode 1404

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This week marked the annual Day of Action for Net Neutrality designed to lobby the FCC and Congress. Leo says that naturally, most of the broadcasters ignored or gave lip service to covering the event, because they are all tied to major internet providers who "have a dog in this hunt." Leo says that the internet needs to be treated like a utility, something that needs to be open and available to all.

T-Mobile a Big Winner in Spectrum Auction

Episode 1380

T-Mobile

T-Mobile may be #4 in the cellular game, but they walked away a big winner in the recent FCC Spectrum 600MHz auction, paying nearly 8 billion dollars for the nationwide rights to that band. Although phones don't operate in the spectrum yet, they will be rolled out by year's end. Then T-Mobile will offer 4G LTE services in that market. Comcast also bought some, signaling they are planning to get into the mobile business. The rest were split between AT&T and US Cellular.

Is my search data safe?

Episode 1377

Lucille from Chicago, IL
Google Search

Lucille is worried that the government will be able to look into our search history. Leo says that ISPs will be able to sell our history, but they will hold onto it, not the federal government. But let's face it, if they want it, they can get it.

Your ISP knows all of your data. But Google is responding to this by encrypting everyone's search history, so no one can see it. The data could be sold off, but it wouldn't be usable then. What isn't encrypted, they'll be able to not only read, but sell.

Senate Votes to Overturn FCC Regulation Designed to Protect Privacy

Episode 1375

Senate Building

The Senate has voted to overturn an FCC regulation that was designed to protect customer privacy. The regulation that was put out in October of last year said that internet service providers would have to ask for customer permission before selling personal data, such as browsing history, current location, and more.

Read more at WashingtonPost.com

FCC Backs Away From Allowing Personal Set Top Cable Boxes

Episode 1360

Ajit Pai being sworn in as FCC Chairman

With the new chairman and his anti net neutrality views, the FCC has changed direction on a rule that would require cable companies to allow users to use third party set top boxes. Leo said it was a great idea, but in reality, cable companies were starting to see the handwriting on the wall that cutting the cable is gathering speed. The FCC has also allowed for zero rating, where you can get free data if you watch streaming from partnered services.