Jon Brodkin
Jon Brodkin
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Wayback Machine and Cloudflare team up to archive more of the Web

Wayback Machine and Cloudflare team up to archive more of the Web

The Internet Archive and Cloudflare have teamed up to archive the content of websites that use Cloudflare's Always Online service, increasing the odds that users will be able to view a recent version of a website during outages. The partnership will increase the number of webpages scanned by the Internet Archive, making the organization's more useful to Internet users in general."Websites that enable Cloudflare's Always Online service will now have their content automatically archived, and if by chance the original host is not available to Cloudflare, then the Internet Archive will step in...

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Jon Brodkin
Sep 18
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Comcast shut off Internet to hundreds, saying they were illegally connected

Comcast shut off Internet to hundreds, saying they were illegally connected

Comcast says that a broadband reseller illegally sold Comcast Internet service in residential buildings in the Denver area and has terminated the connections to those buildings.As , the shutoff affected hundreds of people who live in buildings serviced by , "which installs and services Internet in approximately 90 apartment buildings across Denver." The shutoff came as a surprise to residents, including Kaley Warren, who has been working at home during the pandemic."It is my entire lifeline," said Warren, who said that without warning last Friday, her Internet service disappeared. "I felt...

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Jon Brodkin
Sep 18
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Trump replaces FCC member in bid to push through Twitter/Facebook crackdown

Trump replaces FCC member in bid to push through Twitter/Facebook crackdown

President Donald Trump today nominated one of his administration officials to serve on the Federal Communications Commission in an attempt to push through his proposed crackdown on social media websites.Trump the nomination of Nathan Simington, who is currently a senior advisor in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Simington "played a significant role in the agency's social media regulation agenda," as last week when news broke that Trump was considering Simington for the FCC position.Simington would replace Republican Michael O'Rielly, who by saying that...

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Jon Brodkin
Sep 16
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AT&T wants to put ads on your smartphone in exchange for $5 discount

AT&T wants to put ads on your smartphone in exchange for $5 discount

AT&T CEO John Stankey said the company may offer cellphone plans subsidized by advertising, giving customers monthly discounts of $5 or $10 in exchange for ads on their phones. "I believe there's a segment of our customer base where given a choice, they would take some load of advertising for a $5 or $10 reduction in their mobile bill," Stankey said in an yesterday. Stankey apparently didn't offer details on what form the ads would take.According to Reuters, Stankey said that AT&T's ad-supported phone plans could be introduced in "a year or two." AT&T is already doing back-end work in its...

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Jon Brodkin
Sep 16
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Verizon to buy TracFone, expanding big carriers’ control of prepaid industry

Verizon to buy TracFone, expanding big carriers’ control of prepaid industry

Verizon today it has struck a deal to buy TracFone in a further consolidation of the US cellular industry.Verizon is one of three major carriers that operate nationwide wireless networks, along with AT&T and T-Mobile (which recently Sprint). TracFone is the country's largest reseller of mobile service and already relies primarily on Verizon's network to provide connectivity. More than 13 million of TracFone's 21 million customers "currently rely on Verizon's wireless network through an existing wholesale agreement," Verizon's announcement said.After the sale is completed, "all TracFone...

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Jon Brodkin
Sep 14
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AT&T hopes you’ll forget its years-long fight against accurate broadband maps

AT&T hopes you’ll forget its years-long fight against accurate broadband maps

AT&T—which has spent the past decade fighting US-government attempts to improve the country's horrible broadband maps—is now claiming to be very concerned about the mapping problem that has helped thwart efforts to wire up millions of American homes without adequate broadband access.AT&T CEO John Stankey this week published an with the apparent goals of improving AT&T's reputation, reducing government regulation, and getting more federal funding. The piece is titled, "A Game Plan to—Finally—Connect Every American to Broadband," and the first item on AT&T's game plan is "to identify where...

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Jon Brodkin
Sep 10
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AT&T’s current 5G is slower than 4G in nearly every city tested by PCMag

AT&T’s current 5G is slower than 4G in nearly every city tested by PCMag

AT&T smartphone users who see their network indicators switch from "4G" to "5G" shouldn't necessarily expect that they're about to get faster speeds. In PCMag's annual mobile-network testing, , 5G phones connected to AT&T got slower speeds than 4G phones in 21 out of 22 cities.PCMag concluded that "AT&T 5G right now appears to be essentially worthless," though AT&T's average download speed of 103.1Mbps was nearly as good as Verizon's thanks to a strong 4G performance. Of course, AT&T 5G should be faster than 4G in the long run—this isn't another case of AT&T its 4G network as a type of 5G....

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Jon Brodkin
Sep 8
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SpaceX Starlink speeds revealed as beta users get downloads of 11 to 60Mbps

SpaceX Starlink speeds revealed as beta users get downloads of 11 to 60Mbps

Beta users of SpaceX's Starlink satellite-broadband service are getting download speeds ranging from to , according to tests conducted using Ookla's tool. Speed tests showed upload speeds ranging from to .The same tests, conducted over the past two weeks, showed latencies or ping rates ranging from 31ms to 94ms. This isn't a comprehensive study of Starlink speeds and latency, so it's not clear whether this is what Internet users should expect once Starlink satellites are fully deployed and the service reaches commercial availability. We asked SpaceX several questions about the speed-test...

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Jon Brodkin
Aug 14
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FCC lowers some prison phone rates after blaming states for high prices

FCC lowers some prison phone rates after blaming states for high prices

The Federal Communications Commission today voted unanimously to lower the prices inmates pay for phone calls from prisons and jails, but the organization reiterated its position that state governments must take action to lower prices on the majority of inmate calls.is a proposal to "substantially reduce [the FCC's] interstate rate caps—currently $0.21 per minute for debit and prepaid calls and $0.25 per minute for collect calls—to $0.14 per minute for debit, prepaid, and collect calls from prisons, and $0.16 per minute for debit, prepaid, and collect calls from jails." This is part of a...

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Jon Brodkin
Aug 6
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SpaceX now plans for 5 million Starlink customers in US, up from 1 million

SpaceX now plans for 5 million Starlink customers in US, up from 1 million

SpaceX has asked the US for permission to deploy up to 5 million user terminals for its Starlink satellite-broadband network in the US after nearly 700,000 people in the country registered interest in the service.SpaceX in March a Federal Communications Commission license for up to 1 million user terminals (i.e. ) in the United States. That would allow for 1 million homes to receive the service, but SpaceX now wants to quintuple that number."SpaceX Services requests this increase in authorized units due to the extraordinary demand for access to the Starlink non-geostationary orbit satellite...

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Jon Brodkin
Aug 3
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Ajit Pai calls for “vigorous debate” on Trump’s social media crackdown

Ajit Pai calls for “vigorous debate” on Trump’s social media crackdown

The Federal Communications Commission today asked the public for responses to the Trump administration's for alleged anti-conservative bias."Longstanding rules require the agency to put such petitions out for public comment 'promptly,' and we will follow that requirement here," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai .Trump issued an in May, instructing the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to petition the FCC for a new interpretation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that would limit social media platforms' legal protections for hosting third-party content when...

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Jon Brodkin
Aug 3
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Comcast lost 477,000 cable-TV customers in Q2 amid 12% drop in revenue

Comcast lost 477,000 cable-TV customers in Q2 amid 12% drop in revenue

Comcast lost 477,000 cable-TV subscribers in Q2 2020 amid a company-wide drop in revenue caused by the pandemic. The net-customer loss consists of 427,000 residential TV customers and 51,000 business TV customers, today said. The customer losses are more than double the 224,000 net-customer loss in last year's second quarter.Comcast's Q2 subscriber loss followed a Q1 loss of 409,000 TV customers, for a total of 886,000 video customers lost in the first six months of 2020. By contrast, Comcast lost 733,000 video customers in , an average of 183,000 per quarter.While Comcast's TV-customer...

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Jon Brodkin
Jul 30
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Charter’s donations to charities and lawmakers may help it impose data caps

Charter’s donations to charities and lawmakers may help it impose data caps

Nonprofits and local politicians are lining up to support a Charter Communications petition that would let the ISP impose data caps on broadband users and seek interconnection payments from large online-video providers.Charter with the Federal Communications Commission last month, asking the FCC to eliminate merger conditions applied to its 2016 purchase of Time Warner Cable two years early. If Charter's petition is granted, the company would be able to impose data caps on its Spectrum broadband service and charge network-interconnection fees to video providers after May 18, 2021, instead...

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Jon Brodkin
Jul 29
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Ajit Pai urges states to cap prison phone rates after he helped kill FCC caps

Ajit Pai urges states to cap prison phone rates after he helped kill FCC caps

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is urging state governments to impose price caps on prison phone calls, three years after Pai helped kill Obama-era FCC rules that limited the price of such calls.Pai yesterday sent a to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), saying it is up to state governments to cap intrastate calling prices because the FCC lacks authority to do so. (NARUC represents state utility regulators.) Pai wrote:Given the alarming evidence of egregiously high intrastate inmate calling rates and the FCC's lack of jurisdiction here,...

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Jon Brodkin
Jul 21
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Details on SpaceX Starlink beta emerge along with photos of user terminals

Details on SpaceX Starlink beta emerge along with photos of user terminals

As SpaceX readies beta-testing for its Starlink broadband service, Internet users have dug into the Starlink website and found new details on the upcoming beta tests and images of the user terminals that will be installed outside customers' homes.Reddit users yesterday said they did some of the Starlink support website and main site, about the beta trials, , and of the from different .Here are the photos:SpaceX CEO Elon Musk last night that the latest version of the dish (also called a user terminal) looks slightly different than what is seen in the photos. "Small note: latch on post near...

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Jon Brodkin
Jul 15
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Verizon’s 5G network is tiny—Verizon ads “falsely implied” it’s nationwide

Verizon’s 5G network is tiny—Verizon ads “falsely implied” it’s nationwide

Verizon has reluctantly agreed to stop running ads that falsely imply the carrier's 5G mobile service is available throughout the United States.Verizon 5G makes heavy use of that don't travel far and are easily blocked by walls and other obstacles. On top of that, 5G is generally only instead of throughout entire cities. Yet Verizon has been running a commercial that "falsely implies that Verizon 5G service is broadly available nationally," the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the BBB National Programs organization . The NAD also recommended that Verizon discontinue two TV commercials...

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Jon Brodkin
Jul 15
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Frontier misled subscribers about Internet speeds and prices, AG finds

Frontier misled subscribers about Internet speeds and prices, AG finds

Frontier Communications misled thousands of customers about the prices it charges and about the speeds its broadband network can provide, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson's office has found.The state's investigation of Frontier's business practices found evidence of the telecom "failing to adequately disclose taxes and fees during sales of cable, Internet, and telephone services; failing to adequately disclose its Internet Infrastructure Surcharge fee in advertising; misleading consumers by implying that the Internet Infrastructure Surcharge and other fees are mandatory and/or...

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Jon Brodkin
Jul 9
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Does First Amendment let ISPs sell Web-browsing data? Judge is skeptical

Does First Amendment let ISPs sell Web-browsing data? Judge is skeptical

The broadband industry has lost a key initial ruling in its bid to kill a privacy law imposed by the state of Maine.The top lobby groups representing cable companies, mobile carriers, and telecoms , claiming the privacy law violates their First Amendment protections on free speech and that the state law is preempted by deregulatory actions taken by Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. Maine's Web-browsing privacy law is similar to the one killed by Congress and President Donald Trump , as it prohibits ISPs from using, disclosing, or selling browsing history and other personal...

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Jon Brodkin
Jul 7
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Supreme Court strikes down 2015 law allowing robocalls by debt collectors

Supreme Court strikes down 2015 law allowing robocalls by debt collectors

The US Supreme Court today struck down a provision in US law that let debt collectors make robocalls to cell phones, ruling that the law violates the First Amendment by favoring debt-collection speech over other speech.The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 prohibits "almost all robocalls to cell phones," but Congress in 2015 amended the law to add "a new government-debt exception that allows robocalls made solely to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States," the Supreme Court noted in . The opinion was written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh."As the Government...

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Jon Brodkin
Jul 6
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House OKs $100B broadband plan with $50 monthly discounts for poor people

House OKs $100B broadband plan with $50 monthly discounts for poor people

The US House of Representatives yesterday approved $100 billion worth of broadband funding as part of a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill.The broadband portion is modeled on the Democrats' "universal fiber" plan we . The plan includes $80 billion in fiscal year 2021, money that the Federal Communications Commission would use to fund high-speed broadband projects in unserved and underserved areas. Funded projects would have to provide 100Mbps download and upload speeds, along with low latencies, conditions that would spur fiber-to-the-home development.The bill has additional money for...

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Jon Brodkin
Jul 2
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Comcast’s data cap and overage fees return tomorrow after 3-month break

Comcast’s data cap and overage fees return tomorrow after 3-month break

Comcast is scheduled to reinstate its home-Internet data cap tomorrow, July 1, after more than three months in which customers were provided unlimited data to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.AT&T, by contrast, that it is "continuing to waive home-Internet data overage charges for AT&T Internet customers through September 30." There is a big caveat with AT&T, though: the company's announcement said the extended data-cap waiver does not apply to DSL and fixed wireless. Customers of AT&T fiber and the copper/fiber hybrid service formerly called U-verse will have unlimited data for...

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Jon Brodkin
Jun 30
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Comcast, Mozilla strike privacy deal to encrypt DNS lookups in Firefox

Comcast, Mozilla strike privacy deal to encrypt DNS lookups in Firefox

Comcast is partnering with Mozilla to deploy encrypted DNS lookups on the Firefox browser, the companies . Comcast's version of DNS over HTTPS (DoH) will be turned on by default for Firefox users on Comcast's broadband network, but people will be able to switch to other options like Cloudflare and NextDNS. No availability date was announced.Comcast is the first ISP to join Firefox's Trusted Recursive Resolver (TRR) program, Mozilla said in today's announcement. Cloudflare and NextDNS were , which requires encrypted-DNS providers to meet and pledge not to block or filter domains by default...

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Jon Brodkin
Jun 25
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If T-Mobile’s giant outage affected you, now’s your chance to tell the FCC

If T-Mobile’s giant outage affected you, now’s your chance to tell the FCC

The Federal Communications Commission is kicking off its investigation of last week's T-Mobile outage by seeking public comment. Government agencies, public safety entities, businesses, and individuals are encouraged to submit comments about their experiences during the 13-hour outage."We seek comment on the impact of these outages from the perspective of affected public safety entities, as well as state and local governments," the FCC said in a today. "Are there estimates of how many calls, including 911 calls, failed or otherwise affected by the outage? What was the effect of the outage...

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Jon Brodkin
Jun 23
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Apple caters to China by pulling thousands of “unlicensed” iPhone games

Apple caters to China by pulling thousands of “unlicensed” iPhone games

Apple has told iPhone app developers that it "will start removing thousands of mobile games lacking government approval from its App Store in China next month," , citing anonymous sources. "The decision ends the unofficial practice of allowing games to be published while awaiting authorization from the country's slow-moving regulators."As Bloomberg notes, "China's regulators require all games that are either paid or offer in-app purchases to submit for review and obtain a license before publication, and major Android app stores have enforced such rules since 2016. But unapproved games have...

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Jon Brodkin
Jun 22
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eBay execs sent roaches and “bloody pig mask” to harass journalists, feds say

eBay execs sent roaches and “bloody pig mask” to harass journalists, feds say

Six former eBay employees were "charged with leading a cyberstalking campaign" against a newsletter editor and publisher, which "included sending the couple anonymous, threatening messages, disturbing deliveries—including a box of live cockroaches, a funeral wreath, and a bloody pig mask—and conducting covert surveillance of the victims," the US Department of Justice and US Attorney's Office in Massachusetts .James Baugh, 45, is eBay's former senior director of safety and security, and David Harville, 48, is eBay's former director of global resiliency—both were arrested today and charged...

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Jon Brodkin
Jun 15
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