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Archive: September 2009

Update: AT&T Slams Google Voice; Could Open Can of Worms

When AT&T complained last week to federal regulators that Google was breaking telecom laws, the phone giants may have opened a bigger debate about how arcane definitions at the Federal Communications Commission may need to be revisited, analysts and legal experts say. That would bring an onslaught of new communications tools, including some of AT&T's own, under renewed scrutiny.

By Cecilia Kang | September 30, 2009; 10:35 PM ET | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)

Internet Speeds Are Often Slower Than What Consumers Pay For, FCC Finds

The small army at the FCC trying to figure out how to bring broadband Internet to all American homes gave their half-time report Tuesday at the agency. Lots of takeways about how much it would cost and how networks aren't up to snuff, according to a study by the FCC....

By Cecilia Kang | September 29, 2009; 8:07 PM ET | Comments (35) | TrackBack (0)

Former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin Heads To Patton Boggs

Kevin Martin, the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is joining Patton Boggs in early October as co-chair of the law firm's telecommunications policy practice, a spokeswoman said in an interview. "There is a long and distinguished record of former FCC chairs succeeding in private practice. We have every...

By Cecilia Kang | September 29, 2009; 6:16 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Net Neutrality Threatens the Business Models of Cell Phone Operators, Wall Street Analysts Say

Most of the arguments against net neutrality rules for wireless providers have centered around capacity. Opponents say there just isn't enough bandwidth to absorb the onslaught of video and other data-intensive applications coming to mobile devices. Carriers need to be able to manage such traffic congestion to prevent their systems...

By Cecilia Kang | September 29, 2009; 2:51 PM ET | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)

Worth Reading: Apple Blocks Political iPhone App? Plus, a Look at AT&T's Attack on Google Voice

First, in case you missed it Monday afternoon, check out my interview with Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), where he says he and Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) are planning a bill to help advance the process for new net neutrality rules at the Federal Communications Commission. Now, for what's...

By Cecilia Kang | September 29, 2009; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Senators Plan Bill To Advance Net Neutrality

Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) said in an interview Monday that he and Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) are considering legislation aimed at helping advance the adoption of new rules on net neutrality. Such a bill could be a timetable or deadline for the Federal Communications Commission to finish its...

By Cecilia Kang | September 28, 2009; 4:55 PM ET | Comments (26) | TrackBack (0)

Wireless Lobbyists Step Up Defensive Against Net Neutrality

The wireless industry has been on a charm offensive, working overtime to lobby regulators, journalists and lawmakers to ease off one of the most vibrant sectors of the U.S. economy. After last week's proposal for new net neutrality rules that would include mobile broadband operators, that offensive has turned into...

By Cecilia Kang | September 28, 2009; 12:31 PM ET | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Washington Post Editorial Calls Net Neutrality Rules Unnecessary

Editorial at The Washington Post weighed in this morning on the net neutrality debate, saying the proposed rules announced last week by the new Federal Communications Commission chairman, Julius Genachowski, goes overboard. Editorial writers (Note: there is a wall between the newsroom, which includes me, and our opinion pages.) say...

By Cecilia Kang | September 28, 2009; 9:59 AM ET | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

Google Reponds to AT&T Letter; Public Interest Groups Slam the Phone Giant's Claims

Google responded to AT&T's letter (here it is: googleletter.pdf) with a blog poking holes in the phone giant's claims that Google Voice is a common carrier, or traditional phone line network operator. In the blog posting, Google's telecom lobbyist, Rick Whitt, says the company's service "does restrict certain outbound calls...

By Cecilia Kang | September 25, 2009; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

Update: AT&T Accuses Google of Violating Telecom Laws; Google Rejects Claims

AT&T asked the Federal Communications Commission Friday afternoon to look into Google's alleged blocking of some phone calls through its Google Voice service, a practice the phone giant called a violation of federal telecommunications laws. Google Voice lets users connect all of their phone numbers to one common number and...

By Cecilia Kang | September 25, 2009; 2:52 PM ET | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Computer Science Professor, Former FCC Official Warns Against Net Neutrality

There are too many lawyers talking about net neutrality and not enough engineers; this was the message by a panel of computer science experts, a law professor and an economist Friday morning. They mostly warned against the potential constraints that net neutrality rules would have on network engineering. David Farber,...

By Cecilia Kang | September 25, 2009; 1:41 PM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Worth Reading: Fast Forward Opines, Breaks Down Net Neutrality

"The Internet has grown and prospered because of a principle built into its core design -- it's open to your imagination -- and that principle is worth defending," my colleague Rob Pegoraro says in his latest Fast Forward column. He does a great job of explaining net neutrality, the position...

By Cecilia Kang | September 25, 2009; 9:58 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Federal Judge Delays Google Books Hearing

U.S. District Judge Denny Chin said Thursday he would delay the planned fairness hearing set for Oct. 7 in a New York federal court on Google's settlement for digital book rights with authors and publishers. Plaintiffs in the settlement--the authors and publishers--had asked for the delay after the Justice Department...

By Cecilia Kang | September 24, 2009; 8:56 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Report Questions Rumors Of DOJ Telecom Probe

SNL Financial is debunking a report in July that the Justice Department is investigating the telecommunications industry for anti-competitive practices. After the press report was released, the financial research firm with clients on Wall Street, filed a freedom of information request with Justice. Thursday, SNL reported that Justice responded that...

By Cecilia Kang | September 24, 2009; 5:45 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

FCC To Examine Wireless Broadband Demands

All those new iPhones and Blackberries are great for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint Nextel and other carriers for now. But if the pace of growth in smart phones keeps up, the networks carrying service to those phones run the risk of becoming overloaded. That's the scary scenario being painted by wireless...

By Cecilia Kang | September 24, 2009; 3:45 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

FCC 2009 Schedule for Open Meetings

The FCC has released its schedule for monthly meetings through the end of the year. Next week's meeting will be the first time you may hear banter from the five commissioners on net neutrality. The proposal for new rules won't be presented, however, until the Oct. 22 meeting. Tuesday, Sept....

By Cecilia Kang | September 24, 2009; 10:15 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Skype: Net Neutrality's Global Corporate Champion

Meet the small and very happy lobbying group at Skype, one of the loudest voices for net neutrality from within the high-tech industry (The photo above shows, from left: Stephen Collins, global senior director of regulatory affairs; Staci Pies, director of government and regulatory affairs; Christopher Libertelli, senior director of...

By Cecilia Kang | September 24, 2009; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

One View on the Explosive Impact of Net Neutrality on Wireless

If you haven't read it already, check out my colleague Rob Pegoraro's breakdown of what net neutrality rules proposed by the FCC mean for users. In particular, check out what he says this means for mobile: This new net-neutrality deal could have more explosive effects on wireless broadband -- a...

By Cecilia Kang | September 23, 2009; 10:33 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Today in Wash-Tech Land, Something Besides Net Neutrality

A couple things I'll be keeping one eye on today: Financial regulators will vote on an accounting change that could spell oodles more cash for Apple. Will I be able to register for a .ceciliakang domain name? The House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on new domain names and intellectual...

By Cecilia Kang | September 23, 2009; 9:00 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

FCC Chair To Face off With Wireless Industry

When Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski speaks at a wireless industry conference next month, he will face a tech sector that has been under extra scrutiny since he's come to the agency and, as a result, feels besieged. Genachowski will speak Oct. 7 at the CTIA-The Wireless Association's conference,...

By Cecilia Kang | September 23, 2009; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Senate Republicans Scrap Anti-Net Neutrality Push

Senate Republicans have stopped their push to prevent funding for the Federal Communication Commission as a protest of proposed net neutrality rules. "While we are still generally opposed to net neutrality regulations, we have decided to hold off on the amendment because [FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski] approached us and we...

By Cecilia Kang | September 22, 2009; 7:45 PM ET | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Authors and Publishers Ask Court to Postpone Google Books Trial

Book authors and publishers on Tuesday asked a federal court to postpone the Oct. 7 trial intended to determine the fairness of a deal they struck with Google over digital book search rights, saying they are trying to tweak their settlement arrangement and won't be able to finish in time....

By Cecilia Kang | September 22, 2009; 3:38 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Net Neutrality Questions Answered and Not

Okay, in case you missed it, check out the video from yesterday's announcement of new proposed net neutrality rules by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. And here's my story today. I moderated the panel afterward with some great discussion between Skype CEO Josh Silverman; Free Press Director of Policy Ben Scott;...

By Cecilia Kang | September 22, 2009; 8:20 AM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Republicans to Push Against Net Neutrality; FCC Says Start of Process

Senate Republicans moved Monday afternoon to prevent the FCC's proposed rules on net neutrality with an amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill that would tie up funding at the agency for new regulatory mandates. Observers said, however, that the move was unlikely to be approved in the Democrat-majority Congress. Senator...

By Cecilia Kang | September 21, 2009; 2:36 PM ET | Comments (8) | TrackBack (1)

FCC Wants to Be Smart Cop of Internet; Questions on Details Remain

The devil is always in the details. That's what Verizon's vice president of regulatory affairs, David Young, told me after the FCC announced its proposal Monday morning of new rules on how operators treat Web content and services on their networks. In his speech at the Brookings Institution, FCC Chairman...

By Cecilia Kang | September 21, 2009; 2:33 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AT&T Says Keep Net Neutrality Rules Off Wireless

The battle over new rules on Web access proposed by the nation's chief communications regulator Monday will come down to the cellphone. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski outlined in a speech this morning two new guidelines that would prevent network operators from deliberately blocking content and services on networks....

By Cecilia Kang | September 21, 2009; 1:48 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

FCC Chairman's Net Neutrality Speech Text

Prepared Remarks of Chairman Julius Genachowski Federal Communications Commission "Preserving a Free and Open Internet: A Platform for Innovation, Opportunity, and Prosperity" The Brookings Institution Washington, DC September 21, 2009 I'd like to thank Brookings for hosting me and this discussion about the future of broadband and the Internet. We've...

By Cecilia Kang | September 21, 2009; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

What To Expect On FCC Chairman Net Neutrality Speech

In case you missed it yesterday (here in Washington, a glorious sunny day kept many off Twitter and e-mail), the FCC Chairman is expected this morning to introduce a sixth principle, on transparency--in addition to the fifth principle, on discrimination, we reported about on Friday. His speech takes place at...

By Cecilia Kang | September 21, 2009; 9:00 AM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

FCC Will Get Passing Votes for Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission's proposal of new rules to prevent companies such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deliberately blocking or slowing certain Web traffic is expected to receive a passing three votes out of the five-member agency, according to sources. The proposal, to be announced Monday by FCC Chairman...

By Cecilia Kang | September 20, 2009; 6:04 PM ET | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)

Reader Asks if Net Neutrality Rule Spells Higher Costs for Users

We have already received a number of interesting reader comments on FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's plans to propose net neutrality rules, which would prevent broadband providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic tied to specific applications or services. Some readers see the move as nothing less than a government takeover...

By Cecilia Kang | September 18, 2009; 9:42 PM ET | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

FCC To Introduce Net Neutrality Rule

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, plans to propose a new so-called net neutrality rule Monday that could prevent telecommunications, cable and wireless companies from blocking Internet applications, according to sources at the agency. Genachowski will discuss the rules Monday during a keynote speech at The Brookings Institute....

By Cecilia Kang | September 18, 2009; 2:15 PM ET | Comments (53) | TrackBack (0)

Google Goes Public: Apple Nixed Our App

Google on Friday released a previously confidential letter to the Federal Communications Commission that details how its partner and rival, Apple, rejected the search giant's Google Voice and mapping programs for the iPhone. The revelation sets the stage for what many in the high-tech and telecom industries expect to be...

By Cecilia Kang | September 18, 2009; 1:45 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Looking for Your Ideas, Questions for Upcoming Panel Discussion On Broadband and Mobile

I'll be moderating a panel next Monday on broadband and mobile tech at The Brookings Institution. The discussion will follow a speech by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, who in a recent House oversight hearing affirmed his commitment to creating a plan by February to bring broadband Internet to...

By Cecilia Kang | September 18, 2009; 8:25 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Net Neutrality Gets Boost From Key Congressman

Efforts to prevent network operators from blocking or slowing Internet traffic got a boost Thursday morning from Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, who said he would co-sign a bill that would codify net neutrality. During a subcommitee oversight hearing on the Federal Communications...

By Cecilia Kang | September 17, 2009; 2:14 PM ET | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

FCC Oversight Hearing Underway

Check it out on www.cspan.org Still on opening comments by member of House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) says he will sign onto a net neutrality bill, a mild surprise. Republican counterparts warn against new net neutrality legislation, no surprise....

By Cecilia Kang | September 17, 2009; 11:38 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Google's Schmidt to Book Critics: Stop Whining

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt tells Search Engine Land that the growing army of opponents to his company's settlement with book authors and publishers should quit whining and come up with their own solutions. "I would like to hear from the critics a better solution to the problem as opposed...

By Cecilia Kang | September 17, 2009; 9:00 AM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

In Facebook We Trust?

What American brands do consumers trust the most when it comes to privacy? It may surprise you to learn that Facebook ranked No. 10 in a new survey. The online social networking phenom has drawn heat from consumers and privacy advocates in recent years for sharing information about users' purchases...

By Cecilia Kang | September 17, 2009; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Microsoft Differs With AT&T Over Exclusion of Games From Broadband

What do you expect from your high-speed Internet connection? If you listen to AT&T, it wouldn't necessarily include the ability to play Halo or Call of Duty online, even as online gaming has become one of the most popular things to do on the Web. Microsoft and game makers, as...

By Cecilia Kang | September 17, 2009; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

FCC Heads To Capitol Hill For Hearing Thursday

The House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet plans to hold an oversight hearing of the Federal Communications Commission Thursday. The hearing will focus on progress of the national broadband plan to bring high-speed Internet to all American homes and businesses. Lawmakers will also review the slow progress of...

By Cecilia Kang | September 16, 2009; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Apple Gets Intel's Top Lawyer; Intel Contests E.U. Fine

Apple said today it's got a new top lawyer, Bruce Sewell from Intel, at a time when the maker of the iPhone and iPod faces greater regulatory scrutiny in Washington. Sewell will be Apple's senior vice president of legal and government affairs, replacing Daniel Cooperman, who will retire in September...

By Cecilia Kang | September 15, 2009; 3:58 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Lawmaker Vows to Take Up New Cellphone Cancer Concerns

Concerns over the effects of cellphone radiation have surfaced again in Washington, with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)'s pledge Monday to look more into the potential health dangers for users. Early fears of cancer connected to cellphone use have been swept under the rug as such organizations as the World Health...

By Cecilia Kang | September 15, 2009; 11:12 AM ET | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Share: Good Tech Policy Reads

Athens on the Net, where Anand Giridharadas of the International Herald Tribune/NYTimes explores what happens when the Web and government meet. Related, Julius Genachowski's FCC looks to be the most forward of Obama administration agencies to grasp Web 2.0. Not necessarily a must-read, but my very interesting conversation with Google's...

By Cecilia Kang | September 14, 2009; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Week Ahead: DOJ Comments On Google Books Due

Rising to the top of the list for me this week are the Justice Department's comments due Friday on the controversial digital books settlement struck between Google and book publishers and authors. The antitrust division of the DOJ will have until then to file comments to the the U.S. District...

By Cecilia Kang | September 14, 2009; 9:15 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Do U.S. Cell Phone Users Pay More?

Wireless lobbyists this week are circulating a Forbes story that refutes the methodology of a 30-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report that showed U.S. cell phone users were paying more than any other users for service. What do you think?...

By Cecilia Kang | September 11, 2009; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Copyright Office Shows No Love for Google Books Deal

The U.S. Copyright office expressed concern Thursday over Google's settlement with authors and publishers for digital title rights. In a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee, the federal government's copyright authority said the deal could pave the way for Google to scan books into the future in a manner that...

By Cecilia Kang | September 10, 2009; 12:29 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Oracle Counters Europe Probe of Sun Deal With Ad Campaign

Oracle is responding to a probe by European regulators of its takeover of Sun Microsystems with an ad campaign in which it promises to continue making Sun software and hardware after the merger. The ad, on the front page of the European edition of the Wall Street Journal, doesn't mention...

By Cecilia Kang | September 10, 2009; 10:49 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Susan Crawford Tweets Again

Amid the cacophony of tweets Thursday night on President Obama's health-care speech to Congress, tech policy enthusiasts -- yes, there are lots of us -- got a jolt of excitement when Susan Crawford came out of hiding to post a brief message that said little more than that she was...

By Cecilia Kang | September 10, 2009; 10:43 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

House Committee Takes Up Google Books Project

The battle over the future of digital books moves to the House on Thursday as the Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on Google's controversial settlement with book authors and publishers that would give the search giant access to millions of titles. The list of witnesses: · Mr. David C. Drummond,...

By Cecilia Kang | September 10, 2009; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Google Economist To Gov: Focus On The Present

At Wednesday's Gov 2.0, a conference in Washington D.C. meant to bring the federal government into the digital age, there was much talk about data. It's one of the Obama administration's favorite words. The president and his appointees are fond of telling Americans that the White House is taking a...

By Cecilia Kang | September 9, 2009; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

At Gov 2.0 Conference, Web 2.0 Comes to Washington

The federal government should think more like Apple, Google and Microsoft. That's the message high-tech business leaders, engineers and government leaders will be preaching over the next few days at the Gov 2.0 conference in Washington. Underpinning the discussions at this year's event is the catch phrase "government as a...

By Cecilia Kang | September 9, 2009; 7:30 AM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Arguments On Google Books Deal Flood Court

It was the last day to weigh in on the controversial deal between Google and book authors and publishers, and arguments for and against the $125 million legal settlement on digital book titles flooded in to a federal court Tuesday. A hearing to review the settlement is scheduled to take...

By Cecilia Kang | September 8, 2009; 5:34 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Google Goes Monopoly . . . the Board Game

If there's a word Google should avoid like the plague, it's "monopoly." Yet the online search giant, which is facing tough antitrust questions in Washington these days, is combining forces with toymaker Hasbro to create the world's biggest version of the class real estate board game using Google Maps. Set...

By Cecilia Kang | September 8, 2009; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Bill on the Way for Online Privacy

As expected for some months now, the House will soon take up the online privacy debate, according to a story Monday by the Associated Press. But a bill expected to be introduced by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-W.Va.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the...

By Cecilia Kang | September 8, 2009; 10:10 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More Time to Comment on Google Books Deal

Opponents of Google's controversial settlement with publishers and authors for its digital books project got a few more days to fine tune their arguments against the deal, which is being challenged in federal court, the Associated Press reported. Comments on the settlement had been due Friday in the U.S. District...

By Cecilia Kang | September 4, 2009; 9:00 AM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

In Oracle-Sun Deal, Europeans Prove Tougher Than U.S. Regulators

After the Justice Department's approval last month of software giant Oracle's $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems, European regulators put up another obstacle to the merger. The European Commission said Thursday morning it launched an in-depth investigation into the merger to see whether Oracle was committed to developing Sun's rival...

By Cecilia Kang | September 3, 2009; 10:40 AM ET | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

House Reviews Google Books Deal

Google's controversial settlement with book authors and publishers for its digital books project will received increased scrutiny as the House Judiciary Committee plans a hearing next Thursday, Sept. 10, on the issue. The hearing will be a review of competition in the market for digital books. The settlement is already...

By Cecilia Kang | September 3, 2009; 10:10 AM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

 

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