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Posted at 7:57 AM ET, 12/21/2010

The Circuit: FCC vote, Internet TV, Google vs. Connecticut

By Hayley Tsukayama

LEADING THE DAY: The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote Tuesday on its net neutrality proposal. The rules are expected to pass, as a majority of members have said they plan to vote in favor of the measure.

The Washington Post's FCC story outlines what's led up to the vote, and the challenges it faces moving forward (such as likely legal challenges and confusion over how the rules may apply to wireless). Nevertheless, net neutrality advocates see passage of the rules as the beginning of something very important.

"If vigilantly and vigorously implemented by the Commission - and if upheld by the courts - it could represent an important milestone in the ongoing struggle to safeguard the awesome opportunity-creating power of the open Internet," Commissioner Michael J. Copps, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Internet TV: On Dec. 16, investor Whitney Tilson wrote an article in "Seeking Alpha" titled Why We're Short Netflix that said, in part, "we think margins will be severely compressed and growth will slow over the next year." On Monday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings fired off a response to Tilson, taking his argument point by point. Needless to say, the two men disagree on where Netflix stock is heading.

Reuters reported Tuesday morning that Netflix competitor Hulu would be abandoning plans to go public and would explore "alternate means of raising capital."

Meanwhile, Roku CEO Anthony Wood told Business Insider on Monday that sales actually doubled for his company following the recent release of the new version of Apple TV, a Roku competitor. He attributed the growth in sales to the increased awareness of streaming television that Apple TV has helped create.

More Google Spy-Fi: Google could be facing another Spy-Fi lawsuit, after refusing to comply with Connecticut Attorney General (and future senator) Richard Blumenthal's request for data collected on the people of his state. Blumenthal had originally asked for the information by 5 p.m. on Friday, a deadline Google let expire.

As POLITICO reported on Monday, Blumenthal said, “I certainly will be pressing for continued involvement at the federal level in coordination with the states."

Mobile Privacy: The Mobile Marketing Association announced Monday that it would compose its own privacy standards to protect smartphone users from tracking technology.

“As an emerging industry, there’s a significant opportunity in the mobile space for all participants to proactively embrace the concept of ‘privacy by design,’” said Alan Chapell, president of Chapell & Associates and Co-Chair of the MMA Privacy Committee in a statement from the MMA.

The industry will discuss the new guidelines at the MMA’s Consumer Best Practices (CBP) Public Forum next month in Boca Raton, Florida.

Apple cuts Wikileaks app: Apple has removed the Wikileaks app from its store, according to reports from TechCrunch. There's no word whether the unofficial app, which gave users access to a WikileaksTwitter feed and the Web site's leaked documents, violated Apple's Terms of Service.

According to The Guardian, the Android apps for Wikileaks are still up and available for download.

LTE, WiMax, officially 4G: The International Telecommunication Union has officially recognized Verizon and Sprint U.S. networks as 4G on Monday. Well, kind of.

The ITU's statement, as reported by CNET:

"It is recognized that [4G], while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed."

As CNET pointed out, the organization's careful statement should grant T-Mobile's HSPA+ network 4G designation as well.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | December 21, 2010; 7:57 AM ET
Categories:  Antitrust, Apple, Broadband, FCC, Google, Net Neutrality, Online Video, Privacy, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, Verizon  
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Next: FCC passes first net neutrality rules

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