The Circuit: NTIA worried about LightSquared, Winklevoss twins appeal settlement, T-Mobile U.K. backs down on data limits
LEADING THE DAY: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration sent a letter (PDF) to the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday expressing concern that granting a waiver to LightSquared might interfere with Global Positioning System (GPS) and other positioning satellite spectrum. They have asked the FCC to deal with any interference issues before granting the waiver to LightSquared.
The Defense Department wrote to the NTIA in late December, raising concern that LightSquared's LTE network would trip up "GPS, Inmarsat and AMT operations" if the waiver passed as it currently stands.
Winklevoss twins challenge settlement: Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twin Harvard graduates who claim to have invented the idea for Facebook, were back in court this week challenging their 2008 settlement with Facebook and their former classmate CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Judges in the San Francisco Court of Appeals heard the two men's arguments that their original settlement with the social networking company, valued at $65 million, was unfair. According to the Wall Street Journal, the two men accepted their original settlement with the understanding that Facebook was valued at $15 billion, only to learn that the company adopted an internal valuation of $3.7 billion after the agreement was signed. Based on that information, they are arguing that the company essentially committed securities fraud.
A ruling is expected in the coming months, but things didn't seem to go well for the Winklevosses, according to reports from the New York Times. The judges in the case were very hard on the men's legal team, pointing out that it was unlikely the two men were "taken advantage of," as they had excellent counsel -- their father works as a valuation lawyer -- and are, after all, rather bright themselves.
Facebook's attorney, E. Joshua Rosenkranz, of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, told the court that "the parties wanted this deal to be binding. The nine lawyers in the room all believed it was binding. … Now they are trying to make it nonbinding.”
T-Mobile U.K. backs down on data limits: After facing strong backlash from customers, T-Mobile U.K. has decided to back away from its decision to limit all data users to 500 MB and will only enforce the cap for new and upgrading customers. According to TechRadar, the company issued a statement that said, "There will be no change to the data packages for existing customers for the duration of their contract and we apologise for any confusion caused."
FCC report shows VoIP growth: According to a report from the FCC, the number of people using traditional phone lines has fallen 10 percent in 2009 while VoIP subscriptions increased by 22 percent. Eighty-seven percent of VoIP subscribers have cable modems, 13 percent have a DSL, fiber optic or other wired connection. As Hillicon Valley reported Wednesday afternoon, mobile use, not the increase in VoIP subscribers, remains the main threat to local phone lines.
Apple releases beta of next iOS: Developers eager to test drive Apple's next version of iOS got their chance yesterday when the company released its beta-version of iOS 4.3. Boy Genius Report had early comments from developers, who said the new system had multi-touch support for the iPad, a setting that that lets users choose between having the iPad's side switch control mute or rotation lock, and capability for the iPhone to become a mobile hotspot -- a feature Verizon has already announced will be available on its iPhones.
| January 13, 2011; 8:42 AM ET
Categories: AT&T, Apple, Broadband, FCC, Facebook, Social media, Spectrum, T-Mobile
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