Federal Communications Commission Stories February 26, 2016

fiber

ArsTechnica reports that AT&T is going to court to prevent Google Fiber getting immediate access to its utility poles in Louisville, potentially delaying Google’s plans to launch its high-speed broadband service in the city.

AT&T’s lawsuit in US District Court in Louisville says the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government’s ordinance is invalid because it conflicts with and is preempted by the Federal Communications Commission’s pole attachment regulations. AT&T also argues that under Kentucky law, only the state Public Service Commission has jurisdiction to regulate pole attachments.

AT&T is planning its own fiber service in the city, but insists that the case has nothing to do with Google …

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Federal Communications Commission Stories January 29, 2016

In this June 10, 2013 photo released by Jon Shenk, a Google balloon sails through the air with the Southern Alps mountains in the background, in Tekapo, New Zealand. Google is testing the balloons which sail in the stratosphere and beam the Internet to Earth. (AP Photo/Jon Shenk) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

It’s two-and-a-half years since Google first shared details of Project Loon, a series of high-altitude balloons designed to provide wireless Internet access to developing countries where infrastructure is scarce. As testing expands, and we’ve learned more about the project’s progress, the FCC has started to receive objections from those concerned that the long-range microwave transmissions might pose health risks or interfere with other wireless operations.

Google has this week written to the FCC to argue that the balloons are both safe and legal …

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Federal Communications Commission Stories August 27, 2015

Recently we revealed that Motorola’s new smartwatch passed through the Brazilian equivalent of the FCC. In it, the filings indicated that Motorola is clearly working on two sizes for its next generation Moto 360 smartwatch. Moto 360L and Moto 360S will seemingly keep the same ‘flat tire’ on the bottom of the screen, and similar round metal cases but there are clear differences. Today, both big and small versions of the Moto 360 have popped up in individually leaked photos.

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Federal Communications Commission Stories August 14, 2015

Two products with the model numbers 360S and 360L have passed through the telecommunications agency Anatel in the past week. While much information has been omitted from public eyes, a couple details lead us to believe that Motorola is reaching the launch of a successor to last year’s Android Wear-powered Moto 360 smartwatch — and in two sizes.

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Update: This post has been updated to include prior knowledge regarding a leaked image of Moto 360 prototypes by Lenovo’s CEO.

Update 2: No surprise, the tweet has since been removed after a couple hours.

What does the smartwatch in the above image look like to you? Yes, it looks like a Moto 360 except, wait — it doesn’t exactly. The watch pictured above just appeared in a video tweeted out by Motorola Mobility, and its differences with Motorola’s first Android Wear watch have led some to believe that it’s an inadvertent leak of the company’s much anticipated successor to the 360. The tweet is still live as of writing.

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Federal Communications Commission Stories July 29, 2015

AT&T doesn’t want to be throttled for throttling customers

It seems AT&T thinks throttling the data speeds of customers without telling them about it isn’t such a big deal. The Federal Trade Commission sued AT&T back in 2014 for “deceptive and unfair data throttling” after the company imposed caps on unlimited data contracts, beyond which it reduced their data speeds by almost 90%. The Federal Communications Commission joined the party last month, fining AT&T $100 million – and The Hill reports that the carrier now wants that fine reduced to just $16,000.

The Commission’s findings that consumers and competition were harmed are devoid of factual support and wholly implausible,” the company wrote in its filing. “Its ‘moderate’ forfeiture penalty of $100 million is plucked out of thin air, and the injunctive sanctions it proposes are beyond the Commission’s authority.”

The FTC had stated that it could legally have imposed fines of $16,000 per affected consumer, but that would have resulted in an “astronomic” fine, so chose to limit the total penalty to one large enough to deter future violations. AT&T had originally claimed that it was doing nothing wrong, but Ars Technica notes that the company amended its policy in May so that throttling was applied only when the network was congested.

AT&T has not offered unlimited data plans to new customers for some years, but has a small-ish group of customers who remain on grandfathered plans which remain valid for as long as the customer retains the plan.

Photo: Re/code

Federal Communications Commission Stories July 22, 2015

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The OnePlus 2 looks to have been outed by the Chinese certification body, TENAA. These images appear to show front, back and side profiles of the next-generation OnePlus smartphone, which looks like it’ll include a physical home button similar to the Samsung Galaxy S6 – presumably where the built-in fingerprint sensor will be housed …  expand full story

Federal Communications Commission Stories April 14, 2015

google-fiber

Google Fiber’s VP of access services Milo Medin says that while the company is a strong supporter of net neutrality, what consumers really need is legislation that enables greater competition in the broadband market. FierceTelecom reported Medin’s remarks in a keynote speed at the Comptel conference.

No consumers are seeing higher speeds than before the order was passed; no consumers are paying less for their Internet services than what they were paying for; no consumers are seeing higher volume caps that they had before; and no consumers have additional choice of providers than they had before.

Governments cannot legislate for better customer service, he said, but they can pass laws that increase competition in the market, and this is what will make the most difference to consumers …  expand full story

Federal Communications Commission Stories December 3, 2014

galaxy-a7

The Samsung Galaxy A7, which made its way through the FCC last week, has been revealed by a Chinese regulatory filing to be Samsung’s thinnest ever Galaxy smartphone, at just 6.3mm thick. To put that into perspective, the company’s flagship Galaxy S5 is 8.1mm thick …  expand full story

Federal Communications Commission Stories October 6, 2014

Nexus 9

Just this weekend the Nexus 9 walted its way through the FCC and now the HTC-built Nexus tablet is making the leaked image rounds.  Interestingly, the back material looks similar to that of the rubber on the Samsung-built Nexus 10 which is now 2 years old.

Together with the Nexus 6/X, which is also making the rumor rounds including our own exclusives and some new Benchmarks, we’re expecting a launch event in the next week or so. Stay tuned. expand full story

Federal Communications Commission Stories August 7, 2014

fcc

A few days after we saw new photos of the upcoming metal-bodied Samsung Galaxy Alpha in white, an FCC filing spotted by phoneArena reveals the height and width.

Listed only by its FCC ID of A3LSMG850F, the dimensions fit earlier rumors that the handset would be smaller than the Galaxy S5, with a 4.8-inch 720p display in place of the S5’s 5.1-inch 1080p screen. The dimensions are shown as 133x67mm, around a centimetre shorter and about half a centimetre narrower than the S5 …  expand full story

Federal Communications Commission Stories May 16, 2014

The four largest carriers now support texting 911, but most emergency call centres don’t

When the FCC set a voluntary deadline of yesterday for putting in place technology to allow people to text 911, all four of the main national carriers complied. But since most emergency call centres aren’t yet equipped to receive texts, don’t expect to be using it any time soon.

The FCC said that the ability to text 911 could be a life-saver for those with hearing or speech impairments, as well as in situations where it might be dangerous to make a phone call – while a crime is in progress and the perpetrator within earshot, for example.

But the wireless trade association, the CTIA, warned that even where 911 texting is supported, it’s still impossible to guarantee immediate delivery of texts. We’ve all experienced examples of texts that arrive the next day, so the advice remains to make a voice call wherever possible.

The FCC has uploaded a list of emergency call centres accepting 911 texts. If you attempt to text 911 in an area where the service is not supported, you’ll get a text bounce-back. Needless to say, please do not test the service.

Federal Communications Commission Stories January 29, 2014

Blink and you missed the tech stuff in the State of the Union address

Technology got only the briefest and vaguest of mentions in last night’s State of the Union address, with little in the way of new commitments.

President Obama promised six more “hubs for hi-tech manufacturing,” adding to the two hardly anyone had heard of in Raleigh and Youngstown that “connected businesses to research universities that can help America lead the world in advanced technologies.” The government apparently kicked in $100M in funding for research into 3D printing and energy-efficient chips. Nothing was said about where the new hubs would be or what they would do.

Aside from that, there was a pledge to connect 99 percent of schools to high-speed broadband over the next four years, which doesn’t seem an overly ambitious deadline for something so basic; generalised promises to reform the NSA; and a plea for Congress to reverse cuts to government research funding.

Nothing on patent reform. Nothing on net neutrality. ISP or carrier monopolies and collusion. Nothing on tightening rules on data security in the wake of large-scale credit card compromises. Not much on immigration reform, to help tech companies hire the people they need. And no specific pledges on limiting the powers of the NSA.

Is is just me, or is it odd to spend so much time talking about the economy and job-creation, but so little on steps to help the industry that is expected to drive much of that growth?

Federal Communications Commission Stories January 2, 2014

The Ev-er reliable @evleaks’ latest leak? Some images of the LG Flex with some markings of the US GSM carriers. That’s right, if you are a T-Mobile or AT&T customer, you’ll soon have some ‘flexible’ options when it comes to Android phones.  Sprint? Yeah there too.  Verizon? Fashionable late as usual. expand full story

Federal Communications Commission Stories November 18, 2013

fccgflex

With word already “leaking” that the LG G Flex is bound for the US and landing on Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile it comes as little surprise to see a FCC appearance. The G Flex made its cameo with the regulatory agency boasting AT&T and T-Mobile friendly LTE bands 4 (AWS) and 17.

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Federal Communications Commission Stories September 16, 2013

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The Sony TV device spotted in an FCC filing last month was briefly unveiled by Sony in a blog post that has since been deleted. Engadget spotted the post for the Sony Bravia Smart Stick before it was pulled.

It’s an MHL dongle that runs both Google TV and Sony’s own BRAVIA apps. The features are just like Google TV boxes Sony has released before, with a remote (that the FCC filings showed is at least similar to the previous ones) that has QWERTY and voice search support. Additionally, its “picture-and-picture” feature lets users see a browser in one window and TV in another …  expand full story

Federal Communications Commission Stories September 9, 2013

original

Developer Jack Underwood took the dimensions from the recent FCC approval of the LG D820 that has been pretty much confirmed as the Nexus 5 and compared them to the Nexus 4. The result? Despite a larger screen size with higher resolution, the Nexus 5 is actually smaller in every dimension.

If there were any lingering doubt about the match between the casings shown and the device slipped into the KitKat video, the animated GIF below seems to provide conclusive proof …  expand full story

Federal Communications Commission Stories March 12, 2013

FCC approves T-Mobile/Metro PCS merger, says it will ‘benefit millions of American consumers’

The Federal Communications Commission has officially approved the $1.5 billiondeal to merge T-Mobile USA with MetroPCS. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski issued a statement on the approval of the transaction, saying the deal will “benefit millions of American consumers and help the U.S maintain the global leadership in mobile it has regained in recent years.”

“With today’s approval, America’s mobile market continues to strengthen, moving toward robust competition and revitalized competitors.  We are seeing billions more in network investment, while the courts have upheld key FCC decisions to accelerate broadband build-out, promote competition, and benefit consumers, including our broadband data roaming and pole attachment rules. Today’s action will benefit millions of American consumers and help the U.S maintain the global leadership in mobile it has regained in recent years.

“Mobile broadband is a key engine of economic growth, with U.S. annual wireless capital investment up 40% over the last four years, the largest increase in the world, and few sectors having more potential to create jobs. In this fast-moving space, of course challenges remain, including the need to unleash even more spectrum for mobile broadband and continuing to promote competition and protect consumers. The Commission will stay focused on these vital goals.”

Federal Communications Commission Stories December 11, 2012

Verizon_Camera_Blk_right

Samsung just confirmed the Galaxy Camera will come to Verizon’s 4G LTE network starting Dec. 13 for $549.99. The Android 4.1-powered camera will land on the carrier in two colors, including the white model we’ve seen before and Cobalt Black exclusive to Verizon. Samsung also noted “users will be able to add the Samsung Galaxy Camera to their Share Everything account for the promotional price of $5 per month.” The device will initially be available online through Verizon.

The full press release is below:

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Federal Communications Commission Stories December 2, 2012

asus-qube

ASUS has played a somewhat important role in the Android ecosystem that includes its Nexus 7 endeavor with none other than Google. The Taiwan-based company looks to go further, as Engadget spotted a Federal Communications Commission filing this weekend that exposed its plan to release a Google TV device. The FCC approved ASUS’ new adapter, dubbed the “Qube”, which is not really like any other Google TV device we’ve seen before. The Qube is more Roku-like, acting as a USB dongle that could pair with an Android-based smartphone and separate keyboard or touchpad.

Source: Engadget, FCC

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Federal Communications Commission Stories November 1, 2012

AT&T and T-Mobile begin initiative to discourage theft by merging databases of stolen devices

AT&T and T-Mobile recently announced they would start to share a combined database of stolen mobile devices that aspires to discourage theft and shield customers.

All the major carriers, through their wireless association CTIA and the Federal Communications Commission, first revealed plans in April to merge their respective databases, but AT&T and T-Mobile were the first to do so yesterday.

CNET specifically elaborated on how the joint database works:

The database went live yesterday, and allows either AT&T or T-Mobile to block a device from being used on either network. In order to do that, the companies ban a device’s IMEI number — a unique identifier that tells networks what the device is and who owns it — and effectively stop it from being able to place calls.

In the past, stolen smartphones were blocked by eliminating the use of a SIM card. However, in the GSM world, a phone can be used with any SIM card. So, if a thief stole a device and popped in a new SIM card, it would still work. By targeting the IMEI number, that’s no longer the case.

Sprint and Verizon are expected join the initiative by November 2013.

Federal Communications Commission Stories October 25, 2012

A French website just dug up a Federal Communications Commission filing for a 3G variant of the Nexus 7.

The filing, as first discovered by Galaxus (translated), detailed a codenamed “ME370tg” ASUS device. This, of course, would point to Google’s ASUS-made Nexus 7.

Another noteworthy aspect to the filing is that the ME370TG will receive certification Oct. 29. This date should probably sound familiar, as it is also the day of Google’s upcoming New York City event.

Unfortunately, the 3G-enabled Nexus 7 does not appear to sport LTE connectivity.

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Federal Communications Commission Stories October 12, 2012

Report: Google sidesteps any fault in Germany as prosecutors drop Street View probe

German prosecutors investigating the Street View Wi-Fi data-cropping scandal just announced they are no longer going after Google.

Bloomberg reported this morning that the public prosecutors office in Germany apparently could not find any criminal violations during its two-year-long probe into the Street View matter:

German prosecutors will drop a criminal probe into whether Google Inc. illegally gathered wireless-network data for its Street View mapping service, two people familiar with the issue said.

Prosecutors in the city of Hamburg didn’t find criminal violations, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the matter hasn’t formally ended.

Google’s Street View is a service highlighted in Google Maps and Google Earth that offers panoramic views of streets, but the global plotting venture ran into hot water when complaints surfaced in 2010 that it allegedly poached unencrypted Internet data from wireless networks for roughly three years.

A privacy complaint was subsequently filed in Germany in 2010, but Google has now reportedly sidestepped any fault in that particular country. It has, however, run into penalties across the world for its handling of inquiries.

The Federal Communications Commission, for instance, found the search engine did not break any laws, but it slapped the Mountain View, Calif.-based company with a $25,000 fine earlier this year for obstructing its investigation.

Get the full report at Bloomberg.

Federal Communications Commission Stories August 15, 2012

Report: FCC clears Amazon’s next Kindle Fire with larger display, possible fall release

Amazon’s next-generation Kindle Fire could land in the fall with a larger display.

At least that is what Nate Hoffelder of The Digital Reader reported after receiving a tip about a new Kindle Fire clearing the Federal Communications Commission yesterday:

A friend of mine has tipped me to an anonymous set of FCC documents which were posted yesterday. They don’t show any useful detail, but they do lead somewhere interesting. Like Amazon’s past FCC submissions, this paperwork belongs to a new front company. This time around the company is Harpers LLC.

Hoffelder did not find any details in the FCC filing beyond the eReader’s label, but he reviewed the dimensions given and said it looked like a 9.7-inch or 10-inch tablet:

The general screen geometry is likely going to be 4:3 (like the iPad), and not widescreen like many Android tablets. And since some of the hidden parts of the FCC paperwork will be revealed in December, this device will clearly be launched this fall.

The original Kindle Fire is a version of Amazon’s popular Kindle eReader. It announced in September 2011 with a color 7-inch multi-touch display and a forked version of Google’s Android operating system.

Go to The Digital Reader for the full report. 

[FCC— OET Exhibits List]

Federal Communications Commission Stories June 25, 2012

T-Mobile signs AWS spectrum agreement with Verizon

T-Mobile just announced plans to exchange and purchase spectrum from Verizon Wireless in a deal the carrier claimed would improve its “spectrum position in 15 of the top 25 markets” that covers 60 million people. T-Mobile said the spectrum would help enhance its 4G network and advance the rollout of its LTE service. The agreement includes spectrum that Verizon planned to acquire from several cable companies, so T-Mobile will first have to wait for the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Department of Justice to approve the deal:

“This agreement will provide T-Mobile with critical AWS spectrum, enhancing both network capacity and performance and allowing us to meet the growing consumer demand for 4G mobile broadband,” T-Mobile CEO and President Philipp Humm said. “This is good for T-Mobile and good for consumers because it will enable T-Mobile to compete even more vigorously with other wireless carriers. We anticipate FCC approval later this summer, in time for us to incorporate this new spectrum into our network modernization and the rollout of LTE services next year.”

T-Mobile mentioned a few of the cities that would benefit if the agreement goes through:

T-Mobile will gain spectrum covering 60 million people — notably in Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Minneapolis; Seattle; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Milwaukee; Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Rochester, N.Y

Federal Communications Commission Stories June 5, 2012

Google Fiber ‘IP set-top box’ makes its way through FCC

As noted by Engadget, a Google Fiber-branded “IP set-top” box of sorts just made its way through the Federal Communication Commission’s database sporting Wi-Fi, USB, HDMI in and out, Ethernet, coax, and IR. We heard that Google was testing similar in-home entertainment devices a couple of months back, but it is unclear if this is related. Unfortunately, we only get a view of the bottom of the device. The only other available information is that Google has enlisted Humax to build the boxes:

As seen in the pictures, it’s sporting a Google Fiber label which suggests it’s a part of rolling out video services to the Kansas Cities, and also reveals it’s being built for Google by Humax. The MAC address shown in the picture is registered to Google directly, while the test report calls it an IP-set top box, equipped with WiFi, IR, USB, Ethernet, HDMI input and output and an Ethernet / coax (we assume MoCA?) bridge, which sounds similar to the boxes favored by Verizon’s FiOS.

Federal Communications Commission Stories May 7, 2012

Like us, Google appears to be confused by last night’s report—where AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson told a questioner that the fault of Android smartphones not receiving updates is Google’s.

Stephenson blamed Google, claiming, “Google determines what platform gets the newest releases and when. A lot of times, that’s a negotiated arrangement and that’s something we work at hard. We know that’s important to our customers. That’s kind of an ambiguous answer because I can’t give you a direct answer in this setting.”

Google refuted that point of view tonight, telling us:

“Mr. Stephenson’s carefully worded quote caught our attention and frankly we don’t understand what he is referring to. Google does not have any agreements in place that require a negotiation before a handset launches.  Google has always made the latest release of Android available as open source at source.android.com as soon as the first device based on it has launched. This way, we know the software runs error-free on hardware that has been accepted and approved by manufacturers, operators and regulatory agencies such as the FCC. We then release it to the world.”

Is it possible that the former CFO Stephenson does not know the technicalities of what is happening at his own company? It would appear so. expand full story

Federal Communications Commission Stories April 2, 2012

We knew Samsung’s 2.8-inch Galaxy Pocket at just 12mm thin and weighing 97 grams was coming when the company officially announced the handset last month. At the time, we did not have word on an official United States launch date, but today the device has made its way through the Federal Communications Commission (via Engadget). We do not get many new details on the device that packs an 832MHz processor, 3GB of onboard memory, and built-in FM radio, Wi-Fi, and 3G, but we do learn it will operate on GSM 850 / 1900 and UMTS Band frequencies, which means it might come to AT&T. We will keep you posted when we hear more about an official U.S. launch date.

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Federal Communications Commission Stories February 10, 2012

A rumor debuted yesterday that claimed Google is currently developing and testing a streaming home-entertainment system in many of its employee’s homes. Today, a new temporary Federal Communications Commission license awarded to Google revealed that the company is testing a “next generation personal communication device,” whether it is connected to the home-entertainment system or not. A total 102 units of this prototype are in employee’s homes across Mountain View, Los Angeles, New York, and Massachusetts’ areas. The request is specifically for the use of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in the prototype. (via The Verge)

This prototype could also certainly be Google’s new personal HUD glasses that we told you about earlier this week. Our sources said the Google X crew is developing them, and they could ship in a beta like Chromebook did. We also told you that the glasses will sport Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so today’s FCC request could certainly be the glasses.

 

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Federal Communications Commission Stories February 3, 2012

A report from GigaOM today noted Google is requesting permission from the Federal Communications Commission to test an unknown “entertainment device.” The trials will take place in the homes of Google employees, and see tests of the mystery device connecting to home electronic equipment over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to test it on home networks in real world situations. Other than that, there is not much we learned from the Google’s filing with the FCC from December (below).

We told you about one yet to be unveiled product we heard Google has in the works with our recent story about the company’s wearable glasses with a heads up display and computer interface. We will have much more on those this coming week…

Google is requesting the trials take place with up to 252 devices from Jan. 17 to July 17 in various locations including Mountain View, New York, Cambridge, Mass., and Los Angeles. Google’s description of the mystery product from the FCC filing is below:

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European regulators want Google to stop introduction of a new privacy policy that consolidates user information from the search giant’s many services until it investigates possible privacy concerns. The new privacy policy is due to come into effect on March 1. According to Reuters, the Article 29 Working Party, an independent body that brings together data protection authorities from each of the European Union’s 27 countries, and the EU’s executive European Commission, wrote in a letter to Google CEO Larry Page:

Given the wide range of services you offer, and the popularity of these services, changes in your privacy policy may affect many citizens in most or all of the EU member states. We wish to check the possible consequences for the protection of the personal data of these citizens in a coordinated way. In light of the above, we call for a pause in the interests of ensuring that there can be no misunderstanding about Google’s commitments to information rights of their users and EU citizens, until we have completed our analysis.

Google’s woes with the European Union also include the planned acquisition of handset maker Motorola Mobility, pending an antitrust review by the European Commission and another probe over an alleged misuse of its market position.

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