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Dec 19, 2014

Top four U.S. wireless carriers increase control of market, review finds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top four U.S. mobile carriers
expanded their control of the U.S. wireless market last year, a
federal government report said on Thursday, once again finding
the industry is highly concentrated as a result of continuing
consolidation.

The Federal Communications Commission’s annual review of
mobile industry competition found the two largest carriers,
Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc, together
controlled around 70 percent of both the nationwide market share
based on service revenues and the most-prized type of radio
airwaves.

Dec 17, 2014

U.S. consumer bureau sues Sprint over phone bill ‘cramming’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. consumer watchdog agency on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against wireless carrier Sprint Corp over unauthorized charges on customers’ cellphone bill, a practice known as cramming.

In a third cramming-related government enforcement action this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alleges that from 2004 to December 2013, Sprint billed its customers tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized third-party charges while keeping up to 40 percent of the revenue.

Dec 16, 2014

U.S. FCC eyes $105 mln fine for Sprint over phone bill ‘cramming’

WASHINGTON, Dec 16 (Reuters) – U.S. wireless carrier Sprint
Corp is expected to face a $105 million fine from the
Federal Communications Commission in coming weeks over
unauthorized charges on customers’ cellphone bills, a practice
known as cramming, according to FCC officials.

FCC commissioners are reviewing and will soon vote on the
proposed fine over charges Sprint’s consumers faced for services
they never requested, FCC sources said.

Dec 11, 2014

U.S. FCC raises schools’ Internet subsidy amid net neutrality protests

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. communications regulators on Thursday held the year’s last public meeting, where they voted to increase the largest U.S. education technology subsidy and protesters interrupted with calls for stricter regulations for Internet service providers.

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to raise funding for the E-Rate program, which helps connect schools and public libraries to high-speed Internet by $1.5 billion to $3.9 billion.

Dec 3, 2014

FCC restarts clock on Comcast-TWC, AT&T-DirecTV mergers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday restarted its informal 180-day countdown to review the proposed mergers between Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc, and AT&T Inc and DirecTV.

The FCC’s self-imposed, non-binding “shot clock” will restart at Day 70 for the AT&T-DirecTV merger and Day 85 for the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, the agency said.

Nov 15, 2014

Deal to spur better 911 call locating for U.S. cellphone users

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Emergency responders will be able to better locate callers who dial 911 on their cellphones from indoors as the U.S. wireless industry improves caller-location for the majority of such calls over the next six years.

Historically, satellite and other technologies have helped emergency responders find people who called from outdoors, while landlines commonly automatically provided dispatchers with an address. Cellphone calls from indoors, however, have been tougher to locate because walls weaken signals.

Nov 12, 2014

U.S. airwaves auction to settle mystery over Dish valuation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It is the billion-dollar question in the U.S. telecom industry: What will satellite TV mogul Charlie Ergen do with his Dish Network Corp?

Although it has long been a focus of M&A speculation, one hurdle has remained constant: the uncertain value of Dish’s spectrum holdings. And the Federal Communications Commission’s auction of airwaves that begins on Thursday may provide an answer.

Nov 12, 2014

Exclusive: FCC to start auction roadshow, TV station visits in January

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Federal Communications Commission staff will hit the road in January for town halls and private meetings with TV station owners and investors to drum up interest in a major upcoming airwaves auction, according to a commission official familiar with the plan.

The FCC plans to travel to large, medium and small markets, making presentations to the broadcast community about the “incentive” auction of airwaves scheduled for mid-2016, which is expected to be the FCC’s largest and most complex.

Nov 12, 2014

U.S. telecoms to battle Obama Internet plan in courts, Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. telecommunications industry plans to fight tooth and nail against President Barack Obama’s call for stricter regulations on Internet service providers, taking its case to regulators, courts and Congress.

Obama on Monday stunned the telecom community by urging the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify ISPs so they could be regulated more like public utilities as a way to preserve “net neutrality.”

Nov 10, 2014

Obama pressures FCC for strong net neutrality rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday pressured the federal communications regulator to toughen its planned Internet traffic rules, saying higher-fee “fast lanes” should be banned and Internet providers should be overseen more like public utilities are.

Obama’s detailed position on the issue of “net neutrality,” a platform in his presidential campaign in 2008, represented a rare step by the White House into the policy-setting of an independent agency.

    • About Alina

      "Alina Selyukh is covering campaign finance this year. Starting as a journalist in her native town of Samara in Russia, she spent five years in Lincoln, Nebraska before moving to the East Coast to work for Reuters. A former intern and graduate trainee, Selyukh has covered energy, IPOs, healthcare policy and FDA."
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