FCC Stories August 15, 2015

AAPL: 115.96

0.81

It appears plans for future Apple wireless accessories have (again) been spoiled by the FCC. According to a pair of filings that hit the organization’s website yesterday, Apple is preparing to soon debut new versions of its Bluetooth Magic Mouse and Wireless Keyboard. According to images indicating the FCC label location on the accessories, the new mouse will be called the “Magic Mouse 2.” As for the new wireless keyboard, there are no indications of a name change as of yet.

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FCC 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.

Apple last month removed subsidies from both AT&T and Verizon iPhones, moving to plans where customers pay the full cost of the phone on an installment plan.

Photo: Re/code

FCC Stories July 24, 2015

AT&T and DirecTV’s $48.5 billion merger has been approved today following more than a year of regulatory review. The merger will see AT&T become the biggest pay-TV company, passing up cable company Comcast. AT&T says it will serve more than 26 million U.S. customers and 19 million users in Latin America.

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FCC Stories June 17, 2015

[Updated with AT&T statement below the fold…]

The Federal Communications Commission announced today that it plans to fine AT&T $100 million for throttling data speeds for customers with unlimited data plans. In its complaint, the FCC said the carrier “deprived consumers of sufficient information to make informed choices about their broadband service” which hurt competition… expand full story

FCC Stories March 17, 2015

Ahead of the Apple Watch launch next month, Apple has removed language from its website signaling it has received all necessary final approvals from the US Federal Communications Commission.

Up until today, Apple’s website included the following footnote noting that the device had not yet been authorized by the FCC for sale: expand full story

FCC Stories November 25, 2014

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