Connect with us

Broadband Roundup

Broadband Roundup: Time for Telemedicine, Brendan Carr on Alleged Platform Bias, Mobile Privacy Fines

David Jelke



Photo of novel coronavirus COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Telecommuting and telemedicine are beginning to be discussed as potential remedies to the damage being done by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

A New York Times op-ed by Nicholas Kristof questions U.S. leadership’s response to coronavirus, and also wonders if “this is a time to develop telemedicine” in order to decrease the chance of transmission in crowded doctor’s offices, which present vibrant breeding grounds for the disease.

An Australian religious magazine called Sight mentioned that South Korean churches have taken to attending service via livestream now that many churches have closed in the country.

And Kristoff’s column quotes geneticist and Nobel Laureate Joshua Lederberg about new diseases: “It’s our wits versus their genes.” Wit might involve leveraging broadband in the struggle.

Carr criticizes conservative bias on platforms at CPAC

Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr criticized perceived conservative bias on platforms at the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference this Saturday, according to an article from Multichannel News by John Eggerton.

Carr commented on a supposed Twitter policy that planned to allow political ideologues to tag a tweet as fake news. “I don’t think that’s the right thing,” Carr said, and the answer to that is  not “to do nothing.”

Carr also praised President Trump for “flipping the script” in the race to 5G when the previous administration, Carr said, was slow to develop the technology.  Carr added that the U.S. can’t treat Huawei, a Chinese company making impressive strides in 5G tech, as “anything other than a threat to our collective security." Carr said Huawei has a list of malign conduct -- bribery, corruption -- "longer than a CVS receipt."

FCC slaps big four mobile carriers with big fines

The Federal Communications Commission on Friday issued fines against the nation’s four largest wireless carriers for failing to adequately protect consumer location data, according to an agency statement.

The big four – soon to be three with T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint – were charged with selling access to their customers’ location information without taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to that information.

T-Mobile faces a proposed fine of more than $91 million; AT&T faces a proposed fine of more than $57 million; Verizon faces a proposed fine of more than $48 million; and Sprint faces a proposed fine of more than $12 million. The FCC also admonished these carriers for apparently disclosing their customers’ location information, without their authorization, to a third party.

“The FCC has long had clear rules on the books requiring all phone companies to protect their customers’ personal information. And since 2007, these companies have been on notice that they must take reasonable precautions to safeguard this data and that the FCC will take strong enforcement action if they don’t. Today, we do just that,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “This FCC will not tolerate phone companies putting Americans’ privacy at risk.”


Signup for Broadband Breakfast

Get twice-weekly Breakfast Media news alerts.
* = required field