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FCC Mapping Update, AT&T Axes Zero Rating In California, Zoom Files Request for Phone Numbers

Tim White

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Photo of Managing Partner Jonathan Marashlian from The CommLaw Group web site

March 18, 2021 – The Federal Communications Commission is working hard to implement new broadband mapping tools as quickly as possible, said Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a blog posted Tuesday.

Rosenworcel focused on four key actions she said the FCC is taking to move forward with the new Digital Opportunity Data Collection system, a new broadband mapping fabric tool that will replace the Form 477 data, also called the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric.

The four points Rosenworcel mentioned are first, creating a task force to “coordinate and expedite” the design of the systems needed to implement the law; second, put in place data architects and a design firm to build the website systems for the new fabric; third, the agency issued a request for information to “jump start the contracting process” for the new fabric; fourth, the FCC will create a new tool for consumers to learn more about the agency’s broadband mapping effort.

Rosenworcel did not give any specific dates for any of the four points, and in a recent letter to the commissioner, several Republican representatives pressed her on why she has changed her stance on the timeline for implementing the new fabric system. The GOP delegation referred to previous statements she made that the FCC could get the new system up and running within a few months, but now that she is acting chairwoman, she has extended that timeline to 2022, referring to her comments in the February FCC meeting.

AT&T announces service changes for California residents

AT&T announced Wednesday changes to services for California residents subject to the state’s yet-implemented new net neutrality law.

The new neutrality law means internet service providers cannot alter the traffic on their networks, which makes illegal providers accepting payment to give preferential treatment to services.

“California has enacted a ‘net neutrality’ law banning ‘sponsored data’ services that allowed companies to pay for, or ‘sponsor,’ the data usage of their customers who are also AT&T wireless customers,” the company said  in a blog post Wednesday. “Unfortunately, under the California law we are now prohibited from providing certain data features to consumers free of charge.

The company added that because the internet knows no borders, customers in states outside of California will also be seeing similar changes.

The California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018 is the first state law passed that seeks to protect online consumer data and enforce net neutrality. Held up in court until February by a lawsuit from broadband providers, it had not yet been implemented. The judge ruled against the providers, signaling a win from the viewpoint of several advocacy groups, including Public Knowledge and New America’s Open Technology Institute.

But telecom companies and others saw it as a defeat for consumers.

Similar laws are under consideration in other states, and Virginia recently joined California as the second state to target online data protection in the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act, signed into law on March 2. The law goes into effect in 2023.

Zoom seeks direct numbers from FCC; may broaden debate about the so-called ‘Skype Loophole’

Teleconferencing company Zoom recently filed an application with the FCC to get direct access to phone numbers from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator.

“On the surface, Zoom’s application appears innocuous: it would like to be able to get telephone numbers for its users straight from the FCC’s numbering administrator, rather than through third-parties,” writes Jonathan Marashlian, managing partner of The CommLaw Group, in an opinion piece the firm’s web site. “However, it contains both an overt gesture and a read-between-the-lines message that may add to the acceleration of bringing One-Way VoIP operators under regulations requiring direct contributions to the USF.”

Since 2005, one-way Voice over Internet Protocol services have been exempted from contributing to the Universal Service Fund. That fee is collected on all telephone charges, including landline and mobile services.

The agency collecting the fees is the Universal Service Administrative Company, technically an arm of a non-profit organization, but taking instructions on the collection of fees from the FCC.

“Zoom, seemingly, has done a head spinning U-Turn on its earlier objection to One-Way VoIP being required to contribute to the fund, now appearing fully committed to USF contributions in its latest application,” Marashlian writes. “Zoom’s application effectively ramps-up the conversation about whether One-Way VoIP services should be brought under the regulatory sphere of services that must pay directly into the USF.”

In a similar story, the FCC recently announced an increase for the USF fee to 33.4 percent, the highest on record.

Broadband Roundup

Boost Bundles TeleHealth, $100M For South Dakota Broadband, Frequencz Gets Financing

Boost is bundling telehealth services, South Dakota planning $100 million for broadband, Frequencz gets $4 million in capital.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem

March 18, 2021 – The Federal Communications Commission is working hard to implement new broadband mapping tools as quickly as possible, said Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a blog posted Tuesday.

Rosenworcel focused on four key actions she said the FCC is taking to move forward with the new Digital Opportunity Data Collection system, a new broadband mapping fabric tool that will replace the Form 477 data, also called the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric.

The four points Rosenworcel mentioned are first, creating a task force to “coordinate and expedite” the design of the systems needed to implement the law; second, put in place data architects and a design firm to build the website systems for the new fabric; third, the agency issued a request for information to “jump start the contracting process” for the new fabric; fourth, the FCC will create a new tool for consumers to learn more about the agency’s broadband mapping effort.

Rosenworcel did not give any specific dates for any of the four points, and in a recent letter to the commissioner, several Republican representatives pressed her on why she has changed her stance on the timeline for implementing the new fabric system. The GOP delegation referred to previous statements she made that the FCC could get the new system up and running within a few months, but now that she is acting chairwoman, she has extended that timeline to 2022, referring to her comments in the February FCC meeting.

AT&T announces service changes for California residents

AT&T announced Wednesday changes to services for California residents subject to the state’s yet-implemented new net neutrality law.

The new neutrality law means internet service providers cannot alter the traffic on their networks, which makes illegal providers accepting payment to give preferential treatment to services.

“California has enacted a ‘net neutrality’ law banning ‘sponsored data’ services that allowed companies to pay for, or ‘sponsor,’ the data usage of their customers who are also AT&T wireless customers,” the company said  in a blog post Wednesday. “Unfortunately, under the California law we are now prohibited from providing certain data features to consumers free of charge.

The company added that because the internet knows no borders, customers in states outside of California will also be seeing similar changes.

The California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018 is the first state law passed that seeks to protect online consumer data and enforce net neutrality. Held up in court until February by a lawsuit from broadband providers, it had not yet been implemented. The judge ruled against the providers, signaling a win from the viewpoint of several advocacy groups, including Public Knowledge and New America’s Open Technology Institute.

But telecom companies and others saw it as a defeat for consumers.

Similar laws are under consideration in other states, and Virginia recently joined California as the second state to target online data protection in the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act, signed into law on March 2. The law goes into effect in 2023.

Zoom seeks direct numbers from FCC; may broaden debate about the so-called ‘Skype Loophole’

Teleconferencing company Zoom recently filed an application with the FCC to get direct access to phone numbers from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator.

“On the surface, Zoom’s application appears innocuous: it would like to be able to get telephone numbers for its users straight from the FCC’s numbering administrator, rather than through third-parties,” writes Jonathan Marashlian, managing partner of The CommLaw Group, in an opinion piece the firm’s web site. “However, it contains both an overt gesture and a read-between-the-lines message that may add to the acceleration of bringing One-Way VoIP operators under regulations requiring direct contributions to the USF.”

Since 2005, one-way Voice over Internet Protocol services have been exempted from contributing to the Universal Service Fund. That fee is collected on all telephone charges, including landline and mobile services.

The agency collecting the fees is the Universal Service Administrative Company, technically an arm of a non-profit organization, but taking instructions on the collection of fees from the FCC.

“Zoom, seemingly, has done a head spinning U-Turn on its earlier objection to One-Way VoIP being required to contribute to the fund, now appearing fully committed to USF contributions in its latest application,” Marashlian writes. “Zoom’s application effectively ramps-up the conversation about whether One-Way VoIP services should be brought under the regulatory sphere of services that must pay directly into the USF.”

In a similar story, the FCC recently announced an increase for the USF fee to 33.4 percent, the highest on record.

Continue Reading

Broadband Roundup

NY Sued Over Low-Cost Internet, Apple Antitrust Allegations, CETF Concludes Surveys, 5G Device Growth

New York sued over $15 internet, Apple faces EU antitrust allegations, California surveys conclude, and 5G device adoption grows.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

New York faces backlash from telcos over new bill that establishes low-tier service.

March 18, 2021 – The Federal Communications Commission is working hard to implement new broadband mapping tools as quickly as possible, said Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a blog posted Tuesday.

Rosenworcel focused on four key actions she said the FCC is taking to move forward with the new Digital Opportunity Data Collection system, a new broadband mapping fabric tool that will replace the Form 477 data, also called the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric.

The four points Rosenworcel mentioned are first, creating a task force to “coordinate and expedite” the design of the systems needed to implement the law; second, put in place data architects and a design firm to build the website systems for the new fabric; third, the agency issued a request for information to “jump start the contracting process” for the new fabric; fourth, the FCC will create a new tool for consumers to learn more about the agency’s broadband mapping effort.

Rosenworcel did not give any specific dates for any of the four points, and in a recent letter to the commissioner, several Republican representatives pressed her on why she has changed her stance on the timeline for implementing the new fabric system. The GOP delegation referred to previous statements she made that the FCC could get the new system up and running within a few months, but now that she is acting chairwoman, she has extended that timeline to 2022, referring to her comments in the February FCC meeting.

AT&T announces service changes for California residents

AT&T announced Wednesday changes to services for California residents subject to the state’s yet-implemented new net neutrality law.

The new neutrality law means internet service providers cannot alter the traffic on their networks, which makes illegal providers accepting payment to give preferential treatment to services.

“California has enacted a ‘net neutrality’ law banning ‘sponsored data’ services that allowed companies to pay for, or ‘sponsor,’ the data usage of their customers who are also AT&T wireless customers,” the company said  in a blog post Wednesday. “Unfortunately, under the California law we are now prohibited from providing certain data features to consumers free of charge.

The company added that because the internet knows no borders, customers in states outside of California will also be seeing similar changes.

The California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018 is the first state law passed that seeks to protect online consumer data and enforce net neutrality. Held up in court until February by a lawsuit from broadband providers, it had not yet been implemented. The judge ruled against the providers, signaling a win from the viewpoint of several advocacy groups, including Public Knowledge and New America’s Open Technology Institute.

But telecom companies and others saw it as a defeat for consumers.

Similar laws are under consideration in other states, and Virginia recently joined California as the second state to target online data protection in the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act, signed into law on March 2. The law goes into effect in 2023.

Zoom seeks direct numbers from FCC; may broaden debate about the so-called ‘Skype Loophole’

Teleconferencing company Zoom recently filed an application with the FCC to get direct access to phone numbers from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator.

“On the surface, Zoom’s application appears innocuous: it would like to be able to get telephone numbers for its users straight from the FCC’s numbering administrator, rather than through third-parties,” writes Jonathan Marashlian, managing partner of The CommLaw Group, in an opinion piece the firm’s web site. “However, it contains both an overt gesture and a read-between-the-lines message that may add to the acceleration of bringing One-Way VoIP operators under regulations requiring direct contributions to the USF.”

Since 2005, one-way Voice over Internet Protocol services have been exempted from contributing to the Universal Service Fund. That fee is collected on all telephone charges, including landline and mobile services.

The agency collecting the fees is the Universal Service Administrative Company, technically an arm of a non-profit organization, but taking instructions on the collection of fees from the FCC.

“Zoom, seemingly, has done a head spinning U-Turn on its earlier objection to One-Way VoIP being required to contribute to the fund, now appearing fully committed to USF contributions in its latest application,” Marashlian writes. “Zoom’s application effectively ramps-up the conversation about whether One-Way VoIP services should be brought under the regulatory sphere of services that must pay directly into the USF.”

In a similar story, the FCC recently announced an increase for the USF fee to 33.4 percent, the highest on record.

Continue Reading

Broadband Roundup

Verizon Selling Digital Properties, Florida Aims To Limit Social Media Bans, Starry Participating In EBB

Verizon is selling Yahoo and AOL, Florida going after social platforms, and Starry is getting in on EBB.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

March 18, 2021 – The Federal Communications Commission is working hard to implement new broadband mapping tools as quickly as possible, said Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a blog posted Tuesday.

Rosenworcel focused on four key actions she said the FCC is taking to move forward with the new Digital Opportunity Data Collection system, a new broadband mapping fabric tool that will replace the Form 477 data, also called the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric.

The four points Rosenworcel mentioned are first, creating a task force to “coordinate and expedite” the design of the systems needed to implement the law; second, put in place data architects and a design firm to build the website systems for the new fabric; third, the agency issued a request for information to “jump start the contracting process” for the new fabric; fourth, the FCC will create a new tool for consumers to learn more about the agency’s broadband mapping effort.

Rosenworcel did not give any specific dates for any of the four points, and in a recent letter to the commissioner, several Republican representatives pressed her on why she has changed her stance on the timeline for implementing the new fabric system. The GOP delegation referred to previous statements she made that the FCC could get the new system up and running within a few months, but now that she is acting chairwoman, she has extended that timeline to 2022, referring to her comments in the February FCC meeting.

AT&T announces service changes for California residents

AT&T announced Wednesday changes to services for California residents subject to the state’s yet-implemented new net neutrality law.

The new neutrality law means internet service providers cannot alter the traffic on their networks, which makes illegal providers accepting payment to give preferential treatment to services.

“California has enacted a ‘net neutrality’ law banning ‘sponsored data’ services that allowed companies to pay for, or ‘sponsor,’ the data usage of their customers who are also AT&T wireless customers,” the company said  in a blog post Wednesday. “Unfortunately, under the California law we are now prohibited from providing certain data features to consumers free of charge.

The company added that because the internet knows no borders, customers in states outside of California will also be seeing similar changes.

The California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018 is the first state law passed that seeks to protect online consumer data and enforce net neutrality. Held up in court until February by a lawsuit from broadband providers, it had not yet been implemented. The judge ruled against the providers, signaling a win from the viewpoint of several advocacy groups, including Public Knowledge and New America’s Open Technology Institute.

But telecom companies and others saw it as a defeat for consumers.

Similar laws are under consideration in other states, and Virginia recently joined California as the second state to target online data protection in the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act, signed into law on March 2. The law goes into effect in 2023.

Zoom seeks direct numbers from FCC; may broaden debate about the so-called ‘Skype Loophole’

Teleconferencing company Zoom recently filed an application with the FCC to get direct access to phone numbers from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator.

“On the surface, Zoom’s application appears innocuous: it would like to be able to get telephone numbers for its users straight from the FCC’s numbering administrator, rather than through third-parties,” writes Jonathan Marashlian, managing partner of The CommLaw Group, in an opinion piece the firm’s web site. “However, it contains both an overt gesture and a read-between-the-lines message that may add to the acceleration of bringing One-Way VoIP operators under regulations requiring direct contributions to the USF.”

Since 2005, one-way Voice over Internet Protocol services have been exempted from contributing to the Universal Service Fund. That fee is collected on all telephone charges, including landline and mobile services.

The agency collecting the fees is the Universal Service Administrative Company, technically an arm of a non-profit organization, but taking instructions on the collection of fees from the FCC.

“Zoom, seemingly, has done a head spinning U-Turn on its earlier objection to One-Way VoIP being required to contribute to the fund, now appearing fully committed to USF contributions in its latest application,” Marashlian writes. “Zoom’s application effectively ramps-up the conversation about whether One-Way VoIP services should be brought under the regulatory sphere of services that must pay directly into the USF.”

In a similar story, the FCC recently announced an increase for the USF fee to 33.4 percent, the highest on record.

Continue Reading

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