Senators Renew Questions About ThrottlingSenators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have written to the FCC to demand an investigation into several mobile carriers’ throttling and inadequate disclosures to customers. In responses the Senators’ earlier letters, the carriers denied that they selectively impair or degrade video streaming. The Senators noted that the responses “failed to answer many of our questions, leaving us even more concerned about the carriers' practice of purposeful degradation of certain services.“ They went on to say that “[i]n their responses, the mobile carriers frequently attempted to shift the burden onto consumers and hide their practices. For example, in their responses, the mobile carriers attributed discrepancies as mere 'network management.' But network management alone does not explain why the aforementioned study found that the carriers were throttling some, but not all, video providers, nor does it explain why the throttling occurred at all hours of the day instead of taking place directly in response to time-varying network loads.” Others admitted they engaged in prioritization but “buried notice of those practices. Lengthy terms and conditions or small text at the end of the webpages using broad terms should not be considered disclosure, nor are they the basis of effective consumer choice or control…the Commission should investigate whether these boilerplate, difficult-to-find, and hard-to-read disclosures comply with current rules.”
The Senators asked the FCC to reply by February 27, 2019, and advise them as to whether it will investigate the mobile providers’ video-streaming policies and disclosures.
The Regulatory Mix Today: Senators Renew Questions About Throttling, Senate Hearing On Federal Data Privacy Framework, Colorado Announces Federal NG911 Grant Funding
Senate Hearing On Federal Data Privacy Framework
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced the committee will hold a hearing titled, “Policy Principles for a Federal Data Privacy Framework in the United States,” Wednesday, February 27, 2019. The hearing will examine what Congress should do to address risks to consumers and implement data privacy protections for all Americans. The Commerce Committee exercises jurisdiction over the Federal Trade Commission, which is the primary enforcement agency for consumer privacy and information security protections.
“In an age of rapid innovation in technology, consumers need transparency in how their data is collected and used,” said Wicker. “It is this committee’s responsibility and obligation to develop a federal privacy standard to protect consumers without stifling innovation, investment, or competition. As we continue to examine this critically important issue, I hope this first hearing will offer valuable insights that will help set the stage for meaningful bipartisan legislation.”
Colorado Announces Federal NG911 Grant Funding
The Colorado PUC has announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on February 1, 2019, declared Colorado eligible for up to $2.4 million in funding that will enable the state to upgrade its 911 network. With an additional $1 million in matching funds already approved by the Colorado PUC, Colorado’s local Public Safety 911 call centers will be able to fund an 18-month statewide transition to an IP-based core infrastructure, which is the first step toward implementing Next Generation 911 (NG911).
PUC staff has been designated the statewide point of contact for administration of the grant. After consultation with local 911 agencies across the state, PUC staff intends to submit a plan to use the funding for the migration of local 911 call centers across the state to an Emergency Services IP-network (ESInet) as the first step of a full NG911 system implementation, and to alleviate some of the recurring costs of the transition, freeing up local funds to be used for replacing and upgrading equipment in the 911 call centers.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.
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