News

NIST wants to give organizations a leg up on mobile app security

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is seeking public input on a draft guide to help organizations use mobile apps while managing associated security vulnerabilities and risks.

Democrats pushing FCC to let municipalities build own broadband networks, preempt state laws

Two congressional Democrats are continuing to urge federal regulators to allow communities to build their own broadband networks, preempting several state laws that prevent such initiatives.

DOT says vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology could save lives, seeks input on plan

Federal transportation regulators are seeking input on a plan that would enable new passenger vehicles to wirelessly exchange information with nearby vehicles, potentially preventing about 600,000 crashes a year.

Study: Tribal libraries lag behind rest of US in providing Internet, other digital products and services

A new national study has found that libraries in Native American communities trail the rest of the United States in providing access to computers, high-speed Internet service and other digital products and services.

TV broadcasters file lawsuit against FCC over incentive auction

The National Association of Broadcasters Aug. 18 filed a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission over certain parts of the agency's incentive auction order that would make television broadcast spectrum available to wireless providers.

FCC rule requires wireless carriers to provide text-to-911 service by the end of the year

Wireless carriers and some IP-based application providers must provide their users with a text-to-911 capability by the end of the year, the Federal Communications Commission has ruled.

California poised to require kill-switches for all smartphones sold in the state

The California State Assembly has passed a bill requiring smartphone manufacturers to install theft-resistant systems that can remotely disable a lost or stolen device. If the bill is signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, it will be the second in the nation—after Minnesota—requiring so-called "kill switch" software on smart phones. The Minnesota law was enacted in May.

Federal authorities bust major crime ring for multimillion-dollar smartphone scheme

Federal authorities on Aug. 12 indicted 20 members of a Minnesota-based crime organization for trafficking thousands of stolen and fraudulently obtained smartphones and tablets worth millions of dollars across the United States and internationally.

New Army communications toolkit matches needed capabilities to missions

Known as Capability Set 13, or CS 13, the toolkit "combines data radios, mission command capabilities and handheld devices networked across waveforms and mobile satellite communications systems to transmit voice, data and video for enhanced situational awareness."

Usage-based Internet pricing policies could leave customers in the lurch, GAO finds

The Federal Communications Commission needs to consider how Internet service providers charge customers for broadband use, a preliminary report by the Government Accountability Office found.

U.S. may be well positioned to make transition to 5G cellular networks, report finds

Several countries are actively engaged in helping telecommunications providers research and develop Fifth Generation, or 5G, mobile communications technology, but the United States may have the competitive edge over the next decade, a new report finds.

FCC circulating proposal that bars combined spectrum auction bids by largest carriers

The Federal Communications Commission is circulating a proposal that would ban Sprint and T-Mobile from jointly bidding on a spectrum auction next year. Roger Sherman, the agency's wireless telecommunications bureau chief, wrote in an agency blog that it needs to expand opportunities for small businesses in wireless auctions, which is difficult when more than 95 percent of current customers are served by the four biggest providers.

Verizon pushes back on FCC over practice of throttling network traffic

Verizon Wireless is pushing back on the Federal Communications Commission after its chairman criticized the mobile operator for extending a policy that would limit connection speeds for its a select subset of its heaviest users during peak network congestion.

FTC recommends steps to prevent unnecessary charges on consumer mobile phone bills

Through cramming, customers are charged for goods and services provided by third-party merchants. Sometimes these are legitimate add-on third party charges such as charitable contributions. However, a new Federatl Trade Commission report notes that other charges may be added illegally by scammers.

Extending rural broadband service a priority, USDA official tells Congress

The Agriculture Department has launched several efforts to help connect rural communities with high-speed broadband services, an agency official recently told a Congressional panel.

Obama expected to sign into law a bill allowing consumers to legally 'unlock' cellphones

The "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act" (S. 517) reverses an October 2012 decision by the Library of Congress's Copyright Office that said unlocking cellphones without the carrier's permission is prohibited under 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

FCC warns broadband providers to provide accurate price and service information

In a July 23 advisory, the Federal Communications Commission said the Open Internet Transparency Rule, which has been in force since 2011, still applies to all ISPs whether they're cable, telephone, satellite, and fixed and mobile wireless providers.

House bill seeks to open up additional unlicensed spectrum for WiFi devices

A new bipartisan House bill directs the Federal Communications Commission to determine if some spectrum bands can be set aside specifically for wireless devices such as laptop and tablet computers.

Air Force: 3 satellites expected to provide 'space neighborhood watch capability'

The Air Force plans to launch two operational satellites and one experimental one July 23 that could create a "space neighborhood watch capability," according to a press release.

Wheeler: FCC to push for improved access, reliability for 911 calls

The Federal Communications Commission is moving to improve the reliability of emergency calls and add new, long-delayed capabilities such as emergency texting, the agency's chairman recently wrote in a blog post.