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Benton Foundation provides free, daily summaries of articles concerning the quickly-changing telecommunications policy landscape.

How affordable is broadband?

Location:
World Bank, 1818 H Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20433, United States
Recommendation:
3

There are approximately 20 countries where, despite having broadband prices below five percent of their average income, broadband is still unaffordable for the bottom 40 percent.

FCC Plans $10 Million Fine for Carriers that Breached Consumer Privacy

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
4

The Federal Communications Commission intends to fine TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, Inc. $10 million for several violations of laws protecting the privacy of phone customers’ personal information.

Incentive Auction Progress Report

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

When Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler arrived at the FCC, he described the incentive auction as taking a cutting edge concept to market on deadline. Now is a good time to take stock of where we are and where we are going. It is also time to carefully consider and recalibrate our proposed timing for the commencement of the incentive auction.

AT&T Confirms Apple SIM Gets Locked to Its Network, but Says Switching Carriers Still Easy

Location:
AT&T, 208 South Akard St, Dallas, TX, 75202, United States
Recommendation:
2

AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel confirmed that customers who use the Apple SIM on AT&T will need another SIM card to switch carriers, but stressed that the device itself remains unlocked.

Cable customers startled by 'Emergency Alerts'

Location:
Austin, TX, United States
Recommendation:
1

AT&T U-verse users saw a strange alert from the White House: It read "this is an Emergency Action Notification."

Chicago Sun-Times reporters to owners: We want answers

Location:
Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago, IL, United States
Recommendation:
1

Chicago Sun-Times journalists, who watched one of their political reporters resign, are asking the newspaper's owners for reassurance that they won't seek to influence editorial content.

FCC Chairman’s Reflections on this week's ITU discussions

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Every four years, the International Telecommunication Union holds a Plenipotentiary Conference to address the strategic direction of the ITU on telecommunications issues. I have just spent several days in Busan, Korea at this year's conference, working side by side with other USG officials, including head of delegation Ambassador Danny Sepulveda from the State Department, Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling from NTIA, Assistant Secretary Andy Ozment from DHS, and my colleague from the FCC, Commissioner Mike O'Rielly.

Apple’s Tim Cook reports ‘very open’ privacy talks with Chinese

Location:
China, China
Recommendation:
1

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he had a “very open” and “impressive” conversation with a top Chinese leader just days after reports that China may have launched cyberattacks on Apple to steal users’ information.

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Elections Matter, Don’t They?

Location:
US Capitol, East Capitol Street, NE and 1st Street, NE, DC, 20515, United States
Recommendation:
2

Michelle Quinn of the San Jose Mercury News wrote on October 17 that the tech industry's interest in Washington may be about to perk up. The status quo in Washington has meant that movement on many key issues has stalled. We’re less than two weeks from Election Day 2014 and deciding which party will control Congress for the next two years. Nate Silver gives Republicans a 66% chance of winning a majority of seats in the Senate which would give the party control of both Houses. What would that mean for telecommunications and technology policy?

Nearly 80% of US Households Get Broadband at Home

Location:
Leichtman Research Group, 3 Ellison Lane, Durham, NH, 03824, United States
Recommendation:
2

79% of US households get a broadband Internet service at home, an increase from 20% in 2004.

Rep Hal Rogers leads tour to tout the benefit of better broadband in southern and Eastern Kentucky

Location:
KY, United States
Recommendation:
1

US Rep Hal Rogers (R-KY) led a tour to showcase the potential for much-improved broadband service to boost economic development in southern and Eastern Kentucky. The tour was part of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region initiative, which Rep Rogers and Gov Steve Beshear (D-KY) started in 2013 to try to diversify the economy in Eastern Kentucky, crippled by the loss of half its coal jobs since early 2012.

Out of money, West Virginia broadband council ends 5-year run

Location:
WV, United States
Recommendation:
2

After a five-year run, the West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council likely held its last meeting Oct 22.

Verizon Wireless injects identifiers that link its users to Web requests

Location:
Verizon Communications, 140 West St, New York, NY, 10007, United States
Recommendation:
2

Verizon Wireless is adding cookie-like tokens to Web requests traveling over its network. These tokens are being used to build a detailed picture of users’ interests and to help clients tailor advertisements, according to researchers and Verizon’s own documentation.

Judge Won't Let Aereo Stream In Real Time, But Allows Remote DVR

Location:
US District Court -- Southern District of New York, 500 Pearl St., New York, NY, 10007-1312, United States
Recommendation:
3

US District Court Judge Alison Nathan barred Aereo from streaming over-the-air TV shows in real time to subscribers' smartphones and tablets, but cleared the way for the company to resume offering its remote DVR service. The order marks the latest turn in a two-year battle over the online service.

Need for Speed on Internet Emerges as Comcast Deal Test

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

The question of what counts as high-speed Internet service is emerging as a sticking point in Comcast’s bid to buy Time Warner Cable. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed a definition that would leave the company with as many as half of US broadband customers -- too much for some critics. Comcast wants to include homes with older, slower service, leaving its market share at little more than a third.

Will Free Data Become the Next Free Shipping?

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
2

Rising cellphone costs mean companies trying to deliver products or services to mobile devices face an extra hurdle: Not only do they have to sell potential users on the idea, they also have to convince them it’s worth the hit to their data plans.

Let grandmas teach you a thing or two -- about Facebook

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
1

Grandmas, it seems, have taken to Facebook.

Lured by Verizon into giving up cellphone privacy

Location:
Verizon Communications, 140 West St, New York, NY, 10007, United States
Recommendation:
2

Call it a points-for-privacy swap -- yet another sneaky ploy by a large company to get customers to divulge personal information or, worse, to open the floodgates to marketers.

Shake-up at CTIA as two VPs depart

Location:
CTIA, 1400 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
1

There has been a shake-up at CTIA-The Wireless Association, with at least two longtime staffers heading for the exits.

A Look Back at the White House Website 20 Years Ago

Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States
Recommendation:
1

The first White House website went live under the Clinton administration 20 years ago in 1994.

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