from the what-about-price-gouging-talks dept.
The Federal Communications Commission says it has had "productive" discussions with Comcast and T-Mobile USA about whether data cap exemptions conflict with the goals of net neutrality.
The FCC sent letters last month asking Comcast, T-Mobile, and AT&T to meet with commission staff by January 15. The FCC has met with Comcast and T-Mobile, but not AT&T. A meeting with AT&T has been scheduled.
"FCC staff had productive discussions with company representatives as part of a larger policy examination of trends in the market. We cannot comment on the details of individual meetings," FCC spokesperson Kim Hart told Ars.
When asked if there will be any action taken against the companies, Hart said, "This is not an enforcement action or investigation, as the Chairman [Tom Wheeler] has made clear. Direct dialogue with companies is an important way in which the Commission can watch and learn, and consistent with our approach in the Open Internet Order."
From the Ars-ticle:
T-Mobile USA's controversial "Binge On" program is throttling all HTML5 video streams and direct video downloads to about 1.5Mbps, according to tests run by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
Binge On, unveiled in November, is enabled by default for all T-Mobile customers and downgrades video resolution to 480p in order to reduce data usage. Companies that cooperate with T-Mobile can stream video without counting against customers' high-speed data limits. That means you can watch Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and about another 20 services without using up your data.
But all video is downgraded, regardless of whether it gets a data cap exemption, which has led to a rift between T-Mobile and Google's YouTube.
John M. Donnelly, a senior writer at CQ Roll Call, said he was trying to talk with FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly one-on-one after a news conference when two plainclothes guards pinned him against a wall with the backs of their bodies.
“Not only did they get in between me and O’Rielly but they put their shoulders together and simultaneously backed me up into the wall and pinned me to the wall for about 10 seconds just as I started to say, “Commissioner O’Rielly, I have a question,” Donnelly said Friday.
Donnelly said he was stopped long enough to allow O’Rielly to walk away.
Donnelly, who also happens to be chair of the National Press Club Press Freedom team, said he was then forced out of the building after being asked why he had not posed his question during the news conference.
O'Rielly apologized to Donnelly on Twitter, saying he didn't recognize Donnelly in the hallway. "I saw security put themselves between you, me and my staff. I didn't see anyone put a hand on you. I'm sorry this occurred."
Senators, including Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, are warning the Federal Communications Commission about its treatment of reporters after a CQ Roll Call reporter was manhandled Thursday.
“The Federal Communications Commission needs to take a hard look at why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. As The Washington Post pointed out, it’s standard operating procedure for reporters to ask questions of public officials after meetings and news conferences,” the Iowa Republican said. “It happens all day, every day. There’s no good reason to put hands on a reporter who’s doing his or her job.”