Skip to main content

Free Press Asks FCC to Apply Net Neutrality to Wireless

Free Press Asks FCC to Apply Net Neutrality to Wireless

Consumer rights organization The Free Press has asked the Federal Communications Commission to apply its 2005 Internet Policy Statement—otherwise known as the FCC’s principles of net neutrality—to wireless Internet services, as well as more-traditional wireline broadband services. The reason? Mobile operators’ seeming unwillingness to open their data networks to services like Skype which would compete with their existing voice offerings.

“Wireless broadband networks cannot become a safe haven for discrimination,” said Free Press’s policy counsel Chris Riley, in a statement. “The Internet in your pocket should be just as free and open as the Internet in your home. The FCC must make it crystal clear that a closed Internet will not be tolerated on any platform.”

The request comes just as a version of the VoIP service Skype has launched on both the iPhone and BlackBerry platforms—which would seem to suggest that AT&T and other carriers are OK with IP-based voice services using their 3G networks. However, to have data service at all for an iPhone or BlackBerry device currently requires a contract with voice service, so carriers aren’t missing out on revenue if callers decide to go with Skype rather than traditional voice service.

However, the Free Press has also noted that carriers like T-Mobile have reportedly restricted so-called “tethering” applications that enable 3G-capable devices to be used to connect notebook computers and other devices to the Internet, as well as AT&T’s recent policy change prohibiting “customer initiated redirection of television or other video or audio signals via any technology from a fixed location to a mobile device”—a direct strike at place-shifting services like Slingbox. The Free Press sees these actions as largely equivalent to Comcast’s decision to hamper P2P traffic on its network by sending forged reset requests to shut down connections, where the FCC’s openness principles permit consumers to use any service or application they like, so long as it is lawful.

In the meantime, interim FCC chair Michael Copps has said the next chair of the FCC—likely Julius Genachowski—should consider a fifth principle of network neutrality that would likely outline the enforcement actions the FCC would take against service providers for discriminating against applications and services.

Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
Every Samsung gadget we still expect in 2024
A person folding up the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.

Sure, the Samsung Galaxy S24 range is out, but don't think that's it for Samsung's 2024. The Korean company still has a lot to share, from folding smartphones to new watches and even an entirely new product range. As ever, it's going to be a massive year for Samsung, and many of its releases are sure to end up as staples on our various best-of lists.

The rumor mills are abuzz with whispers and leaks, and it's giving us plenty to look forward to. Here's the lowdown on every Samsung gadget we still expect to see in 2024, along with when we think they'll be officially revealed to the world.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 (July 2024)

Read more
I wish I could buy Huawei’s new Pura 70 phones
Huawei Pura 70 Ultra green leather and gold metal finish.

Huawei has pretty much been removed from the U.S. smartphone market after being sanctioned by the former Trump administration nearly five years ago. But in its home country of China, it has frequent run-ins with Apple for the top spot. Besides a sense of nationalism, Huawei's success is backed by phones that offer top-notch design, exceptional cameras, and extremely unique features. We see these traits once again on the latest Huawei Pura 70 series that launched in China today as a successor to the photography-centric P60 lineup from last year.

Huawei's Pura 70 series has four phones: the regular Pura 70, the Pura 70 Pro, the Pura 70 Pro+, and the Pura 70 Ultra. Being a camera-centric series, the phones feature a distinct triangular camera arrangement, while the Ultra -- the top-of-the-line model -- also comes with a retractable lens similar to digital cameras for finer focus.

Read more
Meta’s ChatGPT killer is taking over your favorite apps
Meta AI on mobile and desktop web interface.

The AI hype is in full swing right now, transcending form factor boundaries with mixed success. But for the most part, the situation has been a pricey endeavor for users willing to tap into its full potential. Earlier today, Meta AI made its grand debut, drawing power from the Llama 3 model. It’s free (for now) and it could well be one of the first truly mass-market AI products.

That’s primarily because Meta AI is already making its way to some of the most widely used platforms on the planet that draw billions of users. Available in the English language, the multifunctional AI tool can now be found on WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger.

Read more