FCC to AT&T: What Part of the Word ‘Unlimited’ Confuses You?

Carl Weinschenk
Slide Show

Redefining Enterprise BYOD: Meeting Tomorrow's Demands

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is asking AT&T, in the form of a possible $100 million fine, to explain why it apparently throttled subscribers when it said their services were unlimited. The FCC says that the limitations kicked in after consumption of 5GB of data in a month.

This, Computerworld reports, has been happening since 2011: The company has 30 days to respond to the allegations. The FCC then will make an official determination. Even if the $100 million hit stands, it may have been worth it for AT&T:

The FCC said it's aware that the fine, while large, is a fraction of the revenue AT&T made from offering its unlimited plan to consumers. It is also considering other redress, including requiring AT&T to individually inform customers that its disclosures were in violation of rules and to allow them out of applicable contracts with no penalty.

GreenTouch Announces Results

The GreenTouch consortium, which aims to improve the energy efficiency of data networks, announced its results and unveiled programs this week in New York City. It said that it has found ways to improve efficiency by a factor of more than 10,000 in mobile access networks. It also said that it has found approaches that make dramatic improvements in other areas of the network, including core, fixed-wire and enterprise networks.

At the same time, the organization highlighted technologies and tools that it used to achieve these results. They include the Flexible Power Model, a power model and software tool; Beyond Cellular Green Generation (BCG2); Distributed Energy-Efficient Clouds; Green Transmission Technologies (GTT) and others. Details are available in the press release.

FCC Changes Numbering Rules

The details of how telephone networks are administered are complex. The FCC this week took a step toward simplifying things. In the past, according to the press release announcing the change, VoIP phone providers were required to get their numbers from third parties. The FCC now will allow them to go directly to numbering administrators.

This, the FCC suggests, will reduce costs and make more VoIP providers competitive. As of the end of 2013, the release said, about 48 million connections – almost one-third of all retail local connections – were VoIP-based. The new approach will speed the transfer of a number to or from a VoIP provider.

A Big Streaming Move?

Google is out front in many ways. Indeed, it often takes a while for its intentions, which usually are very clever, to become obvious.

Last year, the company bought Agawi, which specialized in streaming apps to mobile devices. Currently, an app is downloaded into a device. Streaming would enable the user to employ the app without taking that step. This option would add fluidity and flexibility to the picture.

Ubergizmo says that Google released no information on the purchase other than to acknowledge it. The speculation is that it may be a significant sign of what Google has in mind:

Given that right now a lot of things are streamed such as music, movies, and even video games, who’s to say that mobile apps won’t be next? Of course the downside is that it will require users to always have an internet connection, but perhaps it would be offered as an alternative as opposed to a replacement, but what say you?

The Advantages of MDM

IT and telecom have spent the best part of a decade trying to figure out how to manage mobility. One umbrella technology is mobile device management (MDM).

InformationWeek’s Andrew Froehlich addresses what he says are three misconceptions about MDM. He says that the technology goes beyond a way to manage bring your own device (BYOD) work structures, that it is not just for mobility, and that it is not simply a security technology.

The heart of Froehlich’s piece is a look at eight ways in which MDM helps enterprises. The advantages he explores include remote deployment of Wi-Fi and virtual private networks (VPNs), encryption enforcement and geo-fencing.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.

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