Few Gleanings from my perusing the Internet.
European Parliament Approves Google Breakup Resolution – The European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a resolution that calls for a possible breakup of Google, brushing aside last-minute objections from the U.S. Congress that the move risked politicizing a current antitrust investigation by the European Commission. While the initiative has no binding power on the European Commission, it highlights the growing political resistance in Europe to the power of the company, which has a European market share of over 90 percent, far higher than its share in the U.S. In a vote in Strasbourg, 384 legislators voted in favor of the controversial initiative, with 174 against and 56 abstentions. Lawmakers rejected a last-minute amendment by the liberal party bloc that would have dropped a key clause calling for a possible “unbundling” of search engines from other services they may offer.
FCC to Require Faster Speeds for Broadband Subsidies – The Federal Communications Commission will require broadband providers getting new federal subsidies to build networks in rural areas to deliver download speeds of at least 10Mbps. The FCC on Thursday voted to update its rules for the Connect America Fund, the broadband subsidy program funded through fees on telephone service, with a major change being the increase in minimum download speeds from 4Mbps to 10Mbps from fixed broadband providers. Broadband providers have opposed the speed increase, and one of the FCC’s Republican commissioners questioned whether the new speed requirement could limit deployment. The new speed requirements could double the cost of deployment to rural areas.
FCC Increases Money for E-Rate Program for Internet in Schools and Libraries – The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday adopted a broad expansion and overhaul of its program to bring high-speed Internet into schools and libraries, a move that will also add to the fees tacked on to the phone bills of Americans each month. The E-Rate program, part of the Universal Service Fund, will grow by $1.5 billion, to a spending cap of $3.9 billion, the first change in the base spending cap since it was set in 1997. FCC officials said consumers would pay less than $2 a year in additional fees per phone line, or less than $6 extra per household, on average; the average household now pays about $36 a year for multiple phone lines. The amount an individual household pays can vary widely, with fees assessed on both home and mobile service. Businesses pay into the program as well.
NBC to Live Stream Network Shows – NBC is launching a live stream of its broadcast network, part of a broader effort at parent NBCUniversal to make more of its content available online via computers and mobile devices. Unlike CBS and Time Warner’s HBO, NBC isn’t planning to sell a separate online version of its network to consumers without requiring that they be pay-TV subscribers. Instead, to access NBC’s live stream as well as additional content the company plans to offer via an on-demand platform, consumers will have to provide proof that they already have a pay-TV subscription. NBC’s live stream will debut online today, and mobile platforms will be available early next year.
The New York Times, online; Washington Post, online. The Wall Street Journal, online. Associated
Press; Bloomberg; Investor’s Business Daily, online; CNET; Ars Technica; Boy Genius Report; Electronista; Gigaom; SlashGear; The Verge.
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