A voracious mobile world needs 'spectrum, spectrum, spectrum'

LAS VEGAS -- The message came across loud and clear: our wireless way of life could hit a wall, and hit it hard, if it doesn't get more spectrum very soon.

Federal communications policy took center stage Wednesday at CES 2014 here, including the CEA Innovation Policy Summit, where attendees heard from a wide range of US government and industry experts.

Most of that conversation focused on the need to increase available communications spectrum for mobile consumers. The daylong discussion was best summed up by FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

"All I see on the show floor is mobile, … Read more

Microsoft docks Steve Ballmer's pay over Windows 8, Surface RT

Microsoft's annual proxy statement indicated that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had his pay docked because of Windows division's lackluster performance in the past year.

Ballmer received $1.26 million in fiscal 2013 -- a base salary of $697,500 and a bonus of $550,000. Ballmer's "incentive plan award," calculated by the Microsoft board, was only 79 percent of the total for which he was eligible. Comparatively, for fiscal 2012, Ballmer received 91 percent of his eligible incentive award.

The fiscal 2013 proxy statement spelled out the reasons why Ballmer was docked:

"The company … Read more

White House to offer companies cybersecurity incentives

With the goal of avoiding a massive cyberattack on U.S. infrastructure, the White House has proposed a handful of incentives to get power plants, water companies, and transportation networks to join a national cybersecurity program.

"The systems that run our nation's critical infrastructure such as the electric grid, our drinking water, our trains, and other transportation are increasingly networked," the White House wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "As with any networked system, these systems are potentially vulnerable to a wide range of threats, and protecting this critical infrastructure from cyber threats is among our … Read more

T-Mobile says it has a fix to FCC auction rule debate

T-Mobile USA says it has the answer on how to make the upcoming spectrum auction fair for all participants without sacrificing potential revenue for the government, as larger carriers have suggested will happen if restrictive rules are imposed.

In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission on Monday regarding the 600MHz spectrum auction, T-Mobile described what it is calling "dynamic spectrum rules" that it claims will help preserve competition in the wireless market by not allowing the biggest wireless carriers with the deepest pockets to walk away with the bulk of the new spectrum, without sacrificing revenue that … Read more

Electric car price war? Chevy chimes in with Volt incentives

Chevrolet is offering a sizable price incentive in the face of price slashing in the electric car market.

The 2013 Volt now comes with a $4,000 cash-back incentive and the 2012 model ups that to $5,000, according to Michelle Malcho, a Chevrolet spokeswoman.

That's the largest Volt cash incentive that Chevy has offered to date, Malcho said.

Alternatively, a Volt can now be leased for $269 a month for 36 months with a $2,399 down payment.

The Volt is a plug-in hybrid (GM refers to it as an extended-range electric vehicle or E-REV) with a range … Read more

Industry debates FCC auction rules for AT&T and Verizon

There's no question that wireless carriers large and small want to get their hands on more wireless spectrum. But deciding which carriers should get how much spectrum was the subject of intense debate on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

The topic was front and center during a Senate subcommittee hearing in which representatives from the two main trade associations and other industry experts testified on the State of the Wireless Market.

Each of the experts called to testify reiterated a familiar request that the government make more wireless spectrum available for wireless broadband services. Without more spectrum, Steve Largent, head … Read more

Justice Dept. to FCC: Give small carriers a chance in next auction

The Department of Justice said today that Sprint and T-Mobile should be given a fair chance at acquiring wireless spectrum in the Federal Communication Commission's upcoming incentive spectrum auction.

The antitrust division of the Justice Department laid out its argument in a filing to the FCC.

"The Department concludes that rules that ensure the smaller nationwide networks, which currently lack substantial low-frequency spectrum, have an opportunity to acquire such spectrum could improve the competitive dynamic among nationwide carriers and benefit consumers," the Justice Department said.

The FCC is currently drafting rules for an upcoming auction that will … Read more

FCC, stakeholders align on communications policy -- for now

LAS VEGAS--Peace appears to be breaking out between mobile Internet users and regulators.

During the three-day Innovation Policy Summit here at CES, members of Congress, FCC commissioners, industry representatives, and consumer groups found little to disagree on, whether the topic was incentive auctions for more broadband spectrum, retiring legacy copper networks in favor of native IP, sharing government spectrum in the 5 GHz band for high-speed Wi-Fi, or the continuing threat of international efforts to turn Internet governance over to repressive national governments so they can destroy it.

Some minor skirmishes broke out, of course, but the conversation this week … Read more

FCC makes progress on freeing up spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission is making progress in its effort to free up 500MHz of additional wireless spectrum by 2020, but much work is still needed in order for the FCC to meet its goal.

On Tuesday, the commission approved rules that would free up 40MHz of satellite spectrum that had been allocated for satellite use to be used for wireless broadband service. And it also moved forward with setting up an auction next year for 10MHz of wireless spectrum in the PCS H block. The H Block spectrum that will be auctioned off sits next to the satellite spectrum … Read more

Syria goes dark

Early this morning, Syria went offline.

Some more scary news is coming out of Syria early this morning. Apparently the entire country has gone dark, completely vanishing from the Internet over the course of just a few minutes. According to Renesys, a company that operates a real-time Internet-monitoring grid, all of Syria's IP connectivity has become unreachable.

Today Google has announced the acquisition of Incentive Targeting, a maker of coupon programs that tailor to users' behaviors and likes. The company has worked with retailers to design trackable coupons that help gauge their performance and usefulness.

CNET has a review of the Jawbone UpRead more