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Welcome to Faulkner's Telecom Daily. We publish Monday through Friday, updating top stories as events warrant. If you would like to receive Telecom Daily emailed daily to your desktop, please click here: TelDailyEmail.

Monday, March 27...

US Senate Votes to Halt FCC Rules Governing Broadband Privacy
The US Senate has passed a new resolution to eliminate Federal Communications Commission (FCC) legislation that would have required ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to receive explicit consumer permission to use their personal browsing data. According to Deadline, the Senate used the "Congressional Review Act" of 1996 to overturn the legislation, determining that the FCC "exceeded its authority" by passing it in October 2016. Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler promoted the rules at the time - which would have forced cable and phone service providers to reveal what information they collect and share - to help better protect consumer privacy. "This legislation will frustrate the FCC's future efforts to protect the privacy of voice and broadband customers," said FCC and FTC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Terrell McSweeny in a joint statement. "It also creates a massive gap in consumer protection law as broadband and cable companies now have no discernible privacy requirements. This is the antithesis of putting #ConsumersFirst." The measure will now be passed along to the House of Representatives and then President Donald Trump, both of whom are expected to pass it.

T-Mobile US Rolls Out Scam ID, Scam Block Carrier Services
T-Mobile US rolled out its new Scam ID and Scam Block services for consumers. These offerings are designed to help protect customers against incoming "scam calls." In particular, the Scam ID service provides notification when a received call is "likely a scam," while Scam Block allows the user to block known and suspected scammers from completing such calls to their number. Both services will make use of the carrier's global database of "tens of thousands of known scammer numbers" and assess incoming calls "in milliseconds." T-Mobile also noted that the database is kept up-to-date in near-real-time using behavioral heuristics and intelligent scam pattern detection. T-Mobile will enable these optional services on a rolling basis, beginning with its T-Mobile ONE and postpaid customers, who will gain access starting on April 5, 2017. Ultimately, they will be made available to every device that runs on the T-Mobile nationwide network. Further details and information regarding activating one or both services are available via the T-Mobile Web site.

Google Reportedly Eliminating SMS Functions from Google Hangouts
Google is reportedly looking to remove SMS functionality from its Hangouts app, which has recently been updated to focus on enterprise users. The news of this potential change comes via 9to5Google, which cited an "e-mail reportedly sent to G Suite administrators." According to sources, Google plans to instead focus Hangouts on its more popular features such as group chat and video conferencing, especially given that Android Messages also supports SMS texting. The transition, 9to5Google noted, will begin "next week" and be completed by May 22nd, with users seeing an in-app prompt directing them to select an alternative messaging app. Google Voice users will be exempt from this change.

... Brady Hicks, Faulkner Information Services


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