Overnight Tech: FCC puts online video regs on hold

LEDE: Federal Communications Commission rules for online video appear to be on hold. 

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the FCC has come to realize the online video market might be evolving too quickly for regulations at the moment. Earlier this year, he planned to issue final rules in the fall. 

"The purpose of rule making is to learn," Wheeler told lawmakers at a House Energy and Commerce hearing. "We learned that [a] vast number of things are developing very rapidly, and we have not moved forward on that notice of proposed rulemaking and don't see, until situations change, we would."


The agency issued the notice last year to expand the definition of a video service provider that offers multiple channels of prescheduled shows to include online video. The update would affect online providers offering multiple channels with prescheduled lineups of shows, rather than companies like Netflix or Amazon, which allow customers to stream video on demand from its library. 

Nonetheless, companies like Apple, Microsoft and Amazon and others have raised concerns about online video regulation at the moment, not knowing their future plans. Other Republican FCC commissioners and even the lead Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee cautioned the FCC to pump the breaks.  

ONLINE PRIVACY EARLY NEXT YEAR: The FCC chairman also said rules regarding its expanded privacy authority over Internet service providers would not come until at least "early next year." One unsettled issue under the FCC's net neutrality rules is its authority to protect broadband customers' privacy — an authority that has traditionally applied to telephone companies.

LAWMAKERS ASK FCC TO LIMIT 'HARM' FROM GOV ROBOCALLS: A group of 41 House and Senate lawmakers called on the FCC to limit the fallout from a provision in the recently approved budget framework that allows government debt collectors to robocall people's cellphones. Among other things, the lawmakers want to make sure the government stops calling after being asked to do so. 

ONLINE REVIEWS BILL GETS WEDNESDAY MARKUP: The Senate Commerce Committee will consider a bill Wednesday that limits language used by businesses to allow them to sue customers who write negative reviews of online. The bill, sponsored by committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneWar of words at the White House Lawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show Impeachment threatens to drown out everything MORE (R-S.D.), targets so-called gag clauses that allow businesses to pursue their online detractors. It is backed by major players in the review space like Yelp and Tripadvisor. Lawmakers will also consider a bill related to amateur radio users.

NOW, ABOUT THAT SPECTRUM BILL: Not on the docket for the hearing is Thune's spectrum policy reform bill the MOBILE NOW Act. Thune said Tuesday the delay came from "some concerns raised by the administration and, so we're going to try and resolve those. Their concerns are I would say are solvable, fixable." A committee aide said that the administration had questions about the bill's mandate for the FCC to auction off 50 megahertz by 2024 (up from 30) and a plan to codify the goal of releasing 500 megahertz of spectrum by 2020.

"And so there's some concerns that the [Senate Armed Services Committee] had too ... so it was kind of a combination of them and the administration. So we're working through those — but it was a positive development, we put the draft out there, we're getting feedback, we're making the necessary adjustments and we'll mark it up in December."

FULL SLATES FROM FCC AND FTC AT TRADE SHOW: All 10 FCC and FTC commissioners will make appearances at the Consumer Technology Association's annual trade show in Vegas. FTC Chair Edith Ramirez and FCC Chair Tom Wheeler will speak with Gary Shapiro, the group's CEO, and the others will appear on assorted roundtables.

UBER CAN'T APPEAL RIGHT AWAY IN CLASS ACTION: A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Uber could not immediately appeal a lower court's judgment that a lawsuit brought by a group of drivers may proceed as a class action. Reuters reported the company will still have the chance to appeal the class certification after the case is finished.

GOOGLE PUSHES BACK ON RUSSIAN ANTITRUST CHARGE: Google will contest an antitrust ruling leveled against it by a Russian regulator, Reuters reports. The regulator said in September that the company had violated competition rules by requiring any smartphone manufacturer using the Android operating system to install the company's search application. It has given the firm until December 18 to comply.


At 11 a.m., the Senate Commerce Committee begins a markup of several bills, including one on online reviews.

At 2 p.m., the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on "The Internet of Cars"


Two low-polling GOP presidential candidates are calling for an equal amount of air time on NBC as Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE after the GOP front-runner's appearance on "Saturday Night Live" earlier this month. 

Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonGOP warns Graham letter to Pelosi on impeachment could 'backfire' Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservative politicians, pundits Bipartisan senators want federal plan for sharing more info on supply chain threats MORE (R-Ark.) is seeking to halt a looming expiration of controversial National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance, saying the Paris terror attacks Friday prove the value of the spy agency's data collection.

The daily fantasy sports website FanDuel will no longer allow players from New York to enter its contests after the state attorney general filed suit against the company and competitor DraftKings.

The head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday shot down suggestions that the agency could remove websites used by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other terrorist groups. 

Students and parents are more likely to think of men as having more interest and probability of success in computer science than their female counterparts, according to a Gallup survey released Tuesday.


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