• AT&T’s recent announcement that it will make its video chat application, FaceTime, available only to customers subscribing to AT&T’s Mobile Share plan, rather than all customers subscribing to any data plan, has drawn allegations that the policy violates the FCC Open Internet rules. Previously, FaceTime was available only through a WiFi connection. AT&T defends the new policy on its blog, arguing that because it does not have a similar preloaded video chat app to compete with FaceTime, its policy does not violate net neutrality rules. According to AT&T, the net neutrality rules “do not regulate the availability to customers of applications that are preloaded on phones. … Rather, they address whether customers are able to download apps that compete with our voice or video telephony services.” For the full blog post, click here.
  • Three communities have asked the FCC to grant them special temporary authority (STA) to continue deploying public safety broadband networks in the 700 Megahertz band following the Commission’s decision to terminate 20 deployment waivers that had been previously granted. The Bay Area Regional Interoperable Communications System (BayRICS) Authority, Harris County, Texas and the Adams County, Colo., Communications Center have also sought temporary authority this month. In its filing, BayRICs explained that “The STA is required in order to avoid further loss of momentum, loss of funding commitments and potentially wasting the substantial investment made in the BayWEB project to date.” According to the filing, the Bay Area project has been in the works for over two years and 128 sites can be quickly completed when grant funds are released, and much faster than the nationwide FirstNet public safety broadband network can be deployed.