Tag: Telephones and Telecommunications

F.C.C. Designates Huawei and ZTE as National Security Threats

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday designated the Chinese telecommunications firms Huawei and ZTE as national security threats, cutting them off from billions of dollars in federal broadband subsidies. The agency voted unanimously last year to bar telecommunications manufacturers it deemed to be threats from receiving money meant to expand internet access to underserved […]

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The Video Call Is Starting. Time to Put on Your Zoom Shirt.

It’s time to log in to his first Zoom meeting of his workday, so Joe Farrell puts on a short-sleeve button-down from Brooks Brothers, in black, red and white plaid. He has worn it for video calls on 70 consecutive days. This was not his plan. “My ego thought someone would notice,” said Mr. Farrell, […]

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Senate Faults Oversight of Chinese Telecom Companies in U.S.

WASHINGTON — Senate investigators said Tuesday that government officials had “exercised minimal oversight” of the risks posed by three Chinese telecom companies that operate on American communications networks. Federal agencies failed to properly follow up on some agreements meant to protect national security, did not provide adequate workers to vet the Chinese companies and operated […]

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HBO Max Wants to ‘Crush’ Netflix. Is It Too Late?

HBO has been an innovator for much of its nearly 50-year run. Now, with the unveiling of HBO Max, it’s playing catch-up. In the 1970s, when people still referred to it as Home Box Office, HBO was a pioneer in bringing recent movies to the American living room in all their uncut glory. Another innovation […]

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Everything You Need to Know About Slow Internet Speeds

Restricted to our homes for months now, many of us have been putting up with a persistent annoyance: a lousy internet connection. When we are working, a video call with colleagues becomes pixelated, with delayed audio. When we are relaxing, movies and video games take ages to download. In the worst cases, the connection drops […]

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Poor Americans Face Hurdles in Getting Promised Internet

The people behind a nonprofit that helps workers at the famed Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Ky., had spotted a great opportunity. With the city’s schools closed because of the coronavirus, some of the workers at the racetrack needed fast internet access for their children. And Charter, an internet provider in the area, was offering […]

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Live From D.C., It’s the Supreme Court!

“Justice Sotomayor? … Justice Sotomayor?” The query hung in the staticky silence for what felt like an eternity, although it was probably less than 10 seconds. It sounded like any delay on any of a million conference calls happening daily across America during the coronavirus pandemic. Only this question was coming from the chief justice […]

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The Loans and the Fury

Want this in your inbox each morning? Sign up here. More questions about who gets bailout money As the U.S. government’s small-business loan fund reopens today, outrage remains about companies that may have unfairly received help in the $350 billion first round of rescue financing. Companies that received money, according to The Times, include firms […]

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Spectrum Employees Are Getting Sick Amid Debate Over Working From Home

Employees at Charter Communications, the internet, cable TV and phone giant known as Spectrum, have been getting sick while adhering to a company policy that has required thousands of them to work in offices and call centers rather than from home. More than 230 Spectrum employees have tested positive for Covid-19 since the pandemic hit […]

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The Virus Revealed Our Essential Tech (and Weeded Out the Excess)

It has been weeks since the coronavirus brought our lives to a halt, shutting down our schools, offices and gyms. Stuck at home, we have had nothing but time to reflect on the things that matter. Consumer technology — most of it, anyway — is low on the list. That’s right. I’m admitting that many […]

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How a Virus Conspiracy Theory Fueled Arson and Harassment in Britain

LONDON — On April 2, a wireless tower was set ablaze in Birmingham. The next day, a fire was reported at 10 p.m. at a telecommunications box in Liverpool. An hour later, an emergency call came in about another cell tower in Liverpool that was going up in flames. Across Britain, more than 30 acts […]

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How a 5G Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory Fueled Arson and Harassment in Britain

LONDON — On April 2, a wireless tower was set ablaze in Birmingham. The next day, a fire was reported at 10 p.m. at a telecommunications box in Liverpool. An hour later, an emergency call came in about another cell tower in Liverpool that was going up in flames. Across Britain, more than 30 acts […]

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The Humble Phone Call Has Made a Comeback

Alyssa MacKenzie, 32, rarely used her smartphone to make phone calls, apart from the occasional conversation for her work as a disability rights advocate. But when the lockdown for the coronavirus set in, Ms. MacKenzie could no longer pop by her mother’s house a few minutes away in New Canaan, Conn. So she has called […]

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Surging Traffic Is Slowing Down Our Internet

WASHINGTON — In late January, as China locked down some provinces to contain the spread of the coronavirus, average internet speeds in the country slowed as people who were stuck inside went online more and clogged the networks. In Hubei Province, the epicenter of infections, mobile broadband speeds fell by more than half. In mid-February, […]

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Facebook Is ‘Just Trying to Keep the Lights On’ as Traffic Soars in Pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO — As the coronavirus spread around the world and people everywhere were ordered to stay home, phone calls over Facebook’s apps more than doubled. In many countries, messaging on Instagram and Facebook soared by over 50 percent, while group calls in Italy jumped by more than 1,000 percent. And hungry for information, people […]

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Senate, Bidding for Time, Tries to Temporarily Revive Spy Tools

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Monday to temporarily reinstate a handful of newly expired F.B.I. tools for investigating terrorism and espionage in an attempt to grant lawmakers time to sort out broader differences over surveillance laws and move to addressing the coronavirus pandemic. Senators unanimously agreed to extend until early June the F.B.I. powers, […]

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So We’re Working From Home. Can the Internet Handle It?

Derek Pando rarely had problems with his home internet service — until last week. That was when he began working from his house because of the coronavirus. Mr. Pando, 35, a tech worker in Palo Alto, Calif., immediately started using work applications like video conferencing that ate up a lot of data. And he shared […]

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Internet Providers Won’t Cut Off Users Over Unpaid Bills for 60 Days

AT&T, Comcast and dozens of other telecommunications firms have committed to not disconnecting service to residential and small business customers who can’t pay their bills because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Federal Communications Commission said on Friday. The pledge the companies plan to implement also calls for them to open public Wi-Fi hot spots and […]

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Cellphone Carriers Face $200 Million Fine for Not Protecting Location Data

The Federal Communications Commission has approved a proposal to fine T-Mobile, AT&T and two other cellphone carriers more than $200 million for selling customers’ location data to companies that allowed it to be misused by rogue law enforcement officers and others. The proposed fines, announced on Friday, are among the largest the F.C.C. has sought […]

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Cellphone Carriers May Face $200 Million in Fines for Selling Location Data

The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose about $200 million in fines against four major cellphone carriers for selling customers’ real-time location data, according to three people briefed on the discussions. The penalties would be some of the largest the agency has imposed in decades and represent the first action it has taken on […]

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Huawei Is Winning the Argument in Europe, as the U.S. Fumbles to Develop Alternatives

WASHINGTON — America’s global campaign to prevent its closest allies from using Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant, in the next generation of wireless networks has largely failed, with foreign leaders publicly rebuffing the United States argument that the firm poses an unmanageable security threat. Britain has already called the Trump administration’s bluff, betting that officials […]

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Judge Approves T-Mobile Merger With Sprint

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled in favor of T-Mobile’s takeover of Sprint in a deal that would further concentrate corporate ownership of technology, combining the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers and creating a new telecommunications giant to take on rivals AT&T and Verizon. The decision, by Judge Victor Marrero of United States District […]

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Judge Is Said to Rule for T-Mobile Merger With Sprint

The judge in a contentious lawsuit that tried to stop the long-in-the-works merger between T-Mobile and Sprint is planning to rule in favor of the deal, according to three people briefed on the matter. The verdict, expected Tuesday, will come at the end of an unusual suit filed in June by attorneys general from 13 […]

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Bernard J. Ebbers, WorldCom Chief Jailed in Fraud, Dies at 78

Bernard J. Ebbers, who built a modest Mississippi phone company into a telecommunications giant, WorldCom, but later went to jail after its collapse in one of the nation’s largest corporate scandals, died on Sunday at his home in Brookhaven, Miss. He was 78. His health had sharply deteriorated in recent months, his family said in […]

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Bernard J. Ebbers, Convicted Former WorldCom Chief, Dies at 78

Bernard J. Ebbers, who spent 12 years in prison after presiding over a notorious $11 billion accounting fraud as chief executive of the telephone company WorldCom, died on Sunday, according to media reports citing his family. He was 78. His health had sharply deteriorated in recent months, his family said. Mr. Ebbers, who was sentenced […]

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E.U. Recommends Limiting, but Not Banning, Huawei in 5G Rollout

The European Union told its members on Wednesday that they should limit so-called “high-risk” 5G vendors, a category that includes the Chinese tech giant Huawei, but stopped short of recommending a ban on the firm, despite a lengthy and aggressive campaign by the Trump administration. The recommendations are as far as the European Union can […]

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Britain Says Huawei Won’t Be Banned From Its 5G Network

LONDON — Britain said on Tuesday that it would not ban equipment made by the Chinese technology giant Huawei from being used in its new high-speed 5G wireless network, the starkest sign that an American campaign against the telecommunications company is faltering. Despite more than a year of intense lobbying by the Trump administration, which […]

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Tougher Huawei Restrictions Stall After Defense Department Objects

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has put on hold a proposed rule change that would further restrict American sales to Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant, after some officials in the Department of Defense and other agencies argued that the measure, which was intended to protect national security, could backfire and actually harm it, according to […]

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