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Verizon Hits Back on Throttling: All Carriers Do It

By Laura Ryan (@NJLJRyan), with help from Alex Brown (@AlexBrownNJ), and Dustin Volz (@dnvolz)

TODAY'S TOP PARAGRAPH: Verizon tells the FCC that all the major carriers slow down traffic. Comcast is investing more in its Internet program for low-income Americans. LinkedIn is paying the price for failing to pay its employees for overtime.

 

TOP NEWS

VERIZON ON THROTTLING: WE'RE JUST LOOKING OUT FOR OUR CUSTOMERS: Verizon says it slows down data hogs' traffic to ensure a small group of customers don't "disadvantage" the rest of its network, according to a letter to the FCC obtained by National Journal. In the response letter to Chairman Tom Wheeler's concerns over the company's plan to slow 4G LTE data speeds, the wireless carrier explained that this policy is not new and has been applied to its 3G network. SVP for Federal Regulatory Affairs Kathleen Grillo wrote it will slow down traffic "in very limited circumstances" and that they are transparent with their customers about speeds.

Verizon also pointed fingers at AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, claiming that each of the major carriers have initiated similar "network optimization" plans. Verizon writes that the practice is "widely accepted and widely adopted" for the purpose of mitigating congestion.

 

COMCAST EXPANDS INTERNET PROGRAM FOR THE POOR: As regulators review its bid to merge with Time Warner Cable, Comcast is sweetening up its Internet program for low-income Americans. The cable giant announced yesterday that it will offer to families interested in joining its Internet Essentials program six months' free Internet and debt forgiveness for some Comcast subscribers with back-due bills that will allow them to sign up for Internet essentials.

Comcast launched Internet Essentials three years ago to make its merger with NBC Universal more palatable to regulators. Comcast says it has connected more than 350,000 families to the Internet or a total of about 1.4 million Americans. But a the program has been criticized for having too narrow of eligibility requirements. A recent report from the Center for Public Integrity says that number pales in comparison to the millions of families that qualify for the program.

LINKEDIN TO COUGH UP $6 MILLION IN LABOR DEPARTMENT SETTLEMENT: LinkedIn will pay nearly $6 million to employees to settle a Labor Department investigation into unpaid overtime wages. A department investigation found that the tech company shortchanged employees working overtime in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Although the company failed to compensate its employees fairly, at least it showed "a great deal of integrity by fully cooperating with investigators" and agreeing to take measures to make sure it doesn't happen again.

 

TOP LINES

THE TECH MERGER BOOM, IN CHARTS: Telecom mergers are helping fuel one of the biggest periods of tech deals in a long time. (Leo Mirani, Quartz)

GOOGLE HANDS OVER CHILD PORNOGRAPHY EVIDENCE TO POLICE: Google tipped off police officers about a man who was email pornographic images of children through Gmail. (Conor Dougherty, NYT)

HOW CRAZY IS RUPERT MURDOCH'S TWC BID? It could pay off—if he can get it without overpaying. (James Surowiecki, New Yorker)

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CAN AIRPLANES BE HACKED? One researcher says he's broken into satellite communications through planes' WiFi systems, which could lead airlines to review security measures. (Jim Finkle, Reuters)

'RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN' HITS WIKIPEDIA: The European privacy law forced Google to remove a Wikipedia link for the first time. (Joe Miller, BBC)

ELON MUSK IS SCARED OF SKYNET: The tech mogul says artificial intelligence could be more dangerous than nuclear weapons. (Adam Pasick, Defense One)

THE ENGINEER WHO OPENED UP DIVERSITY DATA: After Tracy Chou released diversity numbers for her own employer, Pinterest, many tech companies have been pressured to follow suit. (Patrick Hoge, San Francisco Business Times)

EVERYTHING YOU WANT, AT YOUR FINGERTIPS: Recode dives into instant gratification via smartphone. (Liz Gannes, Recorde)

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories

Love it - first thing I read in the morning."

Amy, VP of Communications

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