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Frontier sued by FTC, six states for allegedly over-promising, under-delivering broadband
Thursday, 20 May 2021 10:26

HTTP/2 200 date: Thu, 20 May 2021 14:00:20 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/58039f24a248303242224118056e661d35740dbf/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/1e9d1024c2282b8590a165c0aa71b7fe41099580/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/1e9d1024c2282b8590a165c0aa71b7fe41099580/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Thu, 20 May 2021 14:00:20 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy02us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC cf-request-id: 0a2bacd544000016c16413b000000001 expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 652617353a9f16c1-SYD Frontier sued by FTC, six states for allegedly over-promising, under-delivering broadband • The Register

ISP denies wrongdoing, notes how difficult it is to get wires to rural areas


ISP Frontier Communications was sued on Wednesday by the US Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement agencies six states for allegedly misrepresenting the speed of its internet service and for billing customers for service it didn't provide.

The FTC filed its complaint [PDF] with the support of Attorneys General from Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, along with the district attorneys' offices of Los Angeles County and Riverside County, representing California.

The complaint, filed in a federal district court in central California, accuses Frontier of misrepresentation and unfair billing under the FTC Act and of violating various state fraud and business practice statutes.

"In numerous instances, Frontier has sent consumers advertisements for DSL Internet service at speed tiers that Frontier could not provide to them," the legal filing says.

Nonetheless, the American telco is said to have billed many customers for internet speeds not provided.

"Since at least January 2015, thousands of consumers complained to Frontier and government agencies that the company failed to provide DSL Internet service at the speeds they were promised," the FTC said in a statement. "Many consumers have complained that the slower speeds actually provided by Frontier failed to support the typical online activities they should have been able to perform at the speed tiers Frontier had sold to them."

The legal complaint says that in 2019 a management consulting firm analyzed the records of Frontier's 1.5 million DSL customers and found that about 440,000 or 30 per cent were potentially oversold on speed tiers beyond what was actually available to them. Currently Frontier provides DSL service to about 1.3m subscribers in 25 states.

Frontier sued by FTC, six states for allegedly over-promising, under-delivering broadband

US broadband is scarce, slow and expensive. 'Great!' says the FCC

FROM THE ARCHIVE

In response to subscribers' complaints since 2015, the Attorneys General of Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New York, Washington, and West Virginia, have brought enforcement actions and there have been multiplesettlements intended to remedy the situation. Nonetheless, Frontier's behavior continues to draw fire.

Frontier declared bankruptcy in April 2020. Last month, it emerged from Chapter 11 protection, having shed $11bn in debt and ready to push into the fiber broadband market [PDF].

“Frontier believes the lawsuit is without merit," the ISP said in a statement to The Register. "The plaintiffs’ complaint includes baseless allegations, overstates any possible monetary harm to Frontier’s customers and disregards important facts including the following:

  • Frontier offers Internet service in some of the country’s most rural areas that often have challenging terrain, are more sparsely populated and are the most difficult to serve.
  • Frontier’s rural DSL Internet service was enthusiastically welcomed when it was launched and has retained many satisfied customers over the years.
  • Frontier’s DSL Internet speeds have been clearly and accurately articulated, defined and described in the Company’s marketing materials and disclosures.

"Frontier will present a vigorous defense.” ®


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"This is a clear example of a company getting it wrong and now facing the reputational consequences of that error," said ICO head of investigations Andy Curry, recognising the fine was effectively small change for Amex.

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ASUS customer Branden Fisher posted a Facebook Messenger exchange with the company, where a representative said the dimensions of the thermal pad for his RTX3070-8G-EK graphics card was "confidential and no longer provided to customers."

"We don't recommend that our customers disassemble the module by themselves and replace the thermal pad, which would cause a quality issue and a warranty issue," it added.

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In its final report on the proposed alliance [PDF], the CMA said the combined entity would not be able (or wasn't incentivised) to disrupt the market for mobile backhaul or MVNOs meaningfully.

Virgin Media offers backhaul services – the fixed lines that connect mobile antennas to the core network – to various UK networks, namely Three, Vodafone, and Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL, which is co-owned by O2 and Three).

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The UK government is slapping £650m of taxpayer's money on the table to see what the ravenous tech market can offer in terms of mobile data and voice services.

Beginning next financial year and spanning 48 months in total, the contract is designed to lump suppliers into a framework agreement in which they can fight like cats in a sack for slices of cash on offer.

A prior information notice signalled a come-hither gesture to the market, which is invited to "engagement webinars" during May, after which we suppose there will an exchanging of token rings.

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“We selectively optimised instructions based on their prevalence for data centre workloads,” he said, adding: “And we optimised performance and power for cloud environments, not laptops or phones.”

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HTTP/2 200 date: Thu, 20 May 2021 14:00:20 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/58039f24a248303242224118056e661d35740dbf/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/1e9d1024c2282b8590a165c0aa71b7fe41099580/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/1e9d1024c2282b8590a165c0aa71b7fe41099580/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Thu, 20 May 2021 14:00:20 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy02us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC cf-request-id: 0a2bacd544000016c16413b000000001 expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 652617353a9f16c1-SYD Frontier sued by FTC, six states for allegedly over-promising, under-delivering broadband • The Register

ISP denies wrongdoing, notes how difficult it is to get wires to rural areas


ISP Frontier Communications was sued on Wednesday by the US Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement agencies six states for allegedly misrepresenting the speed of its internet service and for billing customers for service it didn't provide.

The FTC filed its complaint [PDF] with the support of Attorneys General from Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, along with the district attorneys' offices of Los Angeles County and Riverside County, representing California.

The complaint, filed in a federal district court in central California, accuses Frontier of misrepresentation and unfair billing under the FTC Act and of violating various state fraud and business practice statutes.

"In numerous instances, Frontier has sent consumers advertisements for DSL Internet service at speed tiers that Frontier could not provide to them," the legal filing says.

Nonetheless, the American telco is said to have billed many customers for internet speeds not provided.

"Since at least January 2015, thousands of consumers complained to Frontier and government agencies that the company failed to provide DSL Internet service at the speeds they were promised," the FTC said in a statement. "Many consumers have complained that the slower speeds actually provided by Frontier failed to support the typical online activities they should have been able to perform at the speed tiers Frontier had sold to them."

The legal complaint says that in 2019 a management consulting firm analyzed the records of Frontier's 1.5 million DSL customers and found that about 440,000 or 30 per cent were potentially oversold on speed tiers beyond what was actually available to them. Currently Frontier provides DSL service to about 1.3m subscribers in 25 states.

Frontier sued by FTC, six states for allegedly over-promising, under-delivering broadband

US broadband is scarce, slow and expensive. 'Great!' says the FCC

FROM THE ARCHIVE

In response to subscribers' complaints since 2015, the Attorneys General of Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New York, Washington, and West Virginia, have brought enforcement actions and there have been multiplesettlements intended to remedy the situation. Nonetheless, Frontier's behavior continues to draw fire.

Frontier declared bankruptcy in April 2020. Last month, it emerged from Chapter 11 protection, having shed $11bn in debt and ready to push into the fiber broadband market [PDF].

“Frontier believes the lawsuit is without merit," the ISP said in a statement to The Register. "The plaintiffs’ complaint includes baseless allegations, overstates any possible monetary harm to Frontier’s customers and disregards important facts including the following:

  • Frontier offers Internet service in some of the country’s most rural areas that often have challenging terrain, are more sparsely populated and are the most difficult to serve.
  • Frontier’s rural DSL Internet service was enthusiastically welcomed when it was launched and has retained many satisfied customers over the years.
  • Frontier’s DSL Internet speeds have been clearly and accurately articulated, defined and described in the Company’s marketing materials and disclosures.

"Frontier will present a vigorous defense.” ®


Other stories you might like

American Express has been fined 0.009 per cent of its annual profits by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) after spamming people who opted out of its marketing emails with 50 million unwanted messages.

The £90,000 fine was announced today after the British data regulator ruled the US bank had broken the law.

"This is a clear example of a company getting it wrong and now facing the reputational consequences of that error," said ICO head of investigations Andy Curry, recognising the fine was effectively small change for Amex.

Continue readingASUS baffles customer by telling them thermal pad thickness is proprietary Replacing such cooling measures are the PC equivalent of an oil change

Laptop and motherboard maker ASUS has earned the scorn of the right-to-repair crowd after telling a customer the dimensions of a thermal pad are proprietary information and that replacing it might void his warranty.

ASUS customer Branden Fisher posted a Facebook Messenger exchange with the company, where a representative said the dimensions of the thermal pad for his RTX3070-8G-EK graphics card was "confidential and no longer provided to customers."

"We don't recommend that our customers disassemble the module by themselves and replace the thermal pad, which would cause a quality issue and a warranty issue," it added.

Continue readingSpace Force's data must flow: Microsoft Azure and Ball Aerospace demo satellite to battlefield linkup Warfare 365?

Ball Aerospace and Microsoft have shown off tech that uses commercial cloud computing to process downlinked data and deliver "actionable information" direct to the battlefield.

The Pentagon picked the satellite-maker and Microsoft's Azure cloud in 2019 for the demo contract for the US Air Force’s Space and Missile Command. The terms of the contract were never disclosed.

The demonstration might not have gone down well with some Microsoft staffers, who worry about how the tech they have developed will get used.

Continue readingUK's competition watchdog gives £31bn Virgin Media and O2 merger the seal of approval Minimal risk to MVNO or backhaul customers, probe finds

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has greenlit the proposed £31bn merger between Virgin Media and O2.

In its final report on the proposed alliance [PDF], the CMA said the combined entity would not be able (or wasn't incentivised) to disrupt the market for mobile backhaul or MVNOs meaningfully.

Virgin Media offers backhaul services – the fixed lines that connect mobile antennas to the core network – to various UK networks, namely Three, Vodafone, and Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL, which is co-owned by O2 and Three).

Continue readingUK.gov puts feelers into tech market over £650m mobile voice and data shopping list Crown Commercial Service not wedded to plans until it has had a nice chat with suppliers

The UK government is slapping £650m of taxpayer's money on the table to see what the ravenous tech market can offer in terms of mobile data and voice services.

Beginning next financial year and spanning 48 months in total, the contract is designed to lump suppliers into a framework agreement in which they can fight like cats in a sack for slices of cash on offer.

A prior information notice signalled a come-hither gesture to the market, which is invited to "engagement webinars" during May, after which we suppose there will an exchanging of token rings.

Continue readingGraph databases to map AI in massive exercise in meta-understanding Is Gartner ahead of its time, or just bonkers? You. Be. The. Judge.

Emerging from a niche in the database market, graph technology could actually be the thing to help us make sense of all the AI we're using to understand the world and our business in it, according to Gartner.

No longer the last on the shopping list of new database trends, graph processing will grow 100 per cent annually to 2023, the IT analyst giant forecast.

Graph databases are being used to help analyse network relationships like those in social media or company ownership. But they are not about to stop there, according to Pieter den Hamer, Gartner senior research director.

Continue readingBeyond video to interactive, personalised content: BBC is experimenting with rebuilding its iPlayer in WebAssembly Something Wasm this way comes

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Speaking at the QCon Plus developer conference under way online this week, BBC R&D software engineer Tim Pearce said: "We've used WebAssembly to... build an experimental version of iPlayer which can playback future experiences, and I'll also introduce our plans to use WebAssembly outside the browser throughout our technology stack for delivering universal access to audiences."

Pearce said that "universal access" is a part of the BBC's duty as a public service broadcaster and means ensuring that "every audience member can access every experience, regardless of what device they have at home... they might have an old smartphone or smart TV."

Continue readingUnihertz Titan Pocket: Like asking Mum for a BlackBerry and she tells you 'but we've got a BlackBerry at home' Caters to those desperate for a physical keyboard but nothing about it is intuitive

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For starters, the Unihertz Titan Pocket comes from a completely different place. BlackBerry (formerly RIM) was primarily concerned with building work devices. In practice, that meant an OS filled with business-centred apps, and an overarching emphasis on security and encryption.

Unihertz has a fundamentally different business model. It makes weird phones (like a 4G blower the size of two cigarette lighters and an Android-powered BlackBerry Passport clone, to name just two.) There's no mass-market appeal to its phones, and it's entirely fine with that. All of its devices debuted on crowdfunding sites.

Continue readingAmpere teases ‘Arm-compliant’ homebrew cores that deprecate instructions clouds don’t need Altra Max revealed with smaller core counts than previously disclosed

Ampere has revealed that it has developed its own “Arm-compliant” compute core that it will begin to manufacture in 2022 and hopes will eventually challenge Intel’s Xeon and AMD’s EPYC in the cloud.

CTO and chief architect Atiq Bajwa on Wednesday said that the company has built “an Arm-compliant core that deprecated optional features that are not relevant to cloud.”

“We selectively optimised instructions based on their prevalence for data centre workloads,” he said, adding: “And we optimised performance and power for cloud environments, not laptops or phones.”

Continue readingBlue Origin sets its price: $1.4m minimum for trip into space Expensive free fall experience plus 'astronaut' bragging rights

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Earlier this month Blue Origin announced it will auction off a seat on a July 20 trip beyond the Kármán line, the 100km or 62-mile point above sea level that is a recognized boundary between Earth and space. Following a round of sealed bids, the minimum you now need to offer is $1.4m, and Blue Origin warns it's had a lot of interest.

"We’ve seen more than 5,200 bidders from 136 countries," the space rocket biz told The Register.

Continue readingBlackBerry says it’s virtualised macOS for M1 on an x86 CPU Tweaking QEMU to handle Apple’s XNU kernel was just the beginning

BlackBerry’s Cylance unit claims it has virtualised macOS Big Sur for Apple’s own Arm-powered M1 silicon on an Intel x86 processor.

The explanation of how to get the job done is not for the faint-hearted. For starters you’ll need Big Sur installer package and a tool called OSX-KVM to retrieve it. However, BlackBerry warns the tool can be flaky, so has provided the necessary files at the somewhat controversial Mega.nz file locker.

Suffice to say you’ll need to extract plenty of stuff from the Big Sur installer, get some of it running on a Mac or in a macOS VM (and those aren’t easy to make).

Continue reading

Source: https://bit.ly/2QE4K2O