The Circuit: FCC focuses on low-income broadband; LightSquared; Hulu

FCC announces broadband adoption competition: The Federal Communications Commission announced Monday that it has launched a new competition asking for ideas about how best to increase broadband adoption among low-income Americans.

The competition, which is an extension of the “Connect to Compete” initiative, has a July 2 deadline.

In a statement, chairman Julius Genachowski said that the competition will help “identify the best ways to close the broadband adoption gap and unleash the benefits of high-speed Internet for every American.”

LightSquared: Philip Falcone, the chief executive of principal LightSquared investor Harbinger Capital, may step down as the public face of the company, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Unnamed “people familiar with the negotiations” told the newspaper that Falcone’s agreement with the company’s board may convince LightSquared’s lenders to approve an extension of a debt-term violations waiver, which was set to expire on Monday morning.

LightSquared declined to comment on the report. Harbinger Capital did not return repeated requests for comment.

Hulu to require authentication, report says: A report from the New York Post says that Hulu has considered requiring its users to show proof of subscription to pay-TV channels to view some of its content online. The report indicates that Hulu will begin requiring that viewers “prove they are a pay-TV customer to watch their favorite shows.”

The report cites unnamed sources. Hulu did not respond to a request for comment on the report. In a statement, Public Knowledge president and chief executive Gigi Sohn said that such a move will “only drive customers to find illegal content.”

Microsoft, Barnes & Noble team up: Microsoft and Barnes & Noble announced a new joint venture, which joins Barnes & Noble’s digital and college businesses, on Monday. Microsoft will invest $300 million in the new business for a stake of 17.6 percent, and will incorporate a Nook app into Windows 8.

The new company does not yet have a name and, currently, is referred to in the release and other documents as “Newco.”

In a conference call with analysts, Barnes & Noble chief executive William Lynch said that the deal will extend the Nook bookstore to “hundreds of millions of people” in the United States and the rest of the world.

Google Wi-Fi: The Washington Post reported that a Google engineer knowingly created software that would collect sensitive personal information about people without their knowledge, according to an un-redacted version of a federal investigative report.

A full version of a Federal Communications Commission report shows that engineer shared e-mails with other Google officials indicating the company could collect “payload data,” including e-mail addresses and text messages through a program to collect location-based software from residential and business Wi-Fi networks. The company released the full contents of the report, which was heavily redacted by the FCC, except for the names of its employees.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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