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The Switchboard: The FCC’s new definition of broadband

Federal Communications Commission headquarters in southwest Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: The FCC)
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The FCC has set a new, faster definition for broadband "Federal regulators have set a new definition for broadband that establishes 25 megabits per second as the baseline for high-speed downloads, up from 4 Mbps previously," reports The Washington Post's Brian Fung. "With this standard, the Federal Communications Commission will be able to argue for much stronger action on Internet providers — a point that's rankling Republicans on the commission as the agency moves to promote the adoption of fast, cheap and reliable Internet in America."

FTC shuts down “revenge porn” operation, but imposes no fine "Colorado resident Craig Brittain ran a website that posted nude photographs of hundreds of women alongside their Facebook profiles and other personal information," reports GigaOm's Jeff John Roberts. Britain then allegedly "blackmailed the victims to pay bogus lawyer sites, controlled by Brittain, in the hope of expunging the photos. On Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission announced it has shut down Brittain’s operation, including the nude photo site, and ordered him to destroy the photos. And while Brittain is banned from running a so-called 'revenge porn' site in the future, he will not face any penalty unless he disobeys the order." On his own Web site, Brittain said he “made a series of poor decisions” and apologized to those harmed by his site. But he also said that he denies "all of [the FTC’s] findings” and agreed to the agency’s terms and conditions of settlement because he didn’t wish to run the site anymore.

Hard-driving Uber gives compromise a try "Instead of defying government officials, Uber executives say their lawyers and lobbyists are increasingly trying harder to negotiate agreements that bring the company into compliance with existing laws, even if it leads to lower profit margins at the company," reports The Wall Street Journal's Doug MacMillan and Lisa Fleisher. In a shift led by former Obama campaign adviser David Plouffe, the report says "in cities where new laws are being written for app-based car services, Uber is more willing to go along with requirements such as providing wheelchair-accessible vehicles and capping fares charged by its 'surge pricing' system."

Google settles with UK’s Information Commissioner and will change its privacy policy "While Google continues to work through implementing Right To Be Forgotten legislation in Europe, there are some more developments around how Google handles consumer data and privacy," reports TechCrunch's Ingrid Lunden. "The search giant has reached an agreement with the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office over how it collects personal data in the country, signing and publishing a lengthy document outlining its commitment to make changes to its current privacy policy."

FCC chairman warns: The GOP’s net neutrality bill could jeopardize broadband’s ‘vast future’ "The head of the Federal Communications Commission doesn't like that Republicans want to take away his agency's powers to police Internet providers," reports The Washington Post's Brian Fung. "And on Thursday, he said as much in a lengthy speech to reporters."