FCC

Freedom from Earsplitting Ads: The CALM Act Goes Into Effect

You may not have heard about the CALM Act before, but when you witness the results as the law goes into effect today, you'll probably want to applaud loudly. At last, TV commercials can no longer be broadcast at a higher volume than the programs they accompany.

AT&T Agrees to Drop Bid for T-Mobile

AT&T said Monday that it is ending its $39 billion bid to buy T-Mobile USA after facing fierce government objections. The cellphone giant said that the actions of the government to block the deal do not change the challenges of the wireless phone industry, which it says requires more airwaves, known as spectrum, to expand. The deal would have solved that problem for a time, and without it, "customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled," AT&T said in a statement.

FCC to Enforce Law Banning Loud TV Commercials

Since 2008, the Federal Communications Commission has received nearly 6,000 complaints about excessively loud TV commercials. But on Wednesday, the FCC adopted rules to enforce the 2010 Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, requiring that TV ads have the same average volume as the programs they accompany.

FCC Unveils Rules for Rural Broadband Fund

Federal regulators have unveiled a plan for overhauling the $8 billion fund that subsidizes phone service in rural areas and for the poor, one that will redirect money toward broadband expansion. The FCC's plan, adopted Thursday, establishes a new "Connect America Fund" for mobile telephone and broadband in rural communities and needy areas.

No More Getting Surprised By High Cellphone Bills

The gradual addition of extra fees to your cellphone bill can be a bit like gaining weight -- you don't keep track of your habits, until one day you open your bill and experience "bill shock." The FCC thinks you deserve advanced warning, and starting soon, your cell provider will have to give it to you.

'I Was Scammed by Phone Crammers': True Stories

Cramming: It's a multibillion dollar con that cheats millions of Americans every year. But because it uses small charges, hidden as deceptively legit sounding fees embedded on phone bills, victims may not notice for months or years. DailyFinance's readers talk about how they got scammed -- and how they fought back.

Phone-Cramming Scams: Share Your Stories

DailyFinance readers tell us they're frustrated and angry about phone cramming, or the practice of cheating customers by adding illegitimate charges to their phone bills. If you've been a victim of phone cramming, we want to hear about it.

How Washington Helped Birth a Billion Dollar Phone Scam

Almost 30 years ago, the government's breakup of AT&T changed how telecom billed customers, and scammers discovered a loophole that let them slip unauthorized fees onto consumers' monthly phone bills. Since then, "cramming" has grown into a multibillion dollar a year con game.

FCC Takes Aim at Scammers Who 'Cram' Phone Bills

Earlier this week, the FCC proposed new rules designed to crack down on "phone cramming," a widespread, illegal practice that robs billions of dollars from phone users. And with 300 million third-party charges hidden in phone bills every year, odds are, you've been a victim.

Is the AT&T and T-Mobile Merger at Risk?

AT&T threatens to become the Moby-Dick of the mobile world if it succeeds in swallowing T-Mobile whole, but this controversial merger is far from a done deal -- political pressures and consumer objections threaten to imperil it. And there's more at stake here than a marriage of two companies.

What If AT&T's T-Mobile Buyout Gets Shot Down?

Regulators have begun to take a long, hard look at whether the AT&T buyout of T-Mobile would create a quasi-monopoly in the American cellular carrier industry. If those antitrust concerns sink the deal, AT&T could be in real trouble, because cellular is its only clear hope for growth.