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FCC Preempts Pair of State Laws Blocking Community-Owned Broadband Networks
The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) announced a new Memorandum Opinion and
Order pre-empting state laws in North Carolina and Tennessee preventing the creation of community-owned broadband networks. The regulator called laws of this type "barriers to broadband deployment, investment and competition," while noting that they "conflict with the FCC’s mandate to promote these goals." In the agency's opinion, it was these laws preventing the expansion of local broadband installations to neighboring communities, despite repeated requests from citizens in those underserved areas. The FCC closed its new mandate by saying that it "concludes that preemption will speed broadband investment, increase competition, and serve the public interest." More importantly, it sets a national precedent that similar laws preventing municipal broadband networks will likely be pre-empted by FCC regulators going forward.
BlackBerry Collaborating with Google on Bringing BES12 to Android for Work
BlackBerry announced that it is collaborating with
Google to enable BlackBerry Enterprise Solutions 12 (BES12), the company's Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) solution, on devices running
Android for Work. The inclusion of BES12 will allow Android devices to create a "secure, dedicated profile for business data and applications," keeping a device owner's personal data and usage completely separate from their business data and usage. The duo expects this capability to appeal to companies deploying BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies across their mobile device fleets. BlackBerry expects the jointly developed offering to be available as part of an invite-only preview in March, with widespread availability expected during the second quarter of 2015.
LG Unveils G Watch Urbane LTE, a Smartphone-Replacement Wearable
It would appear that
LG had something of a trick up its sleeve when it originally revealed its
G Watch urbane. While most members of the press and public alike assumed the Android Wear-based smartwatch was LG's final word on the model, the company actually has
a mobile data-enabled G Watch Urbane variant that is designed to be a full smartphone replacement. Rather than running Google's Android Wear platform, the LTE-equipped device will operate on a proprietary platform and will include support for making and receiving calls, PTT (Push-to-Talk), NFC, and more. Technical specifications include a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU, a 1.3-inch P-OLED display running at 320x320 4GB of on-board memory, 1GB of RAM, and a 700mAh battery. The new wearable is the first mainstream market entry to include LTE connectivity, and the first direct competitor to Samsung's own Gear S smartphone-replacement wearable. The G Watch Urbane is expected to be officially unveiled at this year's Mobile World Congress in March.
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