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Welcome to Faulkner's Telecom Daily. We publish Monday through Friday, updating top stories as events warrant. If you would like to receive Telecom Daily emailed daily to your desktop, please click here: TelDailyEmail.

Friday, April 28...

FCC's Chairman Pai Publishes Full Net Neutrality Rollback Proposal
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Ajit Pai published his long awaited "Restoring Internet Freedom" Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. As expected, the document focuses on rolling back many of the net neutrality protections put in place by Pai's predecessor, Tom Wheeler as part of the Open Internet Order. First, the Chairman's aims to reclassify Internet access under Title I of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, rather than the Title II status given to it by the Open Internet Order. This means that, instead of being considered a Title II "utility", it would be legally recognized as a Title I "information service". The overall effect would be to considerably reduce current regulations, and to reduce the regulatory power which the FCC could exert over telecom companies and ISPs. Among this reduction in authority is the elimination of the "Internet conduct standard," an aspect of existing FCC oversight that allowed it to investigate practices like the recent spate of zero-rated data services. Pai already cancelled all such investigations as one of his first acts as Chairman. In addition to these changes at the FCC, the majority of online privacy complaints and many other consumer issues that would have been handled by the FCC under Wheeler's rules will once again be shifted to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). What Pai's proposal is less sure about are the so-called "bright-line rules" from the Open Internet Order, which protect consumers from blocking and throttling of Internet-based services, and forbid providers from prioritizing any one service over another. Public comments on how to handle these rules, as well as the rest of Pai's proposal are now being accepted through the typical FCC channels. The first vote on the "Restoring Internet Freedom" proposal is scheduled for May 18.

Comcast Sees Strong Revenue, Profit Growth for First Quarter of 2017
Comcast posted its financial results for the first quarter of the 2017 fiscal year. The company's revenue for the period was $20.46 billion, a notable increase over the $18.79 billion seen one year ago. This produced net earnings of $2.56 billion, over 20 percent more than the year-ago quarter's $2.13 billion in profits. The resulting earnings per share were $0.53, compared to Q1 2016's figure of $0.43. The strongest year-over-year growth within the company was seen in its High-Speed Internet and Business Services division, both of which produced low double-digit percentage growth over their 2016 contributions in revenue. Meanwhile, Comcast's Voice and Advertising segments fell 3.6 and 6.3 percent, respectively. During the quarter, Comcast added a net total of 53,000 Video services subscribers with 438,000 net adds joining High-Speed Internet services.

comScore's Latest Mobile App Popularity Rankings Show Facebook is Still King
comScore posted its listing of the most popular mobile apps for the month of march 2017. The company latest Mobile Metrix study queried users in the US over the age of 18 and across both iOS and Android. Among these respondents, the 15 most popular apps, including their respective market reach percentage, were Facebook (77.7 percent), YouTube (71.4 percent), Facebook Messenger (69.5 percent), Google Search (64.4 percent), Google Maps (56.8 percent), Google Play (49.9 percent), Instagram (46.6 percent), Gmail (47.1 percent), Snapchat (46.1 percent), Pandora Radio (40.4 percent), Google Calendar (36 percent), Apple Music (28.7 percent), Apple Maps (28.6 percent), Apple News (28.2 percent), and Amazon Mobile (27.5 percent). There are a few interesting facts to note here. First, the Google-branded apps ranked higher on the list due to the larger market share their operating system enjoys, according to most measurements. This means that their status as pre-installed apps on most Android devices gives them a significant edge over their pre-installed Apple counterparts, like Apple Music and Apple Maps. However, despite not being a pre-installed default app on either of the included mobile operating systems, Facebook still managed to defeat all other apps here to hold the largest market share. This extra detail makes the feat all the more impressive, and puts into perspective how succesful any of the third-party apps included in this list must be to surpass Apple and Google offerings.

... Michael Gariffo, Faulkner Information Services


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