January 25, 2023 – The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday ordered telecommunications companies to cut off traffic to a calling platform that facilitated an illegal robocall scheme targeting homeowners.
MV Realty is accused of using voice service provider Twilio Networks and the PhoneBurner calling platform to “flood homeowners with robocalls making misleading mortgage claims,” a news release said.
Attorneys general from Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have filed lawsuits against the real estate firm that allegedly defrauded residents into remortgaging their homes in exchange for cash payments, the release said.
“Mortgage scams are some of the most harmful types of robocalls we see,” FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel said in the release. “Sending these unwanted calls to financially strapped homeowners just to offer them misleading products and services is unconscionable. That’s why we’re shutting down these calls right now.”
The Commission has taken increasingly aggressive measures against illegal robocalls and their facilitators. Last month, the commission proposed a “record-breaking” $300 million fine for one robocall scheme.
And late last year, the commission expanded its framework for robocalls by stating that direct-to-voicemail robocalls are subject to its regulatory authority.
The survey shows that civil society organizations struggle with internet access, speed and reliability
Civil society organizations are being hampered by a lack of Internet access, tools or staff skills, according to a report Wednesday by advocacy group Connect Humanity.
The report is based on a survey of over 7,500 of these organisations, representing and serving over 190 million people, and draws on case studies, resources and quotes directly from these organisations.
The report found that the top five concerns for these organizations are a lack of digital skills, followed by internet speed, internet reliability, device and internet affordability and device shortages.
The top five concerns of the people these organizations serve are lack of digital skills, affordability of the internet, accessibility of the internet, affordability of devices and shortage of devices, the report said.
Other concerns include the accessibility of the internet, fear of being monitored online or hacked, lack of relevant content and lack of accessibility for people with disabilities.
The report notes that over the next five years, 49 percent expect an increase in funding for digital skills, 37 percent expect an increase in funding for access to hardware or software, 37 percent expect an increase in digital rights or internet policy and 33 percent expect an increase in access to the Internet.
Additionally, 35 percent of these organizations surveyed said they have access to high-speed Internet, while only 9 percent of the people they serve said so. Meanwhile, 42 percent of organizations said they have reliable internet, while only 9 percent of the people they serve said they can claim the same.
Other findings of the report include a majority of said organizations and the people they serve use a cellular provider for Internet access, and cell phones are the most common devices used by people to access the Internet.
Comcast announced new exec for keystone region
Ray Roundtree has been announced today as the new senior vice president of Comcast’s keystone region, based in Pittsburgh.
Roundtree will oversee the company’s operational, strategic and financial performance across areas in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, northern West Virginia and the Maryland panhandle, a press release said.
“With his industry expertise and broad experience operating large markets, Ray will be a great leader for the Keystone region,” Amy Lynch, president of Comcast’s Northeast Division, which includes 14 northeastern states from Maine through Virginia and the District of Columbia, said in the release . “I know Ray will be successful in continuing to provide our innovative products and services to area homes and businesses – keeping them connected to what matters most.”
Roundtree has been with Comcast since 2000, as director of business operations for Chester and Lancaster counties and has held leadership positions in financial management during his tenure with the company.