John is being pestered by robocalls. How can he stop it? Leo says that until the FCC starts prosecuting, it's really a game of whack-a-mole. Most companies are offering to block for free now. There are systems like RoboKiller and NoMoRobo but he has to run calls through them. It makes sense, but Leo isn't thrilled with it. They both have a "try before buy" as well. Google Voice can do that as well. And the real problem is, that most of the calls are "spoofing" the caller ID, so people have no idea what the real phone number is to block it.
Jim as a Tracfone pay as you go phone and wants to know if he can port his home phone to it? Leo says that there is an FCC rule that says you should be able to port your landline to the phone, but you may lose the use of the number during the transfer. That would include 911 service. Also, using a cellphone as your number will have to rely on regional or e911 services, which doesn't know where you are exactly. Also, if you move, you may lose the use of the number because of your geographic location.
But according to the FCC, you can.
Jerry found out that his satellite company is charging him $7 a month for using his own equipment. Leo says that's now illegal. Leo says they are now trying to get around it by calling it a "service fee," but it's still illegal. He recommends contacting the FCC or state local public utility commission.
This week, the FCC ruled that cable cards or "navigation devices" are being eliminated from their mandated reporting requirements. The FCC has determined that at less than a half-million users, with it dropping by 50,000 every year, it is no longer required for cable companies to have to report them or support them.
Tom is worried that the Internet will become overloaded if everyone is staying at home. Leo says that it'll work just fine. Networks are engineered with overcapacity now, and there won't be an issue. What about bandwidth caps? Leo says those were more about making money than anything having to do with capability for load. Leo also says one of the problems is people who don't have internet access and rely on work, schools or libraries, will be cut off. And he thinks the next few months will show that.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai has sent a letter out to all carriers that they will soon be fined for selling users' GPS location data to third parties. Leo says it'll likely just be a slap on the wrist.
Debbie has always had channels 2-13 with an antenna. After a brief stay in the hospital, she came back and didn't get any channels at all. Leo suspects that while she was convalescing, the FCC moved the broadcast frequencies for all the local channels. It doesn't change the channel number, mind you, but what Debbie needs to do is rescan her TV to re-acquire them. Go into the TV menu and look for scan channels. The TV will then rescan the frequency range and re-acquire them.
Bob has been a cord cutter for nearly a decade. However, local TV is important to him and he's used an antenna for OTA signals for awhile. However, the FCC has sold off a lot of that spectrum, making it harder to pick up signals using his antenna. Leo says that FCC is also asking stations to move frequencies so they can sell off more of the spectrum. In most cases, all you need to do is run a re-scan on your TV to get the new station frequencies. You may need to do it several times. The FCC has a site that gives you the information here.
Mark's channels have disappeared from his Hauppauge tuner. What happened? Leo says that the FCC has made stations shift frequencies, and have advised that users rescan for missing channels. Check out TVAnswers.org for when and how to rescan. There's more information here - https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/video/4040289-cbs2-rescan-day/. But it may also be a Hauppauge issue.
The FCC has approved an application from Elon Musk's SpaceX to deploy 7,000 satellites into space that would offer global broadband internet access. Elon Musk wants a total of 12,000 satellites around the earth in Low Earth Orbit to provide internet to every square inch of the planet's surface. One of the problems with satellite internet is that there's a lot of latency, but Musk says they can get it down to 25 milliseconds, which could be faster than the internet many of us have at home.