Community Media: Selected Clippings – 05/29/07

Pull the plug on cable bill
Editorial: Leader-Telegram (WI)

The issue: The state Legislature considers a bill supporters say would increase cable competition.  Our view: The bill is deeply flawed. It would strip local control, harm public access channels – and there’s no guarantee cable rates would drop.   —>

Stay tuned on cable bill
by Bethany Carson
Illinois Issues Blog

A measure posing AT&T against local cable and telephone companies could come to light soon in a House committee, where it’s been stalled for more than a month. The House Telecommunications Committee met Tuesday morning but recessed to “the call of the chair,” allowing sponsor Rep. James Brosnahan, an Evergreen Park Democrat, to reconvene the committee as soon as the compromise language is ready to go. He said he hopes that would happen in the next two days.

Then again, the urgency of state budget negotiations between Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the top Democratic leaders could delay Brosnahan’s proposal into the fall veto session, says Gary Mack, lobbyist for the Cable Television and Communications Association that opposes the measure.

The proposal would basically allow such telephone companies as AT&T and Verizon to compete with cable providers that have enjoyed a monopoly in providing high-tech video services. AT&T wants to change the way video providers get authorization to build a video franchise using broadband, fiber optics and Internet protocol technology to supply those services. AT&T can do that right now, but it would have to do the same as cable companies and go through individual municipalities to get approval to provide the service. Brosnahan’s measure would allow providers to get a statewide video franchise through the Illinois Commerce Commission instead. But the original language in his measure limits the commission’s power to approving or denying applications to provide the service, so it stops short of giving the commission the ability to regulate what happens after that, says Jim Zolnierek of the commerce commission.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants the commission to have more regulatory power. Her office joins other opponents — cable providers, public access channels and consumer advocates — in arguing that the legislation opens the door for a deregulated industry and doesn’t adequately protect local control, public access channels or customer service standards.   —>

Community Media Summit (IL)
Benton Foundation

The Benton Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust and the Chicago Media Workshop are co-sponsoring the first Community Media Summit June 14 and 15, 2007.

We’re gathering to understand and examine the voices and content that make up community media and to imagine and explore the potentials of community media for serving basic human and community needs. We’ll learn about how innovators in the fields of Community Development, Immigrant and Refugee Issues, and Creative Expression and Learning are creating and using community media. We’ll also share experience from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Cleveland, and Detroit. Keynoters Richard Somerset-Ward and Julia Stasch will provide national perspective and Chicago’s context for the Summit.

Who’s coming? National leaders and practitioners will be presenting exemplary community media projects and comparing notes on lessons learned to date and challenges still to face. A diverse group of community media makers”from ethnic and community newspaper publishers to pioneers in the new arts of Internet-based storytelling – as well as nonprofit leaders and technologists, educators, journalists, philanthropists, and public officials are all expected.

We have two goals: first, recognizing a new practice taking shape on the ground in Chicago; second, helping to chart a course for practitioners that will strengthen this emerging field. We will be examining these issues across three themes: Community Development and Community Media, Immigrant and Refugee Issues and Community Media, and Creative Expression and Learning through Community Media. We’ll also be sharing experience from other Midwestern communities: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Cleveland, and Detroit. Two keynoters, Richard Somerset-Ward and Julia Stasch, will provide national perspective and Chicago’s context for the Summit.  Agenda:   —>

Nevada Franchise-Reform Bill Heads to Gov.
Legislation Would Mean Secretary of State Would Issue Cable Franchises
by Linda Haugsted
Multichannel News

A bill reforming cable franchising is headed for the desk of Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons.  The bill unanimously passed the state Senate May 25. If signed by the governor, the bill mandates that franchises will now be issued by the Secretary of State.    —>

Are “class issues” slowing IPTV rollouts?

Regulations usually involving cable franchise rights have slowed down the rollout of IPTV services by telcos in the U.S. for a variety of reasons, however, one seems to be coming up again and again: concerns over “cherrypicking.” AT&T and Qwest have both found it particularly onerous in some areas to gain a foothold in a new market because lawmakers said they were concerned the new TV operators would only offer the IPTV service to the more affluent neighborhoods. The AT&T-backed statewide franchise bill in Tennessee reportedly lost steam over cherrypicking concerns, and Qwest is having similar issues in parts of Colorado.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Dir., Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, community media, IPTV, PEG access TV, public access television, redlining, U-Verse, video franchising

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: