Community Media: Selected Clippings – 06/12/07

Maine Is First State in Nation to Pass Net Neutrality Resolve
Resolution Recognizes Importance of Nondiscriminatory Access to the Internet
Maine Civil Liberties Union

Augusta – A diverse coalition of Mainers applauded the enactment today of the first net neutrality resolve in the nation.  The resolution, LD 1675, recognizes the importance of “full, fair and non-discriminatory access to the Internet” and instructs the Public Advocate to study what can be done to protect the rights of Maine internet users.

“Maine is the first state in the nation to stand up for its citizens’ rights to a nondiscriminatory internet,” said Senator Ethan Strimling, the original sponsor of LD 1675.  “The rest of the nation should follow suit and study what can be done to protect net neutrality.”

“Maine is once again leading the way in protecting the rights of its citizens,” said Shenna Bellows, Executive Director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union.  “This resolution will help re-establish the internet as the free and open arena of democracy it was always intended to be.”

Advocates say that restoring net neutrality is essential to protecting the right of internet users to access the information they choose.  “Net neutrality principles are key to keeping control of the internet in the hands of the people,” said Chellie Pingree.  “With this resolution, the Legislature has put the needs of Mainers before the needs of the telecomm companies.”

“This important legislation puts Maine first in affirming that Internet providers should not be allowed to discriminate by speeding up or slowing down Web content based on its source, ownership or destination,” said Tony Vigue of the Community Television Association of Maine.   —>

Critical Focus #1: Media and War

Enjoy this first episode of the media literacy series called “Critical Focus: A Forum on Media Today” co-produced by Cambridge Community Television and Somerville Community Access Television. This episode explores the subject of Media and War.

WCA Thought-Leaders Forum
U.S. Presidential Candidates Debate Broadband

This website is the authoritative go-to resource for comments by – and comparisons between – top U.S. policymakers regarding the pace and benefits of broadband deployments.  The ongoing U.S. Presidential election campaign already features the policy positions of the candidates. Broadband services play a vital role in a host of areas in both the North American and world economies. These much-sought benefits go beyond consumer desires to include community economic development in rural and urban regions, plus critical applications in education, public safety, military preparedness and disaster response.

We encourage you to submit any relevant comments or proposals — and thank you for your interest!
Andrew KreigAndrew Kreig, President & CEO, WCA

Cable Wants to Colonize Your TV: Consumer Groups Ask FCC for Help
by John Bergmayer
Public Knowledge

How would you like it if, to get on the internet, you had to run an operating system and browser of your ISP’s choice? If that were the case, we’d probably all be running Windows ME and Netscape 4. Would you like it if your ISP could take over your browser, providing you with “important” information and targeted advertising? Of course not. When it comes to the internet, almost everyone realizes that it makes no sense to hand control over the software you use to access a network over to the network operator. Choice, competition, and openness lead to innovation, which leads to superior products and a better experience for everyone.

But openness has always been missing from the cable TV network. And if the cable industry gets its way with a new technology called “OCAP,” it’s going to further increase its control over the network. It wants to mandate what software all consumer devices that receive and decode cable signals must run, and it wants control over the look-and-feel of the devices that attach to the cable network.

Openness is good for consumers. Monopolistic practices and vertical control are not. This is the idea animating Net Neutrality, wireless Carterfone, and similar matters— that network operators should have open, not closed networks, and should not seek to parlay their control over communications bottlenecks into control of related areas. Your cable company controls what is probably the best data pipe into your home, the coaxial cable. This gives them the bandwidth to provide television programming, as well as, in many markets, high-speed internet access.

They already control the content of your cable programming (and would love to increase their control over internet content, as well). They also control the hardware that you use to access cable programming— nearly all cable subscribers rent their set-top boxes from the cable company. Now, they want to take over your TV.   —>

Internet, Cable Fail to Increase Knowledge of Current Affairs
From Associated Press
Free Press

Americans’ knowledge of national and international affairs has changed little in two decades despite the emergence of 24-hour cable news and the Internet as major news sources.

People surveyed earlier this year were slightly less able than those polled in 1989 to name the vice president, their state’s governor and the president of Russia but slightly more able to answer other questions correctly about national politics, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

Of the 1,502 adults surveyed, 69 percent correctly answered Dick Cheney when asked who was the vice president, compared with 74 percent who correctly responded Dan Quayle when the same question was asked in 1989. Two-thirds correctly named their state’s governor in February compared with three-fourths who got that right in 1989.

However, nearly half — 49 percent — correctly answered that Nancy Pelosi was speaker of the House now, compared with 14 percent who in 1989 correctly named Tom Foley as speaker. Three-fourths — 76 percent — knew that Democrats control the House compared with 68 percent who answered that correctly in 1989.   —>

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

Explore posts in the same categories: broadband policy, citizen journalism, community media, FCC, media reform, net neutrality, PEG access TV, public access television

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