Community Media: Selected Clippings – 06/19/07

Senate greenlights cable bill
Franchise rules to soften if governor signs off
by Monique Garcia
Chicago Tribune (IL)

SPRINGFIELD—In a move aimed at creating cable TV competition and lowering rates statewide, the Senate passed legislation today that would allow AT&T and other telecommunications companies to more easily get into the cable-television business. Supporters predicted consumers will benefit from competition by seeing the latest technology and better rates.   The legislation passed 54-0, with one present vote, and now goes to Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  —>,1,4134500.story?coll=chi-news-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

Strickland to sign bill for cable TV competition
by William Hershey
The Western Star (OH)

COLUMBUS — Gov. Ted Strickland is expected to sign legislation that would make it easier for phone companies and other competitors to break into Ohio’s cable television market, Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey said Tuesday.  The bill now goes to Strickland after the Senate voted 33-0 to agree with changes the House made to the legislation first passed by the Senate.   —>

Net Neutrality, the Life Blood of Creative People
by Toni Seger (ME)

My state of Maine is the first state in the nation to vote to preserve net neutrality.  As an artist and an arts administrator, I salute this vote for its courage and its vision.

Maine is a large state in geographic area with a relatively small and dispersed population. For creative people, it is virtually impossible to make a living through traditional marketing outlets, especially in the western part of the state.  More and more, the web is the way our creative economy is reaching audiences outside Maine. Only with net neutrality is it possible to develop the linkage that allows individual creative output to emerge.

For example, Western Maine Cultural Alliance exhibits artists representing 5 counties, with links to their individual sites, on a sampler page:  In turn, WMCA, as a cultural resource, has links on a variety of sites from libraries and academies to chambers and tourism outlets, even a national site for art news.  Minus net neutrality, Big Media will own all access to audiences on behalf of the creative output controlled and produced by giant corporations.

I am extremely proud of Maine’s legislature for their leadership on this important issue and I hope it’s true that; “As Maine goes, so goes the nation.”   – Toni Seger, Video Producer, Lovell, ME

Danbury TV is coming’ soon
City hopes to have live coverage of government meetings
by Mark Langlois
The News-Times (CT)

DANBURY — Live. Coming to your home. The Common Council.  And Planning Commission and Zoning Commission meetings, and possibly others, may not be far behind.  That’s because the city promises to deliver gavel-to-gavel coverage of its government meetings, starting with the Common Council.

“We’re hoping to work out live coverage, but it may be taped to begin with,” Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said this week.  “DTV (Danbury TV) is coming,” the mayor said. “It’s like MTV.”  Over the past few weeks, the city has been wiring television equipment into City Hall’s Common Council chambers, and officials expect to begin taping at the council’s July 3 meeting.  The plan is to air the Common Council meetings first. Once the system is working properly, the city is likely to expand to Planning, Zoning and Environmental Impact Commission meetings…

The Common Council meetings now appear on Comcast’s public access channel (23), but they are not always gavel to gavel.  The city’s version will appear on the government channel, which is Comcast’s Channel 24.  The city paid $23,000 for the equipment, with the bulk of the funds coming from a surplus in the city’s Public Building Department.

Boughton credits local cable host Lynn Waller for pushing the city into committing to the coverage.  Waller attends most city meetings and discusses them on Friday nights on the show, “In Our Opinion.”  “I’ve been pushing for this for 10 years,” said Waller, who wants the TV coverage so people realize that regular people come out to these meetings and speak.  “People need to see what goes on in these meetings,” Waller said. “I think government should be run out in front of people.”   —>

The real heroes in the local broadcasting of local govenment meetings saga ignored by Mayor Boughton and The News-Times
by ctblogger
Hat City Blog (CT)

Okay, this is simply too much not to comment about. The News-Times has dropped the ball on reporting local news correctly that it’s getting annoying.  Let’s set the record straight on the whole broadcasting on local government meetings “kiss Mayor Boughton’s and Lynn Waller’s backside” fluff piece in today’s paper.

FIRST OFF, if there is ONE person who’s been the biggest roadblock in making this happen over the last two years, it’s been Mayor Boughton and if this wasn’t an re-election year, TRUST ME, this whole change of heart from Danbury’s ruler would not have happened PERIOD.

SECOND, Lynn Waller was ONLY ONE piece of this movement as there were MANY OTHER people who worked tirelessly to make government meetings on Channel 24 a reality and it’s not surprising that the mayor “overlooked” this as it would require him to acknowledge people who aren’t his biggest fans.  Lets thank the real heroes who busted their ass to make broadcasting the meetings a reality:   —>

Connecting F/OSS and PEG Access TV
Community Media in Transition
by Colin Rhinesmith

In the Spring Issue of Community Media Review, Felicia Sullivan writes

“These concepts of freedom, transparency, accessibility, creativity, inclusion and community should sound familiar to those of us working in community media. They are the foundations of much of the work in which we are engaged. Therefore, we owe it to ourselves and to our communities to explore and be open to free and open source software.”

I think there is an exciting opportunity to further explore these common values shared by both the free and open source software and community media movements. I’ve created a new page, titled “Free and Open Source Software” on the Community Media in Transition wiki to examine how the mission of PEG access TV fits within this context. If you are interested in sharing your resources and knowledge for this project, please visit the wiki to get started.

At the end of the article, Felicia writes

“It is not a fluke that so many of the resources detailed in this article have ‘.org’ in their URLs. F/OSS is a stance about what kind of communication culture we want to create. isn’t this what the mission of community media is all about?”

Download the article for free (as in speech) over at CMR.                                                                                                                                                             

Verizon goes cable
by Timothy C. Barmann
Providence Journal (RI)

WARWICK — Verizon Communications launched its cable television service in the West Bay area yesterday, becoming the first new provider of cable TV in Rhode Island in more than 20 years.  The company held a launch ceremony at a new Verizon dispatch facility in Warwick that included a ribbon “cutting” — a convoy of 10 Verizon service trucks rolled off the lot to begin the first installations, with the lead truck breaking through a red ribbon stretched between two poles. Almost at the same time, a small plane flew overhead, towing a banner heralding the new service.

Verizon began taking orders for its fiber-optic FiOS service June 5 — the date on which state regulators said the company could begin its service. The company said it is booking about 200 installations per day.  Attending the ceremony were Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedesian, as well as other elected officials and Verizon executives.   —>

FCC Chairman: Everybody in US must be in on “broadband revolution”
by Eric Bangeman
Ars Technica

In a room packed with representatives from just about every major telecom-related company in North America, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin appeared via satellite to deliver one of the keynote addresses at the annual NXTcomm telecom conference. Martin made the case for increased investment in broadband infrastructure, talked about the importance of the upcoming 700MHz auction in creating a wireless broadband infrastructure, and expressed his hope that new franchising regulations will lead to lowered cable prices.

Martin’s keynote was facilitated by Walter McCormick, president of the United States Telecom Association and another telecom industry executive and consisted of a question-and-answer session covering topics of interest to both the telecom industry and consumers. Throughout his appearance, Martin was very matter of fact and appeared to tailor his remarks towards his audience. He stressed the need for increased broadband availability in the US, saying that the FCC’s role is to create a regulatory climate where this can best happen.   —>

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

Explore posts in the same categories: broadband policy, cable vs telco, FCC, municipal programming, net neutrality, open source software, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

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