Archive for October 2007

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/30/07

October 30, 2007

Decker off to bad start with cable bill push
by John Nichols
Capitol Times (WI)
10/30/07

Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker has begun his tenure as the top legislative Democrat by endorsing the most atrocious piece of legislation currently under consideration in the Capitol.  Decker, who on Wednesday was selected by his colleagues to replace former Majority Leader Judy Robson, says that one of his first priorities will be to promote passage of a plan to take the power to regulate cable companies away from Wisconsin communities.

Backed by AT&T as part of a move to consolidate control over communications in Wisconsin, the legislation — Senate Bill 107 — was written in consultation with industry interests with the purpose of undermining consumer protections, threatening public access channels, eliminating the ability of communities to establish basic standards for cable service, and decreasing the likelihood that new communications technologies will be offered to communities throughout the state.

The supposed regulations in this bill are riddled with loopholes that are designed to allow communications conglomerates to deny quality service to low-income and rural areas of Wisconsin. For instance, instead of requiring that cable TV and other broadband providers guarantee everyone in Wisconsin has access to communications networks, the so-called “build-out requirements” are so weak that big firms would be able to avoid them by claiming that providing equal service to the poor, to the elderly and to people living in the countryside is not “commercially reasonable.”

This is such a dramatically flawed piece of legislation that it is entirely reasonable to say that no legislator who is concerned about his or her constituents could back it.  Indeed, only the lure of AT&T-linked campaign contributions explains the support it has received — primarily from Assembly Republicans — so far.  Why is Decker making this measure his first priority?   —>
http://www.madison.com/tct/opinion/column/253986
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Selectmen to rule if Comcast violating cable contract
by Victor Tine
Daily News of Newburyport (MA)
10/29/07

ROWLEY – The Board of Selectmen will decide on Nov. 12 whether cable television giant Comcast is in violation of its 9-year-old contract with the town.  The decision will be in the wake of a two-hour hearing on alleged violations Thursday night. The session was attended by members of the town’s Cable Television Advisory Committee, the towns special cable attorney and about 20 Rowley residents.

At issue is whether Comcast is providing the public, educational and governmental – PEG for short – services that are called for in the contract, which expires next September.  Cable Advisory Committee members claim it is not, and that much of the problem stems from a decision by the company earlier this year to close a studio in Newburyport that had been used by five communities to produce local access programming.

“There is no question that Comcast in every respect, is in noncompliance,” the town’s special counsel for cable television, William Solomon of Stoneham, said late in the meeting. Afterward, he said that if selectmen agree, the town could go to court and get a judge’s order directing the company to comply with its agreement.   —>
http://www.newburyportnews.com/punews/local_story_302115903?page=0
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Can you hear us now, Verizon?
Saying one thing, doing another
by Peter Kenney
Cape Cod Today (MA)
10/29/07

Verizon advertises that, as a company, they are very active in community affairs. Their actual behavior, though, seems at odds with their claims. The public access television station that serves the five towns of Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, Harwich and Chatham has long been helpful to local charities and social service groups. It provides complete facilities and staff assistance to produce television programming for use in raising both public awareness and funds. The facility, operated by the non-profit Cape Cod Community Television Incorporated, is even equipped to produce live telethons, something it does a few times every year.

Unfortunately, as well equipped and helpful as the community media center is, Verizon has, on various occasions, made successful telethons impossible. Years ago the community media center paid to have the phone company, then AT&T, install a permanent telephone board with connections for up to twenty-two individual phone lines. Since Verizon took over the AT&T contract to provide telephone service to the area this phone system has worked only intermittently.

Earlier this year, a telethon to combat homelessness on Cape Cod was stymied in its use of telephones during the telethon when — for an as yet undetermined reason — incoming calls failed to reach the studio. Verizon was slated to provide the telephone service using the telephone bank equipment already in place at the access studios. It is not possible to estimate the lost revenues in this instance.   —>
http://www.capecodtoday.com/blogs/index.php/Gadfly/2007/10/29/can_you_hear_us_now_verizon#comments
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York sticks with Time Warner cable TV
One selectman dissents, calling for better public access, NFL Network (ME)
by Katherine Lanzer
SeacoastOnline.com
10/30/07

YORK, Maine — Selectmen on Monday night approved the renewal of a contract with Time Warner covering cable television service to the town.   Town Manager Rob Yandow, whose office administers the franchise contract, said the new agreement is “essentially identical” to the existing one.  Dwight Bardwell was the only board member to vote against renewing the franchise agreement, citing the absence of the town’s public access channel as an On Demand feature and Time Warner’s refusal to add the NFL Network to the town’s available programming.   —>
http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071030/NEWS/710300390
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Schoharie hopefuls get TV time
by Jennifer Patterson
Times Union (NY)
10/30/07

A program featuring candidates in Schoharie County is now being aired on Time-Warner Public Access channels 17 and 18.  The “Meet the Candidates” program gives each of the 14 hopefuls vying for the positions of town supervisor, county clerk and county treasurer the chance to answer predetermined questions on issues.  Students enrolled in the TV Studio Production class at SUNY Cobleskill produced the show, which was organized by the Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with Schopeg Community Access Television.   —>
http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=634508&category=REGION&newsdate=10/30/2007
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Open and shut case
by Borys Krawczeniuk
Times-Tribune (PA)
10/30/07

—>   As they campaign for re-election, Republican Lackawanna County Commissioners Robert C. Cordaro and A.J. Munchak make the case that their administration has been the most open in the county’s history.  They claim they have invited scrutiny by…  Working with public access Channel 61 to record commissioners meetings, which are then aired on the Comcast cable system.   —>
http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18969304&BRD=2185&PAG=461&dept_id=416046&rfi=6
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Using TV to Break Barriers
by Adam Sullivan
WCAX (VT)
10/29/07

Once a week, White River Junction’s Community Access Channel comes alive for a show called “Walking Through Life”. It deals solely with the subject of addiction and mental illness– which statistics show often go hand-in-hand. The show’s host– Linda Carbino– suffers from both.  “I believe people want to tell their stories. They want to tell their survival stories too. Like I do. I survived a lot. And I found ways to improve my life and those are the things that I like to stress about,” Carbino said.   —>
http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=7282149&nav=4QcS
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Cook leaves his mark on Omro Public Access TV
by Aldrich M. Tan
The Northwestern (WI)
10/29/07

Finishing up his latest can of Mountain Dew last week, Jamie Markert is ready for his close-up.  Two cameras were focused on the 41-year-old Omro cook Wednesday as he prepared to make one of his delicacies on his public access cooking show “Cooking with Jamie.”  Since its first episode in June, Markert has learned some of the tricks of the cooking-show trade. He pre-makes some of the ingredients, such as the homemade tortillas, that he easily pulls out of the refrigerator.   —>
http://www.thenorthwestern.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071029/OSH/71029063/1987
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Report: Cable to drive IPTV spending
Will pay lion’s share of equipment costs seen reaching $13 billion by 2012
by Jim Barthold
Telecommunications Online
10/18/07

A seeming dark horse, the cable industry, will drive the IPTV equipment market to US$13 billion by 2012, according to a report, “IPTV Expansion Pack 2007” by Dittberner Associates. About $6 billion of that spending will be in North America where cable is the biggest video player, the report continued.  “In North America 84 percent of the revenue is the cable guys (so) you can say $5 billion of that $13 billion is North American cable operators (who) are adding more switches and router bandwidth to the network, putting in new modular CMTS’s (cable modem termination systems), new set-top boxes and MPEG-4 encoders,” James Heath, director of broadband research at Dittberner. “And they probably need to buy some new middleware to glue it all together.”   —>
http://www.telecommagazine.com/newsglobe/article.asp?HH_ID=AR_3632
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

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Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/28/07

October 29, 2007

A well-informed citizenry
by Faith
Kerry Vision
10/28/07

In 2003, FCC Chairman Michael Powell attempted to loosen media consolidation rules, but was halted by a federal court in a landmark decision. Now, current Chairman Kevin Martin is threatening the same, and he’s meeting with bi-partisan opposition in the unlikely partnership of Senators Byron Dorgan and Trent Lott, along with legislators from both sides of the aisle.

What Martin is attempting is to allow media ownership of broadcast and newspapers by the same owner in the same market. And he’s given the public five days notice to voice our opposition.   —>

http://www.kerryvision.net/2007/10/a_wellinformed_citizenry.html

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Senators Call For Net Neutrality Hearing
by Jason Lee Miller
WebProNews
10/26/07

Senators Bryon Dorgan (D-ND) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) sent a letter today to Sen. Daniel Inouye, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, calling for a hearing to discuss phone and cable companies’ recent discrimination against content on their networks, and whether current regulatory protections are enough.

The senators cite the contrast between recent cable and phone companies’ actions and their words. Companies from both industries promised they would not abuse their power as information gatekeepers, yet recent moves by Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast suggest other wise.  Here is most of the text from the letter:—>
http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2007/10/26/senators-call-for-net-neutrality-hearing
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U-verse TV battle moves to state court

by David Krechevsky

Republican-American (CT)

10/26/07


HARTFORD — The fate of AT&T’s U-verse television service now rests with a state superior court judge.  Judge Robert F. McWeeny conducted a hearing Friday before a packed house in Hartford Superior Court on a request from AT&T Inc. to overturn a ruling by state regulators that requires the company to seek a cable TV franchise license for U-verse….

McWeeny focused on two points: what legislators intended when they created the new video franchising law, and whether the federal judge’s ruling affected the new law…  After hearing all of the arguments, McWeeny said he would not issue a ruling Friday, but intends to have one “soon.”

http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2007/10/26/business/293511.txt

see also:

AT&T’s U-Verse: Cable TV or Internet?

by Rob Varnon

Connecticut Post (CT)

10/26/07

http://www.connpost.com/ci_7292902

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Cable Access Channel Fights Back with Hitler Ads 

by Mitch E. Perry

WMNF Evening News Friday (FL)

10/26/07 


    [ listen ]

Speak Up Tampa Bay, the Community access channel in Tampa and Hillsborough County, lost $355,000 from its operating budget after County Commissioners cut funding for the channel, claiming budget cuts as the culprit.

The Channel sued, and beginning tomorrow (Saturday) will begin airing ads asking its viewers to help out in its legal battle. And one of the ads is quite provocative, featuring the visages of Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Fidel Castro, before ultimately fading into the faces of Commissioners Jim Norman, Brian Blair, Al Higgenbotham, and Ken Hagen…

Meanwhile, in Pinellas County, organizers trying to get public access back on in that area say that they will be meeting with First Amendment Attorney Luke Lirot, and are contemplating legal action against the County Government. a

http://www.wmnf.org/news_stories/show/4860

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Bright House takes a dim view of customers

by Jeff Webb

St. Petersburg Times (FL)

10/28/07


Their incessant advertisements remind us that we should live in a Bright House.  But if the cable television company that serves Hernando County really cares that much about letting the sun shine in, it could start by not obscuring one of the public’s main views of its government.

Not long after the Florida Legislature foolishly freed cable companies from the burden of having to negotiate franchise agreements with local governments, Bright House announced it will shuffle its channel lineup on Dec. 11. In Hernando County, where Bright House is basically the only cable game in town, that means customers who pay $48.49 per month for the lowest tier of basic digital service will have to upgrade their subscription if they want to view the so-called “government channels,” currently 14, 19 or 20.

Bright House is moving those stations to the next tier of digital service, which means customers will need a converter box and pay extra to continue watching those public channels. If a customer chooses to purchase the complete second tier of service, the cost will be $59.45. If a customer wants just the government channels, he still has to pay an extra $1 a month, plus tax, for the converter box.  Count me among those whose disposition about Bright House is not so sunny right now.   —>

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/10/28/Hernando/Bright_House_takes_a_.shtml

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Rural life comes at high-tech price

by Hilary Bentman

The Intelligencer (PA)
10/28/07


They come from New York, Philadelphia, and other urban spots, seeking out the quiet, rural life that northern Bucks County offers.  Here, they find homes hidden in woodlands, relatively few cars traversing the country roads, and a night sky not polluted by glaring city lights.

But these city transplants also expect to have the modern, urban amenities, like cell phone reception, high-speed Internet and convenience stores.  These services, they soon discover, are hard to come by.  It’s created a clash of cultures of sort, and the latest battle ground is over cable.   —>

http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/113-10282007-1431086.html

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Access Humboldt executive director invited to join ZeroDivide Fellowship

Eureka Reporter (CA)

10/26/2007

 

Sean McLaughlin, executive director of Access Humboldt, is one of 16 leaders from across the state of California selected by the Community Technology Foundation to join Class III of the ZeroDivide Fellowship. This highly sought-after two-year fellowship increases the capacity of leaders in California to promote social justice through the use of information and communications technology…

McLaughlin said, “Rural communities of the Redwood Coast have particular challenges and opportunities with regard to technology and innovation, so I am delighted to have this opportunity to join with colleagues from across the state and build a movement that brings people together.”   —>

http://www.eurekareporter.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?ArticleID=29994

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Webcasts bring local cable to the world

by John Laidler

Boston Globe

10/28/07

Newburyport residents can watch political candidates in the city debating the issues or see their high school football team in action, even if they are thousands of miles from home.  Last month, the Newburyport Community Media Center, the new nonprofit organization that took over operation of the city’s cable-access station this year, began placing videos of some of its programming on its website, portmedia.org.

“It’s important that, as we are providing content for our channels, we also evolve with the new media,” said Keri Stokstad, the center’s executive director.  Through its new “video on demand” feature, anyone with a computer and access to the World Wide Web can watch a Newburyport access program by going to the center’s website and clicking on one of the video offerings. By next January, the station hopes to begin streaming cable programs to the site live.

The Newburyport center is not alone in using the Internet to expand the reach of its programs. Across the country, an increasing number of local access stations have initiated or are exploring the posting of taped or live programs on their websites, said Stokstad, who was involved in such Web postings in her previous job as executive director of a cable-access corporation in Washington’s Puget Sound region.   —>

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/10/28/webcasts_bring_local_cable_to_the_world/?page=full

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Airwaves Auction Still Faces Challenge

by John Dunbar, Associated Press
Physorg.com
10/27/07

WASHINGTON (AP) — Verizon Wireless has dropped its court challenge against the government’s consumer-friendly rules governing an upcoming airwaves auction — but it’s a bit early for supporters of the plan to declare victory.   —>

http://www.physorg.com/news112677715.html

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‘The State of Community Media in the European Union’
by Erkan Saka
Erkan’s Field Diary
10/2707

The European Parliament has recently published “The State of Community Media in the European Union”  (PDF). From Executive’s summary Intro:

‘Community Media (CM) constitute a dynamic and highly diverse part of the European Union’s media landscape.  Yet, little information is available regarding the sector’s scope, its potential and on the status of CM organisations in different Member States.

The purpose of this report is to investigate the state of CM in the EU and to examine the factors that influence their development.  Particular attention has been focussed on examining how CM activity meets EU policy objectives.   —>

http://erkansaka.net/blog/archive/2007/10/the_state_of_community_media_i.html

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BCAT Looks at Bed-Stuy Blogs and WiFi Hotspots
mcbrooklyn

10/26/07

BCAT’s (Brooklyn Community Access Television) presents Neighborhood Beat: The Bed-Stuy Parlor, on Thursday, November 1 at 8:30 p.m.  This month, host Monique Greenwood connects with Bed-Stuy’s hi-tech community: Petra Symister of Bedstuyblog.com; Peter Epstein of the Bed-Stuy Renovations Blog; Jonathan Butler of Brownstoner.com; and TRUE of the Bed-Stuy Yahoo Group BSHINE.  BCAT will also take us to WiFi spots Bread-Stuy, the Laundromat on Fulton Street, Tiny Cup on Nostrand Ave and Twofiftyeight Café on Malcolm X Boulevard.   —>

http://mcbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2007/10/bcat-looks-at-bed-stuy-blogs-and-wifi.html

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compiled by Rob McCausland

Alliance for Community Media

202-393-2650

web: http://ourchannels.org

wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/26/07

October 28, 2007

FCC to Hold Localism Hearing Oct. 31
by John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable
10/24/07

Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin has been getting pushback from Capitol Hill on a proposed timetable for completing the media-ownership-rule review, but the FCC Wednesday confirmed that it will hold the last of its localism hearings Oct. 31.  That was one of the planned elements of a timetable that would result in a Dec. 18 vote on revised rules. The commission has to hold that localism hearing, then release a report on the impact of media consolidation on localism in time for public comment, since Martin has pledged that such a report would precede any vote.

The hearing will be at the FCC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and immediately follow the monthly open meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.  It will include “a presentation by the Media Bureau summarizing the record that the commission has received on the topic of localism, a panel presentation and a period for public comment. ”   —>
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6494220.html
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Senators threaten to block media ownership plan
by Peter Kaplan
Reuters
10/24/07

Two U.S. senators on Wednesday threatened to introduce bipartisan legislation that would block the U.S. Federal Communication Commission from acting quickly to ease rules governing media ownership.  Sens. Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, and Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, said they were studying possible legislation that would nullify an FCC decision expected on December 18.  “I would expect those of us who feel strongly that this is the wrong approach will attempt to find a way to block an action that we think is inappropriate,” Dorgan told reporters at a press conference.   —>
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071025/media_nm/fcc_mediaownership_dc;_ylt=AkFXvoy8jEOmnqLYf19HcpZxFb8C
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Dorgan, Lott Vow to Invalidate Media-Ownership Vote … Again
FCC Chairman Martin Pressured by Senators to Delay Vote on Media-Ownership Rules
by John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable
10/24/07

Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.) made it clear Wednesday that they will do whatever they can to try to stop Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin from holding a December vote on media-ownership rule changes.  If Martin does try to “ram through” that vote, Dorgan said, they vowed to use a rarely seen procedural move, a resolution of disapproval, to invalidate it — so rare that the first time it was used was the last time the FCC tried to deregulate ownership.

The Senate voted to approve a similar bill when the FCC passed deregulatory rules back in 2003 — a bill also introduced by Dorgan and Lott. But the Republican-controlled House did not vote on it, and it was superseded anyway by a court’s staying and eventual remand of the rules back to the FCC for better explanation.  It is that review Martin was hoping to vote on by the end of the year after 18 months of review and hearings and comment.

But Dorgan and Lott, at a Capitol Hill press conference Wednesday, said that would be a rush to judgment. They also said they were working on other possible legislative efforts, including requiring the FCC to complete a separate proceeding on the effects of consolidation on broadcast localism.  Dorgan said that they could have that bill done in the next week or so. The resolution disapproving the FCC rules would have to wait for the December FCC vote, if it happens.   —>
http://broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6494090.html?desc=topstory
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Media Briefing: ‘One of radio’s hottest-button issues – consolidation…’
by Bill Baker
Blog Thirteen
10/25/07

One of radio’s hottest-button issues – consolidation – took center stage at the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee’s “Future of Radio” hearing yesterday. Parties representing both sides of each issue had a chance to make their points to Senators who most likely have already made up their minds on the issues. Free Press research director S. Derek Turner called on Congress to “send a message to the FCC to stop its rush toward more consolidation.”

In prepared remarks, Turner said, “Ownership rules exist for a reason: to increase diversity and localism, which in turn produces more diverse speech, more choice for listeners, and more owners who are responsive to their local communities … Our research conclusively demonstrates that more consolidation means less female and minority ownership. The Commission needs to first adequately study the issue of minority ownership before moving forward with any rule changes. It may be hard to believe, but they’ve never even conducted an accurate count of who owns the nation’s radio outlets. How can the FCC conduct any meaningful analysis regarding the effects of its policies if it can’t conduct a basic count of who owns what?”
http://www.thirteen.org/blogs/index.php?itemid=264
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Flint senior centers staring at a blank screen with no cable TV
by Shantell M. Kirkendoll
The Flint Journal (MI)
10/26/07

No soap operas and no football? It’s no joke for Flint senior citizens and others who’ve lost access to cable TV at city community centers.  “It’s been about a week, and in the afternoon when the women want to watch their stories, there’s nothing,” said Fred Bradley, 63, of Flint, a member of the Hasselbring Senior Center. “I offered to pay the bill for them. I’m retired but I could pay the $50 a month or whatever it is.”

Actually, until now there’s been no bill to pay, said Bob Rosenberger, Flint Parks and Recreation recreation supervisor.  Comcast Cable recently ended its freebie service to government agencies, which the city relied on to provide cable to fire stations, Haskell Community Center, Berston Field House and some police stations, Rosenberger said.    —>
http://blog.mlive.com/flintjournal/newsnow/2007/10/flint_senior_centers_staring_a.html
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Town enters talks for new cable contract
by Melissa Lattman
SeacoastOnline.com (NH)
10/26/07

NEWMARKET — Wish something was different about your cable?  Now is the time to let the town know as a new cable access agreement is negotiated. Newmarket is holding a public hearing to hear residents’ views on cable TV and Comcast on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall Council Chambers. Information gathered will help the Cable Franchise Review Committee in upcoming contract talks with Comcast.  The current 15-year agreement expires in May. The town hopes to negotiate a shorter contract in the three- to five-year range. Technology changes so quickly, longer-term agreements do not make sense, said Town Planner Diane Hardy.   —>
http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071026/NEWS/710260361/-1/NEWS
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Verizon & Cable Board Agree on TV Franchise Terms
If Approved, Would Add Choice of Cable Providers
by Judy Silberstein
Larchmont Gazette (NY)
10/25/07

—>   So what’s in it for Larchmont and Mamaroneck?  The community will get 5% of Verizon’s gross revenues from its local television service. “This is consistent with what we are currently getting from Cablevision,” reported Mr. Millstein. It’s also similar to agreements across the country.  In addition, Verizon will be paying substantial sums for public education and government grants – or PEG money – which is what supports LMC-TV’s capital needs. “I think we did well,” said Mr. Millstein, explaining how the grants will play out. There will be an initial grant of $445K, payable in four installments: $200K within 60 days of the contract’s inception; $95K on the first and second anniversaries; and $55K on the fourth anniversary.   —>
http://www.larchmontgazette.com/2007/articles/20071025verizon.html
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Sponsors to get spot on Fargo public access TV
by Andrea Domaskin
The Forum (ND)
10/26/07

TV watchers got an extra helping of meetings, announcements and cooking shows when Fargo added a second public channel to the CableOne lineup in June.  Now they may start seeing sponsors on Access 12 and TV Fargo, the channels that funnel local government and community news to residents.  The city plans to offer space for underwriting when community billboard announcements run on the two channels. Fargo’s Access Channel Board approved the idea Thursday.

“It’s kind of a PBS approach,” said Heather Mitzel, Fargo’s communications manager.  Underwriters receive their own postings when the public access channels run community billboard announcements.  The written announcements can list the name of the product or service and contact information, but they can’t contain prices, promotions or comparisons to other products.  Businesses offering alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs aren’t eligible. Neither are adult book stores, political parties, gambling businesses, manufacturers of firearms or services that provide satellite TV and competitive media.

Prices range between $50 to $190, depending on whether a business chooses one or two channels and a six-month or 12-month agreement.   —>
http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=181849&section=News&freebie_check&CFID=62365612&CFTOKEN=31367916&jsessionid=8830661728ac125e4a69
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ACTV has a new executive director
by Phyllis Lehrer
Amherst Bulletin (MA)
10/26/07

Increased service to the community, programs on regional and national issues and more local programming: Those are some of the goals articulated by James Lescault, the new director of ACTV, Amherst Community Television. He was hired earlier this month as the new full-time director at the station, which had been led by a series of interim appointments for the past two years.  Sitting in the conference room at ACTV on College Street, Lescault spoke of his background, plans for the station and protecting the freedom of the air waves.   —>
http://www.amherstbulletin.com/story/id/64226/
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Denver OpenMedia : 27 minute show (CO)
Network-Centric Advocacy
10/26/07

There are some great overviews in this video. 10,000,000 blog post created everyday. Denver openmedia is thinking of the way public access is getting changed by web2.0. These guys are flipping public access TV to a training people how to use the web and get across the digital divide because then public media is digital. It is a smart plan for public media. They are looking at building the network and community to put the power of the media in the hands of the people.

Advocacy and social change groups need to think about the content form about min 14 to 19. The introduction is interesting but shifting landscape demands we also think about the way to do communication in this media environment. Will our groups eventually be sending out request to volunteers to produce or push 30min shows onto local public access media. You bet.    —>
http://www.network-centricadvocacy.net/2007/10/denver-openmedi.html
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CHILE:  Breath of Fresh Air for Community Radio Stations?
by Daniela Estrada
Inter Press Service
10/26/07

SANTIAGO (IPS) – After a seven year wait, community radio stations in Chile are celebrating a draft law that would regulate and promote their activities, which the government of President Michelle Bachelet has sent to Congress. But they remain aware of the hurdles that still lie ahead.   —>
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=39827
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The Report ‘2007 South Asian and South East Asian Convergence Market’ Takes an Overall Look at the Digital Media Markets and the Phenomenon of Convergence in These Markets
BusinessWire.com
10/26/07

Research and Markets has announced the addition of 2007 South Asian and South East Asian Convergence Market to their offering.  This annual report offers a wealth of information on the Digital Media and Convergence in South Asia and South East Asia. South Asian countries include:- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. South East Asian countries include:- Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.

Subjects covered include:  Early convergence activity and regulatory issues; Broadband TV (IPTV) where applicable; Video-on-Demand (VoD); Interactive TV (iTV); Triple play networks;  Digital Media developments.   —>
http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20071026005020&newsLang=en
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Want Ad for em-PowerArchitecture-ment
by Raquel and Bill
Evolution of the Species
10/26/07

Proficient and diligent companies, developers and users (a community) seek progressive National level leadership to endorse and support community internet-based media development by mobilizing and training youth and youth organizations….

In this context, it is important to emphasize that youth are the primary Internet users in Morocco. The websites visited and consulted however, are usually produced outside of Morocco: 95% of the Moroccan traffic is directed towards international sources,  in other words, to sites which might not reflect Moroccan culture and values.

The Internet is still a tool that is both underutilized and under-explored in the training and informing of youth about issues related to local culture, citizenship, social development and economic productivity. In addition, almost no one is harnessing the potential of youth and their evident interest in the Internet and new technologies to enable them to become producers of local content.

Young Moroccans could quickly move from the status of simple consumers of foreign media to the more enviable position of producers of local content and multimedia, thereby enabling them to express their points of view and share their own experiences actively engaging them in the life of their community.   —>
http://bbrv.blogspot.com/2007/10/want-ad-for-em-powerarchitecture-ment.html
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Tell Harry Reid: No Immunity for Lawbreaking Companies

October 27, 2007

An online petition from OpenLeft.com:

Tell Harry Reid: No Immunity for Lawbreaking Companies

The Senate is considering a bill that would grant immunity to any telecom company that assisted in the administration’s illegal wiretapping. Chris Dodd promised to put a hold on any such bill, and Joe Biden and Barack Obama pledged to uphold it. We believe that any bill coming before the Senate that includes provisions for so-called ‘amnesty’ for large companies involved in illegally spying on Americans should be opposed, and have authored a letter to this effect addressed to Majority Leader Reid. You can co-sign it below. The letter will also be sent to Senate Democratic leadership and the Senate Judiciary Committee members. You can read the full text of the letter here.

American Civil Liberties Union
ColorOfChange.org
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Moveon.org Political Action
Working Assets Wireless Free Press Center for National Security Studies
US PIRG
Common Cause
Glenn Greenwald, Salon
Jane Hamsher, Firedoglake
Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, Dailykos
Christy Hardin Smith, Firedoglake
Matt Stoller, OpenLeft
Digby, Hullabaloo
Taylor Marsh, TaylorMarsh.com
Duncan Black, Atrios
John Aravosis, Americablog
Chris Bowers, OpenLeft
John Amato, Crooks and Liars
Howie Klein, DownWithTyranny
Jonathan Singer, MyDD
Joan McCarter, Dailykos

Click here to:

Sign on to this letter and tell Harry Reid: No Immunity for Lawbreaking Companies!

http://www.noretroactiveimmunity.com

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/25/07

October 26, 2007

Prometheus on FCC
by Ernesto Aguilar
Rolas de Aztlan: KPFT/Pacifica/Media Notes
10/25/07

The Prometheus Radio Project would like to express its concern about recently announced plans for the FCC to vote on changing the protections against consolidation of media ownership.  We continue to oppose the weakening of these rules, which defend the public from unchecked corporate power in media. In the 2003 lawsuit, Prometheus vs. the FCC, decided by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the court ordered the FCC to reconsider the ill-advised changes to those ownership rules that were passed by Chairman Michael Powell.

In the time line currently being proposed by Chairman Martin, we do not believe that the Commission will be able to circulate it’s conclusions based upon the comments submitted and fully address the demands of the remanded decision. We appreciate the opportunities for public comment. However, these public hearings have been announced to the public on extremely short notice and often held in the middle of a weekday. Reflective of whirlwind Washington DC scheduling, the scheduling of these hearings has not been considerate of the schedules of most working people, employed outside the world of media policy. Despite this significant inconvenienceif not hardshipthousands of citizens have made it out to show their displeasure with the direction that the FCC has taken in dismantling these important media ownership rules.

We also believe that the media ownership proceeding should not be resolved until the results of the localism task force are fully integrated into the ownership proposals at the FCC. A false split between ownership and localism was established in the structure of the proceeding, and that separation must be redressed in any final version of the rules.   —>
http://kpft.wordpress.com/2007/10/25/prometheus-on-fcc/
~

New Senate leader puts cable TV bill as priority
New Richmond News (WI)
10/25/07

The Wisconsin Senate’s new majority leader says he’ll push for the long-delayed bill that re-regulates the cable TV industry.  Russ Decker, D-Weston, was promoted Wednesday after his colleagues removed Judy Robson after just 10 months on the job.  Decker says he’ll call for a Senate vote soon on the bill that takes cable regulation away from local communities, and moves it all to Madison.

AT&T convinced the Assembly to pass the bill this spring, so it can compete with cable without having to go to each local government.  But the locals say consumer protections will be lost, along with at least some public access TV programming. Decker says he’ll seek an amendment to require Wisconsin-based workers to answer consumer complaints.   —>
http://www.newrichmond-news.com/articles/index.cfm?id=14557&section=Wisconsin%20News&property_id=18&freebie_check&CFID=61560177&CFTOKEN=22581601&jsessionid=88306f27231d5b6c564c
~

AT&T loses bid for TV service
by Jeff Richgels
Capital Times (WI)
10/25/07

AT&T has been handed another defeat in its efforts to offer its U-verse TV service in Connecticut without a cable franchise — a situation with potential implications for other states, including Wisconsin.  A bill introduced in Wisconsin would provide for statewide cable franchising but has run into strong opposition. AT&T moved forward with U-verse in Milwaukee without a franchise, was sued for that move by the city, then made an interim agreement with the city pending outcome of the case or the franchising legislation.   —>
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/253156
~

AT&T says no U-verse if license is necessary
by Brian Lockhart
Norwalk Advocate (CT)
10/25/07

HARTFORD – If AT&T must apply for a cable franchise for its fiber-optic U-verse, it would stop offering the television service in Connecticut, a company vice president said yesterday.  “It’s not a threat,” said John Emra, AT&T regional vice president of legislative affairs. “We will not enter the marketplace.”   —>
http://www.norwalkadvocate.com/news/local/scn-sa-nor.uverse4oct25,0,6193940.story?track=rss
~

Lawmakers favor competition in cable TV industry
by Ken Dixon
News-Times (CT)
10/25/07

HARTFORD — If a state court doesn’t back up AT&T’s effort to compete for Connecticut cable TV customers, leaders of the General Assembly’s Energy and Technology Committee said Wednesday they plan a quick rewriting of a recent state law.  Rep. Steve Fontana, D-North Haven, and Sen. John Fonfara, D-Hartford, said during an afternoon news conference that the law, which took effect Oct. 1 and was intended to open the TV market for more competition, has been misinterpreted by the state Department of Public Utilities Control.

The redrafting of the deregulation statute could occur as soon as next week, as lawmakers have tentatively set Tuesday for a special session on the lingering stalemate over the long-term capital funding in the state bond package.  “It remains our position and policy in this state to encourage a competitive environment in the video services area,” said Fonfara, who shares co-chairmen duties on the committee with Fontana.

A DPUC spokeswoman said Wednesday the agency is aware of the importance of the issue but has to obey federal rules as well as state law that requires AT&T to obtain a state cable television license.  The DPUC ordered the company to suspend its U-verse customer recruitment campaign after 7,000 state residents signed up for its new television service.  There will be a state Superior Court hearing in Hartford on the issue Friday, during which Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s office will defend the DPUC’s decision that AT&T must apply for cable franchise approval.   —>
http://www.newstimes.com/ci_7276751
~

AT&T gets OK for Internet TV service
ICC action expected to bring lower rates
by Howard Wolinsky
Chicago Sun Times (IL)
10/25/07

The TV universe for Chicago area residents opened up a bit Wednesday as AT&T received a green light from the Illinois Commerce Commission to offer its Internet-based TV service, with promises of lower rates and new kinds of service for consumers starting next year.  The Commerce Commission certified AT&T as having the financial resources and technical know-how to deliver Internet Protocol TV, under the U-verse brand, which delivers traditional TV channels for movies and sports as well as interactive services.   —>
http://www.suntimes.com/business/619272,CST-FIN-att25.article
~

Reader Views: Should AT&T be able to receive a statewide video franchise?
Tennessean.com
10/25/07

Should AT&T be allowed to rewrite Tennessee law? No.  Here’s one reason, based on legislation AT&T offered this year, legislation in other states and reports from other states: Many Tennessee cities and towns have at least one public, educational or governmental (PEG) access channel. There are thousands of PEG channels across America. Very nearly every version of AT&T legislation offered or passed in other states does violence to those channels.   —>
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071025/OPINION01/710250395/1008
~

Public Access TV Comes to Fresno – But Only if YOU Act Now
by Mike Rhodes
Central Valley | Indymedia (CA)
10/24/07

You and I have a rare opportunity to alter the media landscape in Fresno and Clovis. If you are tired of the options corporate America gives you on your television, it is time to stop complaining and to do something about it. In the next month or two a decision will be made that will affect local TV for decades to come.

Here is what is at stake. Fresno and Clovis city council members will decide whether or not to accept money from Comcast to fund Public, Education, and Government (PEG) access channels. The money, over $500,000 a year, is there for the asking. The funding is a part of a state franchise agreement which will be accepted by most other communities in California that have cable. But, neither Fresno or Clovis have passed the necessary ordinance to accept the funds. Time is running out.

If Fresno and Clovis elected officials are encouraged by enough residents (that would be YOU) to accept the funding, here is what will happen. A Community Media Center (CMC) will be established that will serve as the hub for producing and broadcasting locally originated programing. The CMC will have a studio, cameras, digital editing equipment, and a staff that can provide training. All of this will be provided to the community by Comcast as a part of the franchise agreement.   —>
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/10/24/18455824.php
~

Get Your Hands Off the Web
Interference in Web content by AT&T and Verizon shows that more regulation is needed
by Stephen H. Wildstrom
Business Week
10/25/07

A bit over a year ago, I wrote a column arguing that innovation on the Internet would be best served if the government mostly kept its hands off. I’ve changed my mind. The behavior of the top telecommunications companies, especially Verizon Communications (VZ) and AT&T (T), has convinced me that more government involvement is needed to keep communications free of corporate interference.

The incident that swayed me was a decision in September by Verizon Wireless, majority owned by Verizon Communications, to block Naral Pro-Choice America from using its system to send text-message alerts to supporters. Verizon, which had cited a policy barring distribution of content that “may be seen as controversial or unsavory,” quickly backed down after a public outcry. But, a spokesperson says, Verizon “reserves the right to deny other programs in the future.”

Verizon has that right under current law. It may not interfere with voice messages, but “common carrier” requirements do not apply to any form of text or data transmission. They should.   —>
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/oct2007/tc20071024_623695.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index
~

First Conference of the World Association of Community Broadcasters for Africa (Middle East and North Africa) just ended in Rabat
UNESCO Communications & Information Resources
10/25/07

The first World Association of Community Broadcasters (AMARC Africa) Conference was held on 22 to 24 October 2007 in Rabat, Morocco, jointly organized with the UNESCO Office in Rabat, the UNESCO Chair in Public and Community Communication, and with the support of the Ministry of Communication of Morocco and Maroc Telecom.

This conference entitled, “Community Radio in Africa-Middle East and North Africa: Sharing Experiences for development and democracy building from the grassroots” gathered community radio stakeholders and offered an opportunity for more than a hundred broadcasters from the two regions to improve their skills, to increase the social impact of community radio where it exists, and to develop an appropriate environment for community radio in countries where this is not yet established, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The conference reflected on how AMARC can most effectively increase the impact of community radio in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as how to transfer African experience in this field to the MENA region in order to strengthen community media as an important factor for democracy building.  The participants reviewed the situation of community radio in their respective countries and discussed the contribution of community radio towards key issues such as the democratization of societies, the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the resolution of the conflict situations.   —>
http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=25549&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/24/07

October 24, 2007

Antigone at Media Democracy Fair on Friday! (Vancouver, BC)
by Amanda Reaume
Antigone Magazine
10/24/07

—>   Media Democracy Fair:  Come to the FREE Media Democracy Fair and meet representatives from your favorite local independent media outlets. 4:30pm – 7pm Friday October 26th at the Concourse in SFU Vancouver (Harbour Centre) 515 West Hastings Street.
http://antigonemagazine.blogspot.com/2007/10/antigone-at-media-democracy-fair-on.html
~

Symposium: NYC – 11/2
Free speech and privacy challenges on muni networks
by Carol Ellison
MuniWireless.com
10/24/07

What are the unique legal questions for municipal wireless networks in regards to privacy and First Amendment rights? New York University’s Journal of Legislation and Public Policy will explore that question at a November 2 symposium in New York City.  The symposium features two panel sessions:
* Challenges to Operating a Municipal Network, which will examine the various legal and fiscal structures of muni networks, including costs, benefits, and models for oversight and accountability.
* Civil Liberties on a Government-owned Network, which will examine the differences in the Constitutional requirements regarding privacy and first amendment rights for muni and private networks.

The symposium is open to the public. It will be held 1:00 – 4:15 p.m., in the Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall, at the New York University School of Law, 40 Washington Square South. A photo I.D. is required for admission.
http://www.muniwireless.com/article/articleview/6565/1/23
~

Comcast shooting itself in the foot with traffic shaping “explanations”
by Eric Bangeman
Ars Technica
10/23/07

As the evidence that Comcast is doing something untoward with BitTorrent and other traffic on its network has mounted, the cable company has tried clumsily to fend off accusations of wrongdoing. The latest developments come in the wake of several conference calls held by the ISP in which it attempted to make a case for its practice of sending forged TCP reset packets to interfere with some P2P traffic.

Timothy B. Lee, who is a regular contributor to the Tech Liberation Front blog as well Ars Technica, was invited to sit in on one of yesterday’s conference calls, along with folks from a handful of think tanks. According to Tim, the Comcast engineer on the call said that the Lotus Notes problems were a known side effect of Comcast’s traffic shaping practices, one the company was trying to fix. The engineer also “seemed to implicitly” concede that the accounts about the forged packet resets were accurate.   —>
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071023-comcast-shooting-itself-in-the-foot-with-traffic-shaping-explanations.html
~

Channel 61 says without $13,000, dark days ahead
by Stacy Brown
Times-Tribune (PA)
10/24/07

Public Access Channel 61 will lay off its only two paid employees Friday and will go dark by Monday if it does not raise $13,000, Lou Danzico, president of Scranton Today, told Scranton City Council on Tuesday.  Scranton Today is the operator of the public access channel.  “As of this moment, we need $13,000 to get through the rest of this year,” Mr. Danzico told the panel in a pre-meeting caucus. “We have two paid employees who will have to be laid off Friday, and we will go off the air by Monday, if this isn’t done,” he said.

Each of the five-member council vowed to try to find ways to aid Channel 61 and pledged to look at the city’s operating budget in an attempt to find funds.  “I urge my colleagues on council who has the ear of the mayor to speak to him,” Council finance chairwoman Janet Evans said.  Despite voting unanimously earlier this year to give $25,000 to Channel 61 to help keep it operating, council members later reneged on that promise, saying the city just does not have the money.  “I don’t know where we’re going to get the money from. At the time of the vote, I thought we had the money,” Councilman Bill Courtright said.   —>
http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18949387&BRD=2185&PAG=461&dept_id=415898&rfi=6
~

Public access plan riles them in Hernando
St. Petersburg Times (FL)
10/24/07

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County commissioners Tuesday joined the chorus of other central Florida officials who are considering legal action to keep local government and educational programming on basic cable television.  Bright House Networks over the summer notified Hernando County and other governmental entities in their service area that on Dec. 11, public access, governmental and educational channels would be moved to the basic digital tier of the network.   —>
http://www.sptimes.com/2007/10/24/Hernando/County_joins_cable_ch.shtml
~

Weston Wins Case Against Cablevision
by Don Casciato
Westport News (CT)
10/24/04

The Connecticut Department of Public Utility (DPUC) last week announced a ruling that Cablevision does not have the right to restrict local access television producers from offering their programs to other cable and video distributors.  The Town of Weston had challenged Cablevision’s claim that it could prohibit producers from making their productions available to other cable or video providers.

“I am thrilled that Weston was able to play a leading role in making this happen, and I thank the DPUC for their careful consideration of our concerns,” said Weston First Selectman Woody Bliss in a statement.  “The department’s ruling will have a significant impact well beyond Weston. We have established the right of people all over Connecticut to make the community access programs they produce available to more than just local Cablevision subscribers.”   —>
http://www.westport-news.com/ci_7268206
~

Blumenthal Shifts Stance On AT&T TV Service
Phone Giant Should Be Allowed To Resume Marketing U-Verse, Attorney General Says
by Mark Peters
Hartford Courant (CT)
10/24/07

After winning a months-long battle that ended with a prohibition against AT&T’s signing up new customers for its TV service, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Tuesday said the phone giant should be allowed to resume marketing the service.  Blumenthal reversed his stance against allowing AT&T to sign up new customers for what he called an illegal cable service amid growing political support for the state’s largest phone company.   —>
http://www.courant.com/business/hc-att1024.artoct24,0,6451202.story
~

Rell, others come out in support of AT&T’s U-verse
by David Krechevsky
Republican-American (CT)
10/23/07

As a Superior Court judge in Hartford prepares to convene a hearing Friday in the battle over AT&T’s U-verse, the television service got a strong showing of support Tuesday.  Gov. M. Jodi Rell issued a statement urging state regulators to reverse their decision earlier this month to force AT&T to seek a cable TV franchise for the service. Meanwhile, the chairmen of the legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee announced plans to hold a news conference today in support of U-verse and to explain the intent of the state’s new video franchising law, which took effect Oct. 1.   —>
http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2007/10/23/business/291914.txt
~

Blumenthal changes mind about U-verse
by Brian Lockhart
Stamford Advocate (CT)
10/24/07

In another twist in the legal battle over U-verse, AT&T’s new fiber-optic television service, the state attorney general yesterday reversed his earlier opposition to the company signing up subscribers while its operating license remains in limbo….

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal had last week hailed DPUC’s decision. But yesterday, fearing the legal battle over U-verse could stretch on for at least a year, Blumenthal wrote to AT&T, saying he was asking the DPUC to grant the company a stay while the court proceedings play out.  “We all agree that consumers should have access to U-verse – as many as possible, as soon as possible,” Blumenthal wrote. “If the stay is approved by the DPUC, AT&T may proceed to install and market new service while it contests the federal court’s conclusion that U-verse service is cable. . . . I hope that AT&T will support our motion.”   —>
http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/local/scn-sa-att5oct24,0,841594.story?coll=stam-news-local-headlines
~

State Representatives to Hear from Public on Superferry
KHNL (HI)
10/23/07

HONOLULU – Members of the state House will hear public testimony on the Hawaii Superferry on Thursday.  The hearing will be cablecast live on Olelo, public access television, Channel 54.   —>
http://www.khnl.com/Global/story.asp?S=7255924
~

North Carolina neighborhood homeowners voice concerns over contamination at nearby site
by Jay Gaines
Contaminated Nation
10/24/07

Residents living near the former CTS of Asheville plant are increasing their efforts to get the contaminated site on Mills Gap Road cleaned up.  Homeowners plan to appear on a community access television show tonight to voice concerns over contamination at the site, and they plan to meet with a lawyer Wednesday night to assess their legal options. They also are forming a nonprofit organization to help residents affected by the pollution.   —>
http://contaminatednation.blogspot.com/2007/10/north-carolina-neighborhood-homeowners.html
~

Watch ’em on TV
Bristol News (CT)
10/22/07

Nutmeg Television is airing the Federal Hill Association political forums from earlier this month, where the mayoral and City Council candidates addressed the issues raised by both the FHA and residents.   —>
http://bristolnews.blogspot.com/2007/10/watch-em-on-tv.html
~

Channel surfing
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
10/24/07

Public access station PCTV/Channel 21 is hosting a live mayoral debate 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, with host Bruce Krane, producer of “Counting Controversy.”
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07297/827795-42.stm
~

Website Recommendation: The School Wars
by ChristineMM
The Thinking Mother
10/24/07

Ned Vare and Luz Shoshie are a married couple who live in Connecticut. They unschooled their only child until he was admitted to college.  They have a website “The School Wars” which has a lot of articles written by Ned, which have been published in their local newspaper. The articles are about the problems with public schools and schooling in general and some have pro-homeschooling components. Additionally they produce cable access television shows about problems with schooling.   —>
http://thethinkingmother.blogspot.com/2007/10/website-recommendation-school-wars.html
~

TV Program – Photographers of Northern Virginia for November
Northern Virginia Photographic Society

The TV series, Photographers of Northern Virginia, features outstanding  amateur and professional photographers displaying their images and providing  useful commentary about photographic techniques and equipment. Guests are primarily, but not exclusively, members of the clubs that make up the Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs (NVACC). The series is intended for both experienced and aspiring photographers, as well as for everyone else who enjoys viewing interesting and beautiful photographs.

Repeat programs of Photographers of Northern Virginia are now being shown on  a regular basis on Fairfax Public Access Channel 30 every Monday at 3:30 p.m. and every Friday at 3 p.m. They will no longer be shown on Channel 10.
http://nvps.org/main/upcoming/tv_program_photographers_of_no/
~

Students can keep eye on legislators
by Katie Thibault
Badger Herald (WI)
10/24/07

WisconsinEye, a public broadcasting network that provides live coverage of legislative processes and state Supreme Court proceedings, was added to the statewide BadgerNet system last week.  BadgerNet provides data and video services throughout the state of Wisconsin and offers schools access to public programming.  “The state video network serves a number of campuses statewide,” said Chris Long, President and CEO of WisconsinEye.

Previously, WisconsinEye had been distributed only through digital cable by Time Warner and Charter to paying customers. The expansion of WisconsinEye to BadgerNet gives free access to some University of Wisconsin campuses — not including Madison — and public schools, Long said.  The partnership with BadgerNet will bring WisconsinEye to more than 255 schools and 54 college campuses across the state, according to WisconsinEye’s news release.   —>
http://badgerherald.com/news/2007/10/24/students_can_keep_ey.php
~

Giants of Citizen Media Meet Up
Oh Yeon Ho and Jimmy Wales.
Founders of OhMyNews, Wikipedia compare visions.
by Cynthia Yoo
TheTyee.ca
10/24/07

Oh Yeon Ho of OhmyNews and Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia created two distinct, highly influential media vehicles intended to unlock the collective wisdom of everyone online. Earlier this month, in Berkeley, California, these two met and discussed their latest projects and critical issues facing citizen media. We’ll let you listen in, but first a bit of background on Oh and Wales and their pioneering sites.   —>
http://thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2007/10/24/WikiVOhMyNews/
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/23/07

October 23, 2007

AT&T U-verse TV Hit by Nationwide Outages
by Todd Spangler
Multichannel News
10/22/07

AT&T U-verse TV subscribers across the country were denied access to multiple cable channels for most of the day Sunday, and the telephone company on Monday said it was still investigating what caused the outages. In online forums at AT&T’s own Web site and on UverseUsers.com, subscribers reported receiving error messages informing them they were not subscribed to certain channels. AT&T spokeswoman Destiny Belknap said the errors began early Sunday morning and that access to all channels was restored by 7:30 p.m. CST. —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6493175.html?rssid=196
~

at&t Scores a Penalty Flag
by Bunny Riedel
Telecommunications Consulting
10/23/07

Are the executives at at&t completely unaware of the national video phenomena called “football?” In my house during football season my husband dons his Eagles cap and spends most of Sunday yelling at the TV screen. He doesn’t only watch Eagles games but takes an interest in Ravens, Patriots, Redskins, Packers, Bears and Chargers. He’s not a big Giants fan, but if pressed, he will watch. Sometimes he is joined in this endeavor by our neighbor Dana, who also likes to yell at the set. Although Dana would prefer they watch the games at his house because his TV is bigger and he has FiOS.

If on this past Sunday, we had at&t as our cable provider instead of Comcast, I might be filing divorce papers right now or posting bail money. I know for a fact it wouldn’t have been pretty and this may be the only time I will ever thank God for having Comcast.

If you haven’t heard at&t’s U-verse TV went kaput on Sunday for a substantial amount of time in a substantial number of markets. Markets where football is considered somewhat important, like say Kansas City or maybe all of Connecticut. These places were joined by outages in Dallas, Cleveland, Detroit (are you kidding me?), Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco and Houston. The Houston customers were probably placated with “Calm down, at least your box didn’t explode!” —>
http://riedelcommunications.blogspot.com/
~

Don’t Tread on Us, States Tell FCC’s Martin
National Conference of State Legislators: Leave Exclusive Contracts for Cable Service in Apartments, Condos to the Marketplace
by John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable
10/23/07

The National Conference of State Legislators agrees with top cable company Comcast that the Federal Communications Commission should leave exclusive contracts for cable service in apartments and condos to the marketplace, saying that to ban them from Washington would impinge on the state sovereignty.

In a letter sent to FCC chairman Kevin Martin, Maryland state Sen. Delores Kelly (D-Baltimore County), chair of the communications committee for the NCSL, said an FCC ban on the contracts would be an “unwarranted presumption of state authority,” adding that the group “respectfully requests that you refrain from adopting any administrative order.” —>
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6493683.html
~

After major projects fail, Wi-Fi reborn as cities refine approaches
by Ryan Kim
San Francisco Chronicle
10/23/07

Municipal Wi-Fi projects, all the rage last year, have fallen into a funk, if you believe the press reports about delays and problems for big deployments in cities like San Francisco, Chicago and Houston. But the reality is somewhere in between hype and hopelessness. The city Wi-Fi movement is noticeably slowing down on some levels, but leaders say it’s progressing with a refined sense of purpose and a clearer perspective on the challenges that face these projects.

More than 400 wireless executives and municipal officials met Monday in Santa Clara at the MuniWireless07 conference to aid the rebirth of the Wi-Fi movement by honing its goals, fleshing out viable business models, and touting new applications for a city wireless network. —>
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/10/23/BUJOSU1FR.DTL&type=business
~

Top 50 Trends in Municipal Wireless: 30-21
What are the Top 50 Trends in Municipal Wireless? We’re counting them down at our MuniWireless 2007: Silicon Valley conference in Santa Clara.
MuniWireless.com
10/23/07

—> 29. After EarthLink: EarthLink (remember them?) wasn’t mentioned much at the conference. MuniWireless founder Esme Vos described multiple potential business models for the post-EarthLink market. She mentioned:
– Municipalities as anchor tenants (example: Minneapolis);
– Municipalities building networks that leverage government applications (Burbank, Calif., for instance, with automated meter reading);
– Municipalities and private companies partnering on networks; and
– Ad-supported networks (partner examples: JiWire and MetroFI)

28. Hit the Road: Public transportation deployments continue to accelerate. One example: Stagecoach, the busiest bus line in Europe, has rolled out public Internet access to riders. In the last nine months, the network has logged 75,000 sessions from 15,000 unique users, according to MuniWireless founder Esme Vos. The average online time is 40 minutes during a 90-minute journey, according to Esme.

27. Going Green: Esme predicted that the “green movement” and clean tech will be major drivers for municipal broadband. Public transportation with attractive WiFi services could assist that movement.

26. That’s A Lot of Devices: Roughly 14 billion things will be connected to the Internet by 2010, according to Forrester. —>
http://www.muniwireless.com/article/articleview/6559/1/23/
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Watching WiMAX
by Kevin Fitchard
Telephony Online
10/22/07

Bountiful spectrum makes video a WiMAX fit, but there are limits. The aura around WiMAX has become overpowering of late. Anything that can be ascribed to an access technology has been ascribed to WiMAX: the bridging force of the digital divide, broadband anywhere, Wi-Fi on steroids. Proponents would have us believe WiMAX can do everything — and the latest feat they attribute to it is the ability to be the vehicle for delivering next-generation TV services.

That notion, however, may not be as far-fetched as it seems. While it’s unlikely WiMAX operators such as Clearwire and Sprint will launch multichannel linear TV services in the model of the cable providers, satellite companies and now the telecom service providers, TV and video services clearly have a place in the new WiMAX business model.

WiMAX operators are breaking from the old cellular models that created the “mobile Internet,” embracing WiMAX as a means to take the traditional Internet mobile. The difference is subtle, but the former carries with it notions of walled gardens, mobile-optimized content and managed content services, while the latter is the plain Internet — albeit uprooted from any static access line. That means customers will use the WiMAX broadband connection as they would any fixed broadband pipe. And following Internet trends, that means they’ll consume video by the gigabyte.

“Look at the number of people who are connecting over wireline today; it’s fair to say that broadband users will be doubling their traffic in the next few years, and much of that increase will be driven by video,” said Scott Richardson, chief technology officer of Clearwire. “We already know the baseline expectations we have for WiMAX.” —>
http://telephonyonline.com/wimax/news/telecom_watching_wimax/
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Trinity River Referendum Debate Heads To TV
CBS 11 (TX)
10/22/07

DALLAS – On Monday, Dallas iMedia Network is hosting a forum regarding the highly-debated Trinity River Referendum during its anchored program “iN Dallas.” The hour-long public access television program features numerous former and current Dallas city leaders discussing what it means if you vote “Yes” or “No” in regards to the referendum.

Dallas iMedia Network prides itself on interactivity within the Dallas community. Viewers are invited to e-mail questions in advance for the guests to answer by clicking here. Questions can also be called in during the live program at 214-271-4981. The program begins at 4:00 p.m. and can be seen live on Dallas iMedia Network (cable channel 27/95) or online at dallasimedia.net. —>
http://cbs11tv.com/consumer/local_story_295071224.html
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CBS, Comcast officials stress embrace of Internet
‘Old-line’ companies emphasize opportunities and dismiss any threats to longstanding business models
Computerworld
10/22/07

Representatives of older and new media companies detailed their embraces of the Internet Friday at the Web 2.0 Summit conference in San Francisco, with supposed old-line companies emphasizing opportunities and dismissing any threats to longstanding business models.

Executives from CBS, Comcast, Joost and Current participated in panel sessions on media operations and the Internet. While the Internet might be seen as potentially taking viewers away from traditional broadcast and cable television, panelists noted that TV viewership still accounts for several hours per person daily and continues on its 30-year trend upward.

Comcast and CBS officials both noted that the Internet can extend their businesses. “We love the Internet for a variety of reasons,” said Amy Banse, president of Comcast Interactive Media, which is responsible for the cable TV provider’s Internet businesses. People use Comcast’s pipe to access the Internet and Comcast is the largest residential ISP, she said.

But Comcast also believes in cable TV and that it will be around for a while, she said. “People thought that with television, radio would disappear and with cable television, broadcast television would disappear, and we all know that that hasn’t happened,” Banse said. —>
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9043540&intsrc=news_ts_head
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The Significance of Place for Public Access Media
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition
10/22/07

I’m beginning to see the light. The following is a synopsis of my proposed research (a working draft), thus far:

The rise in widespread adoption of global social-networking software has created challenges to previously established forms of locally focused communication. For over thirty years, cable access television in the U.S., a medium with a particular focus on localism and subsidized by cable companies, has served the public with tools for producing non-commercial programs for other individuals in their communities.

But as YouTube and other commercial video-sharing platforms grow in popularity, many authorities at the local, state and national levels are beginning to question the need for funding public access television in the digital age. As a result, these two spaces – virtual and physical – are being portrayed as separate and unequal. The purpose of this project is to bring them together. Its focus it to investigate how the practice of public access media benefits from the social interplay between virtual and physical spaces. Furthermore, it seeks to understand the role of the community media center, as place, in enabling new forms of human interaction at the intersection of public access television and the global social web.

Through comparative analysis this project will attempt to prove that place matters – and perhaps provides a foundation – for those who practice public access media across virtual and physical spaces. In order to test this hypothesis, the study poses the following questions: (1) What is the significance of the public access television center, as place, in the creation of meaning for those who participate in this form of community media production? (2) How does the augmentation of virtual space onto the physical place of community media practice reveal itself in identifiable and/or transferable ways? (3) What can be learned about human agency by making problematic the claim of separate and unequal in relation to the virtual and physical place of public access media?
http://cmediachange.net/blog/2007/10/22/the-significance-of-place-for-public-access-media/
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org