Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/19/07

Comcast Blocks Some Internet Traffic
by Peter Svensson
Associated Press

Comcast Corp. actively interferes with attempts by some of its high-speed Internet subscribers to share files online, a move that runs counter to the tradition of treating all types of Net traffic equally.  The interference, which The Associated Press confirmed through nationwide tests, is the most drastic example yet of data discrimination by a U.S. Internet service provider.   —>

AT&T Aims Its PR Guns At Connecticut
Fires up unions, customers in legal skirmish
by Karl
Broadband Reports

A federal judge says AT&T’s U-Verse IPTV service is a cable service. AT&T says it’s not, and therefore isn’t subject to the same consumer protection and build-out rules as cable operators. Unless AT&T is given what they want, the company says they’ll scrap U-Verse plans in Connecticut. The State Attorney General says the company is wasting time and “flagrantly breaking the law” in order to dodge consumer protections.

Unions this week jumped into the fight in support of AT&T, after AT&T informed them they could lay off 1,300 employees if the court ruling stands. AT&T is also enlisting the aid of their customers, sending them this e-mail claiming the State “is saying no to competition, consumer choice and progress.”

Your choice and control is in jeopardy because the Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) issued a ruling affecting AT&T’s ability to continue providing our U-Verse service in Connecticut. The DPUC ruling says, in effect, that AT&T is not entitled to be a new video competitor under a new law designed to bring much needed video competition to the state. If this decision stands, the DPUC will have taken away from consumers the best alternative to cable TV.

Technically, that’s misleading, given that AT&T could easily offer service under existing rules — they simply don’t like the financial requirement of mandated build-outs to ensure even service coverage. AT&T has also created this website that tells consumers that “interest groups and individuals supporting the incumbent cable companies” are trying to eliminate the consumer’s right to choose.   —>

City Weighs Cable Company Lawsuit
by Ellen Gedalius
The Tampa Tribune (FL)

The city is laying the groundwork to sue Bright House Networks, the latest attempt by area governments to keep public access, education and government channels at their existing spots on the television lineup.   —>

Tampa council wants the city to sue Bright House
by Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Evening News (FL)

[ Listen ]

The Tampa City Council ramped up its opposition to a plan by Bright House Networks that could ultimately decrease viewership to the city’s Government Channel.  In less than two months, analog subscribers in the Tampa bay area will lose access to PEG channels. And for the majority of viewers watching on digital cable, those channels – representing Public access, Education and the Government – will move from the current spot in the lowest channel number slot to a much higher slot, which councilmembers believe will significantly reduce those watching local city council meetings.

City Attorney David Smith said that he has heard that both St. Petersburg and Manatee Counties are contemplating suing Bright House for similar moves in their localities.  City Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena told Smith the council wanted him and the Pam Iorio administration to do whatever it takes to challenge the move by Bright House. The company also plans to charge those who don’t subscribe to cable $1 a month to rent a box to access the PEG channels.   —>

Patrick files bill for $25M broadband investment in Mass.
by Jackie Noblett
Boston Business Journal (MA)

Businesses and residents in remote areas of Massachusetts may finally be able to have high-speed internet access as a part of a $25 million state investment in broadband infrastructure.  But the measure will need to get the support of major telecommunications players before anything can happen.

Governor Deval Patrick announced the filing of a bond bill Thursday that would establish a Massachusetts Broadband Institute, whose mission would be to extend access to every community in the state by 2010. State officials say state-wide broadband will spur economic developments in areas it is needed.    —>

Courier-Gazette will not appeal city’s decision on candidate debate
by Emily Sapienza
VillageSoup / Knox County Times (ME)

ROCKLAND – The Courier-Gazette has decided not to appeal the city’s decision not to air the local newspaper’s candidate debate on government access television because write-in candidate Bentley Snow Davis was not invited to participate, according to an article on the Courier-Gazette’s website Thursday morning. Snow Davis is one of four candidates for two seats on the Rockland City Council.

The Thursday, Oct. 18 debate will be aired later this month, however, on Rockland Public Access Channel 7, according to Bob Nichols, who is responsible for the channel’s programming schedule.   —>

Off Leash “Chews” on the Candidates
by Sara De la Guerra
BlogaBarbara (CA)

Off-Leash Public Affairs is making their public access show special Chewing on the Candidates series available on line…  Off-Leash co-hosts Cathy Murillo and David Pritchett asked the city council candidates five questions and gave them about two and half minutes to respond with short follow-up. This more structured approach is in sharp contrast to Larry Nimmer’s open ended style highlighted about a week ago here on BlogaBarbara.   —>

I want my M(ayor) TV!
by James Rada Jr.
Emmitsburg Dispatch (MD)

Mayor James Hoover wants to be Emmitsburg’s Oprah Winfrey.  Hoover asked the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners for permission to broadcast a monthly 30-minute television show on the town’s cable station 99. Hoover would produce the show and then replay is a few times each month.   —>

Reporter Roundtable: Brooklyn Bloggers
Brownstoner: brooklyn inside and out (NY)

Tonight, a new episode of BRIC’s Reporter Roundtable airs on Brooklyn Community Access Television. The 30-minute weekly public affairs talk show tonight features the Brooklyn Paper’s Gersh Kuntzman speaking with Gowanus Lounge, OTBKB and Brownstoner about hyperlocal coverage, the impact readers are having on how news gets reported and the impact on mainstream media of blogs. Friday, 9:00 p.m. Time Warner Cable channel 56; Cablevision channel 69.

RuPaul: Starrbooty’s revenge
Queen of drag returns to roots and meets Atlanta at the crossroads
by James Kelly
Creative Loafing (GA)

[ Podcast – James Kelly speaks with RuPaul ]

There must have been some magic or serendipity in the air in Atlanta during the early 1980s, when some of the most compelling cultural trends emerged to define the era. Long before gentrification began to alter the face of the city’s urban core, Midtown and the surrounding areas thrived with countercultural energy. It was a chance situation that bred significant change in Atlanta’s artistic landscape, and shaped international fame for one person who was right smack-dab in the middle of it all — actor/singer/showboat RuPaul.

The queen of drag finally comes full circle – once a hopeful young gay man looking for acceptance, now a returning heroine – on his trip back to Atlanta for the Out on Film premiere of his first self-written and self-produced feature film, Starrbooty.

From his early days as a singer on Atlanta Public Access TV’s “American Music Show” to his transition into the most popular drag queen in the world, RuPaul Charles has always had his sights set on superstardom. Originally from San Diego, he relocated to Atlanta in 1976 and entered Northside School for the Performing Arts. It was an environment that catered to creative misfits and provided both a meeting place and a training ground for the youthful artist. A chance discovery of the “American Music Show,” with its campy drag and irreverent humor, enticed RuPaul to venture into Midtown and explore the burgeoning art and music scene.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: BitTorrent, broadband policy, cable vs telco, election programming, government access, internet censorship, IPTV, municipal programming, net neutrality, PEG access TV, public access television, rural broadband, U-Verse, video franchising

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