Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/23/07

AT&T U-verse TV Hit by Nationwide Outages
by Todd Spangler
Multichannel News

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, 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. —>

at&t Scores a Penalty Flag
by Bunny Riedel
Telecommunications Consulting

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!” —>

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

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.” —>

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

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. —>

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.

—> 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. —>

Watching WiMAX
by Kevin Fitchard
Telephony Online

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.” —>

Trinity River Referendum Debate Heads To TV
CBS 11 (TX)

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 —>

CBS, Comcast officials stress embrace of Internet
‘Old-line’ companies emphasize opportunities and dismiss any threats to longstanding business models

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. —>

The Significance of Place for Public Access Media
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition

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?

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: broadband policy, election programming, FCC, IPTV, municipal broadband, municiple wi-fi, U-Verse, Web 2.0, WiMAX

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google+ photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: