Community Media: Selected Clippings – 11/30/07

Kankakee County Board still debating cable access channel
by Scott Boehmer
Daily-Journal (IL)

Kankakee County Board member Ann Bernard says the clock is running down on a chance for a county public access channel and officials are allowing it to happen. She raised the subject during a development and operations committee meeting on Tuesday.  “The people of this county have paid out more than $800,000 in franchise fees and those franchise fees can be used to establish a public access channel,” Bernard said. “I’m concerned because it seems to me that there is a deliberate effort to postpone, delay or otherwise run out the clock.”

The county has until March to ask Comcast to set aside a channel if they want a local access station. County officials agreed to move forward with a study looking at what the public wants from an access channel in August, but that work has not been done.   —>

Cape Cod Times (MA)

Amy Davies, director of production services for Cape Cod Community Media Center, recently won three awards at The Alliance for Community Media northeast region’s annual video awards in New York.  The awards, presented for production expertise, were in the categories of:
–  Issue talk show: Cape Cod Focus, The FAIR Plan, Davies and Judith Goetz of WKTK-FM.
–  Local attractions: Provincetown International Film Festival 2006, Davies and John Kelly of Cape Cod Community Media Center.
–  News and event coverage: Provincetown Film Festival 2006, Davies and Kelly.

Digital era not a good signal for public-access stations
Some cable customers with older sets will have to pay extra to receive the signal.
by Denise-marie Balona
Orlando Sentinel (FL)

Government junkies in Central Florida, beware: Bright House Networks is shoving taxpayer-funded programming into the triple-digit channel stratosphere.  That means you’ll have to shell out an extra buck a month for a converter to watch digital signals of such publicly funded channels as Orange TV and Vision TV on old televisions. The change, which takes effect in Metro Orlando on Jan. 19, is sparking opposition across the region from local-government officials worried about losing viewers.   —>,0,947354.story

Council TV show sent to upper dial
by Thomas Michalski
Pinellas Park Beacon (FL)

PINELLAS PARK – Sometimes it was dramatic, sometimes it was pure comedy.  At times it became a venue for people irate over issues that included land development, city budgets and even horse manure.  It also was a forum for political candidates who seated themselves just at the right spot for maximum exposure.  On Nov. 20 the city’s television station, Channel 15, covered the City Council for the last time, and no one is very happy about it.   —>

Comcast wrong to fiddle with public access
State law harms communities’ ability to watch local government
Times Herald (MI)

Just when television broadcasts of the new Port Huron City Council’s sessions promised to be interesting, Comcast soon will make them more difficult – and eventually more costly – to see.  The bad news came up during Monday’s City Council meeting. After Jan. 15, public access Channels 6 and 12 will vanish to the cable company’s digital tier.  Channel 6, which aired Port Huron Area School District programs and activities – and most important, district school board meetings – will become digital Channel 902. Channel 12, which aired meetings of the Port Huron City Council and St. Clair County Board of Commissioners, will change to digital Channel 900.

The changes are unwelcome. They come at a time when public access has taken on a greater importance to communities here and throughout the nation. The ability to monitor meetings of local government on television gives the public a valuable tool. Residents don’t have to attend those sessions in public to see the policy decisions of their elected officials.  Thanks to the Michigan Legislature, that vital commitment to public access is changing – and not for the better.   —>

Net neutrality may not resolve Comcast vs. BitTorrent
Comcast’s throttling of the popular file-sharing protocol may actually be permitted under the Net neutrality laws being proposed.
by Anne Broache

Comcast’s recent efforts to throttle file transfers that use the BitTorrent protocol have led to a renewed call for Congress to enact stiff Net neutrality laws.  Pro-regulatory groups including Public Knowledge have circulated press releases saying the episode demonstrates the “need for Net neutrality legislation.” A Comcast-related post on DailyKos was titled “Why we need Net neutrality.” Comcast, BitTorrent, and the phrase “need Net neutrality” appear in roughly 10,000 Web pages indexed by Google.

But even some supporters of new laws–which would enact antidiscrimination regulations aimed at broadband providers–are now reluctantly conceding that the proposals that have been circulating in Congress for more than a year may not do much to stop Comcast. (The company, a cable operator and broadband provider, has been sabotaging some peer-to-peer file transfers, which dramatically slows them down, although the file tends to be delivered eventually.)

Carole Handler, a partner at the law firm Foley & Lardner in Los Angeles who has written about Net neutrality and is now in favor of such regulations, says “the language is such that there is definitely some wiggle room in both bills.” Handler was referring to bills that have been considered, but not approved, by both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Harold Feld, senior vice president for the Media Access Project, which lobbies for Net neutrality laws, is also skeptical about whether Rep. Ed Markey’s legislation would do much. If Comcast announced, “‘We are absolutely going to prohibit peer-to-peer on our network or even manage our network so when we reach some unspecified capacity restraint, we’re going to start messing with everybody’s BitTorrent uploads, but it’ll be totally random…’ that is arguably permissible under the Markey bill,” Feld said.   —>

EFF Releases Reports and Software to Spot Interference with Internet Traffic
Technology Rights Group Addresses the Comcast Controversy
Electronic Frontier Foundation

San Francisco – In the wake of the detection and reporting of Comcast Corporation’s controversial interference with Internet traffic, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published a comprehensive account of Comcast’s packet-forging activities and has released software and documentation instructing Internet users on how to test for packet forgery or other forms of interference by their own ISPs.   —>

As ISPs choke file-sharing, users look elsewhere
Users are moving to file-hosting Web sites to avoid slow downloads on peer-to-peer networks
by Jeremy Kirk

As ISPs constrict file-sharing services such as BitTorrent, new data shows that users are moving to file-hosting Web sites to avoid slow downloads.  RapidShare and MegaUpload are among the most used file-hosting services. Together, the two sites account for 9 percent of all Internet traffic in the Middle East and 4 percent in Germany, according to iPoque, a company based in Leipzig, Germany, that specializes in traffic-management appliances for ISPs.  The percentages are significant since over the last year usage of file-sharing sites, which number in the dozens, has surged, said Klaus Mochalski, iPoque’s CEO. The sites offer potentially faster download speeds for sharing files than peer-to-peer networks.

“These Web pages are tremendously popular,” Mochalski said.  The services let users upload a file and then share a link, called a direct download link, in e-mails and Web forums for others to download the content. Most sites offer a free service with limits and subscriptions that allow more frequent downloads.   —>

Cape Town Community Television – Call for content
CTCTV is seeking content and proposals from filmmakers to broadcast to Cape Town in 2008.
by Cape Town Community Television (CTCTV) Collective

CTCTV is launching Cape Town’s first non-profit, community-based TV station aimed at the greater Cape Town metropolitan area. Founded by over 200 non-profit community organizations in 2006, the Collective is committed to providing community access to the powerful medium of television as a tool to promote human rights, social justice and community cultural development. For more information on CTCTV, please go to

We plan to be on air by March 2008 [and] need your organizations’ support in creating or providing content for the channel.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: BitTorrent, net neutrality, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

2 Comments on “Community Media: Selected Clippings – 11/30/07”

  1. […] Community Media: Selected Clippings – 11/30/07By Rob McCauslandNet neutrality may not resolve Comcast vs. BitTorrent Comcast’s throttling of the popular file-sharing protocol may actually be permitted under the Net neutrality laws being proposed. by Anne Broache CNET News 11/30/07 …Clippings for PEG Access Television – […]

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