Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/11/08

Tech TV: Big Thinkers – Lawrence Lessig
Google Video

Big Thinkers is a former ZDTV (later TechTV) television program. It featured a half-hour interview with a “big thinker” in science, technology, and other fields… This episode features Lawrence Lessig. He is a professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of its Center for Internet and Society. He is founder and CEO of the Creative Commons and a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and of the Software Freedom Law Center. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications.

[ Thanks to Jeff Garland for the link ~ rm ]


Media Minutes: April 11, 2008
Free Press

Length: 5:03 minutes (5.78 MB); Download Audio

At, you can find out about broadband providers in your area, see what your broadband speed actually is, and help create a nationwide census on broadband information that big media companies don’t want you to know. And Community Television of Santa Cruz plugs public access TV with an entertaining new promotional video.,_2008

Tennessee Franchising Bill Aims To Extend Broadband Services
Local Governments Could Also Subsidize Deployment If Private Sector Passes
by Linda Haugsted
Multichannel News

[ comments invited ]

Legislators in Tennessee have been presented a new version of a state franchising bill with a unique scheme to provide an incentive to new providers to extend broadband services. The bill language, which has been the subject of negotiations among effected industries, contains broad build-out language. Large telephone companies that become video providers must deliver that service to 30% of their existing service area within 3 1/2 years. But those companies can decrease the number of homes which get video if they deploy broadband services to areas that don’t currently have such services, or areas that are determined to be undeserved.

Under the formula in the bill, a provider will get credit on a 4-to-1 basis for connecting a home to broadband services for the first time. In other words, a house getting service for the first time would count as four homes when computing the 30% build-out formula. According to the current version of the bill, local governments may also subsidize broadband deployment, if the Tennessee Regulatory Authority determines that there is no interest in the private sector to build plant locally. —>

Verizon readies FiOs proposal for NYC
by Amanda Fung
Crains New York

[ comments invited ]

The city announced Friday that it will start taking proposals from new cable TV providers, giving Verizon the go-ahead for its fiber-optic cable plan.

After a 18-month-long wait, Verizon Communications Inc. can now move forward with plans to offer television service in New York City. The city announced Friday that it will start taking proposals from new cable TV providers. The telecom giant’s plan to launch television service over its new fiber-optic cable, dubbed FiOS, has been stymied in the past. The City Council authorized the Bloomberg administration to open the cable TV market to competition in October 2006 but the city failed to issue the request for proposals, the next step in allowing in new providers. —>

Opening Plenary Set
Alliance for Community Media – Northeast Region

The ACM-NE usually uses the opening plenary at its Spring Conference to focus on PEG in the local state or region in which the conference is held. This year will be no different. This year’s Opening Plenary is entitled “RI PEG, How it’s Different, Why it Works”

Being the smallest state in the Union presents Rhode Island with advantages and disadvantages. And that goes for PEG access as well. PEG in Rhode Island is controlled by a quasi-government agency that also oversees Rhode Island PBS. Their studios are spread out throughout the state and serve many communities. The state also has three state-wide inter-connect channels that have become extremely popular.

Joining us as part of our plenary panel will be Elizabeth Espositio, Director of PEG in Rhode Island. She will be joined by two producers, Bob Venturini who produces An Hour With Bob, and John Carlevale who heads up a political program called State of the State.

It should be an enlightening discussion. Make sure you join us on Friday, May 9th at 9:30am.

Next president should launch the Digital New Deal
by Helen De Michiel
San Francisco Chronicle

[ 1 comment ]

When more than 3 million voters under age 30 turned out for recent caucuses and primaries, they staked a claim as a major force shaping this historic presidential election. Because so many leave college with, on average, $20,000 in debt during a recession economy and are entering a job market with fewer opportunities to earn a decent living, energized young Americans are yearning to help solve America’s problems, address the mounting issues of income disparity, and contribute to the health and well-being of their communities. At the same time, a call for enhanced national public service is part of the presidential candidates’ campaign platforms.

Thus, this is a singular moment in which to demand a larger and bolder vision to propel all Americans, across generations, fully into the 21st century. It’s time for a Digital New Deal.

Even though we inhabit a technologically saturated environment, America is not keeping pace in its capacity as a technological world leader. In the array of studies comparing Internet infrastructures across nations, the highest America ranks in any of them is 4th – in network readiness to compete globally – but 24th among industrialized nations in broadband penetration to U.S. households. These rankings show that America has a ways to go to remain competitive in the dynamic global economy, not to mention protecting itself from cyber-terrorism and other Internet high jinks.

Our next president can help reconstruct America’s fragmented and relatively weak public communications infrastructure by using the most effective tool our youth wield – the power and depth of their digital fluency. This eager, highly knowledgeable, connected and multitasking first generation of digital natives – “millennials” coming of age now who have used computers and the Internet since childhood – can be put to work in a WPA-inspired Digital New Deal to build out a networked national public commons that bolsters our international competitiveness. —>

Election Portends Legislative Action for Broadband Policy, VoIP
by Danny Adams
IP Business

With the certainty that a new Presidential Administration will be sworn in next January, and the apparent possibility that it will be a Democratic one, many telecommunications policy initiatives will percolate up over the coming months. Given that 2008 is a major election year, only the most non-controversial of these will pass as many legislators will be campaigning and business in Congress will virtually come to a halt for the year as of early August. While not many legislative proposals will pass in this environment, much of the work will be done this year and bills made ready for speedy action early in 2009 after the inauguration.

High on the list of priorities is broadband policy. One indicator of what to expect is a bill introduced in the House by Congressmen Ed Markey (D-Mass) and Chip Pickering (R-Miss) addressing net neutrality. Within 90 days of enactment, this law would mandate that the FCC initiate an inquiry on broadband services and consumer rights. The agency would be required to review such things as compliance with its previously stated principles of network neutrality, whether broadband service providers vary their charges based on quality of service or content, and the network management practices of broadband companies.

Despite the bipartisan sponsorship of the bill, not every member of the House Telecommunications and Internet subcommittee is enthusiastic. Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla), ranking minority member on the subcommittee, indicated his belief that the proposal will need extensive hearings and study before it becomes law. And the US Telecom Association, a group of large carriers, has stated opposition to the bill, as has CTIA, the wireless carrier association. Both groups contend that the new law is unnecessary. The controversy suggests that the bill will not see passage this year, but may be a vehicle to create a record for legislation in 2009.

The focus on broadband network management practices has been propelled by alleged blocking activities of Comcast and Verizon… Another aspect of broadband policy which will get attention is the speed of deployment throughout the U.S…

Wireless communications is another area that is receiving attention from legislators. The courts have ruled that State authorities have the jurisdiction to review items such as wireless carrier line item billing and early termination fee disclosures. This has motivated the carriers to seek expanded federal preemption of state oversight. (Currently the states are prohibited from regulating carrier rates or market entry, but the courts ruled that “rates” do not include bill format or presentation.)

Congressman Markey is working on a bill for the House which will give the carriers the preemption of state regulation which they seek. It also will contain consumer safeguards, however, so as not to be seen as ignoring the consumer issues raised by the states. The state agencies are likely to oppose any such preemption legislation.

Another area of interest in state preemption is the entry of municipal governments into the telecom marketplace. In response to several cities seeking to build WiMax or similar systems to provide universal Internet access, several states (encouraged by the carriers who sell Internet access) passed laws against such activities by municipalities. Congressman Markey’s bill may also include federal preemption of such state laws, allowing municipalities back into the market. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate last Fall. A Democratic Administration would seem to be more likely than a Republican one to sign these preemption bills into law, but Sen. McCain was supportive of the Senate bill as well. —>

East Africa: Media Summit Should Harness Communication Power to Sell EAC
Editorial: The New Times (Kigali)

Today the second East African Media Summit opens in Dar es Salaam, with many leading media and diplomatic personnel in the region attending. It is being opened by Uganda’s Eriya Kategaya, Chairman of the East African Community Council of Ministers under the theme: “The Role of the Media in Addressing the Causes of Conflict and Instability, and their Prevention: The East African dimension.” —>

New community radio station speaks out for peace
Inspire Magazine [UK]
04/11/08 [?]

Peace FM, a radio station committed to promoting peace and community cohesion in Manchester, has received one of a limited number of full-time community radio licences from the broadcasting regulator Ofcom. Fighting off stiff competition from other community radio groups in the city, the station will be run by Peace Full Media Group, part of local community alliance CARISMA, and staffed by a team of enthusiastic volunteers from all walks of life.

Anthony Weekes, DJ, says: “We are absolutely over the moon – it’s a triumph for the local community. However, this is just the beginning. “The building of peace and respect requires the input of all parts of our community. DJs can raise a public debate on the issues people experience in their lives and get people talking. “Through phone-ins we can grow understanding and give people a voice about how they feel, what they think, and what we see as part of the solution. Just acknowledging that we need to talk already grows a sense of community and respect.“

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, cable vs telco, FCC, net neutrality, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

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