Archive for the ‘deliberative democracy’ category

FCC En Banc Hearing on Broadband Network Management Practices

February 27, 2008

A lot has been written about this hearing already.  Here are a just a few blog and press accounts. Net neutrality advocates, stay tuned to, and help line up co-sponsors for the Markey/Pickering Internet Freedom Protection Act of 2008 – rm

FCC Hearing Video Webcast:
Commissioners Statements:

Comcast, net neutrality advocates clash at FCC hearing
by Matthew Lasar
Ars Technica


A civil but tense tone prevailed at today’s Federal Communications Commission’s hearing on how to address concerns that Comcast and other ISPs degrade P2P traffic. Comcast executive vice president David L. Cohen was the star of the show, and he knew it. “It’s a pleasure to be here as a participant and hopefully not the main course for your meal,” Cohen told all five Commissioners and a lively audience during the event’s first panel discussion, held at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.   —>

[fccboston08] FCC hearing: Ed Markey
by David Weinberger
JOHO the Blog

[ 26 comments over 16 posts ]

NOTE: I am live-blogging. Not re-reading for errors. There are guaranteed to be errors of substance, stand point and detail. Caveat reader.  Rep. Ed Markey opens it. He’s been one of the staunchest and most reliable defenders of an open Internet. He recalls his long standing on the Internet’s behalf. He asks us to keep users in mind, preferring their needs to that of the carriers. What a concept!   —>

FCC chief says Net providers can’t block access ‘arbitrarily’
Delays by Comcast are focus of hearing
by Hiawatha Bray
Boston Globe

CAMBRIDGE – Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin warned yesterday that Internet service providers can’t block consumers from using lawful Internet activities in the name of providing better service.  “While networks may have legitimate network issues and practices,” Martin said, “that does not mean that they can arbitrarily block access to certain network services.”   —>

The FCC holds a hearing on Net Neutrality, and YOU! ARE! THERE!
by John Sundman


So yesterday morning over coffee I was doing what most people do over their first daily cup o’ joe, which is bring up technorati and see if anybody’s talking about me. That process took me to Joho’s page, from which I learned that the FCC was to be holding an hearing on why Comcast sucks, I mean Net Neutrality broadband network management practices only hours thence. Now although to my surprise & delight, Wetmachine, thanks to the work of my fellow wetmechanics Harold Feld and Greg Rose has become quite the FCC policy site with a side-order of net neutrality, I had never been to an FCC hearing. A quick check of the boat and bus schedules showed that I could probably make it to Hahvahd in time for most of the festivities. I decided to go. So, after securing the blessings of Dear Wife and throwing a few things in a bag, off I set to lose my FCC-hearing virginity.

Below the fold, some totally subjective impressions of the day, told in that winsome wetmachine way that you’ve come to treasure, or if you haven’t yet, which you soon will. More sober-styled reports have surely appeared by now, and I’ll dig up some links & post them at the end for those of you who like a little conventional reportage to ballast what you get from me.   —>

FCC En Banc: Annals of the Battle for the Last Mile
by Fred Johnson

[ 1 Comment ]

Harvard Law School was “Markey Country” today as Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey defended net neutrality in his opening remarks before the FCC’s Public En Banc Hearing on broadband network management practices in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Markey declared the US “no country for old bandwidth” and hung around to observe, with the rest of us, the FCC, “en banc” and securely enclosed in Harvard space droning through a tedious day of testimony and q&a, comfortably surrounded by an audience packed with polite but bored Comcast employees trained to provide applause on cue.   —>

Network neutrality: code words and conniving at yesterday’s FCC hearing (Part 2 of 2)
by Andy Oram
O’Reilly Radar

[1 comment ]

Yesterday I summarized the public FCC hearing about bandwidth at the Harvard Law School, and referred readers to a more comprehensive background article. In this article I’ll highlight some of the rhetoric at the meeting, which shows that network providers’ traffic shaping is no more sophisticated or devious than the shaping of public perceptions by policy-makers and advocates.   —>

Comcast Paid Shills To Attend FCC Hearing
by Wendy Davis
Online Media Daily

The Federal Communications Commission hearing about net neutrality this week was so crowded that police had to turn away an estimated 100 people from the Harvard Law School classroom where the event was held.  The large audience even seemed to surprise some of the organizers, who did not have an overflow room available on site.

But now, it’s come out that the packed room wasn’t just filled with concerned citizens. Comcast paid shills to arrive early and save seats so that employees and other supporters could attend and cheer on executive vice president David Cohen.

The move came to light after the net neutrality advocacy group Free Press posted an MP3 file ( of an interview with an unidentified line-stander on its site.  “Honestly, I’m just getting paid to hold somebody’s seat,” a man said on the recording. “I don’t even know what’s going on.”  Pictures also surfaced online showing audience members sleeping during the hearing.   —>

Comcast Manipulating NAACP on Net Neutrality
by Matt Stoller


By now you’ve probably heard that Comcast hired a crowd to sit in an FCC hearing on net neutrality so interested citizens couldn’t get a spot to speak.  The gist of Comcast’s excuse is that they hired people to hold spots for Comcast employees, though those people accidentally fell asleep and stayed in their seats throughout the entire hearing.  Nuts.

Interestingly, there’s a bit more to the story, and it involves the cozy relationship between the NAACP and Comcast.  Corporate funding of civil rights groups has been a quiet and dank hallmark of liberal politics for decades.  Most of the time these partnerships are innocent, but they lead to some coincidentally problematic situations.  For example, here’s what else was going on in Boston around the FCC the day before the rent-a-crowd incident.   —>

The FCC and ISPs talk about BT while FP demands “Net Neutrality!”
by thecrazedman
The Crazed Man’s Words

[ comments allowed ]

Yesterday I attended the public hearing held by the FCC at Harvard Law School that was addressing allegations lodged against Comcast and other ISPs that they deliberately have (and continue) to delay and block P2P applications to and from their users, whom are paying customers. No matter if the files being shared are legal or not, these ISPs have been accused of managing their networks unfavorably to the file-sharers all across the United States.

I was invited to the event by my Professor, David Monje, whom shares a friendship, academic and otherwise, to the members of From FreePress’ perspective this was billed as an attemp “To Save The Internet” as Net Neutrality is a major lobbying issue for this non-profit organization. I was really excited to be there and hear what both sides had to say.

There was a lot of enlightening information from both panels, specifically panelists Marvin Ammori, Yochai Benkler, Timothy Wu, Richard Bennet, David Clark, and Eric Klinker. These men are all from different backgrounds surrounding the internet and this issue of net neutrality. I am going to follow from the notes I took and expand from what kind of discussion developed.   —>

In Comcast vs. Verizon, Comcast is Down Two Counts
by Drew Clark

[ comments allowed ]

Dominance in the broadband market is a battle of both technology and politics. Right now Comcast, America’s leading cable company, is losing on both counts.  Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen emerged from the Federal Communications Commission’s hearing on Internet practices in Cambridge, Mass., as unable to defend himself and his company against charges of blocking the peer-to-peer (P2P) Internet application BitTorrent.  Comcast also came out looking like the kind of bullying corporation that resorts to packing the auditorium with its own employees.   —>

For the Clueless Among Us: Why Comcast Paying Folks to Attend FCC Hearing Is Wrong.
by Harold Feld

[ comments allowed ]

I can’t believe I actually need to explain this.  Suppose Comcast made the following offer: If you vote “no” on a ballot initiative we like (and agree to take a pocket recording device into the voting booth with you so we can have proof), we will pay you $50.

Most of us would not only say that this is wrong, we would have no problem understanding why that’s a crime. We would not be persuaded by Comcast defending itself by saying “well, Free Press and other organizations have campaigned in support of the bill and are calling people to ask them to go out and vote — they even provide free rides to people likely to vote for the initiative. That’s just like paying people directly to vote the way we want.” In general, we recognize a difference between organizing ad trying to persuade people to vote the way you want and actually paying people for their vote (and wanting a receipt)…

This isn’t some gray area of giving local employees the day off with pay and a free ride while others had to take time off ad make their own way. This is just hiring warm bodies to block others and — if they stay awake long enough — to applaud on cue. The notion that this is in any way comparable to the kind of civic conversation that democracies depend on and the sort of organizing that Free Press engages in — citizens persuading other citizens and urging them to make their voices heard — is worse than ignorant and beyond Orwellian. It is downright insulting. It takes our most fundamental right and responsibility as free citizens and transforms it into a mockery. It is literally to defend the practice of placing democracy up for sale, and to reduce our democracy to the level of a banana republic.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media


Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/28/08

January 28, 2008

Editorial: How will AT&T’s Legislation affect Channel 9?
by Mark Madison

Dear Editor:
Your recent article regarding AT&T’s proposed legislation stirred a response from Paul Stinson, Manager of Regulatory and External Affairs for AT&T. On January 7th, a meeting was held with Mr. Stinson, Mr. Keidel, a concerned parent and me. After the meeting I sat down and composed a list comparing the status quo with what AT&T has proposed for Access channels like WBHS9.    —>

Carney, Markell, meet for debate on public access show
Associated Press ( 3 comments)
Delaware Online

WILMINGTON – The two prominent Democrats vying for the party’s nomination for governor met face-to-face Sunday for their first debate of the campaign.  Lt. Gov. John Carney and state Treasurer Jack Markell appeared on a public access television program hosted by Wilmington City Councilman Charles Potter.   —>

Symington vies with Douglas for public access viewers
by Terri Hallenbeck (8 comments)
Burlington Free Press (VT)

MONTPELIER — Vermonters who click their way to public access television thinking they might catch a glimpse of the governor’s news conferences, as they did in the past, are finding a different Statehouse show.  Gov. Jim Douglas’ news conferences have not been aired on public access television stations since July, when the last production company’s contract ended. Those tapings will resume this week, Douglas spokesman Jason Gibbs said, with the governor’s staff doing the camera work.

Starting last week, House Speaker Gaye Symington launched her own “In Your Statehouse” show. The half-hour program focuses on a different topic each week.  “It’s an effort to help Vermonters understand our work,” she said.  Symington said her political action committee, the Speaker’s Circle, is paying the cost of production — about $74-$80 a week. The tapes are sent to public access television stations around the state…

… Lauren-Glenn Davitian, executive director of CCTV, said Vermont politicians have long seen the advantage of reaching constituents directly. Former Gov. Howard Dean did it when he was lieutenant governor. Douglas did it when he was treasurer and secretary of state, she said.

AT&T will start offering TV service
Video option begins Monday in suburbs
by Jon Van
Chicago Tribune (IL)

After a few false starts and missed deadlines, AT&T Inc. launches video service for residents in most Chicago suburbs Monday.  AT&T’s TV service, called U-verse, will become available in parts of 175 suburbs. The rollout will be low-key to guard against unrealistic consumer expectations, AT&T executives said, but it does mark the phone giant’s largest foray into television.   —>,1,6554781.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

U-verse TV Pitched to Chicago Suburbs
AT&T Launches in 175-Plus Northeast Illinois Communities
by Todd Spangler
Multichannel News

AT&T is blowing U-verse TV into more than 175 communities surrounding the Windy City, in what the telco claimed is the largest initial rollout to date for the Internet Protocol TV service.   The launch in northeastern Illinois — where the telco primarily will challenge Comcast — is the largest for U-verse in terms of how widely the service is available on Day One, AT&T spokeswoman Jenny Parker said, without providing specific numbers.

AT&T last week announced it had racked up 231,000 U-verse TV subscribers at the end of 2007, up 83% from 126,000 three months earlier, and claimed it’s on track to reach 1 million subscribers by the close of this year.  U-verse services are available in parts of more than 175 Chicago-area communities, including Bellwood, Buffalo Grove, Crystal Lake, Dolton, Elmhurst, Harvey, Hoffman Estates, Melrose Park, Oak Lawn, Orland Park, River Grove, St. Charles and Waukegan.   —>

Media consolidation concerns Adelstein
by Faith Bremner
Sioux Falls Argus Leader

WASHINGTON – Being a member of the Federal Communications Commission is a high-tech, high-stress job, but Jonathan Adelstein seems to thrive on it.  President Bush last month nominated the 45-year-old South Dakota native for a second five-year term to help lead the agency that regulates radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The Senate is expected to approve his nomination. Before joining the FCC, Adelstein was a senior legislative aide to former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

Adelstein, one of two Democrats on the five-member commission, has publicly clashed with his Republican counterparts, most recently over a December decision to allow large media companies to own television stations and newspapers in the top 20 media markets.  Adelstein spoke recently about some of the big issues that have gone before the FCC.   —>

Youth radio earns its full street cred
by Sally Jones
Worcester News (UK)

An internet radio station for young people in Worcestershire has begun broadcasting on FM after being awarded a community radio licence.  Youthcomm Radio, Worcester’s first and only youth community radio station, was established several years ago by Worcestershire County Council’s youth support service.  Since then, it has only been able to broadcast over the internet, but now anyone with a radio will be able to tune in to listen at 106.7FM.

Youthcomm radio co-ordinator Chris Fox said: “The station is a unique opportunity for Worcestershire’s young people to get involved in radio and media.  “They can be involved in producing and presenting the station’s content both on air and behind the scenes.”

The county council’s youth support staff, who help the youngsters to prepare and present the station’s programmes, are working in partnership with Youth Community Media, and Worcester College of Technology and the University of Worcester.   —>

“Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing Symposium”
Conference on Online Deliberation (DIAC-2008/OD2008)
Sponsored by Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility and UC Berkeley School of Information
June 26 – 29, 2008
Tools of Participation (CA)

At the dawn of the 21st century humankind faces challenges of profound proportions. The ability of people around the world to discuss, work, make decisions, and take action collaboratively is one of the most important capabilities for addressing these challenges.

Researchers, scholars, activists, advocates, artists, educators, technologists, designers, students, policy-makers, entrepreneurs, journalists and citizens are rising to these challenges in many ways,including, devising new communication technologies that build on the opportunities afforded by the Internet and other new (as well as old) media. The interactions between technological and social systems are of special and central importance in this area.

DIAC-08 combines CPSR’s 11th DIAC symposium with the third Conference on Online Deliberation. The joint conference is intended to provide a platform and a forum for highlighting socio-technological opportunities, challenges, and pitfalls in the area of community and civic action. Technology enhanced community action ranges from informal communities of practice to democratic governance of formal organizations to large
social movements.   —>

National League of Cities Television Partners with BIA Information Network to Offer ActiveAccess Desktop Application to Its Members
Business Wire

BIA Information Network, a leading provider of private-label desktop applications, announced today that it has partnered with the National League of Cities Television (NLC TV) to support efforts to inform its 19,000 members in real-time about events, news alerts, and updated video content on best practices in city management.

‘As a service to our members we wanted to identify a method that would provide them valuable information and updates on our web content in an efficient manner,’ said David Gardy, chairman and CEO of TV Worldwide, producers of NLC TV. ‘With ActiveAccess, NLC TV has found an efficient and proven method of keeping them abreast of what’s happening in city government by using a cutting-edge technology that everyone can easily access and use.’

Through the NLC TV website members from municipalities across the country can download the free ActiveAccess desktop application, a light-weight, non-intrusive program. Once installed users will be alerted automatically when new content is posted, or they can access events, materials, and webcasts directly through the application. For example, videos can be accessed and viewed through the computer desktop without having to open or activate a web browser, making it much easier for members to access desired content.

Because NLC TV can continuously change the content on the ActiveAccess-driven portal page with important information for its members, Gardy sees the new tool as a competitive advantage for NLC TV to create a community within the nation’s cities.   —>

Kaltura and Intelligent Television Partner to Enhance Cultural and Educational Projects With Rich-Media Collaboration

Kaltura, Inc., a pioneer in Collaborative Media, and Intelligent Television, a new nonfiction media company, announced today that the organizations will work together on several joint experiments revolving around culture and education using rich-media in the community.

“Intelligent Television is all about educational productions, public media, and community projects, so Kaltura’s concept of group collaboration in rich-media fits our business philosophy like a glove,” said Peter B. Kaufman from Intelligent Television. “Featuring the Kaltura platform in our new productions and in our research projects with moving image archives is very exciting.”

The companies invite the community to join and contribute time, skills and ideas, as well as suggestions of relevant projects.  “It’s great to work with Intelligent Television, a producer with the same values and visions of community and joint creation as Kaltura,” said Ron Yekutiel, Chairman and CEO of Kaltura. “This relationship is an important addition to the Kaltura Global Network, en route of making Kaltura the standard of online rich-media editing and collaboration.”

Kaltura and Intelligent Television will work on a variety of joint projects including a new documentary history of the Korean War with Jigsaw Productions and Intelligent Television’s multiyear Memory Project.  “The Longest Winter” tells the story of America in the Korean War based on the book “The Longest Winter” from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam. “The Longest Winter” film is centered on eyewitness accounts and archival media, including rare color film shot during the conflict. Producers Intelligent Television and Jigsaw Productions combine traditional narration, contemporary voices from soldiers and others caught in the events, interviews with veterans, and Halberstam’s words and voice to bring a new sensory experience to the telling of wartime history — and a fresh sense of relevance for the television viewer of today. Using Kaltura’s platform, the archive of material from the film and many of the interviews that are being conducted will be made available to the public to annotate and mix online — see more at   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media