Archive for the ‘municiple wi-fi’ category

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 05/03/08

May 4, 2008

Sirius/XM Merger an Opportunity for Openness & Access? LPFM for Satellite?
by Paul Riismandel
mediageek
05/03/08

[ comments invited ]

Matthew Lasar continues his excellent reporting for Ars Technica with an article on a recent letter from House Energy and Commerce Chair John Dingell (D-MI) and Internet subcommittee Chair Edward J. Markey (D-MA) to the FCC urging an open platform for satellite radio if the Commission approves the Sirius/XM deal. What they’re calling for is the ability for any manufacturer to make Sirius/XM compatible satellite radios, without the ability for the merged company to prevent things like iPod docks or HD Radio capability.

Lasar also notes the gathering steam in support for setting aside some of the merged company’s channel capacity for noncommercial programming, similar to what has been required for direct-broadcast satellite TV. Apparently even Clear Channel wants 5% of capacity set aside for “public interest” programming, whatever Cheap Channel means by that.

I oppose the merger on the principled basis of the fact that such a merger was specifically prohibited as a provision of the original authorization of the service. Nevertheless, I recognize that principle rarely rules the day in DC. Therefore I very much support setting aside channel capacity for non-commercial broadcasters as a necessary condition if the FCC chooses to approve the merger.

Obtaining a non-commercial channel on Dish Network was vitally important for Free Speech TV and has allowed that organization to distribute its radically critical grassroots programming in a way that it simply could not before, feeding public access TV stations around the country.

Although internet distribution is still more practical for radio programming than for TV programming, having several nation-wide progressive and grassroots radio channels nonetheless would be a great opportunity, and could be of great service to community radio stations.   —>
http://www.mediageek.net/?p=1619
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SPARKY VIDEO CONTEST
by Roger Green
Friends of the Albany Public Library
05/03/08

[ comments invited ]

Competition showcases student productions, offers instructors a fun and thought-provoking class assignment

Six library, student, and advocacy organizations today announced the Second Annual Sparky Awards, a contest that recognizes the best new short videos on the value of sharing and aims to broaden the discussion of access to scholarly research by inviting students to express their views creatively.

This year’s contest is being organized by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) with additional co-sponsorship by the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Association of Research Libraries, Penn Libraries (at the University of Pennsylvania), Students for Free Culture, and The Student PIRGs. Details are online at www.sparkyawards.org.

The 2008 contest theme is “MindMashup: The Value of Information Sharing.” Well-suited for adoption as a college class assignment, the Sparky Awards invite contestants to submit videos of two minutes or less that imaginatively portray the benefits of the open, legal exchange of information. Mashup is an expression referring to a song, video, Web site, or software application that combines content from more than one source.   —>
http://aplfriends.blogspot.com/2008/05/sparky-video-contest.html
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East Metro candidates to appear at forum May 8
by Gosia Wozniacka
The Oregonian
05/02/08

[ comments invited ]

County commission and state legislative candidates will appear at a voters’ forum next week in Fairview.The Spring Voters Forum will be held Thursday, May 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Fairview City Council chambers, 1300 NE Village Street. The forum will also be televised live on MetroEast Community Media.   —>
http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2008/05/east_metro_candidates_to_appea.html
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Community Media 2.0: It’s Still About Us and Our Physical Communities
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition (MA)
05/02/08

[ comments invited ]

My co-workers and I had a meeting today to discuss plans for our new website. Two important things caught my attention in thinking about how to frame the work we’re doing through our visual and semantic design.

First, visual design. The thing that sets us (community media centers) apart in a REALLY important way from social network websites (e.g., Facebook, MySpace, etc.) is our focus on the physical communities we serve. We need to represent that both in our stories and in our visual images online.

For example, the picture above from the staff page on the DCTV website shows the visitor that there are people involved at DCTV in a physical community. So, if you’re a worker at a community media center with a presence online show pictures of your access center and the people from your community. It not only humanizes the web technology that you’re using, but it also tells the website visitor there is a physical place and people involved that others can come to learn more about, learn from, and participate with.   —>
http://cmediachange.net/blog/2008/05/02/community-media-20-its-still-about-us-and-our-physical-communities/
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As AT&T legislation wraps up, city may be first to see U-verse
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper (TN)
05/02/08

[ 7 comments ]

Nashvillians and residents of neighboring counties will likely have the first crack at AT&T’s television programming later this year now that legislation is close to becoming law, a lawmaker close to the telecom said.  Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro), the Senate sponsor of AT&T’s legislation to start offering television programming, said Davidson County and the “doughnut counties” around Nashville would be the first areas where AT&T will offer its U-verse television services.

“Some people in the state will be able to start using U-verse by Dec. 1,” Ketron said.  In addition, Ketron said AT&T was prepared to invest more than $350 million in Tennessee.  So far, for competitive reasons, AT&T officials have not said where they would be offering U-verse if pending legislation became law.  Ketron’s pronouncement didn’t change that.  “We have not made any formal announcement at this point at all,” said AT&T spokesman Bob Corney on Thursday.   —>
http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=59939
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House OKS study on WiMax Internet technology
by Gina Smith
The State (SC)
05/02/08

[ 32 comments ]

A fight is looming over whether South Carolina should become the first state to adopt the next generation of broadband communication — and who should have access if it does.  WiMax would allow extremely fast connection to the Internet from anywhere in the state and access to never-before-seen interactive tools.  House lawmakers voted Thursday to appoint a panel of seven tech experts from the private sector to study the options and make recommendations to the State Budget and Control Board.   —>
http://www.thestate.com/local/story/392973.html
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Citywide Wireless IP Network Launched in New York
by Matt Williams
Government Technology
04/15/08

[ 1 comment ]

Leave it to America’s biggest city to launch an equally big high-speed data network.

The New York City Wireless Network (NYCWiN) was rolled out to 70 percent of the city’s police precincts and firehouses on April 1, giving the city’s first responders and employees a unique public safety and public service network.

“It’s the first network of its scope certainly anywhere in the country in terms of the amount of area we’re covering,” said Nick Sbordone, spokesman for the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), referring to New York City’s 322 square miles. “The network is solely dedicated to city use, specifically not just for public safety, but for public service as well. It really is historic in that sense.”

NYCWiN will run on 400 nodes across five boroughs — with many of the access points perched on rooftops. New York City CIO Paul Cosgrave, in testimony to the City Council in February, said NYCWiN can support a diverse array of functions:

* Nineteen city agencies developed about 53 unique applications for the network, including an expansion of automated vehicle location, a real-time technology to track the city’s fleet.
* The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is developing an automated water-meter-reading program.
* The city Department of Transportation will use the wireless network to synchronize and time traffic signals to ease traffic congestion. Cosgrave testified that NYCWiN also will provide photos and video of traffic incidents and emergencies.

In addition, the wireless network will be a powerful tool for law enforcement and public safety personnel. The NYPD Real Time Crime Center will link into NYCWiN, which will support Internet protocol (IP)-based emergency call boxes and surveillance cameras. Police officers will have access to in-car photos and video.   —>
http://www.govtech.com/gt/articles/286778
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News from the profit centres
Press freedom: Many fear the internet is killing journalism, but markets may be a more serious threat
by Geraint Talfan Davies
The Guardian (UK)
05/03/08

[ 14 comments ]

Is new media killing journalism?

The first question to ask is whether this is the right question. The new media need kill nothing. The question is how we choose to use the web. How do we respond to its strengths and to some of its weaknesses?

What I do know is that a luddite approach to the web would be plain ludicrous, even for those of us who still prefer to settle down with a newspaper than flash around the screen.

Instead of bemoaning the web, let’s seek a more positive response. It is possible that the advent of the new media may shake journalism out of a self-deprecating complacency that insists on it being a trade rather than a profession. Journalism will need to better establish its worth in the face of free, unchecked, unverified “user-generated material”. Similarly, the new media might have a beneficial effect on the Press Complaints Commission which, if it is to safeguard self-regulation – a valuable concept in a professional world – will have to do so with greater rigour and transparency in its operation and governance.

It is no accident that an organisation such as the Media Standards Trust has come into being at just this time to address constructively some of the consequences of these developments.

But there are more important questions buried in Unesco’s briefing paper, Freedom of Expression, Access and Empowerment, which says that the role of open and pluralistic media in holding a mirror to society “has fallen increasingly to the smaller community media sector as financial imperatives drive corporate media away from these core principles and into profit centres that do not cater to smaller or marginalised populations.”   —>
http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/geraint_talfan_davies/2008/05/news_from_the_profit_centres.html
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Civic Engagement, Empowerment & Respect for Diversity (CEERD)
The World Bank
05/02/08 [?]

The Program to Develop New Bank Practices in Civic Engagement, Empowerment and Respect for Diversity (CEERD) is a coalition effort involving all of the World Bank’s technical networks and regions, for which the secretariat resides in the World Bank Institute (WBI). The effort is currently focused on the Voice and Media Technical Assistance Program, which provides expert analyses and how-to advice, carried out in close collaboration with country assistance teams, to improve the enabling environment for pluralistic broadcasting in the public interest, and develop community radio prototyping and sector investment.

In the past the CEERD Program has also supported promoting respect for diversity through education, traditional knowledge and empowerment for poor producers; legal empowerment of the poor; and value-based participatory planning.

The Program currently supports analyses of the broadcasting sectors, particularly the enabling environment for community radio, in several countries, including Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Liberia.  Well experienced teams, including international, regional, and national experts advise during stakeholder deliberations on proposed reforms, assist in development of new broadcasting legislation, provide “how-to” guidance to improve regulatory procedures in order to distinguish between non-profit community broadcasters and commercial ones, and design community radio sector investment programs in close collaboration with national stakeholder coalitions for community radio development.  South-south mentoring and communities of practice support participatory development of community radio stations, as well as capacity development in programming, reporting, and management/resource mobilization.

An important thrust of this agenda is to help build sustained policies, practices and institutions that are megaphones for citizen’s voice and demand for good governance. Community radio development is being given special attention because it has proved to be a sustainable and interactive medium for poor and illiterate populations to articulate issues important to them, mobilize information, learn the give and take of informed discussion and debate, and become more decisive agents in their own development.  These non-profit, non-partisan stations are owned and operated by the communities they serve, and perform an important public service for poor constituencies, eliciting their views and concerns, and encouraging them to speak out, both among themselves and to local government.
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/WBI/EXTCEERD/0,,menuPK:542912~pagePK:64168427~piPK:64168435~theSitePK:542906,00.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

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Community Media: Selected Clippings – 05/01/08

May 2, 2008

EAS: Act locally, think regionally
by Thomas G. Robinson
CedMagazine.com
05/01/08

As cable communications systems have evolved from solo headends to master headend and hub configurations and then to regional super headends, the concept of the local emergency override seems to have gotten lost in the complexity of it all.

The original local emergency overrides go back to the glory days of cable franchising when cable operators touted them as being a critical component of an emergency notification system that would set their system’s capabilities apart from others desiring to cable unwired areas, thus being part of the reason for choosing them over another franchisee. A number of these promises were kept, and emergency override systems were put into place to either override the audio, or audio and video, and allow the emergency operations directors of local franchising authorities to take over the cable system for a brief period of time and notify subscribers of local alerts. This could include hazardous materials spills on a highway within the franchise area or ruptured gas lines in a specific subdivision. As government access channels came on line, subs could then be directed to turn to those for more information.

Over time, a number of things happened to alter the way in which these systems were able to be utilized. First, digital cable channels were developed and added to the lineup. The way that they were encoded and distributed presented new challenges for modifying systems which had been developed for overriding analog channels.   —>
http://www.cedmagazine.com/Article-In-The-Loop-050108.aspx
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The cancellation of Channel 36
Policy debates and high school sports could soon fade to black.
by Patt Morrison
Los Angeles Times (CA)
05/01/08

It’s the channel you probably channel-surf right past on your way from Discovery to CNN.  Its production values can look a little … lean. “Desperate Housewives” no doubt spends more on its backstage buffet line than it costs to operate this little local channel for a whole year.

Tonight, other cable channels will air something called “Britney’s Secret Childhood” and reruns of “Law & Order” and “Family Feud.” Cable access Channel 36 will explore the future of Broadway downtown, and what Proposition 98 means. On Friday, as you’re flipping through the lineup looking for a pro baseball game, Channel 36 will broadcast the local high school slugger-fest between Cleveland and Chatsworth. Fox lets you decide whether to vote for Syesha or Brooke on “American Idol”; Channel 36 shows the debate between Bernard Parks and Mark Ridley-Thomas, so you can decide who to vote for for L.A. County supervisor, a post that represents more people than do the senators from 14 U.S. states.

Whoops — we interrupt this programming announcement for a de-programming announcement. Los Angeles is pulling the money plug. Unless the City Council overrules the mayor’s budget choices, come July 1, Channel 36 as we know it will go dark.  Not that there’s much budget to cut. The 16 hours of programming a day, seven days a week — school sports, public policy talks, long-distance for-credit college classes and a lot of repeats if you missed anything the first time — cost the city $555,000. (Channel 36 raises another $320,000 itself, mostly from hiring out its production services.)

That $555,000 comes from cable TV companies, not taxpayers. Back in 1984, the city boldly demanded funding for public access channels as a condition of handing out those rich, rich cable franchises. That show of nerve now generates $25 million a year.  About $3 million goes to Channel 36’s more production-intense sister station, Channel 35. If some of the faces on 35 look familiar, it’s because they’re often the mayor’s or council members’, in public meetings and on chatty shows about the work they’re doing. They’re on so often that their political opponents have complained that Channel 35 is like one big, free campaign commercial.

The Monday morning that the mayor released his budget, Carla Carlini, the general manager of Channel 36, was nervous. The city nearly whacked Channel 36 four years ago, and the city’s red ink is a lot more crimson now.  “I looked at it online,” she told me, “and literally froze.” Her budget was zero. “I printed it out, I looked at it again — at that point I picked up the phone and called [the agency that supervises the channel] and said, ‘Am I reading this correctly?’ and they said, ‘Yes.’ ”   —>
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-oe-morrison1-2008may01,1,3119514.column
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AT&T will start offering public access TV on U-verse system
by Luther Turmelle
New Haven Register (CT)
05/01/08

An AT&T Inc. executive indicated Wednesday that the debut of local public access television channels on the company’s U-verse system is imminent.  “It will occur sooner, rather than later,” said John Emra, AT&T’s regional vice president of external and legislative affairs. Emra said that at least one provider will appear on the system in the initial launch, with others to appear in coming weeks and months.

Emra declined to identify which public access provider would be first to launch on the system, which has been operating in the state for 17 months without offering any such programming.  “We are working closely with a number of providers to bring them on board,” he said. “Some of those providers serve a number of towns.”

Speculation among those who work in the public access community is that the first provider to launch on U-verse will be Sound View Community Media of Bridgeport. The company provides public access programming for cable television customers in Bridgeport, Fairfield, Milford, Orange, Stratford and Woodbridge.  But while company President Thomas Castelot acknowledged that Sound View is negotiating with AT&T to be carried on U-verse, any suggestion that an agreement is imminent is “premature,” he said.

Contrast Sound View’s experience with that of Wallingford’s Government Access Television.  Scott Hanley, who manages the government access channel, said AT&T hasn’t had any contact with Wallingford since Mayor William Dickinson Jr. made an initial overture to the company.  “We know that Wallingford has a fair number of (U-verse) customers, but at this point, we’ve heard nothing,” Hanley said.

U-verse is AT&T’s Internet-based challenge to cable television in the state and is operating in parts of 40 communities and 135,000 households.  Local public access channel advocates in some of those communities have criticized AT&T, saying that a portal, or “PEG platform,” that U-verse subscribers will use to view community-based programming will be substandard compared to what’s available from cable providers in terms of picture quality and accessibility.   —>
http://www.nhregister.com/WebApp/appmanager/JRC/BigDaily;jsessionid=5QftLZnVpyydvBDTDlVSdT9LgphBDsgpGC8yjgQnmm7THq1ymGjg!289188298?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pg_article&r21.pgpath=%2FNHR%2FBusiness&r21.content=%2FNHR%2FBusiness%2FHeadlineList_Story_1982738
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Cable Companies Fight For Franchise
by Ben Hogwood
Queens Tribune (NY)
05/01/08

Cable franchises are up for renewal this year, and one Queens councilman wants to make sure customers receive better service before the City signs any new contracts.
“With the cable franchises for Cablevision and Time Warner up for renewal for the first time in 10 years, we must wisely use this opportunity to protect consumers and hold Big Cable to higher standards,” said Tony Avella (D-Bayside), the chair of zoning and franchises for the City.

In addition, the City is seeking bids from all possible companies that can offer services to every residence, and already it appears consumers may have another option. The Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) reached an agreement with Verizon Tuesday for a citywide cable television contract. The proposed agreement must still be approved by the City’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee, which is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the topic May 20.   —>
http://www.queenstribune.com/news/1209661473.html
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Column: School board meetings — where and what time?
by Bob Fasbender
Tomah Journal (WI)
05/01/08

[ comments invited ]

The Tomah Area School District Board of Education is seeking your input on where and when you feel board meetings should be held.  Currently all Tomah School Board regular monthly meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month beginning at 7:30 p.m. at various schools throughout the year. The board is investigating the possibility of making some changes to the regular monthly board meeting schedule.

The first change they are considering is moving the starting time to 7 p.m. instead of 7:30 p.m. Secondly, they are considering discontinuing the “traveling” board meeting schedule. For many years the board has rotated the location of their monthly meeting so that they get into all of the schools at least once a year. They are considering the possibility of holding all regular board meetings at the former WTC building to be renamed the Robert Kupper Learning Center (RKLC), located at 1310 Townline Road in Tomah. They would continue to hold the May meeting in the Tomah High School library because this is the meeting where the retirees are recognized and usually attracts a large number of people.

Part of the reason for looking at a change in meeting location is because the board feels that more people watch the board meetings on cable (the PEG Channel and the Hagen Sports Network) than those who appear at the meetings. Secondly, anyone who has attended the meetings knows that the acoustics in the gymnasiums is marginal and makes it very difficult to hear and record. It affects the quality of the videotape that is being broadcast on cable. By holding the meetings in the former WTC building, the district can address the sound problems with the acoustical ceiling tiles and speakers in the ceilings. This will result in better sound for those who watch the meetings on cable and for those who are in attendance.   —>
http://www.tomahjournal.com/articles/2008/05/01/opinion/02fasbendercolumn.txt
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Public Forum on Philly WiFi
by twolfson
Philly Future (PA)
05/01/08

Media Mobilizing Project, Temple School of Communications and Theatre and a bunch of co-sponsors are hosting a public forum on the future of Philly WiFi on June 3rd at Temple. The forum will host a diverse panel of speakers, while including an open space for participants to speak about the future of the wireless Internet initiative.   —>
http://www.phillyfuture.org/node/6220
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How community TV spends its night of nights
by Daniel Ziffer
theage.com (Australia)
05/01/08

The Antenna Awards are community television’s Logies and last week they were celebrated with just as much passion and style. A crowd of several hundred tramped another red carpet, clinked champagne flutes and crammed into a Federation Square theatre to discover the winners of television’s other night of nights.  Nominees for best program included The MS Show, a series about multiple sclerosis, The Goin Ballistyx Snow Board Show, animated children’s program Play Kool and Let’s Go Bird Watching.

The winner was sustainable-lifestyle show Making The Switch, which also took out best lifestyle program and the award for best editing.  Presenter of the show’s 26 half-hour episodes, Lisa Corduff, says the community sector has room for anyone with a message. “I had never really made TV before and I was given the opportunity to research and present and produce.   —>
http://www.theage.com.au/news/tv–radio/how-community-tv-spends-its-night-of-nights/2008/04/30/1209234934185.html
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Time Warner to shed stake in cable operation
by Thomas Mulligan
Los Angeles Times
05/01/08

Answering Wall Street’s calls for a slimmer and more focused company, Time Warner Inc.’s chief executive said Wednesday that the cable system operator in which it holds a majority stake would become a completely separate entity.  Jeffrey L. Bewkes did not spell out how and when the split-off of Time Warner Cable Inc. would be accomplished.  Bewkes said that he was “very optimistic” about the prospects for the cable business but that “we just believe that the two entities would ultimately be more valuable if separated.” Time Warner owns 84percent of Time Warner Cable, a portion of which was spun off into a separate public company that began trading last year.

Time Warner has long been talked about as a possible deep-pockets buyer of Bethpage-based Cablevision Systems Corp. But there has never been a formal offer and stock analysts yesterday said it was too soon to know if the Time Warner spinoff would affect possible acquisitions, including one involving Cablevision.   —>
http://www.newsday.com/business/ny-bztime0501,0,4960948.story
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What’s Next for Time Warner Cable?
by David Lee Smith
The Motley Fool
05/01/08

It was a busy day for Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), the second-biggest player in the cable industry. And the major event for the company wasn’t, as you might expect, its quarterly results, but rather the fact that we now know that it’s about to leave its parental nest.  So, let’s look quickly at the company’s results for the quarter before discussing its future.   —>
http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2008/05/01/whats-next-for-time-warner-cable.aspx
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/28/08

April 29, 2008

[ Here’s what you call one of them ‘anecdotal’ reports of the positive effects of PEG access programming.  Just as with our friendly smiles and “good morning” greetings to strangers, sometimes we never know the positive effects our actions have.  Stories like this are among the reasons we’re driven to keep these channels alive and flowing. ~ rm ]

Why Bother?
by Amy Gates
Crunchy Domestic Goddess
04/28/08

[ 25 comments ]

This evening as Jody and Ava were out running an errand for me, I attempted to cook dinner while balancing a miserable Julian (due to his four canine teeth coming in at the same time) on my hip. After much fussing (on Julian’s part, not mine), I took a break from cooking, sat down on the couch, flipped on the TV and, hoping to make the poor boy feel a bit better, nursed him.

In skipping through the channels it became clear to me why I rarely watch TV (with the exception of The Office, LOST and occasionally Oprah). There was nothing on. I stopped on the local public access channel long enough to hear someone talking about global warming. My interest was piqued so I lingered.

It turns out it was a woman reading Michael Pollan’s recent New York Times article “Why Bother?” For those of you unfamiliar with Pollan, he is the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food – neither of which I have read yet, but I’ve heard great things about both.

“Why Bother?” is a question I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’m nowhere near the point of throwing in the towel with regard to the things I do to help the environment, but after reading an article like ‘Enjoy life while you can’ – Climate science maverick James Lovelock believes catastrophe is inevitable, carbon offsetting is a joke and ethical living a scam and watching a YouTube video (which has since been taken down) about Monsanto, you might start to get a little jaded and wonder if all of your efforts are in vain. At least that’s where I’ve been at.

Pollan’s article “Why Bother?” was exactly what I needed to hear (and then read in full on the web since I missed the first half of it on TV) to help lift me out of my funk and I highly recommend you read the whole thing. Here’s just a bit of it.   —>
http://crunchydomesticgoddess.com/2008/04/28/why-bother/
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Davis criticizes Senate cable bill
by Matthew Penix
St. Tammany News (LA)
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

Parish President Kevin Davis has joined Slidell city officials in hurling objections at a Senate bill that would provide a statewide-only franchising agreement for cable operators entering Louisiana, a move critics said would increase local cable fees for consumers.  Senate Bill 422, authored by Sen. Ann Duplessis, D-New Orleans, was modified this week to adhere to requests by the Louisiana Municipal Association to scale back the bill. But critics such as Davis still said the bill amounted to a slap in the face for local municipalities.

The bill, aimed to garner more competition from cable providers entering the state, would nix the roughly 400 so municipalities statewide from entering their own non-exclusive franchise agreements with cable providers. Instead, cable companies would adhere to one set of rules, dictated by the state, concerning how municipalities will earn taxes collected from the companies using their right of ways to set up infrastructure.

For instance, St. Tammany Parish and its municipalities collect franchise fees from cable providers, typically a 5 percent fee on total revenue generated in the area, to use for infrastructure or governmental needs. The fee is paid in exchange for those cable providers to use the publicly owned right of ways to set up cable lines and more.

Under the bill, those local agreements would be nixed. Instead of brokering 400 agreements, the interested companies would now broker only one deal, a move 14 others states have already initiated, and one that would attract more companies who don’t want to deal with the headache of brokering numerous deals, Duplessis said. Already AT&T has pumped $400 million into Louisiana’s communications infrastructure in hopes the bill passes, Duplessis said. That figure could not be confirmed as of deadline.   […]

But Davis, in a recent memo, blasted the bill, saying cable companies will be allowed to “cherry pick” which citizens they will serve according to their business model.  “I fully support more and better choices for cable television,” Davis said. “This bill, however, will not provide the competition that we all want.”

According to the National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors, consumers in states that have enacted state-level franchising laws have seen their video service bills go up 8 to 50 percent, depending on the level of service, Davis said. In Texas, which enacted its franchise legislation in 2005, nearly every video provider increased its prices, he said.   —>
http://www.thesttammanynews.com/articles/2008/04/28/news/doc4815dad281a76874331234.txt
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House passes compromise AT&T bill
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper (TN)
04/28/08

[ 6 comments ]

The state House overwhelmingly passed a compromise bill this evening that AT&T says it needs to start offering television programming in Tennessee to compete with the cable industry.   —>
http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=59852
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Cable Bill Passes House
by Cara Kumari
WSMV Reporter Cara Kumari
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

I’m driving back to the station from doing my live shot about some TennCare changes, but I popped into the House session to listen to the debate on the cable legislation. (I use the term “debate” loosely.)

You’ve probably heard at least something about the cable bill or seen the nonstop commercials on TV.  This basically allows any company (AT&T for now)  who wants to enter the cable game in the state to bypass local franchising and get their permit from the state.  Lawmakers tout the increase in choices this legislation will bring the cable consumer.  Realistically, they say, don’t expect to see a huge drop in cable prices.

Anyway, the “debate” on the House floor today consisted of several of the main sponsors thanking 10 to 12 people each who made this bill happened.  Then it was a quick vote of 92-2 (with 2 not voting) and then a huge round of applause.

To give you an idea of how intense the lobbying has been on this whole issue, here’s a quip from one lawmaker after it passed: “Well, now all of the lobbyists can officially go on vacation.”  No word on whether or not those commercials will ever stop airing, though.
http://carakumari.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/cable-bill-passes-house/

Election round-tables available on-line
by Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Inside Politics (CA)
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

Televised election round-tables with June 3 primary candidates for Assembly Districts 14 and 15, the two races for the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and a debate on Propositions 98 and 99 are now posted on-line at the Contra Costa Times’ politics page.  I moderated the six, half-hour segments on April 23 and they will air on your local public access television station starting May 5. (I’ve posted the air date schedule below or you can visit http://www.contracostatv.org.)

The sponsors organized and paid for the production of the shows at no cost to the candidates. Sponsors include: Contra Costa Times, League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley, Contra Costa Council, Contra Costa TV, Contra Costa County Election Department, Comcast and the East Bay Community Foundation.  To save you a few clicks, I’ve also embedded the links to the shows here.   —>
http://www.ibabuzz.com/insidepolitics/2008/04/28/election-round-tables-available-on-line/
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BVBL and 9500Liberty Debate On Television
by Greg L
Black Velvet Bruce Li (VA)
04/28/08

[ 33 comments ]

I was invited last week to join George Burke (who is also the Chairman of the 11th District Democratic Committee) on Fairfax Public Access television for a program on “Inside Scoop Virginia” this Sunday.  To my surprise, “documentarian” Annabel Park of 9500Liberty showed up to argue the other side in what was billed as a program on new media and the immigration debate, but ended up focusing mostly on the Rule of Law Resolution.  I think I held my own fairly well against two others that certainly wanted to argue that the Rule of Law Resolution is a bad idea, and the way it turned out the vast majority of callers to this local Fairfax County program ended up agreeing with me.

The first caller was from “Mona” who called in from California, apparently viewing the program on the internet.   —>
http://www.bvbl.net/index.php/2008/04/28/bvbl-and-9500liberty-debate-on-television/#more-2310
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Council: ‘We gotta work together,’ keep listening
by Craig Peterson
Lake County News-Sun (IL)
04/28/08

[ comments invited ]

WAUKEGAN — The City Council took no formal action last week on censoring audience time from its meetings, but every alderman addressed the issue during alderman’s time.   —>
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/newssun/news/918724,5_1_WA28_WAUKCOUNCIL_S1.article
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Show and tell
If Houston school district officials want to improve community relations, televise board meetings
Editorial: Houston Chronicle (TX)
04/27/08

[ 6 comments ]

During a hard-fought campaign last year to pass a bond issue, Houston Independent School District officials were lambasted by opponents for failing to get community input for the spending plan. The issue of school consolidation and some closings in mostly minority neighborhoods generated a voter backlash that nearly defeated the referendum.  HISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra says the district is working on initiatives to improve communications with the public. “Last fall as we did our bond issue,” the superintendent said, “the biggest message to us was ‘you’re not communicating, and when you do, it’s too late. It doesn’t mean anything.’ ”  […]

Although HISD has a fully staffed and equipped audio-visual capability with a public access cable channel at its disposal, the district board remains one of the few elective bodies in Houston that does not televise its meetings. Although the board recently moved its public sessions from 3 p.m. to a more accessible 5 p.m., airing the sessions on cable would allow a much bigger audience to acquaint itself with district policy.   —>
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/5734627.html
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AT&T still not definite on U-verse here
by Jeff Richgels
The Capital Times (WI)
04/28/08

[ 14 comments ]

AT&T is looking to hire 200 more technicians to install and service its U-verse TV service, which now is available to more than 200,000 homes in the Milwaukee, Racine and Sheboygan areas.  But even though the jobs include positions in south central Wisconsin, indicating that U-verse may be offered here in the near future, the company still isn’t saying when the Madison area might get U-verse.   —>
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/283540
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Parent Event: Are Your Kids Safe & Smart Online?
by Elliot Margolis
Midpeninsula Community Media Center (CA)
04/28/08

The Media Center is sponsoring a presentation for parents who want to keep up with what kids are doing online and acquire tips to keep them safe and smart internet-users. Patty Page, from the Common Sense Media Volunteer Speaker Bureau will present a media-rich, interactive program in the Media Center’s TV studio on Monday, May 19th beginning at 7:30. Doors open and light refreshments are available at 7 PM at 900 San Antonio Rd. in Palo Alto, near the 101 freeway.  […]  The 90-minute presentation and discussion will be videotaped.   —>
http://midpen-media-center.blogspot.com/2008/04/parent-event-are-your-kids-safe-smart.html
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Denver 8 TV Announces Updated Online Programming Site
by Jeanne Robb
Congress Park Neighborhood News (CO)
04/28/08 [?]

Denver 8 TV, the city’s Municipal Access Television channel, has launched an improved web site where users can find live programming of the channel and a rich archive of video programs recorded by Denver 8. The programs available include all meeting coverage of Denver City Council, numerous press announcements, community forum coverages and all the weekly and monthly programs produced by the channel.  —>
http://congressparkneighbors.org/WordPress/?p=22
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Director changes channels: WCAC head hired to lead NewTV
by Jeff Gilbride
Daily News Tribune (MA)
04/28/08

[ 11 comments ]

Robert Kelly, executive director at Waltham Community Access television for the last 18 years, has accepted the same position at NewTV, Newton’s cable access station.  Kelly said Friday he will start his new job on May 12. His last day with WCAC-TV will be May 9.  Kelly said because of his long tenure at the Waltham station he had “mixed emotions” when he applied for the position in Newton. But Kelly said the opportunity of working at a larger organization in a larger community was too good to pass up.   —>
http://www.dailynewstribune.com/news/x2124113393
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International Summit for Community Wireless Networks: May 28, Washington DC
MuniWireless
04/28/08 [?]

The New America Foundation is holding its International Summit for Community Wireless Networks (IS4CWN) on May 28 – 30, 2008 in Washington, DC. The summit is co-hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at its downtown headquarters. The event will bring together community wireless networking developers working to build universal, low-cost wireless broadband networks around the world. This year’s Summit will focus on how these networks can better serve their target populations, the policies needed to support broader deployment of community wireless systems, and the latest technological and software innovations.
http://www.muniwireless.com/2008/04/28/international-summit-community-wireless-networks-washingto/
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:   http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/04/08

April 5, 2008

Announcement of cable/AT&T deal set for Monday
by John Rodgers
The City Paper (TN)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

Leading lawmakers in the cable/AT&T negotiations over statewide franchising will roll out their compromise legislation Monday in a press conference, the House Democratic Caucus announced today.  The compromise bill marks the culmination of months of negotiations between the involved parties.  The deal is expected to have AT&T agree to “build out” its television service to a certain percentage of a town or city, as well as offer the services to some low-income residents.   —>
http://politics.nashvillecityblogs.com/?p=505
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Legislators Say Bill Sought By AT&T Finally Ready
The Chattanoogan (TN)
04/04/08

Legislative leaders said they have finally reached agreement on a statewide franchise bill sought by AT&T that is expected to result in a new cable TV option for Chattanooga residents and others throughout Tennessee.  On Monday afternoon, House and Senate members working directly in talks with AT&T and Tennessee’s cable companies are due to hold a press conference to announce the completion of a new telecommunications bill.  Officials said copies of the agreement will be provided after the Nashville press conference.

Set to take part are Speaker of the House Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington), Rep. Charlie Curtiss (D-Sparta), Rep. Steve McDaniel (R-Parkers Crossroads), Rep. Ulysses Jones, Jr. (D-Memphis), Rep. Randy Rinks (D-Savannah), Sen. Lowe Finney (D-Jackson) and Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro).
The bill was introduced last year, but has gone through a number of revisions before the compromise measure was reached.   —>
http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_125216.asp
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Comcast, AT&T work together on new bill for franchising rights
Memphis Business Journal (TN)
by Einat Paz-Frankel
04/04/08

After vociferously contending an AT&T, Inc.-backed bill on the state’s Capitol Hill last year, Comcast Corp. is now working with the telecom giant behind closed doors to create a new bill that will assuage both parties while changing the way video franchising rights are granted in Tennessee.  A resolution is expected this month, according to the Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Association and the Tennessee Municipal League, which has also opposed the proposed Competitive Cable and Video Services Act. The bill would allow television service to be provided through a single statewide franchise agreement, instead of negotiating with each municipality separately.   —>
http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/stories/2008/04/07/story8.html
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SEE ME, HEAR ME, PICK ME: Endorsement video of Dems for House Seat 1
by Ian Gillingham
Willamette Week (OR)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been inviting candidates to sit down with WW and make their case for your vote—and our friends at Portland Community Media have been there to catch it all on video. Every day for the next month, we’ll post a new video of our endorsement interviews on WWire.  Today and tomorrow, we’ve got the candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, First District .  First up: Democrats (incumbent David Wu, Will Hobbs).

For footage of more WW endorsement interviews, tune your TV to Channel 30, see Portland Community Media’s Blip.tv site, or just check back on WWire tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after….  Tomorrow: House Seat 1—the Republicans.
http://www.wweek.com/wwire/?p=11440
~

Cable Increases, Franchise Renewal Up for Questions
by Bernice Paglia
Plainfield Plaintalker (NJ)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

—>  The notice reminded Plaintalker of another issue, the cable franchise renewal process. According to a BPU report, more than 12,000 households had cable in 2005. The three-year process to determine how well Comcast has served Plainfield should have begun in August of 2006, with a report due in August of this year. The franchise expires in August 2009.  The Plainfield Cable Television Board was supposed to hold monthly meetings during the ascertainment period, make annual reports, report regularly to the mayor and council and generally to be involved in any activities having to do with local cable television, including the city’s own Channel 74.

Plaintalker has harped on this subject since December 2005 but there is not much progress to report. Click here for a file of past stories.   —>
http://plaintalker.blogspot.com/2008/04/cable-increases-franchise-renewal-up.html
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Cable Access TV and the Arts
by Salma
Souldish (NJ)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

Monday, April 7 – A repeat of the successful 2 hr. forum will be held at SCAN covering topics on: a) Arts and cable access TV: how to get on TV for free b) The WIN-15 TV show & publicity c) Special TV production training for those in the art.  (7p, Free) SCAN Learning Center, Monmouth Mall, Rt 35 and 36, Eatontown, NJ; 732-938-2481
http://www.souldish.com/2008/04/04/body-of-war-shamans-way-of-healing-moses-code-horned-ball-sub-swara/
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Great Falls TV station needs home
by Matt Austin
KRTV (MT)
04/04/08

Many Great Falls departments are asking for more money in the next budget, and on Friday city commission members will talk about its budget priorities.  One group which always keeps an eye on commission meetings will also be watching the budget talks as a Great Falls television channel is looking for a home.  The community access channel, Cable 7, has become a nomad in Great Falls, moving four times in just five years.

The group is currently using the waiting area at the Central Avenue office of former  KRTV anchor Cindy Cieluch. Staff members tell us that the area works well for a studio and they use another office for the director and to store equipment. The non-profit films its six studio shows at the office, and also films government meetings.  “Cable 7 provides a public service, local events” explains Executive Producer Kevin Manthey. “This is something I feel is very important to the community of Great Falls and surrounding area.”   —>
http://www.montanasnewsstation.com/Global/story.asp?S=8118751
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PEG pact is unclear
by Alan Lewis Gerstenecker
Rolla Daily News (MO)
04/03/08

[ 3 comments ]

Steve Leonard, former President of Rolla Video Productions — the company that operated Channel 16 for the best part of seven years — has some concerns about an educational and governmental television channel currently considered by city and school officials and Fidelity Communications.  The PEG (Public Educational and Governmental) channel, which is in discussion stages, would be a partnership between Rolla city government, Rolla Public School District, and Fidelity Communications, Rolla’s cable television franchise holder.

Leonard, 28, expressed some of those concerns during a recent City Council meeting and then again Wednesday.  “In its current state, the contract with the city doesn’t say what they’re going to get for that $50,000,” Leonard said. “As someone who used to do programming, I’d like to think that it would spell out just what the residents of Rolla are going to get.”…

“Don’t get me wrong. I’ve moved on with my life,” Leonard said. “But if they would have offered me $50,000 for programming, I would have told them exactly what I’d have given them. In addition to City Council, I’d have televised the Planning & Zoning meetings, the RMU (Rolla Municipal Utilities) meetings, done more spring (high school) sports. I’d have done it right,” Leonard said.  “If you turn on Channel 6 now, you hear a buzz. You can’t listen long, or at least I can’t without getting a headache. I don’t know if $50,000 is going to fix that or not,” said Leonard, who is now a full-time business student at Missouri University of Science & Technology.

For his part, Leonard said he is supportive of Fidelity.  “Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking Fidelity. They offer some great programming, and I think they offer more basic channels for the best price. I just want to see what they’re going to offer for the $50,000,” Leonard said. “I think anyone who reviews that contract will want to know what they’re going to offer.”

John Paul, Fidelity Communications Director of Sales and top official in Rolla, said Thursday the contract with the city, Rolla Public Schools, and his company, still is a work in progress.  “I can tell you we intend cover all City Council and School Board meetings. I can also tell you we’re not just going to cover those two and then run a community bulletin board the rest of the time,” Paul said.   —>
http://www.therolladailynews.com/articles/2008/04/04/news/news03.txt
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State PEGs Tune Into “Same Channel” to Support Free Speech
by Cynthia Thomet
Akaku: Maui Community Television (HI)
04/04/08

Hawaii People’s Fund Media Justice review panel granted $7,400 to Akaku in mid-March to launch the Free Speech Hawaii Coalition, a collaborative effort to build community and ensure diverse points of view on issues of free speech across the state. The coalition is made possible by the commitment of all of Hawaii’s public, educational and governmental (PEG) access organizations, including Akaku for Maui County, `Ōlelo Community Television on O`ahu, Na Leo O Hawaii on Big Island and Ho`ike: Kaua`i Community Television.

“We’re very grateful to Hawaii People’s Fund for their commitment to media justice to fund this public awareness coalition,” says Jay April, President/ CEO of Akaku, who invited `Ōlelo, Na Leo and Ho`ike to lead the coalition’s public education messages with their respective island audiences

The grant will cover some of the expenses required for the core coalition members to work together and reach out to their respective islands’ viewers about preserving public, educational and governmental (PEG) access services in Hawaii. Some outreach measures include a vibrant website, advertising to build community awareness and localized public education campaigns to get island residents engaged in protecting their right to public access cable television and other mass media venues.   —>
http://www.akaku.org/?p=74
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Participatory Media for a Global Community: BAVC’s Producers Institute 2008
by Wendy Levy
Bay Area Video Coalition (CA)
04/04/08

[ comments invited ]

With continued support from the MacArthur Foundation, the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies will happen May 30 – June 8 here at BAVC in San Francisco. The new crop of projects coming into this year’s Institute are part of a documentary-driven conversation focused on finding and engaging diverse audiences, creating social and political networks of participation, the notion of global community, the viability of Web 2.0 social change, emerging mobile media applications, games for change, and interactive strategies for multi-platform storytelling.

Check out full project descriptions from the recent press release.

The first panel of the Producers Institute will be open to the public this year, and it revolves around marketing social justice media. The always dynamic and uber-literate B. Ruby Rich will moderate. I’ll follow up with details of the where and when, but here’s the panel description. We are hoping to see if its possible for change-the-world stories to expand You Tube sensibilities, to rock CreateSpace, to shock iTunes, to blow out XBOX. And, of course, we want to know if you can actually make money while making a difference?   —>
http://bavc.wordpress.com/2008/04/04/participatory-media-for-a-global-community-bavcs-producers-institute-2008/
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US kept in slow broadband lane
by Ian Hardy
> Click
04/04/08

We all know that America is the technology hub of the universe. It is home to Intel, Microsoft, Apple, Sun, Google, YouTube, Yahoo, MIT – the list is endless. So why, when it comes to the basics, like delivering the internet to its citizens, has it fallen way behind many other nations?

In Manhattan people pay about $30 (£15) a month for a download speed of three megabits per second (Mbps) via a DSL line. Many people are very happy with that, until they realise what is going on elsewhere in the world.  US broadband speeds are much slower than in many countries  “In Japan you can get 100 megabits for $35,” says Selina Lo of Ruckus Wireless.  “I think that has penetrated some 30% of subscribers. The government is targeting for 100 megabit services to penetrate 60% plus of the subscriber base in a few years…

Today most New Yorkers have two choices for home net – via their phone or cable TV company.  But in New York state 52% of residents do not have any internet access, especially rural areas and low income families.  “We haven’t been able to overcome those barriers in terms of increasing the technology adoption rate of those households that are on or below the poverty level,” explains Dr Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, New York State’s chief information officer.  “I think if you look at where the US is compared to other countries, given our speed, we’re not competitive with other countries.”

The lack of competition has had other consequences. Comcast, the nation’s largest residential cable TV and net company was recently accused of interfering with the downloading of video files.  Internet video directly threatens the popularity of traditional TV, so Comcast’s answer is to curtail download speeds for its biggest users.

“As we get more and more things that tie us into the internet – Xbox 360, IPTV services, all sorts of broadband gaming – we’re all getting online more and more,” says Jeremy Kaplan executive editor of PC Magazine.  “And rather than opening up and getting better service, most of these cable and DSL companies are really trying to limit what we do, put caps on what we do. As consumers we’re suffering from that.”

Public wi-fi efforts have also been held back. Several city governments have given up or reduced efforts to provide blanket coverage for their residents.  This is because they have been worn down with lawsuits and lobbyists working for the telephone companies, who want consumers to rely on expensive cell phone plans to access the net on the go.  “Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore – they all have wi-fi in public areas. People can access broadband internet when they’re out in public,” says Ms Lo.  “It is the cheapest way to offer public access. As a quality of life, as a city service, I don’t know why our city government just don’t do that.”   —>
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/7329992.stm
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More questions than answers
by Mark Jones
Reuters Editors
04/04/08

[ 1 comment ]

I was invited to a gathering of activists, academics and media practitioners by the Berkman Centre’s Media:Republic program in LA last weekend. Exhilarating to be in such exalted company but depressing to find them so anxious about the future of political engagement and so negative about big Media’s future.

The context of the meeting was to establish what we don’t understand about the emerging media landscape in order to inform the direction of future research programmes.  So, in the spirit of Donald Rumsfeld, what do we know that we don’t know?

How distributed can the production of meaning be?
An academic question from John Zittrain of Berkman but very much with real world concerns in mind. He’s worried about where the atomisation of media consumption and production will take society. In an elitist world, one in which communication channels (including media) are controlled by the few, then it is relatively easy to see how the politics of consensus and compromise can be pursued. But many felt that the new social technologies were creating new silos, reducing the quality of public discourse, accelerating disengagement from politics and, possibly, creatng the conditions for extremist politics.

How can we get the public to eat their broccoli?

Traditionally, nearly all media has followed a public service remit to some degree and mixed content with public policy relevance with the really popular stuff. So you get a smattering of Darfur in a diet of domestic news, celebrity and sports. But that only works when publishers control the medium.

I know I wasn’t the only one to squirm as David Weinberger, co-author of the seminal Cluetrain Manifesto, described how increasingly anachronistic the Big Media model of editors deciding what it was appropriate for readers to read was beginning to seem. What seemed to worry this group more than anything else was that if consumers control their ‘DailyMe’ — a personalised news service — then how will the public service stuff get through?   —>
http://blogs.reuters.com/reuters-editors/2008/04/04/more-questions-than-answers/
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/22/08

March 23, 2008

Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You?
by Chris Albrecht
NewTeeVee
03/18/08

[ 104 comments ]

If you have some tinfoil handy, now might be a good time to fashion a hat. At the Digital Living Room conference today, Gerard Kunkel, Comcast’s senior VP of user experience, told me the cable company is experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room.

The idea being that if you turn on your cable box, it recognizes you and pulls up shows already in your profile or makes recommendations. If parents are watching TV with their children, for example, parental controls could appear to block certain content from appearing on the screen. Kunkel also said this type of monitoring is the “holy grail” because it could help serve up specifically tailored ads. Yikes.   —>
http://newteevee.com/2008/03/18/comcast-cameras-to-start-watching-you/
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City takes business to airwaves
by Susan Larson
The Daily Journal (MN)
03/22/08

[ comments invited ]

As a cameraman films, Community Development Director Gordon Hydukovich tells Lynne Olson, assistant to the city administrator, about an exciting new project happening in the city. Later in the day, the whole community will know about it when they watch, “City of Fergus Falls Update” on PEG Access channel 18.

Call it Regis and Kelly with a local twist. Implemented in February, the program is an effort by the city to keep residents informed about what’s happening around them in an entertaining way.  “We’ve heard from council that a concern they hear among the people is they want improved communications,” Olson said.  What better way to do so than through television?

“We highlight different departments, a project or special event,” Olson said. “We try to pick a timely topic.”  In this most recent case, the subject was a tabletop planning session set for April 10 regarding the west river area of the city. Hydukovich, who will lead the meeting, finds the show to be a means of making such meetings more effective.  “I can explain (a project) to people in a room while they’re sitting there,” he said. “But this gets it out and gets people thinking about it before, so they can come prepared and ask questions.”

Each episode airs the same day it is filmed, Jim Francis PEG Access executive director, said. It is played about 14 times until the next segment is filmed. Go to PEG access website — www.pegaccess.com — and look under “schedule” for the schedule.   —>
http://www.fergusfallsjournal.com/news/2008/mar/22/city-takes-business-airwaves/
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Tuned In: What do you want in local TV news?
by Rob Owen
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
03/21/08

—>  When I asked two weeks ago what viewers expect of local newscasts, I knew I would get some feedback. But I honestly didn’t expect the outpouring of response from more than 100 viewers, many of them frustrated with the state of local TV news.  Many of those responses — about 35 printed pages’ worth — have been posted in Tuned In Journal at post-gazette.com/tv. The recurring complaints were these:

• Too much news time…
• Too many teases; too much hype…
• Too many Steelers stories as news…
• Too much weather…
• Too many stories with no relevance to the average viewer…
• Too many references to Web sites…
• Too few stories on the arts…
• More serious news…
—>
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08081/866779-237.stm
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Hopes for Wireless Cities Fade as Internet Providers Pull Out
by Ian Urbina
New York Times
03/22/08

PHILADELPHIA — It was hailed as Internet for the masses when Philadelphia officials announced plans in 2005 to erect the largest municipal Wi-Fi grid in the country, stretching wireless access over 135 square miles with the hope of bringing free or low-cost service to all residents, especially the poor.

Greg Goldman is chief executive of Wireless Philadelphia, a nonprofit organization set up to help administer the program. He said that about $4 million was needed to cover the rest of the city.  Municipal officials in Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and 10 other major cities, as well as dozens of smaller towns, quickly said they would match Philadelphia’s plans.

But the excited momentum has sputtered to a standstill, tripped up by unrealistic ambitions and technological glitches. The conclusion that such ventures would not be profitable led to sudden withdrawals by service providers like EarthLink, the Internet company that had effectively cornered the market on the efforts by the larger cities.  Now, community organizations worry about their prospects for helping poor neighborhoods get online…

“The entire for-profit model is the reason for the collapse in all these projects,” said Sascha Meinrath, technology analyst at the New America Foundation, a nonprofit research organization in Washington.  Mr. Meinrath said that advocates wanted to see American cities catch up with places like Athens, Leipzig and Vienna, where free or inexpensive Wi-Fi already exists in many areas.

He said that true municipal networks, the ones that are owned and operated by municipalities, were far more sustainable because they could take into account benefits that help cities beyond private profit, including property-value increases, education benefits and quality-of-life improvements that come with offering residents free wireless access.  Mr. Meinrath pointed to St. Cloud, Fla., which spent $3 million two years ago to build a free wireless network that is used by more than 70 percent of the households in the city.   —>
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/22/us/22wireless.html?_r=2&th=&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&emc=th&adxnnlx=1206288773-PL75ZM9YC3lgl8yEPjCHww&pagewanted=all
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An ideal future communications infrastructure, how do we get there, and what is stopping us!
by Russell McOrman
itWorldCanada
03/20/08

[ comments invited ]

Whenever the discussion of “Net Neutrality” comes up we often get stuck with how the current network is configured, who provides it, and other historical issues. I would like to toss out that history for a moment and offer what I believe to be an ideal, talk about transition issues, as well as some of winners and losers in that transition (and thus who the greatest opponents are)

Future network infrastructure

Imagine a municipal ultra high speed network (Fiber to the premises/Home, or whatever future technologies may be even faster) that allowed the city residents to make arbitrary connections from their home to other points in the city. Sometimes they would connect to other citizens, and other times they would connect to companies.  These companies would offer a wide variety of services, mirroring many legacy services and having the ability to innovatively create more.

What we currently think of as “phone” service would be handled by competing companies that offered directory services and voice (and possibly video for video phones) connectivity between municipalities, as well as gateways to legacy “phone” networks (domestically and internationally). Voice communication between municipal residents could go point-to-point without the need of an additional intermediary.

What we currently think of as “television” service would be handled by people being able to directly subscribe and connect to various networks individually. I may be a fan of CBC and thus I would have a subscription with them. Individual community based stations would be relatively cheap to set up compared to the current system which either needs wireless transmitters or an agreement with both a cable company and the CRTC. Like the voice services, there would be competing companies offering the service of bringing in “television” stations that are not part of the networks who offer their stations directly in the municipality.

Switching from any service a company offers to a competitor should be very easy given the connection to ones home is entirely neutral to any company.

Transportation and utilities offer a path to this ideal

What I consider to be the ideal should sound familiar, as it is the system we use for our ground transportation system and many utilities including electricity. We have municipally owned/managed road infrastructure which allow us to travel between any two destinations within the city. We don’t have a “Walmart road” as well as a “Canadian Tire” road running to our homes like many of us in Ontario have a “Rogers” and a “Bell” wire running into our homes. The municipality — unlike the legacy phone and cable companies — doesn’t claim some alleged right to actively inspect the contents of all our vehicles or “traffic shape” roads based on whether they like the contents of our vehicles or not.   —>
http://blogs.itworldcanada.com/insights/2008/03/20/an-ideal-future-communications-infrastructure-how-do-we-get-there-and-what-is-stopping-us/
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Tibet could be a public relations fiasco for Beijing
by Ken Kamoche
NationMedia
03/23/08

The Tibetan crisis is once again revealing some serious weaknesses in the way China handles threats to its much-vaunted quest for harmony. The riots in Tibet have also put to the test China’s slogan for the games: “One world, one dream”. In one part of the Himalayas at least, that dream is fast turning into a nightmare…  Imposing a media ban, ordering foreign journalists out of Lhasa, demonising the Dalai Lama and the hardline approach the government has taken all suggest that China has some way to go if it is to achieve internal harmony and gain the respect of the international community…

Beijing ought to have learnt some lessons from the collapse of the former Suharto regime and in particular how deceptively simple technologies like text messages played such a pivotal role in mobilising a street revolution. The same goes for Tibet.  You can cut off the formally constituted communication channels, chase away foreign journalists, block access to the Internet and foreign TV channels; but it is a losing battle.

Information seems to have a life of its own. It seeps through the cracks, bypasses the controls and gets to those who need it, or is dispatched by those who have to. The mess that is going on in Tibet cannot be swept under the carpet. If it continues to simmer, it will also further alienate the Taiwanese who fear they might go the way of Tibet.   —>
http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgcontententry.asp?category_id=25&newsid=119614
~

Think You’re Not an Anarchist? Download This Book!
by Phil Grove
A Cooperative, Unending Endeavor
03/22/08

[ comments invited ]

Anarchism is political philosophy of radical humanism that commends itself to Quakers and many others who should give it more attention. It’s a vision of human relations that is egalitarian as opposed to hierarchical; communitarian as opposed to individualistic; and ecological and sustainable as opposed to extractive and doomed. Anarchists assess the modern condition as slavery to modern instutions of dominance and oppression; and they seek freedom for all.

The anarchist vision is not an unconstrained, chaotic nightmare that replaces modern institutions with nothing; it is a highly organized, nonheirarchical web of community-scale institutions within which to conduct human activities. By far, it is the political philosophy most compatible with Quaker testimony and practice; and also most compatible with the values of many advocates of participatory democracy, equal rights, feminism, environmentalism, and holistic health and living.

Anyone interested in anarchism should read Getting Free: Creating an Association of Democratic Autonomous Neighborhoods by James Herod. In this succinct work, Herod makes the case for some form of anarchism as the only viable alternative to the current system of global capitalism. But more importantly, he addresses the question of strategy in a straightforward manner. He conducts an unblinking critical survey of the failed past and current strategies of the left, rejecting them all as unable to defeat the capitalist system.

Our alternative parties, our vigils and demonstrations, our civil disobedience, our single issue campaigns, and our educational efforts are all ineffective against capitalism, in Herod’s view. The most they can achieve is to temporarily curb the worst abuses of capitalism. Depressing stuff, but I would suggest that a lot of the torper we feel on the left stems from our repressed understanding that Herod’s criticism is correct. We have not been getting anywhere.

But Herod doesn’t leave it at that.  In place of past strategies to overthrow or reform capitalism, Herod advocates a strategy of the gradual abandonment of capitalist institutions and substitution of alternative, community-based democratic structures. Here is the list of specific strategies he proposes:   —>
http://philgrove.blogspot.com/2008/03/think-youre-not-anarchist-download-this.html
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/12/08

March 13, 2008

[blip.tv ?posts_id=741864&dest=-1]

YAC at KZSU
by Midpeninsula Community Media Center
Media Center YAC
03/11/08

[ comments allowed ]

The Youth Advisory Council goes to visit KZSU Stanford radio station. (34:25)
http://mediacenteryac.blogspot.com/2008/03/yac-at-kzsu.html
~

No More School Board Meetings On Public Access Television?
by Steve Shuler
STEVE SHULER for Hillsborough County School Board District 5 (FL)
03/12/08

[ comments allowed ]

If Time Warner gets its way then you and I will no longer be granted our public access channels. In other words, our free speech will be stifled, eventhough, we, as a community, had given them monopoly access to our cable television market and our private land for their underground cables so, in turn, we would be allotted a number of channels for import things like School Board, City council, etc. But, they are doing their best to resolve themselves of this burden. —>
http://shulerforschoolboard.blogspot.com/2008/03/no-more-school-board-meetings-on-public.html#
~

Ward 3 Update from Councilmember Teri Anulewicz
by Mason
SmyrnaBlog.com (GA)
03/12/08

—> ALL City Council meetings are open to the public, and if you are a Charter Cable customer, you can watch the meetings live on Charter public access channel 19. You can also stream the meetings on your computer when they are rebroadcast on TV 23, Cobb County’s public access cable channel. For information on meeting rebroadcast schedules, go to http://communications.cobbcountyga.gov/tv23/.
http://smyrnablog.com/?p=284
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Channel 17 to host media night on advertising
Burlington Free Press (VT)
03/12/08

“Advertising Inside Out, how we make up our minds,” is the subject of this month’s Media Education Night on Channel 17. The live, one-hour call-in talk show will be on March 26 at 6:30 p.m. These shows are interactive, topical discussions that provide thought on media consumption, production and experience. Attending the recording also allows the public to see behind the scenes of community media-making in the Channel 17 studio. Those who would like to volunteer to work on the series should contact morourke [at] cctv [dot] org. Groups and classes are welcome to attend.
http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080312/NEWS/80312005
~

Conejo Valley Republican Women Watch: The Gameplan to Keep the White House
FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog (CA)
03/12/08

[ comments allowed ]

Mike Stoker, an attorney whose practice emphasizes land use, government, and business law, and who is the volunteer Chairman of the John McCain Presidential Campaign in Santa Barbara County will be addressing the Conejo Valley Republican Women today. The topic of his speech: “The Gameplan to Keep the White House.”… The speech will be recorded by public access cable television if you cannot make the event today.
http://flapsblog.com/?p=6580
~

PEGspace at Drupalcon 2008
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition (MA)
03/12/08

[ comments allowed ]

For those interested in learning more about the intersection of Public Access Television and free and open source software, Jason Daniels (medfield.tv) forwarded along a link to audio & meeting minutes from a gathering of public broadcasting and public access media folks during the recent Drupal conference held in Boston, this year. —>
http://cmediachange.net/blog/2008/03/12/pegspace-at-drupalcon-2008/
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Public ownership of broadband access is best
by Christopher Mitchell
Eureka Reporter (CA)
03/02/08

[ 2 comments ]

Too many cities in California are stuck with slow (or no) broadband access. As the United States continues to dip in international broadband rankings, individual communities have a choice: build their own broadband network or hope someone else does it for them.

Broadband may be comparatively new, but these difficult questions of infrastructure have been with us for far longer. One hundred years ago, communities were told electricity was too complicated for municipal meddling and they should wait for private companies to electrify them. Thousands of communities realized that a community cannot wait for essential infrastructure. They accepted responsibility for their future and wired their towns. How little has changed since then.

California’s Broadband Task Force has released its final report, complete with maps showing some 2,000 communities without any access at all. Many more communities are underserved, offered an always-on connection faster than dial-up, but not by much. The Broadband Task Force recognizes the importance of universal broadband access in California. Broadband has already had an impact on education, economic development, public safety and entertainment. It may well revolutionize health care, especially in rural areas.

Unfortunately, the Broadband Task Force has chosen the seductive path of dependence on private providers for these networks. Public ownership is a better plan. Broadband networks are here for the long haul, and our dependence on them will only increase. Many citywide wireless networks are privately owned, depending on city government as an anchor tenant. The network requires city money without offering the city any control. Under such circumstances, owning beats renting.

The Broadband Task Force clearly views public ownership as a last resort, allowing community services districts to offer broadband only when a private provider refuses. Once the CSD has taken the risk and built a functioning network, it must sell it to an interested private provider.

Public ownership should not be a fallback option. Digital Rio Dell, a collaboration with the local community media provider Access Humboldt and the city of Rio Dell, has shown the power of a community-led alternative. —>
http://eurekareporter.com/article/080302-public-ownership-of-broadband-access-is-best
~

[ Here’s a good, lengthy cover story on Philadelphia’s Media Mobilizing Project. – rm ]

The Revolution Will Be Digitized
The Media Mobilizing Project works to bring grassroots organization into the 21st century.
by Doron Taussig
Philadelphia City Paper (PA)
03/11/08

[ comments allowed ]

A cab driver, a janitor, a maintenance man, a nurse and several other mostly blue-collar workers are seated around a square of tables. The room they’re in is a converted truck garage — one of the walls is just an enormous door — and the neighborhood is Brewerytown, a pocket at the edge of lower North Philly where the contrast between the developing city (in the form of new Westrum townhouses) and the decrepit city (the shells of old row homes) has reached almost caricatural proportions. It’s Sunday. They’ve come here to learn how to make a documentary.

In the arbitrary front of the makeshift classroom, three young white women guide a discussion. “What stories do we hear in the media?” they ask. The class answers: politics, celebrities, new development, crime, sports, drugs (there’s a long tangent about Barry Bonds). Then the teachers ask what stories the students would like to tell. “Unsafe schools,” says the maintenance man. “Murders and robberies of cab drivers,” says the cabbie. “The impact of language as a barrier,” a health-center worker from Haiti chimes in. “Job competition from immigrants,” offers the janitor.

Just outside the classroom door, next to a loud, on-its-last-legs coffeemaker, a satisfied-looking man named Todd Wolfson stands, discoursing about the rationale behind a class likes this. He talks about “Ford-ism,” and how there was a time when workers used the physical proximity of the factory to organize into collective bargaining units. That doesn’t work as well in a service economy — cabbies, for instance, are rarely all in one place at one time. But, Wolfson points out, there are other ways for workers to talk to each other. “New media also organizes, because it’s a decentralized communications form,” he says.

Wolfson, 35, is of average build, with long hair and a beard that combine to form a kind of mane. A middle-class white guy with hard-left politics, he once spent three years living in Namibia and Kenya before deciding he “didn’t want to be a white male anthropologist who studies in Africa.” He came to Philly to pursue a Ph.D. at Penn, chose as his dissertation subject the Philadelphia Independent Media Center (IMC), and became preoccupied with the role of communications in organizing. In 2006, he joined with four other local activists to found the Media Mobilizing Project (MMP), an organization that seeks to bring 21st-century media technologies to the grassroots. —>
http://www.citypaper.net/articles/2008/03/13/the-revolution-will-be-digitized
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
2020-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/19/08

February 20, 2008

New service lacks the CTN channels
by Tom Gantert
The Ann Arbor News (MI)
02/18/08

[ comments allowed ]

Ann Arbor residents who choose AT&T U-verse – an Internet-based alternative to Comcast’s cable TV – won’t find Ann Arbor’s community-access channels on the service.  Ann Arbor’s Community Television Network hasn’t connected with AT&T’s signal because the city has a problem with how the communications company is presenting public, educational, government – or PEG – access channels.

AT&T’s service lets subscribers turn to a channel where they can reach a menu of all available public-access channels. From that list, subscribers select their city. Then the channels load. Ann Arbor’s CTN offers four channels.  So far, AT&T is only carrying one community-access channel, one that originates in Clinton Township.

Linda Badamo, director of Clinton Township’s cable TV division, said local officials aren’t satisfied with the way AT&T is handling PEG channels, but are working with the company to come to a compromise.  Badamo said the problem is that it can take as long as 20 to 90 seconds for a channel to load once selected. “I don’t think people are going to wait,” she said.
http://blog.mlive.com/annarbornews/2008/02/new_service_lacks_the_ctn_chan.html
~

Editorial: State cable TV law needs a tune-up
Detroit Free Press (MI)
02/19/08

[ 10 comments ]

The end of analog TV signals a year from now is shaking up viewers in more ways than one. The biggest impact will fall on those with old, non-digital sets who get their signals over the air. Their TVs will simply not show a picture next year unless they get a converter box.

But Comcast’s counterproductive actions in Michigan suggest that even cable customers may be pressured by their suppliers into getting new cable converter boxes as well. Michigan lawmakers should follow through on bills that would prevent cable companies from rearranging basic service cable channels, made possible in part by the confusion over the coming change in the airwaves.

Public or community access channels need to remain just that — freely accessible to the community and public.

When over-the-air TV networks begin broadcasting exclusively in digital formats on Feb. 17, 2009, cable companies will convert those signals back into an analog transmission for those who still have analog TVs. Every viewer with a routine analog cable package should continue receiving the same service indefinitely.

Comcast, however, at least as its strategy initially emerged in Michigan, appears eager to rearrange its programming at the low end of the “dial” — presumably still the best spot for catching channel surfers. That’s where broadcast channels are now, along with local access channels that federal law requires to be in the same cable “tier” as the over-the-air stations.

But, until stopped by two courts earlier this winter, Comcast planned to move all local public access channels in Michigan to 900-level channels — out of reach of analog equipment, which 40% of its 1.3 million subscribers still use.   —>
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080219/OPINION01/802190336
~

Analog is Dead. Long Live Analog
Why Cable Won’t Go All-Digital By Feb. 18, 2009, Even If Broadcasters Will
by Todd Spangler
Multichannel News
02/18/08

[ 1 comment ]

Is analog TV an albatross for cable?  Or — with just 365 days to go until over-the-air broadcasts from local stations go wholly digital — is it a critical near-term asset?  The short answer: It’s both.

Analog service, which has formed the foundation of the cable-TV industry since its inception, chews up an inordinate amount of space on its wires. A single analog channel requires a 6 Megahertz slice of spectrum. The same slice can carry 10 or more standard-definition channels delivered digitally.

And the future, in an increasingly high-definition world, is all-digital. “You can’t get anything but a digital TV set these days … and analog doesn’t look very good on a 50-inch LCD TV,” RCN vice president of engineering Rick Swiderski said.  In fact, cable operators are moving to eliminate fat analog signals to “reclaim” bandwidth, so they can introduce new high-definition channels, offer faster Internet access and expand video-on-demand services.

The industry would seem to have the motivation to make the break, exactly one year from now. At midnight on Feb. 17, 2009, the 1,760 full-power broadcast television stations in the United States are going all-digital.  By law, they will be required to relinquish the spectrum they’ve used for decades to transmit analog TV signals over the air. Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 18, all stations must be all-digital, all the time.

But just a handful of smaller cable systems, such as RCN Chicago and Bend Broadband in Bend, Ore., plan to be delivering 100% of the channels they supply customers in digital form by next February. And their reasons for doing so are only indirectly related to the transition to digital broadcasting by TV stations.   —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6533127.html?nid=4262
~

This Could Be The End of Public Access in Austin . . .
Save Texas Access
02/15/08

. . . if Time Warner successfully sues to get out of the franchise agreement with the City.  The following article “Court allows Texas Cable Industry to Challenge State Law” appeared in last week’s Austin American Statesman (Feb. 8, 2008).

Currently, the City’s franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable is set to expire in 2011.  Time Warner still owes more than $1 million in capital equipment funds for public access. If Time Warner gets out of the franchise agreement now, that money will be lost.

Please email the City’s Telecommunications Officer Rondella Hawkins at rondella.hawkins AT ci.austin.tx.us and demand that the remainder of all capital equipment funds be drawn down now.  Plus, with no City franchise agreement with Time Warner, there will be no more guaranteed operating funds. Any future funding from the City will be at the City Council’s discretion.

Public access needs you. Now is the time.  Save this date. The Telecommunications Commission is having a public hearing on public access on Wednesday, March 12, at 7:30 pm, at Austin’s City Hall.  Sign up to speak and tell the commission why you think public access has value and that the City must continue to support it.
http://www.savetexasaccess.org/node/27
~

Knology and Knoxville near agreement on cable dispute
by Hayes Hickman
Knoxville News Sentinel (TN)
02/19/08

[ 16 comments ]

Knology Inc. has agreed to invest $750,000 this year toward completing its citywide Internet, cable and telephone services network, under a renegotiated franchise agreement with the city of Knoxville.  Knology’s services were within reach of barely half of all city residences in 2006 when council members last raised the issue with the West Point, Ga.-based company, which was required to complete its build-out within four years after the city franchise took effect in April 2000. The contract also held Knology liable for noncompliance penalties of $5,000 per month…

Knology also agrees to begin carrying local community access television in its channel lineup and to equip several city recreation centers with Internet and telephone service at no cost.   —>
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/feb/19/knology-and-knoxville-near-agreement-cable-dispute/
~

Broadband still a local concern
by Patrick Marshall
GCN – Government Computer News
02/18/08

If the federal government hadn’t stepped in to build the interstate highway system in the 1950s, it’s unlikely that the country’s subsequent economic boom would have been as robust as it was.  It is equally important, some say, that government get involved in building broadband infrastructure.

It seems the federal government isn’t going to step in, so municipal governments would be well advised to pick up the slack. At least that’s the recommendation of Christopher Mitchell, a research associate at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), a nonprofit research group.

“People need broadband so badly,” Mitchell told GCN. “To just sit around and say, ‘Well, we should rely on someone else to bring it in and keep us competitive with other cities in the region,’ that’s not really a good policy for a city that is trying to encourage economic development.”

Many cities have in recent years initiated programs to provide public Wi-Fi, and although a number of them have given up those programs, Mitchell said, cities shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Offering free Wi-Fi is not the only model cities should consider, nor is it the most likely to be self-sustaining, he said. “There have been some cases in which people have gotten into trouble by offering free services [without] having enough revenues from somewhere to cover it.”

A recent ILSR report written by Mitchell warns against relying on private service providers.  Some communities still are not served by those providers, and others cannot count on continuing services.  “Too many cities are currently reliant on private providers for essential infrastructure — a point brought home to Michigan when Comcast chose to stop supplying some police and fire stations with free broadband and television services,” the report stated.

The report examines all available technologies for delivering Internet connectivity and recommends a combination of fiber optic and wireless for most cities.   —>
http://www.gcn.com/print/27_4/45836-1.html
~

Your Internet: Open or Closed?
by Timothy Karr
Huffington Post
02/16/08

[ 2 comments ]

During a Friday briefing in the chambers of the House Commerce Committee Tim Wu, Ben Scott, Marvin Ammori, Jef Pearlman and Markham Erickson laid out the central struggle in our campaign to save a free-flowing Internet.

At stake is whether the Internet will be open, neutral and accessible to all or a closed network — controlled by a handful of gatekeepers with monopoly tendencies.  The speakers laid out this conflict in clear, concise and often chilling terms. Their comments are drawn into relief against a backdrop of abuses by network giants Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.

The stage was also set by Reps. Ed Markey and Chip Pickering, who earlier in the week introduced the “Internet Freedom and Preservation Act” a forward-thinking piece of legislation that would write baseline Net Neutrality protections into the Communications Act, and give the FCC the teeth to stop incidents of discriminatory blocking and censorship over the Internet.  (And let’s not forget efforts by many of these same actors to gain immunity from prosecution for unwarranted spying on Americans.)

Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, often calls this conflict a “clash of civilizations.”   —>
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timothy-karr/your-internet-open-or-cl_b_86972.html
~

Net Neutrality Fight Heats Up
Miro
02/19/08

[ 2 comments ]

The fight for net neutrality is intensifying with the recent confirmation that Comcast and other internet providers are restricting BitTorrent traffic. ‘Net neutrality’ is the basic principal that all traffic on the internet should be transmitted equally. Unfortunately, corporations like Comcast believe that they should be able to slow down or block certain types of traffic while accelerating other types (including their own).   —>
http://www.getmiro.com/blog/2008/02/net-neutrality-fight-heats-up/
~

Cable and telcos side with Comcast in FCC BitTorrent dispute
by Matthew Lasar
Ars Technica
02/19/08

[ 49 comments ]

The race is on to get the last word in on the Comcast/BitTorrent controversy. With ten days left to file, telcos, trade, and advocacy groups are sending the Federal Communications Commission their statements on whether Comcast and other ISPs purposefully degrade peer to peer traffic, and if so, what to do about it. Not surprisingly, the debate pits broadband content providers and advocacy groups against the big telcos, cable companies, and their trade association backers.

Free Press and other net neutrality advocates asked for an FCC proceeding after Associated Press completed an investigation last year concluding that, in some instances, Comcast “hindered file-sharing by subscribers who used BitTorrent,” a popular P2P application. The comment cycle requests input on whether the practices with which Comcast and others have been accused trigger the FCC’s authority to ensure that IP services operate in a “neutral manner.” Also open for comment is video program provider Vuze’s request that the Commission put “reasonable boundaries on the operators’ ‘gatekeeper’ power over applications and content.”   —>
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080219-cable-and-telcos-side-with-comcast-in-fcc-bittorrent-dispute.html
~

Aldermen candidates interviewed on Peg TV
Rutland Herald (VT)
02/19/08

[ comments allowed ]

City voters can tune in to public access channel 21 today to keep track of the candidates in this year’s Board of Aldermen race.  Starting today and continuing until Monday, Rutland Community Access and Peg TV will air interviews between Rutland Herald reporter Brent Curtis and the four incumbents and three challengers running for the board this year.   Candidates David Allaire, Sharon Davis, Henry Heck, William Notte, Roy Thomas, Joe Tilden and Daniel White are vying for five seats on the board.

Voters can tune in at noon today, 2 p.m. on Wednesday, 10 a.m. on Thursday, 5 p.m. on Friday, 6 p.m. on Saturday, 7:30 p.m. on Sunday and noon on Monday.
http://www.rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080219/NEWS01/802190332/1002/NEWS01
~

Letter to the Editor: Marshfield Community Television update
Marshfield Mariner (MA)
02/19/08

[ comments allowed ]

As of Jan. 1, 2008, the Public Access, Education and Government (PEG) cable television stations are no longer under the auspices of Comcast cable. Instead, a nonprofit organization has been created by the Marshfield Cable Access Board. This new entity is called Marshfield Community Television (MCTV) and is charged with oversight of the three branches of the PEG stations.

Volunteers were solicited and selected by the Marshfield selectmen to form the board of directors of MCTV. This board consists of seven members who meet regularly to manage the finances and other issues relating to the administration of the public access channels. One of the first tasks the board faces is to hire an executive director, who will be responsible for the daily operation of the station.

Over the past few months, many Marshfield households have begun to switch from Comcast to Verizon for their cable coverage. Verizon is not presently connected to the town’s cable system, and therefore does not air MCTV programs. This situation will be changing soon.   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/marshfield/homepage/x774164730
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Town hires cable manager
by Andrea Bulfinch
Ipswich Chronicle (MA)
02/18/08

[ 1 comment ]

The town has hired a new temporary station manager to continue running the cable access channel.  Donald Berman of Beverly Farms, president of the BevCam Board of Directors, was recently hired on a consulting basis to oversee the Ipswich studio. Berman designed and built the studio in Beverly.

Channel 9, the station on which Ipswich broadcasts, has been run by volunteers since the closing of Comcast’s Newburyport studio during the summer.  “It’s been held together by the generosity of Scott Ames,” Town Manager Bob Markel said. Ames has been cable casting programming from the High School.   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/ipswich/news/x374191050
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org