Archive for the ‘open source software’ category

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

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Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/25/08

January 26, 2008

Comcast fight joins federal case (MI)
by Deanna Rose
Source
01/27/08

A Macomb County court case against Comcast has been combined with a federal lawsuit, with several communities attempting to permanently halt the cable company’s movement of local access channels to higher-numbered digital channels.  Macomb County Circuit Judge David Viviano, in response to a lawsuit filed by the city of Warren, granted a motion for a temporary restraining order Jan. 14 that prohibited Comcast from relocating public, educational and government, or PEG, channels. The move, slated to occur Jan. 15, was to place PEG programming on digital channels in the 900s.

A hearing for a preliminary injunction on whether or not to make Viviano’s decision permanent was scheduled to take place Jan. 22, but the case has since been moved to the U.S. District Court in Detroit and combined with another case citing similar issues.

U.S. District Judge Victoria A. Roberts, of the Eastern District of Michigan, issued the same action Jan. 14 as Viviano did. The federal decision was made on behalf of a motion filed Jan. 11 by Meridian Township and Dearborn against Comcast, which stated the move would no longer keep PEG channels on the lowest service plan, limiting access to senior citizens and low-income subscribers. With the channel switch, non-digital customers would have to purchase a converter box to watch PEG programming after Comcast’s promotional offer of a free converter box expired after one year.   —>
http://www.sourcenewspapers.com/stories/012708/loc_story3001.shtml
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Court won’t block bids for cable TV PEG contract
Maui News (HI)
01/25/08

WAILUKU – Second Circuit Judge Joel August said Thursday that the state could continue with a competitive procurement process for public-access television services.  Akaku: Maui Community Television, which holds the Maui contract for public-access TV, had asked August to stop the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs from using a competitive bidding process, saying it was illegal and inappropriate given the station’s role in protecting free speech.

But August said that while he wasn’t sure the state is required to use competitive procurement, it has “wide discretion” in awarding the contracts. “They’re free to use any reasonable form of designation they wish to,” he said.

State law requires cable TV companies to provide money and channels for public, education and government access on cable. The DCCA has contracted with nonprofit organizations like Akaku to manage the public-access services.  After years of awarding no-bid contracts to Akaku and three sister operations in other counties, the DCCA was told by procurement officials the contracts had to be awarded in a competitive process.

The agency issued requests for proposals in 2006. But the procurement notice has been on hold while the state addresses protests filed by Akaku and the Oahu operator, Olelo, and while the DCCA writes rules for the procurement process.  The department is currently seeking approval to hold a public hearing on the draft rules.  The state Procurement Office last month granted an extension of the current contracts to July 15 while the DCCA completes the rules and renews its request-for-proposals.

August said Thursday he was “rather pleased” the state had listened to his recommendation that it create procurement rules.  He suggested that in addition to other factors, the DCCA make a “commitment in writing” to looking at preservation of free speech as one of its selection criteria for the contracts.   —>
http://www.mauinews.com/news/2008/1/25/05couw0125.html
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Raymond’s RCTV paves the way for public access excellence
by Sean Bourbeau
Rockingham News (NH)
01/25/08

People that were trapped in their homes during the floods last year had power and cable TV, but they didn’t have land-line phone service and cell phone service was spotty at best.  Sure, there were images on the floods on Channel 7 and Channel 9, but they weren’t able to give people the type of information they needed if they wanted to venture out of their house.

That’s where Channel 22 stepped in, also known as Raymond Community Television (RCTV), providing roads that were open and closed throughout Raymond.  Marc Vadeboncoeur, member of the cable committee, went out to various roads and checked with the police and fire chiefs to find out information regarding road closings, safety measures, and other flood related coverage.

They were then able to post this information on Channel 22, giving people who had little or no information a wealth of it.  Their flood coverage is one example of how far RCTV has come in a decade since it started.  Vadeboncoeur said this coverage made the channel relevant.  “That was probably one of the best uses of local access,” he said. “The town (viewed) Channel 22 as a viable resource for them to get information out when needed.”   —>
http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080125/NEWS/801250382
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Letter: City public TV channel needs some attention
by Bernie del Llano (4 comments)
Nashua Telegraph (NH)
01/25/08

As I began typing this letter, it has become more to create awareness and relay concerns about our public, education and government channels here in Nashua.  Well, first of all, we do not have a public channel. We live in one of the biggest cities in New Hampshire, and we do not have a public channel. We are too big of a city not to have one.

I have done many “public” shows for Lowell, Revere and Malden, Mass., as well as in our own state. I co-hosted a flood-relief telethon for Merrimack, and now every Monday morning I co-host a live talk show in Manchester for MCAM on Channel 23.  But as a resident of Nashua, I cannot have a public access show in my “hometown” because there isn’t a public access channel to begin with.  Cable television advisory board, what is the status of the public channel? Do you need help with this? —>    http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080125/OPINION02/462238622
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City’s special session to focus on Suddenlink franchise agreement
Enid News (OK)
01/25/08

Enid City Commission will meet in special session 6:30 p.m. Tuesday for a public hearing on Suddenlink Communications and extension of its franchise agreement with the city.  During the hearing, commissioners will review Suddenlink’s compliance with its existing license, review results of a satisfaction survey and identify future cable-related community needs and interests.   —>
http://www.enidnews.com/localnews/local_story_025004752.html
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‘Humble Farmer’ makes TV return
by Ray Routhier (1 comment)
Kennebec Journal (ME)
01/25/08

Seven months after he lost his public radio show because he wouldn’t agree to restrictions on what he could say on the air, the man known as “The Humble Farmer” is bringing his humor and commentary back to Mainers via public access television.  Robert Skoglund sent new versions of “The Humble Farmer” on DVD to public and community access TV stations around the state this month, hoping to get them on. In an e-mail to fans, Skoglund wrote that 28 stations have agreed to show the program or consider it. Skoglund declined to comment on his TV efforts for this story.

Stations that have scheduled “The Humble Farmer” include Harpswell Community Television, South Portland Community Television and Saco River Community Television, which appears in Buxton, Hollis, Limerick, Limington, Standish and Waterboro.

Skoglund had done his weekly show on the radio stations of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for 28 years before he was dismissed in June. MPBN officials said Skoglund had refused to sign a letter indicating he would follow commentary guidelines that apply to the network’s non-news staff.   —>
http://kennebecjournal.mainetoday.com/news/local/4692958.html
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Bismarck public art policy discussed
by Gordon Weixel (7 comments)
Bismarck Tribune (ND)
01/25/08

Questions from the community were as wide-ranging and diverse as the subject matter itself during the course of Thursday evening’s Public Arts Forum sponsored by the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District.  Originally intended as a four-person panel with a moderator, an unexpected fifth panelist appeared in the form of park district director Steve Neu, who found many of the questions directed his way. Other panelists included Bismarck State College instructor and artist Michelle Lindblom; local art dealer Ondine Baird; public art consultant Jack Becker; and Doug Kane, who started the process by questioning the park district’s policy on public art display…

…Neu said there will be further discussion with the community and that the information will be brought to the park board for their consideration. The forum was broadcast live on Community Access Television and will be repeated several times.   —>
http://www.bismarcktribune.com/articles/2008/01/25/news/topnews/147344.txt
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FAQ: Inside the High-Stakes 700-MHz Spectrum Auction
by Bryan Gardiner
Wired
01/24/08

The FCC’s 700-MHz-spectrum auction officially began on January 24 and stands to be one of the most significant airwave auctions in U.S. history, potentially affecting everything from the cost of your wireless service to the competitive landscape among U.S. mobile providers for years to come.  With 214 qualified bidders expected to compete for various 700-MHz band licenses — including Verizon, AT&T and Google — some industry insiders say the government could rake in as much $30 billion in the auction. That money will be used to help transition to all digital TV signals by 2009.

Although bidding gets underway on Jan. 24, 2008, the public won’t know who the winners and losers are until the auction officially concludes. Per FCC rules, the entire bidding process for Auction 73 will be anonymous, and the government agency has warned participants not to disclose anything about the auction (or their bids) until after it’s over. That said, interested parties can track the auction’s progress by visiting the FCC’s auction homepage.

Over the next week, industry insiders will be watching Google in particular. If the company does win the highly coveted “C Block” of spectrum, the portion that has been deemed “open to any devices and services,” the resulting network could usher in much-needed innovation, improve services, and even a “third broadband pipe” (after DSL and cable) into the home — one that wouldn’t be controlled by any one company.

The “C Block” carriers a minimum bidding price of $4.6 billion, and the general consensus is that if Google does win this portion of spectrum, the company will have someone else build the network. Total build-out costs could be as high as $15 billion, according to industry analysts.  Of course, there are already enough loopholes attached to the “C Block” to render all of the open access stipulations obsolete if the FCC doesn’t get its asking price for the spectrum. Unquestionably, there’s a lot at stake.  Here’s a FAQ on how the FCC’s 700-MHz auction will work — and why you should be interested in its outcome.   —>
http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/news/2008/01/auction_faq?currentPage=all
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[  In the last few months I’ve been keeping an eye out for the term ‘ communitarian.’   That word comes freighted with tons of baggage, but yesterday this interesting reflection turned up – not unrelated to access television’s practices and effects.  – rm ]

The new commonwealth
by Deric Bownds (4 comments)
Deric Bownds’ Mindblog (WI)
01/25/08

Some interesting comments by Kevin Kelly on possible political consequences of the Wikipedia phenomenon, excerpted from his brief essay. He changed his initial assumption that an encyclopedia editable by anyone would be an impossibility. This commentary has a rather different spirit than yesterday’s post on the internet phenomenon.

“It has always been clear that collectives amplify power — that is what cities and civilizations are — but what’s been the big surprise for me is how minimal the tools and oversight are needed. The bureaucracy of Wikipedia is relatively so small as to be invisible. It’s the Wiki’s embedded code-based governance, versus manager-based governance that is the real news. Yet the greatest surprise brought by the Wikipedia is that we still don’t know how far this power can go. We haven’t seen the limits of wiki-ized intelligence. Can it make textbooks, music and movies? What about law and political governance?

“The reality of a working Wikipedia has made a type of communitarian socialism not only thinkable, but desirable. Along with other tools such as open-source software and open-source everything, this communtarian bias runs deep in the online world…In other words it runs deep in this young next generation. It may take several decades for this shifting world perspective to show its full colors. When you grow up knowing rather than admitting that such a thing as the Wikipedia works; when it is obvious to you that open source software is better; when you are certain that sharing your photos and other data yields more than safeguarding them — then these assumptions will become a platform for a yet more radical embrace of the commonwealth. I hate to say it but there is a new type of communism or socialism loose in the world, although neither of these outdated and tinged terms can accurately capture what is new about it.

“The Wikipedia has changed my mind, a fairly steady individualist, and lead me toward this new social sphere. I am now much more interested in both the new power of the collective, and the new obligations stemming from individuals toward the collective. In addition to expanding civil rights, I want to expand civil duties. I am convinced that the full impact of the Wikipedia is still subterranean, and that its mind-changing power is working subconsciously on the global millennial generation, providing them with an existence proof of a beneficial hive mind, and an appreciation for believing in the impossible.”

[ Kevin Kelly is Editor-At-Large for Wired, and author of “New Rules for the New Economy.”  There’s more of his essay at Edge’s World Question Center website.  Interesting place – the question for 2008 is “What Have You Changed Your Mind About?” – rm ]
http://mindblog.dericbownds.net/2008/01/new-commonwealth.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannls.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannls.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 09/13/07

September 14, 2007

Comcast Pulling Plug on Public Access TV in Northwest Indiana
by Michael Puente
Chicago Public Radio
09/13/07

[ Listen ]
Comcast customers in Northwest Indiana have only a couple more weeks to enjoy their favorite locally produced shows.
http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/CityRoom_Story.aspx?storyID=13265
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Even Among a Sea of Cable Channels and the Explosion of YouTube, Public Access Remains Vital
by Kathy Torgovnicki
Huffington Post
09/13/07

New York City — In the master control room, four screens reveal what’s currently showing on the four stations of the Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN). On the first one, a teenager in a wife-beater lip syncs to “Singin’ in the Rain,” rain drops plopping on his nose as he leap-frogs over a construction barrel where Gene Kelly swung around a street lamp in the classic movie. Beside him, a Neil Young look-alike hunches over in his seat as he lets his out-of-tune guitar wail. On the third screen, a gospel choir belts out a refrain, white robes swishing as they step-touch and clap. On the final screen, a group of Serbian twenty-somethings does a folkdance that looks like Riverdance on Prozac.

It’s just a normal day at MNN — the nation’s premiere public access station that broadcasts over 1,200 shows a week on four channels in New York City. As the staff busily makes last-minute arrangements for a street carnival they’re throwing to celebrate the network’s 15th anniversary (Saturday, Sept. 15th from 1 to 6p.m. on East 104th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenues), public access has never looked better. Digital camera prices have plummeted and editing equipment comes standard on almost every personal computer. Meaning that access shows have come a long way from what Wayne’s World once parodied.   —>
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-torgovnick/even-among-a-sea-of-cable_b_64341.html
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City officials ironing out final details of plan for Anderson cable channel
by Doug Staley
Independent Mail (SC)
09/12/07

The city of Anderson soon could be home to its own cable channel.  Earlier this week, City Manager John Moore told the City Council that arrangements are being finalized with Charter Communications. The city requested the channel during recent negotiations with Charter, whose franchise agreement with the city is up for renewal.

The city has been interested in having a dedicated channel for some time, Assistant City Manager Linda McConnell said. City Council meetings already are broadcast live on public access channels 14 and 15.  The channel would allow the city to offer residents programming and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, she said.

“Until our thrust with the communications program (Current Buzz), we didn’t have a whole cache of information to be put on a cable channel,” Ms. McConnell said. “We certainly have the capabilities, the information and the audience to do something like this.”  Ms. McConnell said a number of South Carolina cities, including Greenville and Spartanburg, already have their own channels. She said the city could partner with other community entities to develop programming.   —>
http://www.independentmail.com/news/2007/sep/12/city-officials-ironing-out-final-details-plan-ande/
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California PUC issues state franchise to Wave Broadband
by Fred Pilot
Eldo Telecom (CA)
09/12/07

The California Public Utilities Commission has issued a state broadband franchise to Seattle-based cable provider Wave Broadband. Wave Broadband joins Cox Communications as one of just two cable providers that have applied for and received a state franchise, issued under California’s Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006.

Wave joins telcos AT&T and Verizon having received franchises from the California PUC. MIA is the state’s biggest cable player, Comcast. The cable provider likely isn’t all that interested in a state franchise with its limited build out requirements when local jurisdictions like El Dorado County already allow it to bypass large parts of the county, leaving consumers without access.

According to the CPUC franchise certificate issued on Sept. 7, Wave Broadband intends to provide service in the Northern California cities of Dixon, Loyalton, Portola, Rio Vista, West Sacramento and Plumas and Sierra counties. The company isn’t talking when asked if it planned to serve other areas that currently are not offered broadband services by AT&T or Comcast.
http://eldotelecom.blogspot.com/2007/09/california-puc-issues-state-franchise.html
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AT&T Supports ETTAC With $20,000 Grant to Provide Technology Resources to People With Disabilities
AT&T and Community Technology Centers’ Network Program Improves Technology Access for People With Disabilities Nationwide through $1 Million Initiative
PR Newswire
09/13/07

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The AT&T Foundation, the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T Inc. , AT&T Tennessee president Gregg Morton and the Community Technology Centers’ Network (CTCNet) today announced a $20,000 grant to East Tennessee Technology Access Center, Inc. (ETTAC) to provide new technology resources to people with disabilities. In collaboration with the Alliance for Technology Access (ATA), AT&T and CTCNet will help upgrade technology services and technology capacity to benefit people with disabilities at ETTAC’s Knoxville-area community technology center (CTC).   —>
http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/prnewswire/AQTH10013092007-1.htm
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Let’s Talk Flint
by Vote Walling
Walling for Mayor (MI)
09/13/07

Tune in to Comcast Channel 17 tomorrow at 4:00 PM to catch the replay of Dayne’s new weekly public access television show Let’s Talk Flint. Each week Dayne talks with the people of Flint and explores the issues that are important to the future of our city.   —>
http://www.votewalling.com/2007/09/lets-talk-flint.php
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WYCE: 20 Years In 20 Days image
Grand Rapids Community Media Center
09/13/07

To celebrate 20 years of folk, blues, jazz, rock and worldbeat programming on WYCE, we’re taking a trip back through the years, with 20 Years in 20 Days.  Over three weeks, we’ll focus on one year in WYCE history each day — with programmers playing their favorite songs, albums and artists from the featured year. We start with 1987 on Friday, September 21st, and count forward from there. In keeping with WYCE’s commitment to eclectic programming, we won’t play music from each day’s featured year EXCLUSIVELY. We’ll mix it in with newer — and older — selections from all the different genres of music.   —>
http://www.grcmc.org/about/news.php?news_item_id=194
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Cable TV studio sought
by Tom Gorman
Holbrook Sun (MA)
09/12/07

The cable TV advisory committee is seeking support from town officials in securing a new studio in town.  According to Town Administrator Michael Yunits, Committee Vice Chairman Alex Mann told the board of selectmen last week that a permanent studio is needed.  The committee is in the process of negotiating a new 10-year license agreement with Comcast, the town’s cable television provider. The agreement is in its last stages.

Currently, there is no studio in town, and all programs that require a studio for airing are done at Comcast’s Easton location.  Yunits said that Mann suggested that property at 600 South St. or the old studio at the former police station could be used for the town’s studio.  Holbrook’s studio was at the former police station on School Street, but was dismantled after the building was sold last year.   —>
http://www.townonline.com/holbrook/homepage/x1649537785
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IBM Research Demonstrates Innovative ‘Speech to Sign Language’ Translation System
Marketwire
IBM System Has Potential to Make Life Easier for the Deaf Community
CNNMoney.com
09/13/07

IBM has developed an ingenious system called SiSi (Say It Sign It) that automatically converts the spoken word into British Sign Language (BSL) which is then signed by an animated digital character or avatar.  SiSi brings together a number of computer technologies. A speech recognition module converts the spoken word into text, which SiSi then interprets into gestures, that are used to animate an avatar which signs in BSL.

Upon development this system would see a signing avatar ‘pop up’ in the corner of the display screen in use — whether that be a laptop, personal computer, TV, meeting-room display or auditorium screen. Users would be able select the size and appearance of the avatar.   —>
http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/marketwire/0301685.htm
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Justice Department Should Explain Stand Against Net Neutrality
by Bob Williams
Consumers Union’s HearUsNow.org
09/13/07

The good folks over at Free Press want to know why the Justice Department has recently gone to extraordinary lengths to bash net neutrality.  Last week the Justice Department filed lengthy comments with the Federal Communications Commission attacking the concept of net neutrality– the idea that Internet providers should not be allowed to speed up or slow down Web content based on its source, ownership or destination.

The Justice Department’s criticisms of net neutrality were uncannily similar to those put forth by the phone and cable industries and Free Press wants to know why. (Consumers Union, the sponsor of this blog, often works together with Free Press on telecom and media issues.)

This week Free Press submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to uncover the underlying factors that led to the Justice Department’s Sept. 6 filing at the Federal Communications Commission — which came nearly two months after the FCC’s formal comment period had closed.

“We want to know what motivated the Department of Justice to oppose net neutrality this late in the process,” said Marvin Ammori, general counsel of Free Press and author of the request. “The filing lacks any evidence of serious investigation into this critical issue and fits into a pattern of politically motivated decisions coming out of the Justice Department. We want to know if the Bush administration’s lawyers reached out to any of the thousands of groups, businesses or individuals who support Net Neutrality — or if they only talked to industry lobbyists at AT&T and Verizon.”

Free Press notes DoJ filing came during Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ last days at the helm of the Justice Department. It also followed recent revelations that the government and AT&T had conspired in far-reaching efforts to spy on Americans without legal warrants — efforts for which the Bush administration is now seeking to give immunity from prosecution to AT&T and other phone companies.   —>
http://www.consumersunion.org/blogs/hun/2007/09/justice_department_should_expl.html
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Net Neutrality Advocates Turn up the Heat
SaveTheInternet.org
09/13/07

As the mercury soared in August, SavetheInternet.com members hit the pavement to visit members of Congress and amplify nationwide calls for Net Neutrality.  All told this year we have held 60 meetings with members of Congress. This work has been bolstered by hundreds of thousands of letters sent to Washington in support of open, affordable and universal Internet access.   —>
http://www.savetheinternet.com/blog/2007/09/13/net-neutrality-advocates-turn-up-the-heat/
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APC launches new book on WSIS, developing countries and civil society: Time for lessons learned
Association for Progressive Communitcations
09/12/07

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) has been roundly criticised in the past and this new study from APC concludes that the summit “is not the best starting point for new action.” So, what is the point of looking at how developing country delegations and civil society fared at the summit? Because, says the author “it is always important to learn from experience – particularly where it did not deliver up to expectations.”

The book “Whose Summit? Whose Information Society? Developing countries and civil society at the World Summit on the Information Society”, commissioned by APC and written by David Souter draws on participants’ observations, detailed interviews with forty key actors and case studies of experiences rooted in five developing countries.   —>
http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=5202187
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Should your firm be FLOSSing?
by Paul Chin
The Globe & Mail (CAN)
09/13/07

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) had no problem going against the grain when it decided to forgo the widely used Microsoft Office suite of business applications. Instead, it chose to replace its aging WordPerfect installations with OpenOffice.org – for free.  Yes, there was a clear financial motive: By steering clear of Office 2007 and installing OpenOffice.org for its 100-plus users, the CLC saved an estimated $60,000 in licensing fees.

“But it’s not just about the money,” says Andrew Southworth, the network technician responsible for all IT services at the CLC. In fact, says Mr. Southworth, the philosophy and principles behind open source software also struck a chord with the CLC and aligns with its community-based activities.

Free/libre/open-source software (FLOSS) – or simply “open source software” – has long since evolved beyond a grassroots social movement started by idealistic software programmers who refer to large proprietary software makers collectively as “The Man.” But are companies any more willing to adopt open source software nowadays than they were a decade ago?   —>
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070912.wgtfloss13/BNStory/GlobeTQ
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Online User-Driven News Gives Mainstream Media A Run
A new survey finds sites like Del.icio.us, Digg, and Reddit give readers a more diverse choice of topics, but do they accelerate the “dumbing-down of news”?
by Thomas Claburn
InformationWeek
09/12/07

While it remains to be seen whether user-driven news sites will make traditional news editors obsolete, those who contribute to social news sites clearly make different editorial choices than their professional counterparts.  A report released on Wednesday by the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) compared what the mainstream media considered to newsworthy for one week — the week of June 24 to June 29, 2007 — with the news selected by user-driven news sites during that same period.

While the mainstream media focused on Iraq and the debate over U.S. immigration, the three leading community news sites — Del.icio.us, Digg, and Reddit — featured stories about Apple’s iPhone and Nintendo’s net worth surpassing Sony’s.    “In short, the user-news agenda, at least in this one-week snapshot, was more diverse, yet also more fragmented and transitory than that of the mainstream news media,” the PEJ said. “This does not mean necessarily that users disapprove or reject the mainstream news agenda. These user sites may be supplemental for audiences. They may gravitate to them in addition to, rather than instead of, traditional venues. But the agenda they set is nonetheless quite different.”

The PEJ appears to be making an effort not to characterize its findings, as per journalistic tradition. It refers to the sources user news sites draw on — seven out of 10 stories on user news sites come from blogs or Web sites like YouTube or WedMD — as “strikingly different” from those of the mainstream media. Not good, not bad, just … different.

Author and tech blogger Nicholas Carr observes no such niceties in writing about the PEJ’s findings.  “When you replace professional editors with a crowd or a social network, you actually end up accelerating the dumbing-down of news,” he said. “News becomes a stream of junk-food-like morsels. The people formerly known as the audience may turn out to be the people formerly known as informed.”

What the PEJ and Carr neglect to consider is the extent to which professional editors, now armed with data detailing which stories get hits and which don’t, are contributing to the dumbing-down of news (or, arguably, its improvement) by choosing to cover topics that get lots of readers (and thus better ad revenue) rather than the topics that are less popular but more “newsworthy
http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=201806004
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Taking One for the Team
by Lon
Commission Impossible (CA)
09/13/07

—> It takes about 6 months after watching one of these before I can build up the courage to to do it again. After sitting through a couple of hours of tortuous public access TV I had a feeling that’s hard to describe. I think it would be similar to drinking a six pack of cream soda in a 10 minute period. That’s got to be pretty close. I was bloated, on the verge of retching, and had my mind reeling from a massive sugar-like high.

I think every Chicoan should watch the Art Commission at some time in their life. It actually made me question the benefits of democracy. And that kind of heretical thinking is good for the soul when taken in moderation.

… I think the quote that sums up the meeting belonged to Art Commissioner Paul Friedlander who said “I second that emotion”. There was a lot of new-agey mumbo-jumbo coming from a couple of the commish’s. That’s probably what sets me off. I think the meeting tweeked my chakras and my aura today feels very maroon. My absolute favorite part… there were actually book reviews going on. These were part of joyous descriptions of a trip to a public art seminar some of the commissioners made. Book reviews I tell you! For the love of God, there were book reviews!

At the end of the meeting where the agenda allows for public comment the commission chair stated that the room was empty. It dawned on me that I may have been the only member of the public in Chico to suffer through that. I feel so lonely and soiled. Somebody please hold me.   —>
http://www.norcalblogs.com/commission/archives/2007/09/taking_one_for.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 – 09/06/07

September 6, 2007

Cable TV slights channels for public
Editorial: St. Petersburg Times (FL)
09/06/07

In signing a law this year that deregulates cable television in Florida, Gov. Charlie Crist wrote that he “will work to ensure that this bill does not dilute the availability of public access channels.” He’ll have to work quickly.

The dilution has begun, at least in the Tampa Bay area, and the decision by Bright House Networks to move local government and access channels into a higher digital tier of service is likely to be only the beginning. Just read the new law. It goes so far as to establish “utilization criteria” for each local government channel, requiring 10 hours of daily programming “of which at least 5 hours must be nonrepeat.”

Not many local channels meet that standard, and here’s the kicker: “If the applicable access channel does not meet this utilitization criterion,” the law states, “the cable or video service provider may reprogram the channel at its discretion.”  In other words, cities and counties wanting to provide televised coverage of their government meetings are now at the mercy of businesses whose agenda is primarily entertainment.

In the Tampa Bay region, Bright House is moving the channels into a tier that may cost some basic service customers extra money. And Kevin Hyman, president of Bright House’s Tampa Bay division, frames the question this way: “Aren’t we ultimately in the best position of taking the risk of deciding what’s in the best interests of our customers?”

Hyman makes a fair point, but companies that string cables across public property have historically been asked to do more than just pay a franchise fee. The local access channels were never intended to compete with ESPN or HBO or the major networks, but they do allow citizens to take the measure of their own government at work. They play an important role in democracy.

Whether Florida’s cable deregulation law will spur competition that drives down prices for consumers is debatable. But it clearly threatens the public service compact that has existed between cable companies and local governments for decades. If that picture wasn’t clear in May, when Crist signed the law, it will be crystal clear in December, when local access channels go digital.
http://www.sptimes.com/2007/09/06/Opinion/Cable_TV_slights_chan.shtml

[ The above is reprinted in full.  Please follow the link to register your interest in the topic. -rm ]
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Advocates urge Pinellas to keep public access TV
by Arielle Stevenson
WMNF Evening News (FL)
09/05/07

[Listen ]

Public access advocates gathered at the Clearwater courthouse Tuesday night to try and save Pinellas access television from the budgetary chopping block.  With the final vote on the budget coming up in two weeks, the downstairs lobby of the Clearwater Courthouse was filled with about 150 people, and more seated upstairs in the commission boardroom for the Pinellas County Board of Commisioner’s public hearing. Many were there on behalf of public access, to try once more to save what many described as one of the few remaining public soapboxes.

Dave Figueroa, who seems to have become the spokesperson for Pinellas Community Television (PCTV) presented a plan to save public access from the chopping block.   —>
http://www.wmnf.org/news_stories/show/4684
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Public access TV advocates beg Hillsborough to reconsider cuts
by Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Evening News (FL)
09/06/07

Last night, dozens of citizens asked Hillsborough County Commission not to completely cut funding of the county’s cable access and education channels.  In the first of two public hearings on the proposed 2008 budget, citizens spoke for nearly 2½ hours in their first opportunity to challenge the $55-million in budget cuts proposed by County Administrator Pat Bean.  Bean has proposed eliminating completely the $355,000 plus for the Tampa Bay Community Network, and $419,000 for the award winning Education Channel.

Battling the County Commission for its funding life is nothing new for Louise Thompson, executive director of the public access channel called Speak Up Tampa Bay. Years ago, a drive led by former Commissioner Ronda Storms over some objectionable programming led to a similar showdown.  In her three minutes before the board, Thompson extolled the virtues of her channel and concluded with a parting shot that the County’s Government channel, is not taking a financial hit.

Although there has been tension between the board and Speak Up Tampa Bay over the years, there has not publicly been any troubles between commissioners and the award-winning Education Channel.  In a compromise, Education channel officials have proposed that they receive only 75 percent of their previous budget.   —>
http://www.wmnf.org/news_stories/show/4686
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Public access TV backers seek reprieve from cuts
County commissioners will make their final budget decisions Sept. 20.
by Bill Varian
St. Petersburg Times (FL)
09/06/07

TAMPA – For months, local and state governments have heard the cry of residents wanting cuts in their tax bills.  On Wednesday, Hillsborough County commissioners were greeted by a standing-room-only crowd and dozens of speakers asking them to spare their nonprofit groups or government agencies.  Chief among them were leaders and supporters of the county’s public and education access television stations, which are facing elimination. Commissioners have tentatively voted to no longer spend any money on either program.

The two stations got $874,443 between them last year, amounts that hadn’t been increased for several years.  “These cuts are obviously an effort to eliminate the public’s ability to speak out,” said one speaker, Mark Adams.

Ultimately commissioners took no action, though Commissioners Mark Sharpe and Rose Ferlita both asked the administration to explore ways to give the stations a portion of or as much money as they got last year. Commissioners make final decisions on the budget after a second public hearing Sept. 20.   —>    http://www.sptimes.com/2007/09/06/Hillsborough/Public_access_TV_back.shtml
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Bright House Kicks PEG Channel to Digital
Public, Educational and Government Programming in Tampa Lose Analog Positions
by Linda Haugsted
Multichannel News
09/05/07

Come December, it will be good-bye analog, hello digital for public, educational and government programming in Tampa, Fla.  The Tampa division of Bright House Networks has notified producers in the seven counties it serves in the region that beginning Dec. 11, PEG programming will be moved up the dial. Kena Lewis, director of public affairs for the division, said the system is unifying the channel lineup throughout it service area.   —>
http://multichannel.com/article/CA6475372.html?industryid=47201
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AT&T’s new chief says company will invest if legislators act
Nashville Post (TN)
09/06/07

‘Tennessee is surrounded’ by states that have won AT&T capital, says new AT&T Tennessee president
http://www.nashvillepost.com/news/2007/9/6/att_will_invest_in_tennessee_if_general_assembly_acts [subscription required]
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USC rejects Verizon deal
by Bob Williams
The Almanac (PA)
09/05/07

Upper St. Clair Commissioners rejected a franchise agreement with Verizon which would allow the media company to offer “cable-style” television service to Upper St. Clair residents.  Township officials plan to talk with Verizon about getting an additional pro-rated subsidy that will fund the township’s public access television coordinator, a subsidy that Verizon won’t simply pass along to subscribers as part of their bills.   —>
http://www.thealmanac.net/ALM/Story/09_05_verizon_aggt_B
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Liveblogging the Government Competition and Privatization Subcommittee
by Jesse
FreeUTOPIA.org
09/06/07

Thanks to the free WiFi in the committee room, I’ll be liveblogging the entire entire meeting. Check back for regular updates! I’ll be here at least until noon or the break for lunch, whichever comes first.

… 12:40PM Sen. Stephenson asked how Qwest feels about cherry-picking. He seems to approve of the concept, but he’s trying to characterize UTOPIA as seeking Qwest-style exclusive monopolies in greenfield areas. I suppose he’d know something about that, wouldn’t he? He’s now trying to claim that they’re somehow more trustworthy because they don’t promise universal service. What the?   —>
http://www.freeutopia.org/2007/09/06/liveblogging-the-government-competition-and-privatization-subcommittee/
~

Rebutting TV and Microphone Industry Claims on Interference if Vacant TV Channels are Opened for Broadband Devices.
by Sascha Meinrath
SaschaMeinrath.com
09/06/07

I’ve been mired in a pitched battle between the public interest (to allow the general public to use unlicensed devices on unused TV frequencies) and the National Association of Broadcasters and various massive corporations (who have launched a FUD campaign of epic proportions here in the nation’s capital). Just today I learned that NAB and its allies have taken out full-page adds in various press going out to congressional offices claiming that these technologies will destroy TV as we know it. If this claim sounds familiar, it’s because it was the same claim used to fight low power FM radio — a claim that has since been proven to have been a lie.  Here’s the latest:  —>
http://www.saschameinrath.com/2007/sep/06/rebutting_tv_and_microphone_industry_claims_interference_if_vacant_tv_channels_are_opene
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Radio ‘free’ PT: Nonprofit aims for 91.5 FM
by Barney Burke
Port Townsend Leader (WA)
09/06/07

Stay tuned.  In a year or two, you may be able to set your FM radio dial to 91.5 and hear a Port Townsend-based radio station.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is accepting applications for “non-commercial educational” FM radio licenses from educational, government and nonprofit organizations during the week of Oct. 12-19.

That news was music to the ears of Sherry Jones, a local attorney and public access cable station PTTV producer who helped organize the first Port Townsend Film Festival in 2000.  Jones, 47, has led the formation of “Radio Port Townsend,” a nonprofit organization that would operate the station. “Radio is uniquely relevant media because it’s everywhere, it’s low tech, and it’s free,” said Jones.

To launch the station, she started looking for “level-headed, visionary and enthusiastic people,” Jones said.  “But she settled for us!” laughed Colin Foden, 59, referring to himself and Collin Brown, 54. Neither man is affiliated with PTTV, but both have been involved in nonprofits and in business – and they share Jones’ passion for the airwaves.   —>
http://www.ptleader.com/main.asp?SectionID=36&SubSectionID=55&ArticleID=18664&TM=81776.41
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WisconsinEye to broadcast from Supreme Court
by Jessi Polsky
Badger Herald (WI)
09/06/07

A statewide public affairs network began broadcasting oral arguments in the State Supreme Court Wednesday by airing coverage of three cases.  WisconsinEye entered into a contract with the state in 2005 to televise all three branches of Wisconsin government, beginning with the legislature.  Chris Long, president and CEO of WisconsinEye, said the company was slated to broadcast a second branch of government, either the judiciary or executive branch, by May 2008.  “We have broadcast contracts with the state … to cover the legislature and expand to cover the other two branches of government,” Long said. “There is no deadline … but we’ve been committed to covering all three branches as soon as we have the resources available to do so.”   —>
http://badgerherald.com/news/2007/09/06/wisconsineye_to_broa.php
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Perri leaves BTV
Colorado Daily
09/05/07

A Wednesday afternoon press release informed local media that Boulder Community Media (BCM) Executive Director Tony Perri has submitted his resignation to the BCM Board of Directors, effective Friday, Sept. 28. Perri will continue working with the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) to program, produce and administer the Educational Channel 22.  “At this time, I see the need to concentrate on Channel 22 and have recommended to the board of directors that a new executive director take my place,” said Perri.  Perri began his tenure on Jan. 1, 2006 when he volunteered to manage, administer and program Channel 54 for the city of Boulder.

… In addition to building a solid foundation for community access television, Perri formed a partnership with BVSD and created Boulder’s newest local TV station, Channel 22. This educational station is countywide so that viewers throughout the Boulder Valley can watch the same educational-based television programming on a single cable channel.  Perri is also an adjunct instructor at the University of Colorado-Boulder in the Journalism and Mass Communication School.   —>
http://www.coloradodaily.com/articles/2007/09/05/news/c_u_and_boulder/news4.txt
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Filling Vacancies Is Top Goal for Charles
Economic Development Post Key in County (MD)
by Philip Rucker
Washington Post
09/06/07

—>   Also this fall, Comfort said he hopes to help the commissioners revamp the county’s public access TV station. He wants to turn Channel 95 into “must-see TV” for Charles County residents.  As county administrator in rural Queen Anne’s on the Eastern Shore, Comfort built the public access station into a popular destination for sports fans and government watchers alike. In Charles, Comfort hopes to televise more high school sporting events and features on the county’s tourist attractions.

“The TV station should be used to tell the story of government, what people are getting for their tax dollars, and right now we’re not doing a good job of communicating what we’re doing,” Comfort said.  One idea under consideration is to have Cooper sit down for a five-minute interview after each commissioners meeting to recap the policy issues discussed that day. The interview would be replayed until the next meeting.  “It’ll be more interesting than long, dry meetings,” Comfort said.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/05/AR2007090500058.html
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Cable TV program lets local writers and actors showcase their talents
Thousand Oaks Acorn (CA)
09/06/07

Readers Theater Television began its sixth season at 5:30 p.m. on Thurs., Aug. 30 on Time Warner Cable with “Noir,” written by Ray Malus of Woodland Hills.  The reading featured Tim Gallagher of Oak Park, Tim Holtwick and Srinivas Kanury of Simi Valley, Bridgette Lindgren and Matt McGee of Thousand Oaks, Michael Aronovitz and Regina Mocey of Agoura Hills and Paul D. Roberts of Los Angeles.

Readers Theater Television produces tapings of staged readings of original plays and screenplays for broadcast on Time Warner Cable, public access Channel 25 in the areas of Agoura Hills, Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Ojai, Oak Park, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village.   —>
http://www.toacorn.com/news/2007/0906/Community/025.html
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I want my MTV(C)!
by Alan Saracevic
SFGate.com
09/06/07

MTV is looking for someone under 25. Who understands the Internet. And has a revolutionary idea about digital media.  That would make me 0-fer-three.  But in case you do fit that bill, think about applying for a new grant that will give the right young entrepreneur up to $500,000 for coming up with “compelling ideas for using digitally delivered news and information to enhance physical communities — improving the lives of people where they live, work and vote.”  It’s called the “Young Creators Award,” and it’s being sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and MTV.   —>
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=19&entry_id=20054
~

Open Source Software: The Power of Community
by Bryan Cheung
TechNewsWorld.com
09/06/07

Like social Web sites, open source software is most valuable when it has a strong community around it, a community that has invested time and effort into learning the technology, creating features, submitting bug fixes, and creating documentation. Open source is also about empowering users to participate and not simply consume software.  The IT industry appears to be in the thick of a number of interesting trends happening not only in technology, but in society at large. Cultural assumptions are changing about the nature of media and production, and consumers are being empowered as producers.  The Web at large has embraced this shift for several years, but businesses are just starting to realize the power and benefits of rethinking our understanding of ownership and participation   —>.
http://www.technewsworld.com/story/59127.html
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 08/04-05/07

August 6, 2007

Consumers, not AT&T, should get favored status
by Bruce Speight and Joel Kelsey
Green Bay Gazette (WI)
08/05/07

The dual goals of increased competition in the cable market and the expansion of broadband Internet service in Wisconsin are laudable. In today’s connected world access to robust networks means much more than just the opportunity to watch cable television — it means increased access to news, art, entertainment, and diverse marketplaces. Unfortunately, the so-called “cable competition” bill that is currently before the state Legislature is missing its opportunity to develop the video service marketplace in a way that truly benefits Wisconsinites.

The TV4US Coalition and AT&T’s blizzard of television advertisements forget to mention that the bill currently before the Legislature will allow AT&T to wiggle out of the strong consumer protections that are traditionally included in the video franchising process.   —>
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070805/GPG07/708050630/1273/GPGbusiness
also blogged by US PIRG: http://www.uspirg.org/html/consumer/archives/2007/08/misleading_ads.html

Hillsborough’s Cable Access TV in danger?
Radioactivity: Live Call-In
by Robert Lorei
WMNF (FL)
08/01/07

Good afternoon, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up today we’ll talk about the plan to cut funding for two access cable TV channels in Hillsborough County.  We’re joined by Louise Thompson, executive director of the Tampa bay community network and Ann Goldenberg, executive director of the Education Channel, which serves Tampa and Hillsborough County. She’s joined by the Education Channel’s marketing director Laura Tierney.   —>
http://www.wmnf.org/news_stories/show/4560
also discussed on 7/24: http://www.wmnf.org/news_stories/show/4535

Berwick signs 10-year pact with Comcast (ME)
Foster’s Online
08/04/07

Selectmen have signed a 10-year contract with Comcast cable, which will allow the town to begin work on a public access channel.  Selectmen are looking for five residents to begin a Community Television Committee to assist with running the channel, including working with cameras and other production-related assistance.   —>
http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070804/FOSTERS01/108040415/-1/NEWS09

Rural net service boost: Gov to tout $25M plan
by Jay Fitzgerald
Boston Herald (MA)
08/02/07

—>   The state would invest about $25 million to help bring high-speed Internet to sparsely populated towns in western Massachusetts under an economic development plan to be unveiled today by Gov. Deval Patrick.  About 32 towns in Massachusetts currently don’t have broadbroad Internet that provides faster and more powerful service. State officials say broadband access is critical to future development in economically hard-pressed areas.   —>
http://business.bostonherald.com/technologyNews/view.bg?articleid=1014824

The Fiber Optic Debate
by Mac Herring
Mooresville Tribune (NC)
08/03/07

As a Town Commissioner I am charged with looking at the many aspects of such important decisions. I have put together this essay so the Public can also consider the issues at hand. The thoughts expressed are my own, and are in no way an attempt to portray the thoughts of any other Town Board member.  Should The Town of Mooresville Buy the Cable TV system?

If the question is: Should the Town of Mooresville own and operate a local cable TV franchise? “The government shouldn’t be in the cable business.” is the argument put forward by both an ill informed public opinion and Telecommunications companies such as Time Warner.

There are much deeper issues than local government competing against private enterprise. It isn’t about cable TV, or controlling what folks can watch. It’s about a fiber optic infrastructure that will allow for much greater public opportunity than simple cable TV.  Fiber optic offers the potential for economic development, and for more fair and open access to the Internet for every citizen.   —>
http://www.mooresvilletribune.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=MOT/MGArticle/MOT_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173352246157

Who needs public access TV?
Some argue that ‘Wayne’s World’ is still more democratic than YouTube
by Adrian McCoy
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
08/05/07

—>   Still, PCTV is looking to the future in some of the ways Gillmor suggests.  The station’s programs now stream online on the PCTV Web site. It also offers a digital editing workshop in addition to basic production training.  The channel hopes to add video-on-demand and chat-room features, so viewers can interact more fully with what they’re watching.  “We don’t want to be dinosaurs,” says PCTV’s Poole. “But it’s important we don’t get distracted or our focus so fragmented from our mission as a community television station.”   —>
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07217/806497-237.stm

Public Access TV, Then and Now
by Adrian McCoy
Pittsburgh Post Gazette (PA)
08/05/07

—>   The movement has grown into a nationwide and international phenomenon — there are public access channels in Canada, Europe, South America and Australia. Pittsburgh has had a public access channel — Channel 21 — since 1981, when Warner Cable established the first community studios in the city. In 1984, TCI took over the cable franchise, and a move began for public access to be operated by an independent nonprofit, which led to the launch of PCTV in 1986.   —>
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07217/806498-237.stm

Greenville-Pitt Public Access TV airing local programming
The Daily Reflector (NC)
08/05/07

Greenville-Pitt Public Access Television producer Javier Castillo has created two programs for the public access station, shown on Suddenlink cable channel 23.  An interview with U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., R-N.C., is presented daily at 8 a.m. and 7:18 p.m. “A Conversation With My Congressman” includes a range of subjects, including whether Jones plans to run for office again.   —>
http://www.reflector.com/local/content/news/stories/2007/0805gpat.html
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Realtor Creates Public Access TV Show For Arlington and Fairfax Counties (VA)
Digg.com

Carl Goldberg a Realtor representing Century 21 New Millennium in Alexandria Virginia has launched a TV show that advises the public about real estate. The show explores all the different facets of real estate.
http://digg.com/business_finance/Realtor_Creates_Public_Access_TV_Show_For_Arlington_and_Fairfax_Counties
~

Media Organization Honored
Fall Church News-Press (VA)
08/02/07

Arlington Independent Media, a non-profit public broadcasting organization, was awarded the 2007 Hometown Video Festival’s Overall Excellence Award. The Hometown Video Awards, which was hosted by the Alliance for Community Media, honors media for addressing community needs. Arlington Independent Media has won the award five times in the last 17 years and celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
http://www.fcnp.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1618&Itemid=33

GHS station maintains winning run
by Lela Garlington
Commercial Appeal (TN)
08/04/07

Germantown High School may be running out of studio wall space for all of the national awards GHS-TV keeps getting.  Just recently, the community access station picked up 10 first-place awards through the Alliance for Community Media — more than any other access station in the country.  Since 1985, GHS-TV has won 104 first-place Hometown Awards.   —>
http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/germantown_collierville/article/0,2846,MCA_29498_5658591,00.html

County Cable Montgomery
by Dan Libes
Libes Libations (MD)
08/02/07

Last week, the Gazette had a curious article about County Cable Montgomery, the PEG channel that televises official county business such as county council hearings.  According to county spokesperson Patrick Lacefield,   “We are wanting to make the cable channel more accessible to folks. … we’re trying make the programming more interesting and increase its relevance to the public.”

According to the Gazette, the county believes that CCM does not “pique the interest of county youngsters” and the county is trying to change this. According to Donna Keating, CCM Program Manager:   “We are trying to be more responsive to our audience. We do not have access to Nielsen ratings, but we know that we have activists that look at the channel because of the number of replays for the council and town hall meetings… We believe that the missing piece is the young people.”

All I can say is: Huh?

This is the county’s government channel, not Disney or TNT. Why spend money trying to attract a different audience than the one you have? There are dozens of outlets for “young people” already. Actually, there are hundreds.    —>
http://www.libes.com/don/blog/2007/08/county-cable-montgomery.html

What’s Going On in Community Media
by Benton Foundation
MediaChannel.org

The media revolution promised for the past 40 years has arrived — again. Four decades ago, the dominance of a handful of television broadcast networks was shattered by the emergence of satellite-linked cable television. In the 1990s, the Internet sent text and data flowing around the world. Now, a decade later, photos, audio, and video are becoming as easily transmitted as text. The era of personal electronic communication and broadband networks is at hand, and every aspect of our media culture is undergoing change.   —>
http://www.mediachannel.org/wordpress/2007/07/26/whats-going-on-in-community-media/

Media Streaming Servers: Open Source and Proprietary
by Carlos Miranda Levy
Digital Vision Program at Stanford University
07/24/07
A friend recently consulted me about streaming media and video-on-demand solutions available to satisfy the requirements of a distant learning initiative to be implemented by one of his customers. While explaining to him the many options available I realized that not many people are aware of how much the streaming media ecosystem has changed in the last few years and that there are several open source platforms and solutions available for streaming audio and video over the Internet, lowering the cost of such endeavors and making the implementation of pilot and fully functional initiatives much more affordable and accessible to all kind of organizations.   —>
http://fellows.rdvp.org/carlosmirandalevy/blog/media/streaming/servers
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
http://ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 06/19/07

June 19, 2007

Senate greenlights cable bill
Franchise rules to soften if governor signs off
by Monique Garcia
Chicago Tribune (IL)
06/19/07

SPRINGFIELD—In a move aimed at creating cable TV competition and lowering rates statewide, the Senate passed legislation today that would allow AT&T and other telecommunications companies to more easily get into the cable-television business. Supporters predicted consumers will benefit from competition by seeing the latest technology and better rates.   The legislation passed 54-0, with one present vote, and now goes to Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  —>
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-070619legisjun19,1,4134500.story?coll=chi-news-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true
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Strickland to sign bill for cable TV competition
by William Hershey
The Western Star (OH)
06/19/07

COLUMBUS — Gov. Ted Strickland is expected to sign legislation that would make it easier for phone companies and other competitors to break into Ohio’s cable television market, Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey said Tuesday.  The bill now goes to Strickland after the Senate voted 33-0 to agree with changes the House made to the legislation first passed by the Senate.   —>
http://www.western-star.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2007/06/19/ddn061907telcomweb.html
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Net Neutrality, the Life Blood of Creative People
by Toni Seger (ME)
SaveTheInternet
06/19/07

My state of Maine is the first state in the nation to vote to preserve net neutrality.  As an artist and an arts administrator, I salute this vote for its courage and its vision.

Maine is a large state in geographic area with a relatively small and dispersed population. For creative people, it is virtually impossible to make a living through traditional marketing outlets, especially in the western part of the state.  More and more, the web is the way our creative economy is reaching audiences outside Maine. Only with net neutrality is it possible to develop the linkage that allows individual creative output to emerge.

For example, Western Maine Cultural Alliance exhibits artists representing 5 counties, with links to their individual sites, on a sampler page: http://www.westernmaineculture.org/WMCA_Artists.html  In turn, WMCA, as a cultural resource, has links on a variety of sites from libraries and academies to chambers and tourism outlets, even a national site for art news.  Minus net neutrality, Big Media will own all access to audiences on behalf of the creative output controlled and produced by giant corporations.

I am extremely proud of Maine’s legislature for their leadership on this important issue and I hope it’s true that; “As Maine goes, so goes the nation.”   – Toni Seger, Video Producer, Lovell, ME
http://www.savetheinternet.com/yourstory/284995
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Danbury TV is coming’ soon
City hopes to have live coverage of government meetings
by Mark Langlois
The News-Times (CT)
06/19/07

DANBURY — Live. Coming to your home. The Common Council.  And Planning Commission and Zoning Commission meetings, and possibly others, may not be far behind.  That’s because the city promises to deliver gavel-to-gavel coverage of its government meetings, starting with the Common Council.

“We’re hoping to work out live coverage, but it may be taped to begin with,” Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said this week.  “DTV (Danbury TV) is coming,” the mayor said. “It’s like MTV.”  Over the past few weeks, the city has been wiring television equipment into City Hall’s Common Council chambers, and officials expect to begin taping at the council’s July 3 meeting.  The plan is to air the Common Council meetings first. Once the system is working properly, the city is likely to expand to Planning, Zoning and Environmental Impact Commission meetings…

The Common Council meetings now appear on Comcast’s public access channel (23), but they are not always gavel to gavel.  The city’s version will appear on the government channel, which is Comcast’s Channel 24.  The city paid $23,000 for the equipment, with the bulk of the funds coming from a surplus in the city’s Public Building Department.

Boughton credits local cable host Lynn Waller for pushing the city into committing to the coverage.  Waller attends most city meetings and discusses them on Friday nights on the show, “In Our Opinion.”  “I’ve been pushing for this for 10 years,” said Waller, who wants the TV coverage so people realize that regular people come out to these meetings and speak.  “People need to see what goes on in these meetings,” Waller said. “I think government should be run out in front of people.”   —>
http://www.newstimeslive.com/news/story.php?id=1056998&source=tabbox
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The real heroes in the local broadcasting of local govenment meetings saga ignored by Mayor Boughton and The News-Times
by ctblogger
Hat City Blog (CT)
06/19/07

Okay, this is simply too much not to comment about. The News-Times has dropped the ball on reporting local news correctly that it’s getting annoying.  Let’s set the record straight on the whole broadcasting on local government meetings “kiss Mayor Boughton’s and Lynn Waller’s backside” fluff piece in today’s paper.

FIRST OFF, if there is ONE person who’s been the biggest roadblock in making this happen over the last two years, it’s been Mayor Boughton and if this wasn’t an re-election year, TRUST ME, this whole change of heart from Danbury’s ruler would not have happened PERIOD.

SECOND, Lynn Waller was ONLY ONE piece of this movement as there were MANY OTHER people who worked tirelessly to make government meetings on Channel 24 a reality and it’s not surprising that the mayor “overlooked” this as it would require him to acknowledge people who aren’t his biggest fans.  Lets thank the real heroes who busted their ass to make broadcasting the meetings a reality:   —>
http://hatcityblog.blogspot.com/
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Connecting F/OSS and PEG Access TV
Community Media in Transition
by Colin Rhinesmith
06/19/07

In the Spring Issue of Community Media Review, Felicia Sullivan writes

“These concepts of freedom, transparency, accessibility, creativity, inclusion and community should sound familiar to those of us working in community media. They are the foundations of much of the work in which we are engaged. Therefore, we owe it to ourselves and to our communities to explore and be open to free and open source software.”

I think there is an exciting opportunity to further explore these common values shared by both the free and open source software and community media movements. I’ve created a new page, titled “Free and Open Source Software” on the Community Media in Transition wiki to examine how the mission of PEG access TV fits within this context. If you are interested in sharing your resources and knowledge for this project, please visit the wiki to get started.

At the end of the article, Felicia writes

“It is not a fluke that so many of the resources detailed in this article have ‘.org’ in their URLs. F/OSS is a stance about what kind of communication culture we want to create. isn’t this what the mission of community media is all about?”

Download the article for free (as in speech) over at CMR.                                                                                                                                                                       http://cmediachange.net/blog/2007/06/19/connecting-foss-and-peg-access-tv/
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Verizon goes cable
by Timothy C. Barmann
Providence Journal (RI)
06/19/07

WARWICK — Verizon Communications launched its cable television service in the West Bay area yesterday, becoming the first new provider of cable TV in Rhode Island in more than 20 years.  The company held a launch ceremony at a new Verizon dispatch facility in Warwick that included a ribbon “cutting” — a convoy of 10 Verizon service trucks rolled off the lot to begin the first installations, with the lead truck breaking through a red ribbon stretched between two poles. Almost at the same time, a small plane flew overhead, towing a banner heralding the new service.

Verizon began taking orders for its fiber-optic FiOS service June 5 — the date on which state regulators said the company could begin its service. The company said it is booking about 200 installations per day.  Attending the ceremony were Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedesian, as well as other elected officials and Verizon executives.   —>
http://www.projo.com/news/content/bz_verizon_launch19_06-19-07_QS62DR1.279e62e.html
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FCC Chairman: Everybody in US must be in on “broadband revolution”
by Eric Bangeman
Ars Technica
06/19/07

In a room packed with representatives from just about every major telecom-related company in North America, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin appeared via satellite to deliver one of the keynote addresses at the annual NXTcomm telecom conference. Martin made the case for increased investment in broadband infrastructure, talked about the importance of the upcoming 700MHz auction in creating a wireless broadband infrastructure, and expressed his hope that new franchising regulations will lead to lowered cable prices.

Martin’s keynote was facilitated by Walter McCormick, president of the United States Telecom Association and another telecom industry executive and consisted of a question-and-answer session covering topics of interest to both the telecom industry and consumers. Throughout his appearance, Martin was very matter of fact and appeared to tailor his remarks towards his audience. He stressed the need for increased broadband availability in the US, saying that the FCC’s role is to create a regulatory climate where this can best happen.   —>
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070619-fcc-chairman-everybody-in-us-must-be-in-on-broadband-revolution.html
~

compiled by Rob McCausland
Dir., Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
http://ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 06/11/07

June 12, 2007

Charter contract options listed
Tullahoma News (TN)

Tullahoma’s cable TV franchise agreement with Charter Communications expires this month, so the Board of Mayor and Aldermen is faced with renegotiating its contract amid determining how the city’s Public Education and Government Channel 6 fits into the picture.

Meanwhile, Tullahoma Utilities Board has received funding approval from the Board of Aldermen for $17.1 million in a bond issue to develop a municipal fiber optics network system that will provide cable TV, Internet and telephone service.   —>
http://www.tullahomanews.com/news/view_article.asp?idcategory=9&idarticle=5003
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Connecticut Legislators Approve Franchise Reform Bill
Broadcast Newsroom (Multichannel News)
06/08/07

Connecticut legislators, on the last night of their session June 6, approved a franchise reform bill that will subject AT&T U-verse TV product to some regulation. This is notable because, in a controversial decision in 2006, the state’s Department of Public Utility Control concluded that the telco’s Internet-delivered product is not the same as a cable service http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6342802.html and therefore not subject to regulation. That regulatory ruling is being challenged in federal court by the New England Cable Telecommunications Association.    —>
http://nab.broadcastnewsroom.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=149482
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Foley pushes SB 117 amendments to prevent digital abandonment, create state broadband partnership
by Bill Callahan
Callahan’s Cleveland Blog (OH)
06/08/07

I mentioned the other day that there are a few dozen amendments proposed for Senate Bill 117, the state video/broadband franchising bill, as it nears final House markup… possibly as soon as next Tuesday.  Four of those amendments are being proposed by Rep. Mike Foley, whose 14th House District includes the far West Side of Cleveland and a few adjacent suburbs.

Two of Foley’s proposals are small but significant changes to the bill’s anti-redlining language. One would change the definition of “low income household” from a flat $35,000 to 150% of the Federal poverty level (that’s $31,000 in 2007). The second would eliminate low-income access percentages as a legal defense against charges of racial discrimination by a video/broadband provider.  The other two Foley amendments are aimed at bigger targets.

1. No abandonment. Under the bill passed by the Senate, a cable company that switches from its local franchise to a state Video Service Authorization is no longer bound by any requirement of the old franchise to provide community-wide access. In effect, this is a license to abandon less profitable communities. Foley’s amendment would require such a company to continue to provide service everywhere it does under its local franchise, for the entire ten years of its initial Video Service Authorization.

2. Connect Ohio. Foley’s fourth amendment requires the state’s Office of Information Technology to set up a public/private partnership that includes several state agencies as well as local governments, telecom companies and unions, community technology centers and other community nonprofits, farm groups, etc. This “Connect Ohio” partnership (modeled to some extent on Connect Kentucky) would have the following responsibilities:   —>
http://www.callahansclevelanddiary.com/?p=280
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SB 117: Time Warner insists on right to abandon Cleveland neighborhoods
by Bill Callahan
Callahan’s Cleveland Diary (OH)
06/11/07

For months, critics of Senate Bill 117, the state video franchising bill, have complained that the bill permits incumbent cable companies to abandon service to neighborhoods (like the lowest income parts of Cleveland) that they’re now obligated to serve by their local franchises.  And for months, spokesmen for the cable industry have responded with wide-eyed, injured innocence: How can you think such a thing? Of course we would never walk away from our existing customers… why, we’ve already invested in the infrastructure to serve them.

After listening to this softshoe routine from Ohio Cable Telecom Association President Jon McGee in the House Public Utilities Committee hearing three weeks ago, Rep. Mike Foley of Cleveland asked him the obvious question: If it’s true that your members have no interest in using state franchising as an opportunity to withdraw service from any neighborhood, how about putting that assurance into the law — like, with an amendment requiring cable providers who switch to state Video Service Authorizations (VSAs) to continue to offer service everywhere they offered it under their local franchises?

McGee did a fast tap dance around the question, muttering about “changing business plans” and “flexibility” while promising Foley that something could be negotiated.  Now it turns out that at least one cable company — the state’s biggest, Time Warner Cable — is not about to agree to Foley’s amendment and give up its “right to abandon”.

Sources close to the last-minute flurry of backroom negotiation (the bill is scheduled for final markup tomorrow) say that Time Warner will agree to an anti-abandonment requirement only until the end of its current franchises. That’s the substance of the anti-abandonment language included in a package circulated to Committee members by chairman John Hagan on Friday, supposedly reflecting agreements between AT&T and Governor Strickland. Here’s the proposed new language:   —>
http://www.callahansclevelanddiary.com/?p=281
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Feud better not sabotage cable television bill
Editorial: Daily South Town (IL)
06/11/07

The General Assembly last week appeared to be on the verge of doing a good thing for consumers by bringing more competition to the cable television industry in Illinois. The House unanimously passed a bill sponsored by state Rep. James Brosnahan (D-Evergreen Park) that redefines the playing field for the industry. The bill was sent to the Senate, where it also has strong support.

But late in the week, passage of the bill did not appear to be a sure thing. And according to Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax, ego apparently was the reason. The personality clash between Senate President Emil Jones and House Speaker Mike Madigan, which has played a major role in producing a most ineffective legislative session, is responsible for souring the cable bill for now.

According to Miller, Jones may be irritated at the credit being handed out to Madigan and his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, for their roles in crafting this important piece of legislation. Jones also is upset by a provision that give the attorney general more oversight of the cable industry.

We hope that this latest snit is just a small bump in the road and the Senate promptly advances the bill and sends it on to Gov. Rod Blagojevich for his signature. Adults should stop acting like kids in Springfield, forget about who’s being handed gold stars by the teacher and get on with the important issues at hand.   —>
http://www.dailysouthtown.com/news/opinion/editorials/422325,111EDT1.article
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Statewide cable franchising flops in Texas. Worried yet?
Fox Cities HD (WI)
06/05/07

—>  While opponents of Wisconsin’s pending legislation are holding Texas’ results up as a possible outcome in our own state, the legislators and AT&T-paid lobbyists including TV4US are blasting the survey as incorrect and flawed. Rep. Phil Montgomery (R-Green Bay) says the study doesn’t account for “bundled” services, where TV service is combined with other services like home phone, internet, and cellular phone. Thad Nation, a PR consultant working with TV4US says the study is flawed because it measured products “few customers opt for, has the least competition among providers and has thin (profit) margins and little potential for decreased prices.”

Wait. What?

The study seems to have focused on basic and standard cable TV service. I don’t know about you, but isn’t that what most current cable TV subscribers who complain about the cost of cable prices want? Ask any cable customer who’s resisted using a cable box in the past couple years — and there are more than you think — and they’ll tell you they do care about just plain ol’ basic/standard service.   —>
http://www.foxcitieshd.com/2007/06/10/hd-rants-statewide-cable-franchising-flops-in-texas-worried-yet/
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TV committee seeks public access in Eliot (ME)
by David Ramsay
Seacoast Online
06/11/07

ELIOT, Maine — Eliot’s Cable TV Committee said last week that their recent survey of town residents shows the community is solidly behind the proposal to bring community cable to town.  “Two thirds of those 65 residents who returned the cable TV questionnaire really want a public access channel if it were available through the contract with the cable provider,” said James Atwood, Cable TV Committee member. “Two thirds also said they would be willing to pay an extra dollar a month charge for a community channel.”   —>
http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070611/NEWS/706110316/-1/NEWS01
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Redding League hears about public access to Internet and TV
Redding Pilot (CT)
06/09/07

Do you know that the many corporations vying to control the electronic networks that link us to the Internet and TV could possibly curtail our access to certain sites and to channels that now offer public, educational and governmental programming? It is a possibility that guest speaker Pua Ford, Connecticut League of Women Voters secretary and media guru, introduced to the Redding League at its annual luncheon meeting at Clemens restaurant on May 30.

Ms. Ford’s talk was titled “Informing the 21st Century Citizen: Electronic Media, News and Opinions.” Two areas are of concern, Ms. Ford said, are, first, safeguarding net neutrality and, second, guaranteeing community access channels on new telephone company video services over the Internet.    —>
http://www.acorn-online.com/news/publish/redding/18978.shtml
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Clock’s Ticking On Net Neutrality
by Kevin Howley
Hartford Courant
06/10/07

The next time you use the Internet, type the phrase “net neutrality” into your favorite search engine. You might be surprised by all the information you’ll find on network neutrality – a topic that most Americans have never even heard of. And yet, for anyone who uses the Internet – for e-mail, online shopping, research or recreation – the principle of net neutrality is vital for keeping the Internet the open communication platform we have come to know.

Put simply, net neutrality protections ensure that network operators provide nondiscriminatory access to the network and online content. Think about it like this: When you make a phone call, the telephone company can’t keep you from talking to whomever you want, or prevent you from talking about whatever you like. Net neutrality applies the same operating principle to Internet communication.   —> http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/commentary/hc-commentarynetneut.artjun10,0,6102241.story?coll=hc-headlines-commentary
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You, too, tube
Worcester’s Democracy is changing its name and the way we watch
by Chet Williamson
Worcester Magazine (MA)
06/07/07

A Worcester-based non-profit that makes the open-source Internet TV platform called Democracy has received a $100,000 grant from Mozilla, the creator of Firefox, often recognized as the poster child for the open-source movement. The Democracy Player, which has been described as “TiVo for the Internet,” is a free and open way to watch, share and broadcast video on the Internet.

In an online statement issued last week, Nicholas Reville, executive director and co-founder of the Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF), the company that created the software, said, “Mozilla shares our mission, almost to the letter — they are a non-profit, building open tools that defend and expand the fundamentally democratic nature of the Internet. What they are doing for the Web, we want to do for video.”

Asked to describe what Democracy is, Reville says, “We make video software that you can download. It is designed in a way that keeps things open for publishers and users. It’s designed to take advantage of the openness of the Internet.”

Here’s how it get it: Go to Democracy.com. Download the software the same way you would download Skype, Firefox or I-Tunes. Run it and you can see all the different channels or videos that you can subscribe to. The software automatically checks the channels every day. If there are new videos it will download them. The software and content is free.

“Our goal isn’t to make money off of you,” Reville says. “Our goal is to give you the best possible video experience. Let me tell you the reason why we are doing this. TV is the most important medium in our culture and it is moving online. I think everybody can see that. As that happens, it’s important that it moves online in a very open way and not be controlled by a handful of corporations.   —>
http://www.worcestermagazine.com/content/view/1535/97/
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KCSB: 45 years of community radio
by Sonia Fernandez
Goleta Valley Voice (CA)

On Monday mornings there’s the Freak Power Ticket. Wednesday evenings they’re Speaking of Sex. The Friday Riff takes us into the end of the week, and over the weekend they have us groovin’ to rock, reggae, jazz and Indian music. And it’s all in our backyard, on KCSB.

After 45 years on the air, the local community radio station at 91.9 FM has earned its bragging rights. It was there when the bank burned in Isla Vista. It was there during the Diablo Canyon protests, the anti-apartheid rallies, the Isla Vista evictions and when Bill Clinton and Paul Orfalea came to town.

“I don’t believe radio is dying, though that’s what I hear,” said the station’s staff advisor, Elizabeth Robinson. The emergence of satellite broadcasts, the Internet juggernaut and the hundreds of channels on TV might pull away some people’s attention these days, but they’d still be hard put to replace a community-focused media with its eyes and ears on the local scene.

KCSB has the distinction of being the first radio station to come out of any of the University of California campuses, though no particular political or personally creative reason drove its creation.  “It was started by a group of students who were interested primarily in the technology,” said Robinson. “They were geeks who wanted to know how to do radio.”   —>
http://www.goletavalleyvoice.com/cgi-bin/county/readarticle.cgi?article=1467
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Access Sac stays solvent
by Sam McManis
Sacramento Bee (CA)
06/08/07

Here’s some good news for fans of community-access TV: Access Sacramento has retained its funding.  As we reported here a few days ago, the Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Commission was threatening to take away grants for two popular local features, “Hometown TV” and “Game of the Week.”

But the commission on Thursday not only voted unanimously to retain the funds, but even kicked in money to get two new vehicles for the crews.  Ron Cooper, Access Sac’s executive director, today wrote in an e-mail to supporters: “…We thank the members and staff of the Cable Commission for their continued support and recognition of community-produced television and radio.”
http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/ticket/archives/007281.html
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Public meeting coverage goes digital
Eureka Reporter (CA)
6/9/2007

The nonprofit group Access Humboldt announced this week that it has made upgrades to civic media for Humboldt County and the cities of Eureka, Arcata and Fortuna.  The upgrades include new video cameras and recording equipment, according to a news release.

The new digital camera systems aired more than 20 hours of live meeting coverage this week for the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and the Eureka, Arcata and Fortuna city councils, as well as the Humbolt County Planning Commission.  Sean McLaughlin, executive director of Access Humboldt, said civic media services, including live meeting coverage, help local citizens participate in local government.

“This technical upgrade for the public meeting rooms of the largest jurisdictions is just the beginning as we develop new digital media services for the Redwood Coast,” McLaughlin said. “Access Humboldt’s vision is to create next-generation community networks to support digital media access for all.”   —>
http://www.eurekareporter.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?ArticleID=24949
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L.A. Joins Suit Against Franchise Rules
by Linda Haugsted
Multichannel News
6/11/07

The city of Los Angeles has become the latest jurisdiction to join the suit challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s March 5 order that localities must approve franchise applications from new competitors within 90 days.  The L.A. City Council voted May 31 to ask to intervene in the challenge, which was filed in multiple districts of the U.S. Court of Appeals on April 3. The suits have since been consolidated and will be heard in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.    —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6450490.html
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Massachusetts Bill Faces Delay
by Linda Haugsted
Multichannel News
6/11/07

A vote on a bill that would reform cable franchising in Massachusetts, much criticized by local officials, may be headed for a 90-day delay.
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6450575.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Dir., Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
http://ourchannels.org