Archive for the ‘televised state legislatures’ category

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 05/04/08

May 6, 2008

Statehouse Secrets: Beacon Hill does its most important business behind closed doors
by Edward Mason
The Eagle-Tribune (MA)
05/04/08

[ comments invited ]

Lawrence resident Bill Collins likes to keep an eye on Massachusetts lawmakers as they find ways to spend his money. So Collins is disappointed the House budget debate that used to be on television can only be found on the Internet. “With the Lawrence City Council, every word uttered is broadcast live on local access Channel 22,” Collins said. “On Beacon Hill, with hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s done in the dark of night.”

Actually, it’s billions of dollars. House lawmakers put together a $28 billion state budget largely out of public view. Much of the deliberations over spending occurred in backrooms, and debates that were once televised were moved to the Internet. —>
http://www.eagletribune.com/punews/local_story_125012519.html
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Community Media and UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2008
by Fred Johnson
Media-Space-Place-Network
05/04/08

[ 1 comment ]

World Press Freedom Day 2008: Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Empowerment of People

May 3 was UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day. Checkout the UNESCO Communication and Information site. It is rich with information on the media and development.

Community media is recognized by UNESCO and the UN as a key element in reaching their Millennium Development Goals. At this link there are a few spare paragraphs on community media that express their value and importance. The ease, clarity and thoughtfulness with which the UNESCO writer makes the critical distinctions between mainstream media and community media and notes the obvious logic of new media and community media integration is like a clear, cool drink of water.

Particularly when compared to the contorted language and obfuscations, and barely concealed aggression and turfiness, associated with the US discussion on community media, participatory media and the social web. Rather than seeing community access and community radio portrayed as failures that have fallen under an “old media malaise,” here we find a clear understanding of the role of community media in empowerment and democracy.

Rather than finding community media framed as receding into the past along with the old pre-network society media organizations — as has been the tendency of many new media types in the US — we find in much of the rest of the world an understanding of community media as a pioneer in media participation and open platform media development that rests on a logical continuum with the social web. And we find an understanding that community media organizations are extremely well positioned to become the local cultural institutions needed to realize the democratic potential of the network society.

So then, if you have a moment click your way through the UNESCO site and enjoy being in an information space that sees the value of community media as a prerequisite for development, not as an old media barrier to development.

As I said cool water. —>
http://fredjohnson.mwg.org/?p=73
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Candidates on TV
Save Our Schools: Change The Board! Vote May 20 (NY)
05/04/08

Our four candidates will be on Sam Mercer’s show on Public Access TV, Channel 23, Sunday May 4, at 6pm.
http://www.saveouronteoraschools.com/2008/05/candidates-on-tv.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/07/08

April 8, 2008

Don’t Downgrade Public Channels
by Scott Hanley
Hartford Courant (CT)
04/07/08

[ 3 comments ]

I applaud The Courant’s decision to encourage the General Assembly to protect the Connecticut Television Network from substandard delivery on AT&T’s U-verse video system [editorial, April 4, “Don’t Downgrade CT-N”].

The editorial did not mention that this “downgrade” will also have a significant impact on the many community-based public, education and government channels throughout the state. Just as CT-N has built a loyal following, these channels have become valued sources of information about community issues, school events and government services.

On cable systems, subscribers can find local channels without difficulty and easily monitor long-duration programming, such as meetings, by tuning away and back with the touch of a single button on the remote. The ability of subscribers to select and view community programming in a convenient manner is critical. Unfortunately, this might become a casualty of AT&T’s preference for an economical form of signal transmission.

Connecticut residents should not be penalized by the legislature’s efforts to ease the entry of AT&T, or any new competitor, into the cable TV market. These competitors should be required to deliver CT-N and all community access channels in a manner equal to that used for commercial channels.

AT&T will make money using the streets and poles throughout our neighborhoods. Good corporate citizenship is the least we should expect from them in return.
http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/letters/hc-digedlets0407.art0apr07,0,4319893.story
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AT&T, cable rivals agree on rules for TV
Phone giant will have quota for offering statewide access
by Naomi Sntyder
The Tennessean
04/07/08

[ 13 comments ]

After months of secret negotiations between AT&T and the cable industry, both sides have agreed on many of the ground rules for AT&T’s entry into the television service business in Tennessee — including how many customers must get access and how many households must be in low-income neighborhoods.  Legislators set a deadline for today for both sides to come up with draft legislation so they could present it to the media this afternoon.  Under draft legislation that was still being negotiated over the weekend, AT&T would have to offer TV service to a minimum of 30 percent of its telephone territory within 3½ years after it begins offering television, according to people involved in negotiations.   —>
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080407/NEWS0201/804070370/1009/NEWS01
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Announcement expected today for compromise AT&T, cable bill
by John Rodgers
Nashville City Paper (TN)
04/07/08

[ 3 comments ]

Leading lawmakers in the cable/AT&T negotiations over statewide television franchising will roll out their compromise legislation today.  The compromise bill marks the culmination of months of negotiations between the involved parties, dating back to late last year. House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington) spearheaded the effort.   —>
http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=59416
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Compromise legislation expected today on competitive cable issue
Knox News (TN)
04/07/08

Tennessee lawmakers are expected to present compromise legislation today that would create a statewide system for permitting cable TV franchises.  The measure is supported by AT&T Inc., which wants to avoid having to seek hundreds of municipal permits as it enters the cable TV business.  Similar legislation stalled last year. But lawmakers have scheduled a news conference today to roll out legislation that is the result of behind-the-scenes negotiations between AT&T, the cable industry and local governments.   —>
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/apr/07/compromise-legislation-expected-today-on-cable/
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Some school subcommittee meetings to be broadcast on local TV station
by Gerry Tuoti
Taunton Gazette (MA)
04/06/08

Some of the School Committee’s subcommittee meetings are returning to the airwaves.  A month after voting to no longer televise its subcommittee meetings, the School Committee passed a motion Wednesday that calls for any subcommittee meetings held the same night as a regularly scheduled full committee meeting to be televised on local access television.  The regularly scheduled full committee meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month. The camera crew, which consists of high school audio/visual students and their teacher, is already present on those nights.   —>
http://www.tauntongazette.com/homepage/x637725022
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GenderVision Releases First Video Program, “Sex & Gender” (MA)
by Nancy Nangeroni
Trans Group Blog
04/07/08

[ comments invited ]

Now available: the first show of the long-awaited video program, “GenderVision.” Produced and hosted by GenderTalk radio producers Nancy Nangeroni and Gordene MacKenzie, GenderVision continues the ground-breaking work of challenging and expanding our vision of gender and progressive politics. Cablecast in Beverly, it is also available for viewing and downloading at http://www.gendervision.org.

This first program in the half-hour monthly show focuses on “Sex & Gender.” Nancy and Gordene speak candidly with their guest, medical sociologist, author and intersex activist Esther Morris Leidolf, about bodies and gender that differs from cultural expectations. Esther observes that intersex is more common than cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome combined. Their lively conversation explores the “medical normalization” of intersex bodies and the dangers of simplistic assumptions about sex and gender. Fans of “Raving Raven,” an animal issues commentator and regular on GenderTalk radio, will also enjoy a brief appearance by the “Bird with the Word” (not included in cable version due to time restraints).   —>
http://transgroupblog.blogspot.com/2008/04/gendervision-releases-first-video.html
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Wallingford public access TV available on Internet
by George Moore
MyRecordJournal.com (CT)
04/07/08

Wallingford public access TV is still local, but its availability is now global, due to a new live video streaming arrangement.  Channel 18’s video is now being broadcast at http://www.vbricktv.com/wpa, thanks to technology upgrades donated by Wallingford-based VBrick Systems Inc. The company is also providing the Web site.

VBrick, on Beaumont Road, is known worldwide for hardware that converts video and audio signals into digital data accessible over the Internet.  The company’s founder, Richard Mavrogeanes, is a Wallingford native and has lent support to the Wallingford Public Access Association’s effort to create a new headquarters. Mavrogeanes said it is important for WPAA and other public television groups to think beyond cable.
http://www.myrecordjournal.com/site/tab1.cfm?newsid=19461780&BRD=2755&PAG=461&dept_id=592708&rfi=6
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Not Your Father’s FCC
by Michael J. Copps
The Nation
03/20/08

“To the extent that the ownership of and control of…broadcast stations falls into fewer and fewer hands,” the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concluded, “the free dissemination of ideas and information, upon which our democracy depends, is threatened.” With those words, the FCC ordered the breakup of the leading broadcast network and banned a single company from owning more than one station per city.

Is this an FCC you recognize? Probably not. That’s because it’s not your FCC–it’s your father’s FCC (maybe even your grandfather’s). These media reforms were the work of James Lawrence Fly, the FCC chairman appointed by Franklin Roosevelt in 1939. A card-carrying New Deal trustbuster with good access to the President, Fly was a relentless opponent of “chain broadcasting”–the domination of local broadcasting by the CBS and NBC Red and Blue radio networks.

What a far cry from the media regulation we have today. In 1981 President Reagan appointed an FCC chairman who described a television set as nothing but a “toaster with pictures.” The commission went on to dismantle nearly every public-interest obligation on the books and to enable a tsunami of media consolidation. The results have been disastrous–reporters fired, newsrooms shuttered and our civic dialogue dumbed down to fact-free opinions and ideological bloviation.   —>
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080407/copps
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We won’t know what we never got
by David Isenberg
isen.blog
04/05/08

[ comments invited ]

Damian Kulash of the band OK Go, in Op-Ed in today’s New York Times:

. . . When the network operators pull these stunts [violations of neutrality — David I], there is generally widespread outrage. But outright censorship and obstruction of access are only one part of the issue, and they represent the lesser threat, in the long run. What we should worry about more is not what’s kept from us today, but what will be built (or not built) in the years to come.

We hate when things are taken from us (so we rage at censorship), but we also love to get new things. And the providers are chomping at the bit to offer them to us: new high-bandwidth treats like superfast high-definition video and quick movie downloads. They can make it sound great: newer, bigger, faster, better! But the new fast lanes they propose will be theirs to control and exploit and sell access to, without the level playing field that common carriage built into today’s network.

They won’t be blocking anything per se — we’ll never know what we’re not getting — they’ll just be leapfrogging today’s technology with a new, higher-bandwidth network where they get to be the gatekeepers and toll collectors. The superlative new video on offer will be available from (surprise, surprise) them, or companies who’ve paid them for the privilege of access to their customers . . .

Exactly. Outright censorship is way too visible for them to get away with. Creeping proactive censorship built into a new infrastructure is a MUCH harder story to tell. And a MUCH bigger danger.  And they’re building it. And at first it will look exactly like legitimate network management.
http://isen.com/blog/2008/04/we-won-know-what-we-never-got.html
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At Freedom to Connect, Isenberg Asks Tech Industry to Save the World
by Alex Goldman
ISP-Planet.com
April 14, 2008 [sic]

Isenberg likes the people who make up the technology industry and knows most of the important ones, but at the conference, he pointed out that an epic global disaster is a possible outcome, and asked us all to work together to avoid it.

David Isenberg opened his Freedom to Connect conference with unusually passionate remarks, recorded in full here in his blog. He ditched the rhyming from previous years.  That’s because there’s a new sense of urgency. It’s not peak oil or the closing of the internet frontier. It’s this:

“Our planet is in danger of becoming hostile to life. I’m not talking about the flooding of Miami and New York and Bangladesh. I mean that because of the carbon we humans put in the air, Earth could become Venus, a place where life can’t live. So I believe—and I put this forward as a hypothesis—I believe that we can use the Internet to conserve more atmospheric carbon than its infrastructure generates. Furthermore, I believe we can use the Internet for global participation that transcends tribalism and nationalism to end war . . . for discussion! ”

So it’s no longer the fight against the telcos for the freedom to connect. It’s no longer the fight for democracy against governments like China and Pakistan that want to restrict it.  The most important thing we can use the internet for, Isenberg believes, is to save the world. And there’s not much time to do it.  Isenberg, an opponent of the current AT&T monopoly strategy who hails from Bell Labs as if it were his birthplace said, “It is the story of a Goliath composed of a thousand Davids. I am one of them.”   —>
http://www.isp-planet.com/perspectives/2008/isenberg_f2c.html
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/23/08

March 24, 2008

Candidates to appear on public-access TV
‘Experiment in democracy’ sponsored by Time Warner, Times West Virginian
by Bill Byrd
Times West Virginian
03/23/08

[ comments invited ]

FAIRMONT — Candidates for local and statewide offices in the May 13 primary will be appearing soon on public-access television — Channel 19 — of the Time Warner Cable Co., said D.D. Meighen.  “We are doing what public-access television is supposed to do, broadcasting information of important events to the viewing audience,” said Meighen, director of Marion County TV-19.

“The public is invited to attend and watch our videotaping of this forum,” he said.  “This is the first time this has been tried in Fairmont. It’s an experiment in democracy.”  The program is being sponsored by the Times West Virginian newspaper and the Time Warner cable system, he said.

Viewers will be able to see nearly 75 candidates who are on the ballot from the comfort of their living rooms in the month of April, he said. The brief profiles will air twice daily throughout the month.  “Even people who will vote in early voting will have time to view these profiles,” Meighen said.   —>
http://www.timeswv.com/intodayspaper/local_story_083015422.html
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A show we’d like to see: The legislature on TV
by Jack Betts
Charlotte Observer (NC)
03/23/08

Sixteen years ago, the late N.C. Sen. Mary Seymour of Greensboro dropped a two-page bill in the hopper that could have given the state’s residents a front-row seat for gavel-to-gavel televised coverage of legislative sessions.  Identical to a House bill sponsored by then-Rep. Judy Hunt of Boone, the bill went nowhere. But it was a good idea then and an even better one now.

That thought occurred to me as I sat in the audience Thursday at the annual Sunshine Day observance at Elon University and heard state Sen. Eddie Goodall, R-Union, repeat his call for a study commission to assess the need for televising all legislative sessions and certain committee meetings.

He’s right to pursue a study; legislative leaders have not backed the idea of gavel-to-gavel coverage in either chamber, though of course commercial and public television stations provide varying kinds of new coverage on issues. But what the legislature needs is that kind of daily coverage so the public can see what’s going on — and what’s not.   —>
http://www.charlotte.com/291/story/548997.html
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Insiders enlisted in back-room cable war
Top lobbyists work on TV bill in Naifeh’s office
by Theo Emery
The Tennessean
03/23/08

[ 28 comments ]

A small group of lobbyists gathers outside the office of House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh each week, checking BlackBerries and chatting as they wait to be invited through the doors of the speaker’s office and into a conference room in the back.  The subject of those meetings is an issue that could touch every corner of the state: whether telephone giant AT&T will receive statewide permission to offer television service in competition with cable companies like Comcast and Charter, and how widely available AT&T’s service will be.

The meeting participants come from a wider cast of characters: dozens of lobbyists, lawmakers and others on Tennessee’s Capitol Hill whose relationships and loyalties make a potent stew of politics. They include numerous former members of Gov. Phil Bredesen’s administration and two married couples.

“I think every lobbyist in Nashville’s been hired on one side or the other,” said House Commerce Committee Chairman Charles Curtiss, the Sparta Democrat who sponsored the AT&T legislation last year.

The quiet negotiations in Naifeh’s office, which participants are reluctant to discuss, stand in stark contrast to last year’s knock-down public fight over the legislation, which would allow AT&T to franchise its new service statewide instead of negotiating with each individual city, town or county.   —>
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080323/NEWS0201/803230420/1001/RSS01#gslPageReturn
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Verizon mum on extent of FioS for city
‘City will not allow cherry-picking,’ city spokesman says
by Aaron Nathans
The News Journal (DE)
03/23/08

[ 20 comments ]

Verizon workers are wandering through Wilmington neighborhoods, mapping them in preparation for offering its FioS television service in the city. Workers have even started installing the necessary fiber-optic wires in some areas.  But city officials haven’t yet received a permit application from Verizon to offer the service. And the mayor’s office says it will insist on one big condition: wire everyone.  Although city officials aren’t highlighting it, that means that even the city’s poorest neighborhoods would need to be properly wired to be able to opt for FioS television and Internet service as part of any permit deal.

Verizon isn’t ready to discuss its plans for Wilmington, said William Allan, the company’s Delaware president. He confirmed the company is working on plans to offer FioS in Wilmington but said not to assume too much from one sighting of fiber wire crews.  “If you went around the city, you would see pockets of activity in lots of places right now,” Allan said. “None of it is being driven by ‘where is the income?’ ”   —>
http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080323/BUSINESS/803230313
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South Bronx businesses in Internet dumps, but help could soon be on way
by Nadia Zonis
New York Daily News
03/23/08

[ 1 comments ]

Tenants in the Harlem River Transportation and Distribution Center have easy access to the Major Deegan and Bruckner expressways – but when it comes to the information superhighway, sometimes there’s no entrance ramp.  “I’ll be working during the day, and for a period of maybe 10 minutes, the Internet system goes down,” said Tony Ricchio, senior vice president of the management company that runs the large industrial park in Port Morris.

Lack of reliable high-speed broadband Internet access is bedeviling many businesses in the South Bronx industrial zones. Most are far from residential areas wired by Cablevision or Verizon for cable and DSL   While the city is studying the issue and companies are coming up with alternatives, Bronx business owners say they are wallowing in a digital divide.

“To be competitive, you need fiber optic,” said John Mullane, head of Transcon International Inc., a company in the industrial park that moves and stores fine art.  He wants to expand to serve museums, but can’t without state-of-the-art Internet service.  “It’s like years ago when we started, people would ask if you had a fax, then e-mail, and you’d be embarrassed to say you didn’t,” he said.

Experts say part of the problem stems from franchise agreements with cable companies.  “Cable doesn’t have to go to places where there aren’t residents,” said David Birdsell, dean of the Baruch School of Public Affairs and a member of the Broadband Advisory Committee created by the City Council. “So there’s very little incentive for … Verizon … to go and provide high-quality copper and local stations that will multiply the DSL signal.”   —>
http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/bronx/2008/03/23/2008-03-23_south_bronx_businesses_in_internet_dumps.html
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Timing on new cable till fuzzy
AT&T’s is licensed to provide cable TV in Albany, but there is no word on when — or if — service might start.
by Susan  McCord
Albany Herald (GA)
03/23/08

A new Georgia law allowed AT&T to purchase on Feb. 14 a single state video franchise that includes much of metro Albany, but the company is slow to say when it will bring U-verse television service to Southwest Georgia.  “We do have a limited launch in the Atlanta area and we are committed to bringing our U-verse products to other markets,” AT&T Corporate Spokesman Joe Chandler said Friday.   —>
http://www.albanyherald.com/stories/20080323n8.htm
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Cable-TV crew digs new digs
$8.7m project created space in old building
by Paysha Stockton Rhone
Boston Globe (MA)
03/28/08

It’s a regular Wednesday night, and the new home of Boston’s public-access cable network is buzzing. In the computer lab, three teenagers edit their new show, “Swagger.” Upstairs, newbies gather in Studio A to discuss production. And in Studio B, Southie artist Dan McCole is warming up for his weekly arts talk show, “Citizen’s Corner.”

At the Boston Neighborhood Network, almost anything that can be videotaped will be.  “We don’t allow anything with flames,” digital media director Christine Kelly says. But that leaves plenty of room for heat-free chefs, Afro-Brazilian drummers, call-taking cops, Chinese dancers, Alzheimer’s experts, and local pols. About 40 different shows air on Comcast channels 9 and 23 throughout each month.   —>
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/03/23/cable_tv_crew_digs_new_digs/?page=full
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Millis – Comcast Deal Unsigned
by Calvin Hennick
Boston Globe (MA)
03/23/08

After months of negotiations, Comcast and town officials have yet to finalize an agreement on renewing the company’s local cable-television franchise. James Neville, president of Millis Community Access Television, said the town had hoped to have the new deal signed by mid-January, when the previous license expired. He noted that Comcast representatives had been unable to attend several meetings with town officials.

An initial agreement calls for keeping the 4.5 percent surcharge on customers’ bills that funds the town’s public-access TV operation. Comcast has also agreed to provide the town with $100,000 for capital expenses for the station. Under the agreement, Comcast would reconstruct the system that delivers the public-access signal by May 1 or face fines. Comcast spokesman Marc Goodman said the work to resolve the channel’s reception problems has already begun, and he does not foresee any changes to the preliminary agreement. He said he expects the contract to be signed soon.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/03/23/post_graduation_education/?page=2
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Folk singer Jori Costello to feature for poetry collective
by Cat Donnelly
Northwest Arkansas Times
03/23/098

Local poetess and singer / songwriter Jori Costello will feature for Ozark Poets and Writers Collective at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Nightbird Books, Fayetteville’s best little independent book store ! She promises to deliver her sophisticated fusion of jazz, folk rock and blues, along with performance poetry. Costello also considers herself a puppeteer and artist, along with her regular job as Community Access Television’s Outreach Coordinator. Costello was born in St. Louis and moved to Arkansas 11 years ago. She is in a committed four-year relationship. Costello claims that after her 20-year companion, Allie Cat, passed away she was immediately reincarnated as Hobbit, who at 6 months old, is already a feline television celebrity on CAT Channel 18.   —>
http://nwanews.com/nwat/Living/63442/
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org

Logged Video Clips of Connecticut Public Hearing on PEG Access TV

March 16, 2008

On March 7 Connecticut’s Joint Committee on Energy & Technology held a 4-hour hearing on HB 5814, a bill to amend their recent statewide video franchising law. Connecticut PEG access advocates are asking to have two essential protections added:

1) The bill should require any new video service providers to present all PEG access channels with the equivalent quality, accessibility and functionality of all other channels, as current cable providers do; and

2) all new video service providers shall bear the equipment and transmission costs of receiving the PEG access channels’ signals, as current cable providers do.

Both of these concerns stem from AT&T’s stated intentions in this state and others 1) to carry PEG channels in a significantly degraded fashion on its U-Verse service, and 2) to charge the PEG access providers for both the equipment and transmission costs necessary in order to receive their signals.

Videos produced by Connecticut Network – all rights reserved.
~~~

Here’s the side-by-side comparison of PEG channel navigation, cable vs. U-Verse, performed by Paul Giguere as part of his testimony.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=754954&dest=-1]
http://alliancecm.blip.tv/#754954
~~~

Clip 1 begins with Paul Giguere, President of Connecticut Network (Connecticut’s C-SPAN’). Next are:

16:20 – Bill Duran, NCTA, Chief Counsel
26:05 – Rep. Tom Drew, D-Fairfield
35:50 – Carole Young-Kleinfeld, Area Nine Cable Advisory Council member
43:10 – Don Rowe, for Wallingford Mayor Wilkinson

[blip.tv ?posts_id=753925&dest=-1]
http://alliancecm.blip.tv/file/747719/
~~~

Clip 2 begins with Jennifer Evans, West Hartford Community TV, Production Manager. Next are:

03:35 – Rep. David McClusky, D-West Hartford
05:05 – Rep. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, Avon, Farmington
17:15 – Andy Shatz, West Hartford Community TV, Board President
23:35 – Rep. Paul Davis, D-Orange, Milford, West Haven

[blip.tv ?posts_id=754139&dest=-1]
http://alliancecm.blip.tv/file/747933/
~~~

Clip 3 begins with Bill Vallee, Connecticut Office of the Consumer Counsel. Next are:

12:50 – Dennis Buckley, Skye Cable (Waterbury) attorney
20:50 – Stephen Mindera, Skye Cable, President
26:10 – Pua Ford, Woodbridge Government Access TV
31:30 – Sol Silverstein, Orange Access Telecommittee, Chair

[blip.tv ?posts_id=754353&dest=-1]
http://alliancecm.blip.tv/file/748147/
~~~

Clip 4 begins with Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Attorney General. Next are:

10:15 – Ron Davis, Area Two Cable Advisory Council, Chair
21:05 – Gerard Speno, Area Two Cable Advisory Council, member

[blip.tv ?posts_id=754476&dest=-1]
http://alliancecm.blip.tv/file/748270/
~~~

Clip 5: Wyland Clift, attorney, and Thomas Castelot, President, Sound View Community Media

[blip.tv ?posts_id=754598&dest=-1]
http://alliancecm.blip.tv/file/748391/
~~~

Clip 6 begins with Susan Huizenga, Cable Advisory Council South Central CT, Chair. Next are:

04:55 – Dennis Guargliaroni, Milford Govenment Access, line producer
10:00 – Walter Mann, North Haven TV, Executive Director
18:00 – Nancy Holk, Woodbridge resident

[blip.tv ?posts_id=754704&dest=-1]
http://alliancecm.blip.tv/file/748496/
~~~

Clip 7: John Emra, AT&T, Regional Vice President, External & Legislative Affairs

[blip.tv ?posts_id=754802&dest=-1]
http://alliancecm.blip.tv/file/748594/
~~~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/22/08

January 23, 2008

Airwaves, Web Power at Auction
by Stephen Labaton
New York Times
01/22/08

WASHINGTON — The auction for rights to a highly valuable swath of the nation’s airwaves will begin Thursday and is expected to include multibillion-dollar bids from the nation’s two biggest wireless phone companies, Verizon and AT&T, as well as Google.  Although industry executives and analysts agree that Google is unlikely to win any licenses, the company already has an invaluable victory: in setting the auction rules, the Federal Communications Commission has forced the major telephone companies to open their wireless networks to a broader array of telephone equipment and Internet applications.

The radio spectrum licenses, which are to be returned from television broadcasters as they complete their conversion from analog to digital signals in February 2009, are as coveted as oil reserves are to energy companies. They will provide the winners with access to some of the best remaining spectrum — enabling them to send signals farther from a cell tower with far less power, through dense walls in cities, and over wider territories in rural areas that are now underserved.

And the licenses are on the auction block just as it is becoming obvious to industry players and investors that wireless broadband is rapidly becoming the next big thing, the mobile Internet.   —>
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/22/business/22spectrum.html?_r=1&ref=technology&oref=slogin
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New Report Concludes: To Be Competitive, Cities Must Own High Speed Information Networks
by Christopher Mitchell
NewRules.org
01/22/08

The United States, creator of the Internet, increasingly lags in access to it. In the absence of a national broadband strategy, many communities have invested in broadband infrastructure, especially wireless broadband, to offer broadband choices to their residents.

Newspaper headlines trumpeting the death of municipal wireless networks ignore the increasing investments by cities in Wi-Fi systems. At the same time, the wireless focus by others diverts resources and action away from building the necessary long term foundation for high speed information: fiber optic networks.

DSL and cable networks cannot offer the speeds required by a city wishing to compete in the digital economy. Business, government, and citizens all need affordable and fast access to information networks.

Today’s decisions will lay the foundation of telecommunications infrastructure for decades. Fortunately, we already know the solution: wireless solves the mobility problem; fiber solves the speed and capacity problems; and public ownership offers a network built to benefit the community.

Download the full report – http://www.newrules.org/info/munibb.pdf
http://www.newrules.org/info/munibb.html
~

HiperBarrio’s Citizen Journalists Bring Their Local Community Together (Columbia, SA)
by David Sasaki
Global Voices
01/21/08

The impetus for Rising Voices, a citizen media outreach project funded by a Knight Foundation News Challenge award, surged from the observation that the great majority of self-published bloggers, podcasters, and photographers featured everyday on Global Voices were highly educated, urban, and upper-middle class. While the growth of citizen media has allowed for an unprecedented level of global connectedness, that network of new voices has yet to expand beyond the wealthy neighborhoods of urban centers across the globe.

Until now. Thanks to the hard work of Rising Voices’ project coordinators, an international readership is discovering the local stories of previously unheard voices including young women in Dhaka, Bangladesh, motivated interns in Sierra Leone, and residents of the largely indigenous city of El Alto, Bolivia.

Rising Voices, however, is much more than an initiative to bring local voices to a global audience. We are also interested in the potential of citizen media to create more unity in already established local communities. With this in mind, the facilitators and participants of HiperBarrio recently organized a town hall meeting which brought together over 100 residents and community leaders from San Javier La Loma, a hillside community which endured the brunt of the violence during Medellín’s Esobar era and the subsequent chaos that followed until as recently as 2002.

The event, which was to take place in La Loma’s cancha acustica (the barrio’s only public space), was moved to an auditorium in the local church when the afternoon’s drizzling rain refused to let up. The Colombian digital magazine, equinoXio, published a four-part series about the unusual citizen media event with contributions from two of HiperBarrio’s talented participants, Catalina and Julio Restrepo, as well as one of the facilitators, Alvaro Ramirez. Their articles, two of which have been translated from Spanish below, reveal how HiperBarrio has brought a sense of unified community to what was once one of Medellín’s most violent and most divided neighborhoods.   —>
http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2008/01/21/hiperbarrios-citizen-journalists-bring-their-local-community-together/
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Colorado’s Legislative TV Debut Impresses
by Jim Spencer (1 comment)
Colorado Confidential
01/22/08

It is too soon to pronounce Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff a TV star. But it is not too soon to pronounce his leadership in televising his body’s legislative sessions visionary.  Colorado Open House, the state’s legislature’s new television show, debuted Monday with moving speeches about the civil rights movement on Martin Luther King Day. Romanoff later said the timing was coincidental. But it could not have been more compelling.   —>
http://www.coloradoconfidential.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3360
~

Pegging the Right Audit
by line of flight
Maui Talk (HI)
01/21/08

Got an e-mail today regarding Senator Ihara’s Senate Bill 2618. Apparently, the distinguished gentleman from Waikiki has decided that there is incestuous back-scratching between all of the public, education, government (PEG) access non-profit organizations, the cable companies and the state.

In paragraph 3 of section 1, the bill reads, ” Allegations of wrongdoing have arisen in regard to the department of commerce and consumers affairs, which regulates the access organizations. These allegations include possible partisan preferential treatment of candidates for recent state and federal elections, allegations of malfeasance by department of commerce and consumer affairs personnel, and forcing the access corporations to change their bylaws to give majority board appointment power to the director of commerce and consumer affairs. There was also an allegation of wrongdoing in the governor’s refusal to appoint members to the cable advisory committee during crucial times.”

Ironically, these allegations all point to wrongdoing on the part of the state’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, not the PEG access organizations.

In paragraph 4 of the same section goes on to state “allegations have also arisen against the access organizations themselves[.] Furthermore, now that there is only one statewide cable monopoly, there is concern that self-dealing can and will arise between the department of commerce and consumer affairs, the access organizations boards, the majority of which are appointed by the department of commerce and consumer affairs and the minority of which are appointed by the cable company, and the cable company.”

Now, I can’t speak for O’ahu and ‘Olelo which has historically had a very cozy relationship with the state, but Maui’s situation cannot be understated. The state hates Akaku. Akaku has sued the state regarding governance issues and state interference in no less than 5 lawsuits some of them active.   —>
http://mauitalk.blogspot.com/2008/01/pegging-right-audit.html
~

Has AT&T Lost Its Mind? A baffling proposal to filter the Internet.
by Tim Wu (24 comments)
Slate.com
01/16/08

Chances are that as you read this article, it is passing over part of AT&T’s network. That matters, because last week AT&T announced that it is seriously considering plans to examine all the traffic it carries for potential violations of U.S. intellectual property laws. The prospect of AT&T, already accused of spying on our telephone calls, now scanning every e-mail and download for outlawed content is way too totalitarian for my tastes. But the bizarre twist is that the proposal is such a bad idea that it would be not just a disservice to the public but probably a disaster for AT&T itself. If I were a shareholder, I’d want to know one thing: Has AT&T, after 122 years in business, simply lost its mind?   —>
http://www.slate.com/id/2182152/
~

SCTE ET: TV expert says AT&T’s video play has 12-18 months left
by Mike Robuck
CedMagazine.com
01/18/08

AT&T will be out of the video business within the course of the next 12 to 18 months, according to TVPredictions.com president Phillip “Swanni” Swann.  Swann was speaking at the luncheon keynote address during Wednesday’s SCTE Conference on Emerging Technologies (ET) when he made his prediction about AT&T’s future in video. Swan, who claims an 89 percent success rate with his prognostications, made nine other video-related predictions for the year.  In the case of AT&T, Swann said the company has spent too much time and money for its 250,000 video customers while Verizon has racked up one million subs for its service.   —>
http://www.cedmagazine.com/SCTE-ET-TV-expert-says-ATT-video-play-has-12-18-months-left.aspx
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The Future of Public TV – PBS & YouTube
by Robert Paterson
Robert Paterson’s Blog
01/22/08

PBS have announced that they will expand their offering on YouTube.

“PBS announced this week that it will add video, including previews from its award-winning series and specials, as well as exclusive online features and program excerpts to its YouTube channel.  The broadcaster currently offers more than 700 videos to its 3,000 YouTube channel subscribers and said that consumer demand led to the decision to add more content.

“PBS said that Bill Moyers Journal featuring interviews with two candidates seeking party nominations for the presidential election (Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich) drew more than 11,000 views since they were posted on the PBS YouTube channel two weeks ago.—>
http://smartpei.typepad.com/robert_patersons_weblog/2008/01/the-future-of-2.html
~

Public Broadcasters Opt for CC
by Michelle Thorne
Creative Commons
01/22/08

Public broadcasters often ask themselves: how to better enable tax payers to access the works that they have paid for? This was the question that the BBC, the public broadcaster for the United Kingdom, addressed in 2004 during the debate over its charter renewal. The result of their deliberations was a yearlong pilot, the Creative Archive Licensing Group project, launched in September 2005.

The objective of the Creative Archive was to make BBC material available online to UK citizens. The content was released under a Creative Archive Licence, a license similar in some respects to the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commerical ShareAlike License, but more restrictive in that it allowed only non-profit educational & personal use, forbade promotional or campaign use, and limited these rights to within the UK.

During the pilot period, the Creative Archive received much praise. At its conclusion in September 2006, the BBC had released nearly 500 clips, full programs, audio tracks, and images. As the recent director of the Creative Archive Paul Gerhardt noted in an interview, viewers respected the licenses, and during the trial period, only two minor licensing breaches had been reported. However, a hurdle for the initiative was the fact that the Creative Archive could only license simple rights material from the BBC, which meant that no third-party programming could be included in the Archive.

Still, as Herkko Hietanen points out in Community Created Content, “The [Creative Archive] was in line with BBC’s goal ‘ to turn the BBC into an open cultural and creative resource for the nation’.” The Creative Archive was indeed a significant step for public interest and one of the BBC’s most applauded initiatives. And so, although the Creative Archive is not longer in active use, the philosophy of open licensing has continued to grow within the BBC.

Today several departments in the BBC publish content under Creative Commons licenses: album reviews (for example) and a partnership with MusicBrainz, a community music metadatabase that uses CC licenses. Furthermore, under other licensing conditions, the BBC has opened up its website to developers at backstage.bbc.co.uk. It also offers television and radio programs to stream or download through its iPlayer, although the player’s format has been the source of some criticism.   —>
http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/7987
~

February 2nd: Community Media Coming Together
by Gordon Smith (1 comment)
BlogAsheville (NC)
01/22/08

Mountain Area Information Network (including WPVM) and BlogAsheville are coming together on February 2nd at the Rocket Club in west Asheville for the chance to put our heads together and get our community media on. This get together is long overdue.

Wally Bowen is the founder and leader of MAIN. He’s working on a lot of different angles and planes, and when we got together for a cup of coffee last month, the ideas started flying fast. When we were running out of time, having only just scraped the surface of our common interests, I realized that we’ve really got to get all the bloggers’ brains in on the conversation. Then it occurred to me that MAIN and WPVM would be really fun to party with. Let’s get even more motivated, intelligent, witty, media-savvy folks with common interests in the same room together.   —>
http://blogasheville.blogspot.com/2008/01/february-2nd-community-media-coming.html
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Cable TV rates on the rise
by Todd Wallack
Boston Globe (MA)
01/21/08

The price of watching CNN, ESPN and other pay-television networks is going up — again. Comcast, RCN, Verizon and satellite providers are all increasing their rates.  Comcast Corp., the state’s largest cable TV provider with about 1.6 million customers in Massachusetts, plans to raise rates an average of 4 percent next month.   —>
http://www.boston.com/business/ticker/2008/01/cable_tv_rates.html
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Wasn’t Competition Supposed To Bring Lower TV Prices?
Everybody raising prices in Northeast…
by Karl (158 comments)
Broadband Reports
01/22/08

Remember all of the talk about how when the phone company got into the TV business, you’d see lower prices? Apparently they were just kidding. The Boston Globe notes that RCN, Comcast and Verizon are all raising prices in the region. Comcast will raise rates by an average of four percent next month. RCN is raising their standard TV rates by five percent. Verizon will be raising rates for FiOS TV customers by as much as twelve percent. Comcast explains the rate hikes to the paper:   —>
http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Wasnt-Competition-Supposed-To-Bring-Lower-TV-Prices-91205
~

Broadband – Open up those highways
Rapid internet services are a boon. But not all regulators understand them
The Economist
01/17/08

In eras past, economic success depended on creating networks that could shift people, merchandise and electric power as efficiently and as widely as possible. Today’s equivalent is broadband: the high-speed internet service that has become as vital a tool for producers and distributors of goods as it is for people plugging into all the social and cultural opportunities offered by the web.

Easy access to cheap, fast internet services has become a facilitator of economic growth and a measure of economic performance. No wonder, then, that statistics show a surge in broadband use, especially in places that are already prosperous. The OECD, a rich-country club, says the number of subscribers in its 30 members was 221m last June—a 24% leap over a year earlier. But it is not always the most powerful economies that are most wired. In Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland, over 30% of inhabitants have broadband. In America, by contrast, the proportion is 22%, only slightly above the OECD average of just under 20%.

In terms of speed, Japan leads the world. Its average advertised download speed is 95 megabits per second. France and Korea are ranked second and third, but are less than half as fast, and the median among OECD countries is not much more than a tenth. America’s average speed is supposed to be a bit above the median, but most users find that it isn’t, or that the faster speeds are vastly more expensive. A New Yorker who wants the same quality of broadband as a Parisian has to pay around $150 more per month.

What accounts for the differences among rich countries? Two or three years ago demography was often cited: small, densely populated countries were easier to wire up than big, sparsely inhabited ones. But the leaders in broadband usage include Canada, where a tiny population is spread over a vast area. The best explanation, in fact, is that broadband thrives on a mix of competition and active regulation, to ensure an open contest.   —>
http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10534573&CFID=3942511&CFTOKEN=e018e849b5fbc8b0-A26C1A06-B27C-BB00-014394B8F7D8224F
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‘Roll Call’s’ roles for real
by Frank Mulligan (1 comment)
Taunton Call (MA)
01/22/08

“Roll Call” fans will never have to worry about a writers’ strike.  That’s because much of the material is culled from police reports by the local cable TV access show’s co-hosts, Community Police Officers Steve Crowninshield and Mike Bonenfant, who logged their 90th episode on Jan. 16.  That 30-minute show featured the veteran officers’ usual banter, community-safety information and police stories right from the source – the cops themselves.   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/taunton/news/x142932557
~

Winter Concert – EHS – Easthampton, and
Demolition Derby – Franklin County Fair – Greenfield
Easthampton Community Access Television (MA)
01/22/08

http://ecatv5.blogspot.com/2008/01/winter-concert-ehs-easthampton.html
http://ecatv5.blogspot.com/2008/01/demolition-derby-franklin-county-fair.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 – 01/21/08

January 22, 2008

Colorado House of Representatives gets new TV channel
by Kathryn Dailey
The Reporter-Herald (CO)
01/21/08

The Colorado Channel launches today, giving viewers the opportunity to watch the Colorado House of Representatives during session…
• On cable: Comcast Cable TV channel 165
• On Comcast On Demand: For the first year Comcast will provide a limited version of the service. The proceedings will be delayed one week.
• Online: Visit the Colorado Channel Web site at http://www.coloradochannel.net.
—>
http://www.reporterherald.com/news_story.asp?ID=14458
~

Officials to consider going into cable TV business
by Jeff Farrell
The Mountain Press (TN)
01/20/08

The city of Sevierville will ask Sevier County Electric System to consider going into the cable television business.  During the annual retreat in Kingsport for the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and city staff, Alderman Barry Gibbs asked about the possibility of providing cable service in the city.  That may not be so easy, a spokesman for privately owned Charter Communications says.  After some discussion, aldermen asked city staff to draft a resolution asking the electric system to study the feasibility of starting a cable franchise.

“I’d be real interested,” Gibbs said. “There’s an awful lot of public service opportunities.” That would include the opportunity to broadcast events like BOMA meetings.  It’s not unheard of for public utilities to start cable franchises; the city of Morristown did so in 2005, officials noted.  The Sevier County Electric System is owned by the city of Sevierville. City Administrator Doug Bishop said the agency already has technicians, utility poles and other equipment, and the county could have the population density to support the project.  “It seems like the numbers will run really strong,” he said.   —>
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19215856&BRD=1211&PAG=461&dept_id=169689&rfi=6
~

Mount Olive may get cable channel
Cablevision agreement would include public access spot, tech grant
by Meghan van Dyk
Daily Record (NJ)
01/21/08

The township would gain its own public access channel and a $25,000 boost to kick-start production if an ordinance authorizing a Cablevision franchise renewal is approved at Tuesday’s township council meeting.  The ordinance, passed unanimously by the council on its first reading last week, renews the nonexclusive Cablevision franchise that expired last year amid Verizon’s bid for a statewide franchise.

Under the franchise, Cablevision would create an exclusive Public, Educational and Governmental access channel for the township and offer a $25,000 technology grant — $7,000 up front and $2,000 a year for the next nine years — to be used for technology at the township’s discretion.  “The high school has a full-blown studio,” municipal business administrator Bill Sohl said. “Once the franchise is adopted, we will work out arrangements with them.”   —>
http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080121/COMMUNITIES34/801210305/1005/rss01
~

City Eyeing Public Access TV Options
Santa Clarita has a year to figure out a way to save public channel.
by Katherine Geyer
The Signal (CA)
01/21/08

The city of Santa Clarita will spend the next year figuring out how to continue providing programming on its public access channel thanks to a 2006 state law that relieves cable companies of the responsibility of operating a public access studio beginning in 2009.  Santa Clarita’s franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable Inc. ended Jan. 2 as a part of a state law allowing cable companies to franchise with the state instead of individual cities.  Beginning in 2009, the operation of the Public, Education and Government Channel — or Channel 20 — will be the responsibility of the city.   —>
http://www.the-signal.com/?module=displaystory&story_id=52839&format=html
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Decatur looks to formalize its cable contract with Comcast
by Mike Frazier
Herald & Review (IL)
01/21/08

The Decatur City Council will vote Tuesday on a cable franchise agreement with Comcast.  Insight Communications and Comcast in recent weeks completed an agreement to divide their partnership involving cable systems in the Midwest. Under the deal, Comcast assumed ownership of cable systems serving customers in Decatur and other communities in Illinois and Indiana.

The Decatur City Council in November approved a new cable franchise agreement with Insight Communications.  Under the agreement, the city will receive about $750,000 to go toward public programming over the next decade and will recover legal fees used to iron out a new agreement.

Mayor Paul Osborne said to his knowledge the details of the agreement with Comcast are essentially the same as those with Insight.  The city had been negotiating a cable franchise agreement with Insight since an agreement expired in 2003.  The city council rejected an earlier proposed franchise agreement because it lacked adequate funding for public access programming, among other shortcomings, council members said.   —>
http://www.herald-review.com/articles/2008/01/22/news/local/1029482.txt
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Donations bring computers, books, basketball tourney to schools
by Shawn Regan
Eagle-Tribune (MA)
01/21/08

—>  The computers from Haverhill Community Television are part of an ongoing effort to bolster technology at the high school. The city’s public-access television station has also promised $100,000 to equip the high school’s new television studio with a state-of-the-art control room including production computers and cameras. The station is holding the money until the new studio is built, said Darlene Beal, executive director of Haverhill Community Television.   —>
http://www.eagletribune.com/punewshh/local_story_021103247?keyword=secondarystory+page=0
~

Operators Opt For Calif. Oversight
Broadcast Newsroom
01/21/08

(Multichannel News) _ Operators big and small have taken advantage of California law allowing operators to replace local franchise terms with state oversight.  The state franchising law went into effect last year, but included terms that did not allow incumbent operators to drop their local franchises until Jan. 1 of this year.

New providers AT&T and Verizon Communications gained state authorization from the state Public Utilities Commission last March. Incumbents began applying in September, with Wave Broadband the first to earn state approval. Other small operators to apply have been Cableview Communications, serving Esparto, and Northland Communications, serving Mt. Shasta.

Comcast has been granted state authorization for most of its major markets, including cities and counties in its San Francisco Bay area cluster. Time Warner Cable got state regulatory authority for its systems in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County systems, among others. Cox Communications was authorized for San Diego city and county and its one Los Angeles city franchise, as well as San Marcos.  Charter Communications was granted state oversight for its major system, Long Beach, as well as other properties in the state.
http://dtv.broadcastnewsroom.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=283112
~

Cable fee eyed by Abbottstown Borough
by Melody Asper
Evening Sun Correspondent (PA)
01/21/08

The Abbottstown Borough Council is considering signing a contract with Comcast Corp. so the municipality can receive a franchise fee.  That might add a bit to borough coffers, but it would come out of residents’ pocketbooks.  Councilwoman Debbie Shearer originally proposed the fee, noting Comcast’s cable lines already go through the borough but the borough does not get any financial benefit.  “Our borough has never received a franchise fee from Comcast and we are losing out on a good bit of money, even though their wires are running through the town and a lot of residents are connected,” Shearer said.

Shearer said Comcast predicted the 5 percent fee would equate to revenues of about $700 per month, or $8,400 per year.  The borough would also get free Internet service if it entered into the franchise contract. Currently, the borough pays $49.95 per month for Comcast Internet service.  However, if franchise fees are put into place, Comcast then adds that amount to each resident’s bill, Shearer said.  Shearer said that if a 5-percent fee were enacted, it would add $1.25 to a resident’s $25 bill, or $2.50 for someone who has a $50 Comcast bill.   —>
http://www.eveningsun.com/localnews/ci_8033509
~

Oceola Officials Postpone Wireless Livingston Approval
WHMI (MI)
01/21/08

Oceola Township has decided to stay out of the “Wireless Livingston” plan for now. The program intends to blanket the county with free wireless internet access by the end of 2008. Township Supervisor Bill Bamber says it came to the board’s attention that a significant source of revenue comes to the township through cable franchise fees. However a new state law says cable companies wouldn’t have to pay the fees if any other internet service provider in the area doesn’t. Bamber says the township isn’t against the Wireless Livingston project; they just want to make sure it doesn’t rush into anything they may end up regretting. (JM)
http://www.whmi.com/news/article/article5745.php
~

Cable to FCC: We Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing
Comcast investigation sparks new complaints…
by Karl  (18 comments)
Broadband Reports
01/21/08

Kevin Martin’s indecency campaigns, the set-top box waiver dispute, his pro-telco franchise reform push and, most recently, the capping of ownership limits already had the cable industry complaining that the FCC boss had it out for them. With the FCC’s recent announcement that they’d be investigating Comcast’s traffic shaping practices (even if we’re not sure anything will actually come of it), it’s apparently time to dial-up the rhetoric.

“There is an agenda from a Republican chairman that is anti-free market and anti-competitive,” Kyle McSlarrow, president of the National Cable and Telecommunication Association tells The Times of Trenton. “It is disturbing.” The FCC disagrees, insisting Martin’s campaign is about helping consumers. “Our focus is not on the welfare of a particular industry, but the welfare of consumers and insuring they receive the benefits of competition in the form of lower prices, more choice and better services,” says an FCC spokesman.   —>
http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Cable-to-FCC-We-Find-Your-Lack-Of-Faith-Disturbing-91167
~

Texas Community Media Summit Website
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition
01/21/08

The Texas Community Media Summit is taking place on March 1 this year at UT at Austin…  The website (built on Drupal) caught my attention because of how the content in the left sidebar is laid out. After the list the contents, including overview, summit agenda and other details, the site provides a list of TX community television stations followed by a list of TX vloggers, and TX community and free radio stations. It is great to see community television stations and vloggers highlighted next to each other within the context of community media in TX.   —>
http://cmediachange.net/blog/2008/01/21/texas-community-media-summit-website/
~

Schmashmortion In Schmacago
by Margaret Lyons (21 comments)
The Chicagoist (IL)
01/21/08

Tomorrow marks the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, so anti-choice protesters marched downtown yesterday and Trib editorial board members wrote syndicated columns calling abortion “evil”.  But there are pro-choice activists working throughout Chicago and Illinois, too, and today’s Trib has a story about the the Chicago Abortion Fund, a group that helps poor women pay for abortions. The CAF also works to destigmatize abortion by holding “leadership groups” and launching a public access TV show. There’s also the Midwest Access Project, which “envisions a society in which integrated, comprehensive reproductive health care is fully accessible to all.”
http://chicagoist.com/2008/01/21/schmashmortion.php
~

Watchdog journalism the key, seminar told
by Achara Ashayagachat
Bangkok Post
01/21/08

As mainstream media outlets in Asia struggle with corporate and state control, watchdog or citizen journalism has emerged as a powerful new movement in recent years, leading Filipina journalist Sheila Coronel said yesterday. Globalisation and market forces have opened up Asian media since the 1980s like never before. The introduction of television sets in Asian households and, later, the availability of the internet has had both good and bad impacts on journalism, said Ms. Coronel, director of Columbia University’s Centre for Investigative Journalism,  She was speaking at an East-West Centre conference on ”Changing Dynamics in the Asia Pacific” yesterday.   —>
http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/22Jan2008_news07.php
~

Pakistan’s Geo News, Geo Super back on cable
Khabrein.info
01/21/08

KARACHI: People have enthusiastically welcomed resumption of Geo News and Geo Super transmissions on cable.  A ceremony held in Geo offices at I.I. Chundrigar Road Monday, which was attended by hundreds staff members of the television network.  People from various walks of life have welcomed restoration of Geo News transmissions on cable. The students of Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad have said Geo News returning back a key progress towards access to information in the country.   —>
http://www.khabrein.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11380&Itemid=88
~

Visual artists on copyright reform
Visual and media artists join forces with fellow creators in developing copyright platform
CARFAC
01/21/08

In anticipation of revisions to the Canadian Copyright Act, Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC), le Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec (RAAV) and our affiliates have been working to prepare a platform document as partners in the Creators’ Copyright Coalition (CCC).  Highlights of the platform for the visual and media artists community will include:

1) Ratifying the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty (WCT), which includes allowances, where necessary, to protect both the rights of users and creators;
2) Improving compliance and recognition of the Reproduction Right;
3) Improving compliance and recognition of the Exhibition Right;
4) Amending of Canadian Copyright Act to include droit de suite, or resale right;
5) Reinforcing and expanding the licensing responsibilities of copyright collectives in the digital environment;
6) Extending protection and reaffirming creators’ Moral Rights;
7) Affording photographers, printmakers and portrait artists the same rights as other visual and media artists.
—>
http://www.carfac.ca/2008/01/visual-artists-on-copyright-reformles-artistes-visuels-et-le-droit-d%E2%80%99auteur/
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/24/07

October 24, 2007

Antigone at Media Democracy Fair on Friday! (Vancouver, BC)
by Amanda Reaume
Antigone Magazine
10/24/07

—>   Media Democracy Fair:  Come to the FREE Media Democracy Fair and meet representatives from your favorite local independent media outlets. 4:30pm – 7pm Friday October 26th at the Concourse in SFU Vancouver (Harbour Centre) 515 West Hastings Street.
http://antigonemagazine.blogspot.com/2007/10/antigone-at-media-democracy-fair-on.html
~

Symposium: NYC – 11/2
Free speech and privacy challenges on muni networks
by Carol Ellison
MuniWireless.com
10/24/07

What are the unique legal questions for municipal wireless networks in regards to privacy and First Amendment rights? New York University’s Journal of Legislation and Public Policy will explore that question at a November 2 symposium in New York City.  The symposium features two panel sessions:
* Challenges to Operating a Municipal Network, which will examine the various legal and fiscal structures of muni networks, including costs, benefits, and models for oversight and accountability.
* Civil Liberties on a Government-owned Network, which will examine the differences in the Constitutional requirements regarding privacy and first amendment rights for muni and private networks.

The symposium is open to the public. It will be held 1:00 – 4:15 p.m., in the Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall, at the New York University School of Law, 40 Washington Square South. A photo I.D. is required for admission.
http://www.muniwireless.com/article/articleview/6565/1/23
~

Comcast shooting itself in the foot with traffic shaping “explanations”
by Eric Bangeman
Ars Technica
10/23/07

As the evidence that Comcast is doing something untoward with BitTorrent and other traffic on its network has mounted, the cable company has tried clumsily to fend off accusations of wrongdoing. The latest developments come in the wake of several conference calls held by the ISP in which it attempted to make a case for its practice of sending forged TCP reset packets to interfere with some P2P traffic.

Timothy B. Lee, who is a regular contributor to the Tech Liberation Front blog as well Ars Technica, was invited to sit in on one of yesterday’s conference calls, along with folks from a handful of think tanks. According to Tim, the Comcast engineer on the call said that the Lotus Notes problems were a known side effect of Comcast’s traffic shaping practices, one the company was trying to fix. The engineer also “seemed to implicitly” concede that the accounts about the forged packet resets were accurate.   —>
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071023-comcast-shooting-itself-in-the-foot-with-traffic-shaping-explanations.html
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Channel 61 says without $13,000, dark days ahead
by Stacy Brown
Times-Tribune (PA)
10/24/07

Public Access Channel 61 will lay off its only two paid employees Friday and will go dark by Monday if it does not raise $13,000, Lou Danzico, president of Scranton Today, told Scranton City Council on Tuesday.  Scranton Today is the operator of the public access channel.  “As of this moment, we need $13,000 to get through the rest of this year,” Mr. Danzico told the panel in a pre-meeting caucus. “We have two paid employees who will have to be laid off Friday, and we will go off the air by Monday, if this isn’t done,” he said.

Each of the five-member council vowed to try to find ways to aid Channel 61 and pledged to look at the city’s operating budget in an attempt to find funds.  “I urge my colleagues on council who has the ear of the mayor to speak to him,” Council finance chairwoman Janet Evans said.  Despite voting unanimously earlier this year to give $25,000 to Channel 61 to help keep it operating, council members later reneged on that promise, saying the city just does not have the money.  “I don’t know where we’re going to get the money from. At the time of the vote, I thought we had the money,” Councilman Bill Courtright said.   —>
http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18949387&BRD=2185&PAG=461&dept_id=415898&rfi=6
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Public access plan riles them in Hernando
St. Petersburg Times (FL)
10/24/07

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County commissioners Tuesday joined the chorus of other central Florida officials who are considering legal action to keep local government and educational programming on basic cable television.  Bright House Networks over the summer notified Hernando County and other governmental entities in their service area that on Dec. 11, public access, governmental and educational channels would be moved to the basic digital tier of the network.   —>
http://www.sptimes.com/2007/10/24/Hernando/County_joins_cable_ch.shtml
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Weston Wins Case Against Cablevision
by Don Casciato
Westport News (CT)
10/24/04

The Connecticut Department of Public Utility (DPUC) last week announced a ruling that Cablevision does not have the right to restrict local access television producers from offering their programs to other cable and video distributors.  The Town of Weston had challenged Cablevision’s claim that it could prohibit producers from making their productions available to other cable or video providers.

“I am thrilled that Weston was able to play a leading role in making this happen, and I thank the DPUC for their careful consideration of our concerns,” said Weston First Selectman Woody Bliss in a statement.  “The department’s ruling will have a significant impact well beyond Weston. We have established the right of people all over Connecticut to make the community access programs they produce available to more than just local Cablevision subscribers.”   —>
http://www.westport-news.com/ci_7268206
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Blumenthal Shifts Stance On AT&T TV Service
Phone Giant Should Be Allowed To Resume Marketing U-Verse, Attorney General Says
by Mark Peters
Hartford Courant (CT)
10/24/07

After winning a months-long battle that ended with a prohibition against AT&T’s signing up new customers for its TV service, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Tuesday said the phone giant should be allowed to resume marketing the service.  Blumenthal reversed his stance against allowing AT&T to sign up new customers for what he called an illegal cable service amid growing political support for the state’s largest phone company.   —>
http://www.courant.com/business/hc-att1024.artoct24,0,6451202.story
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Rell, others come out in support of AT&T’s U-verse
by David Krechevsky
Republican-American (CT)
10/23/07

As a Superior Court judge in Hartford prepares to convene a hearing Friday in the battle over AT&T’s U-verse, the television service got a strong showing of support Tuesday.  Gov. M. Jodi Rell issued a statement urging state regulators to reverse their decision earlier this month to force AT&T to seek a cable TV franchise for the service. Meanwhile, the chairmen of the legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee announced plans to hold a news conference today in support of U-verse and to explain the intent of the state’s new video franchising law, which took effect Oct. 1.   —>
http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2007/10/23/business/291914.txt
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Blumenthal changes mind about U-verse
by Brian Lockhart
Stamford Advocate (CT)
10/24/07

In another twist in the legal battle over U-verse, AT&T’s new fiber-optic television service, the state attorney general yesterday reversed his earlier opposition to the company signing up subscribers while its operating license remains in limbo….

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal had last week hailed DPUC’s decision. But yesterday, fearing the legal battle over U-verse could stretch on for at least a year, Blumenthal wrote to AT&T, saying he was asking the DPUC to grant the company a stay while the court proceedings play out.  “We all agree that consumers should have access to U-verse – as many as possible, as soon as possible,” Blumenthal wrote. “If the stay is approved by the DPUC, AT&T may proceed to install and market new service while it contests the federal court’s conclusion that U-verse service is cable. . . . I hope that AT&T will support our motion.”   —>
http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/local/scn-sa-att5oct24,0,841594.story?coll=stam-news-local-headlines
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State Representatives to Hear from Public on Superferry
KHNL (HI)
10/23/07

HONOLULU – Members of the state House will hear public testimony on the Hawaii Superferry on Thursday.  The hearing will be cablecast live on Olelo, public access television, Channel 54.   —>
http://www.khnl.com/Global/story.asp?S=7255924
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North Carolina neighborhood homeowners voice concerns over contamination at nearby site
by Jay Gaines
Contaminated Nation
10/24/07

Residents living near the former CTS of Asheville plant are increasing their efforts to get the contaminated site on Mills Gap Road cleaned up.  Homeowners plan to appear on a community access television show tonight to voice concerns over contamination at the site, and they plan to meet with a lawyer Wednesday night to assess their legal options. They also are forming a nonprofit organization to help residents affected by the pollution.   —>
http://contaminatednation.blogspot.com/2007/10/north-carolina-neighborhood-homeowners.html
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Watch ’em on TV
Bristol News (CT)
10/22/07

Nutmeg Television is airing the Federal Hill Association political forums from earlier this month, where the mayoral and City Council candidates addressed the issues raised by both the FHA and residents.   —>
http://bristolnews.blogspot.com/2007/10/watch-em-on-tv.html
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Channel surfing
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
10/24/07

Public access station PCTV/Channel 21 is hosting a live mayoral debate 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, with host Bruce Krane, producer of “Counting Controversy.”
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07297/827795-42.stm
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Website Recommendation: The School Wars
by ChristineMM
The Thinking Mother
10/24/07

Ned Vare and Luz Shoshie are a married couple who live in Connecticut. They unschooled their only child until he was admitted to college.  They have a website “The School Wars” which has a lot of articles written by Ned, which have been published in their local newspaper. The articles are about the problems with public schools and schooling in general and some have pro-homeschooling components. Additionally they produce cable access television shows about problems with schooling.   —>
http://thethinkingmother.blogspot.com/2007/10/website-recommendation-school-wars.html
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TV Program – Photographers of Northern Virginia for November
Northern Virginia Photographic Society

The TV series, Photographers of Northern Virginia, features outstanding  amateur and professional photographers displaying their images and providing  useful commentary about photographic techniques and equipment. Guests are primarily, but not exclusively, members of the clubs that make up the Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs (NVACC). The series is intended for both experienced and aspiring photographers, as well as for everyone else who enjoys viewing interesting and beautiful photographs.

Repeat programs of Photographers of Northern Virginia are now being shown on  a regular basis on Fairfax Public Access Channel 30 every Monday at 3:30 p.m. and every Friday at 3 p.m. They will no longer be shown on Channel 10.
http://nvps.org/main/upcoming/tv_program_photographers_of_no/
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Students can keep eye on legislators
by Katie Thibault
Badger Herald (WI)
10/24/07

WisconsinEye, a public broadcasting network that provides live coverage of legislative processes and state Supreme Court proceedings, was added to the statewide BadgerNet system last week.  BadgerNet provides data and video services throughout the state of Wisconsin and offers schools access to public programming.  “The state video network serves a number of campuses statewide,” said Chris Long, President and CEO of WisconsinEye.

Previously, WisconsinEye had been distributed only through digital cable by Time Warner and Charter to paying customers. The expansion of WisconsinEye to BadgerNet gives free access to some University of Wisconsin campuses — not including Madison — and public schools, Long said.  The partnership with BadgerNet will bring WisconsinEye to more than 255 schools and 54 college campuses across the state, according to WisconsinEye’s news release.   —>
http://badgerherald.com/news/2007/10/24/students_can_keep_ey.php
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Giants of Citizen Media Meet Up
Oh Yeon Ho and Jimmy Wales.
Founders of OhMyNews, Wikipedia compare visions.
by Cynthia Yoo
TheTyee.ca
10/24/07

Oh Yeon Ho of OhmyNews and Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia created two distinct, highly influential media vehicles intended to unlock the collective wisdom of everyone online. Earlier this month, in Berkeley, California, these two met and discussed their latest projects and critical issues facing citizen media. We’ll let you listen in, but first a bit of background on Oh and Wales and their pioneering sites.   —>
http://thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2007/10/24/WikiVOhMyNews/
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org