Archive for the ‘WiMAX’ category

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 05/03/08

May 4, 2008

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

[ comments invited ]

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

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

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

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

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

[ comments invited ]

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

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

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

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

[ comments invited ]

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

[ comments invited ]

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

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

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

[ 7 comments ]

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

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

[ 32 comments ]

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

[ 1 comment ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ 14 comments ]

Is new media killing journalism?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/16/08

March 17, 2008

The Future of American Communications Working Group
Institute for Information Policy, College of Communications
Pennsylvania State University

The Future of American Communications Working Group (FACT) will produce a volume outlining a new vision for communications policy in America and the practical steps needed to achieve it. The goal of the project is to produce a volume of work prescribing a comprehensive telecommunications policy agenda for the new federal administration to  be entering office in January 2009, an agenda that emphasizes the potential of information technologies for improving democratic discourse, social responsibility, and the quality of life, and the means by which information technologies can be made available to all Americans. —>
http://www.comm.psu.edu/FACT/
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Media center making MAX headway
by Mark Anderson
Kiowa County Signal (KS)
03/14/08

The Kiowa County Media Center Advisory Board came away from a 90-minute meeting last Thursday with community media center project lightning rod Bert Biles of Kansas State with an appreciation of how rapidly Biles and his colleagues have been moving forward in recent weeks on the matter.  The media center itself, as outlined in The Signal last week, would eventually occupy the second floor of a two-tiered building—tentatively named the Kiowa County Commons—that would house the county library, county historical museum and county extension offices on the ground level.

At the heart of the media center concept of providing Kiowa County residents with around-the-clock access to community information via the Internet, is the establishment of the newest wireless technology, known as WiMAX, within the county.  WiMAX features a considerably stronger signal than the conventional Wi-Fi currently used.  Placing a WiMAX transmitter, in fact, atop the county’s three grain elevators in Haviland, Greensburg and Mullinville should, according to Biles, reach 90 percent of the county’s population with a dependable wireless signal…

Biles, however, disclosed a plan for the media center to “get on the air” broadcasting, via the Internet, live coverage of events before the completion of the Commons building through the use of a portable, television production trailer.  He shared drawings of the proposed trailer, at 24 feet in length and eight feet in width.  Such events broadcast would range from county commission meetings to high school athletic events.   —>
http://www.kiowacountysignal.com/homepage/x1775730622
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Weymouth: Traffic on TV
by Johanna Seitz
Boston Globe (MA)
03/16/08

Mayor Susan Kay is taking on traffic in her next televised public affairs broadcast, which will air next month on local cable WETC, Channel 11. “The town is almost at gridlock,” Kay said. “We have incredible traffic issues that we need to address – Weymouth Landing, Route 3A, everywhere.” She said she plans to invite representatives from the community and the state Highway Department to participate in the program. “We will certainly know the issues and will develop a plan from there,” she said. Kay’s first program, on a state affordable-housing law that affects Weymouth, is running on cable this month. She plans to discuss the town’s finances and budget in May.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/03/16/override_for_trash/?page=5
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March 18 Information Forum on Impeachment at Studios of MCAM Manchester, NH
by Nancy White
Democracy for New Hampshire
03/16/08

[ comments invited ]

Brookline, NH – NH State Representative Betty Hall will be the featured panelist at the last in a series of informative forums centered on our Constitution. The forum entitled, “Defending Our Constitution: Let’s All Come Up For AIR—Accountability, Impeachment and Responsibility” will be carried live in the Manchester Community Access Media (MCAM) TV 23 studio in Manchester, 540 North Commercial Street at 7:30pm-9:30pm, Tuesday, March 18.

Joining Representative Hall will be John Kaminski, chairman for Maine Lawyers for Democracy; former US Senate candidate in 2006, Jean Hay Bright; current candidate for US Senate in Maine, Herbert Hoffman; Newfane, Vt. Selectman, Dan DeWalt; and US Congressman Dennis Kucinich via live connection.   —>
http://www.democracyfornewhampshire.com/node/view/5574
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Inaugural – VideoCast March 10
by WPAA
OnTheParadeGround_Wallingford (CT)
03/09/08

[ comments invited ]

What better day to start a TV show about bringing sunshine to local topics of interest than the day after we loose an hour of sleep in preservation of daylight. On the Parade Ground is planned to be a forum for gathering knowledge about topics of public interest.  Callers will be encourage to share their knowledge, brainstorm ideas, and suggest if/then scenarios.The program will be facilitated by a resident of Wallingford. On the Parade Ground facilitator and crew will try to synthesize the topic in TV shorts that will run on WPAA’s Bulletin Board. The discussion will hopefully build on each other. One topic may lead to the another On the Parade Ground theme.   —>
http://ontheparadeground.blogspot.com/
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looking for ideas to blog about?
by zen
blogAsheville (NC
03/15/08

[ 5 comments ]

We just had a wonderful 2nd meeting of Asheville Community Media and there will be interesting things to post, but for now, we’d like to promote a little cross-posting.

Who reads blogs? Mostly bloggers. Who watches URTV? Mostly TV gear heads. We’d like to get some crossover, some swapped thinking to get people looking at the wider range of Asheville media. If you blog and there’s a WPVM radio show you’ve heard that interests you, blog about it. If you have a URTV show that deals with local ideas, promote a blog that you read or give some support to a WPVM radio broadcast. The idea has always been to keep Ashevillians informed of the local goings on, and we are blessed with many forms of media. Many locals read the Mountain Xpress and the AC-T and feel informed or entertained. But the idea here is to cross-pollinate between print and net and sound and vision to form a more complete community. One in which YOU have some input.   —>
http://blogasheville.blogspot.com/2008/03/looking-for-ideas-to-blog-about.html
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Sunshine week brings issues to light
Media studies of open government help expose community problems
by Cara O’Brien
The Reporter-Herald (CO)
03/16/08

[ comments invited ]

“A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps, both.”  — President James Madison, Aug. 4, 1822

“Press releases tell us when federal agencies do something right, but the Freedom of Information Act lets us know when they do not.”  — Sen. Patrick Leahy, 1996

The federal Freedom of Information Act went into effect in 1967 after President Lyndon B. Johnson, begrudgingly, signed it.  The federal act, as well as myriad state sunshine laws, protect the right of access to government records.  The law, much-touted by journalists, is actually utilized 95 percent of the time by the public, for whom it is intended.  “The more transparent and open government activities are, the more confidence people have in their government,” said Ed Otte, executive director of the Colorado Press Association. “This is a public issue, not a press issue.”

The city of Loveland’s 28 official requests for information in 2007 — many requests are handled without formal paperwork — included just two from reporters.  Governments, law offices, organizations doing studies and citizens all made formal requests to the city over the course of the year.

The media can, however, bring issues to light in a way private citizens often do not.  A survey of stories originating with Freedom of Information Act requests from 2004 to 2007 included: a Minneapolis Star-Tribune story on high salmonella levels at a turkey-processing plant in Minnesota; a Ventura County Star report of at least a dozen women’s deaths related to the use of a birth control patch; a Washington Post story of noncompliance with Medicare at many hospitals; and the list goes on.   —>
http://www.reporterherald.com/news_story.asp?ID=15607
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Zimbabwe to screen foreign journalists covering polls
AFP
03/16/08

HARARE (AFP) — Zimbabwe plans to closely screen foreign media intending to cover upcoming elections amid suspicions uninvited observers and security personnel might impersonate Western journalists, state media reported Sunday.  Accreditation of some 300 foreign reporters who applied to cover the country’s March 29 general elections will be closely supervised, as the government was aware of “the machinations to turn journalists into observers,” George Charmba, information secretary, told the state-run Sunday Mail.

In particular, he said, the government feared “uninvited observers and security personnel from the Western countries,” might be applying to cover the vote as reporters, the weekly quoted Charamba as saying.  Preference would be given to reporters from Africa and the “national identity of the news organisations will be a major determinant,” he added.   —>
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hfYTgDTfz3xJ68h9OnOD34XjOasw
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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 – 03/05/08

March 9, 2008

Public access may be hard to access on U-verse
by George Moore
MyRecordJournal.com (CT)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

WALLINGFORD – The ability to find public access shows while channel surfing will play a central role in a struggle between public access advocates and AT&T’s new television service, U-verse.  U-verse will group all of the state’s community access channels under one U-verse channel, channel 99. After selecting 99, viewers could choose their desired public access program from a menu.

Not offering public access on a regular “surfable” channel will be detrimental, said Scott A. Hanley, manager of Wallingford Government Access Television. He said many people like to flip quickly between public access and other channels.  “This would just be an added obstacle to try to bring people to view the channel,” he said.
http://www.myrecordjournal.com/site/tab1.cfm?newsid=19363828&BRD=2755&PAG=461&dept_id=592708&rfi=6
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New take on an old lesson
by David Callender
The Capital Times (WI)
03/05/08

Adults of a certain age may recall the 1970s children’s TV series “Schoolhouse Rock” that set lessons in American history, civics and other topics to a catchy rock beat.  And, of all the episodes on the show, probably one of the best known was “Just a Bill,” featuring a talking piece of legislation that showed how a bill becomes a law.

Now with the help of Madison cartoonist Mike Konopacki and musician Peter Leidy, the reform-minded Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has turned the classic lesson into a more jaded look at contemporary politics called “Statehouse Crock.”  The video on the group’s Web site (www.wisdc.org/crock.php) shows how it sees special interests rigging the legislative process and keeping ordinary citizens like “Just Bill, I’m only Bill” from getting access to lawmakers.,,

Cable applications

In the wake of a new law deregulating the state’s cable TV industry, five cable firms have already filed applications to provide TV service to Wisconsin consumers.  And one of them — AT&T, which led the deregulation effort — has already had its application approved by the Department of Financial Institutions, the pro-deregulation group TV4US announced Tuesday.

The remaining applicants include other major industry players: Charter Communications, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and CenturyTel.  Advocates of deregulation argued that the bill would open the state up to more competition between cable providers. Under the old state law, cable providers had near-exclusive access to operate under franchise agreements with each community.

In a response to the group’s announcement, the Wisconsin Alliance of Cities said it is “imperative” that communities where the cable companies are seeking to locate contact the state and identify the terms of their old franchise agreements. The old agreements required cable companies to help pay for community programming — known as public, educational and government channels — in exchange for the right to operate.

“Failing to provide information on the number of PEG channels, PEG support and franchise fees to a video provider within 10 days of receiving notice of its application could lead to dire consequences: loss for months of community access and government channels and franchise fees,” the alliance warned.
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/275710
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KREX Rising
by John Linko
John Linko (CO)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

—>   The quarterly membership meeting of Grand Valley Peace and Justice is tonight at 7:00 PM at the St. Joseph Church offices at 3rd and White, across the street from the church. The group’s meeting announcement indicated a discussion on alternative media will be part of the agenda.  This will hopefully include the development of a working group with certain benchmarks to achieve, and one of those will hopefully be persuading the City of Grand Junction to request the activation of their PEG Access Channel on the basic cable tier, which is part of the City’s current franchise agreement with Bresnan.

The recent developments surrounding the partial resurrection of KREX, through cooperation between media outlets, the sharing of equipment and space, and the rapid deployment of alternative programming sources, displays very well the level of expertise and goal-oriented thinking present in our local media and educational institutions.

What’s to stop the development of a coalition of these groups and outlets to provide for the space, equipment, organization, and administration of a community public access channel in Grand Junction? The answer to this and many other questions may make themselves better known starting this evening. Such a resource is long overdue in our community, as there are successfully-run examples (http://www.dcat.tv/) of such stations in smaller cities and towns across the Western Slope.   —>
http://johnlinko.blogspot.com/2008/03/krex-rising.html
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Jackson examines its cable contract
by Fraidy Reiss
Asbury Park Press (NJ)
03/05/08

[ 2 comments ]

For four years now, Cablevision has done business in this town without a franchise agreement to regulate the company’s presence here.  Soon, that might change. The Township Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday evening at the municipal building on a proposed 15-year agreement it has reached with the cable company. If the council approves the deal, it will head to the state Board of Public Utilities for review.

The town has been negotiating with Cablevision on and off since the previous franchise licensing agreement expired in December 2003. A major sticking point was the town’s insistence that the cable provider keep its discount for low-income seniors at 25 percent off basic cable-television rates.  Under the proposed deal, the senior discount would remain at 25 percent. Additionally, Cablevision would give Jackson a $7,500 grant the first year of the agreement and $4,300 per year for the next 14 years, for the town to use for any cable- or telecommunications-related purpose.  The deal also calls for Cablevision to give Jackson its own public-access channel.

Councilman Scott Martin said he would like to see that channel in place by summer. It would be used to broadcast community calendars, school events and advertising for local not-for-profits, he said. “To get information out to the public about what’s going on in town,” he explained.  Children would be thrilled to see their school events on television, added Councilwoman Emily Ingram, who predicted the public-access channel would “bring the town together.”   —>
http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/NEWS01/803090345/1070/NEWS02
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Council happy cable pact is shorter
Five years is time for innovations
by Nick Kotsopoulos
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
03/05/08

[ 14 comments ]

City councilors last night applauded the new cable television deal the city has struck with Charter Communications, saying its shorter-than-usual term will benefit local consumers in the long run.  The councilors are betting that by the time the cable license renewal runs its course, technological advances in the cable field will reach the point in which additional companies may be interested in coming to Worcester to provide service.  They believe such competition would not only help lower cable rates, but also improve service and programming…

Traditionally, the city has had 10-year contracts with cable franchise holders. But city councilors had urged City Manager Michael V. O’Brien to limit the length of this license renewal to no more than five years because of the rapid, ongoing changes in cable technology and competition.   —>
http://www.telegram.com/article/20080305/NEWS/803050643/1101
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Net benefit
Cable pact charts course to fiber-optic forefront
Worcester Telegram & Gazette  (MA)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

The most intriguing aspect of Worcester’s new five-year cable television contract is not what is in it but what is to be taken out.  For Charter Communications customers, the changes are apt to be largely invisible. The key elements are equipment upgrades for the public access, education and government channels and provisions to smooth the transition of the PEG channels to the digital tier over the next year.

In a radical departure, however, the city’s cable-based “institutional network,” owned and operated by Charter, will be phased out under the new contract. I-NET, the city’s communications link since 1993, was a technological leap forward in its day, but it now is inadequate for the city’s communications and business needs.

Replacing the I-NET will be a 20-mile fiber-optic loop linking about 100 municipal and school buildings. The cost of installing and operating the new network will be borne by a vendor to be selected through a bidding process. The vendor will recoup the cost by selling the vast excess capacity of the fiber-optic loop to public and private entities. Fees paid by the city for use of the network are to be offset by savings resulting from the phaseout of its existing infrastructure.

It would be only a slight exaggeration to say the change will be a revolution in municipal communications. The high-speed/high broadband network will transmit all forms of data, including e-mail and telephone links. It also will be available for security and energy-management monitoring, fire detection, wireless technology and more.   —>
http://www.telegram.com/article/20080305/NEWS/803050344/1020
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An urgent call: Give us broadband, Vermont towns say
by Daniel Barlow
The Barre Montpelier Times Argus (VT)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

Vermont voters sent a clear message to the world of high-speed Internet Tuesday: We want in.  Voters in at least 19 towns approved non-binding resolutions to join in a regional effort to bring high-speed Internet via fiber-optic to their homes during town meetings held early this week and over the weekend.  In all on Tuesday, at least 13 towns approved the resolution to join the East Central Vermont Community Fiber Network and organizers of the effort anticipate a full sweep of the more than 20 towns that had the item on their agenda once all the results were in.   —>
http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080305/NEWS02/803050363/1003/NEWS02
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A Conversation with Laurie from the Community Media Center
by Marie-Claire
Digital Inclusion in Grand Rapids, MI
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

On Thursday, I had a brief but interesting lunch conversation with Laurie from the Community Media Center here in Grand Rapids.  We first discussed some of the CMC programs in place for area nonprofits and residents, http://www.grcmc.org/nposervices and then talked about a new program coming out once the city gets its WiMax working. It’s in charge of eventually processing and granting up to 5% of the area’s residents discounted rates on WiMax. They have also taken the task of traveling to local schools and talking about the available WiMax discount to schools.

So there will be education about our new wireless access, and discounted rates from an organization in the city. I’m not meaning for that to sound small, I mean for it to sound like a step in the right direction.  I explained to Laurie about our project idea. I talked about the pilot program, the gaps in the system, and some other stuff we’re working on. She seemed genuinely excited. She all but volunteered a venue for the pilot program when I explained some of our current stumbling blocks.   —>
http://forgr.wordpress.com/2008/03/05/a-conversation-with-laurie-from-the-community-media-center/
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Community for Hope develops TV series
by Aldrich M. Tan
The Northwestern (WI)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

Lisa McLaughlin said she’s always a little nervous before going on camera.  However, the topic of bullying prevention programs is an important and familiar topic for the South Park Middle School principal so it was very easy for her to talk.  McLaughlin’s interview will be part of a television series that Community for Hope of Oshkosh is producing with the help of Oshkosh Community Media Services. It is part of a six-part series that started airing last month and will feature area people addressing mental health issues and suicide, executive director Mary VanHaute said.   —>
http://www.thenorthwestern.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080305/OSH/80305164/1987
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Obama Speaks Part 6
The 411 Show (TX)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

Obama makes his campaign stop in San Antonio Texas for the 2008 primary election. Part 6. This clip aired on San Antonio Public Access TV.
http://411show.blogspot.com/2008/03/obama-speaks-part-6_05.html
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Oregon Law Librarians (back) on TV: Topic: Family Law
by Laura Orr
Oregon Legal Research
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

On Thursday, February 28, 2008, from 8-9 p.m., the Clackamas County Law Librarian, and I, the Washington County Law Librarian, appeared again on “Legally Speaking” with the host of the show, attorney Jim Hilborn. The subject was family law. (We also sent some photos from this show into the AALL Day in the Life contest so stay tuned.)

Some of the legal information sites we talked about included: OJD Family Law website;  Legal Aid Services of Oregon; Oregon State Bar public information; Oregon Council of County Law Libraries (OCCLL) Directory.

Legally Speaking is a call-in cable public-access TV show that airs live on the 4th Thursday of each month, out of the TVCTV studios in Beaverton, Oregon and is rebroadcast at different times throughout the month on Portland metro-area cable access channels, Channel 11 or 23.   —>
http://oregonlegalresearch.blogspot.com/2008/03/oregon-law-librarians-back-on-tv-topic.html
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Video Jam to Air at Drake University, Iowa
by Tracy
WCCA TV (MA)
03/05/08

[ comments allowed ]

Video Jam, WCCA TV ‘s local originated music video show, created by Mauro DePasquale and hosted by Tracy Foley, has been asked to present their show on the Residence Life Channel 7 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa! Video Jam has produced over 500 shows since 1992 and it is seen not only in Massachusetts, but New Hampshire, California, North Dakota, and now Iowa!
http://www.wccatv.com/node/12100
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Stars Shine in Sunshine Week Print, Broadcast Public Service Ads
American Society of Newspaper Editors
The Earth Times
03/05/08

[ no comments ]

A series of broadcast and print public service ads featuring 13 actors, who are high-profile members of The Creative Coalition, speaking about the importance of open and accountable government has been produced for Sunshine Week, March 16-22, and can be used throughout the election season in conjunction with the Sunshine Campaign. The PSAs were developed by the Radio-Television News Directors Association and Foundation, and the American Society of Newspaper Editors, in cooperation with The Creative Coalition, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.   —>
http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/stars-shine-in-sunshine-week-print-broadcast-public-service-ads,303943.shtml
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AmericanTowns.com Offers Unprecedented Access to Local Information for Every Town in America
Network of “Community Webspaces” Provides a Better Way for People To Find and Share Local Content Online
Business Wire
03/05/08

AmericanTowns.com LLC today raised the bar in the hyperlocal space by launching a new version of AmericanTowns.com. This version, which features a new and unique “community webspace” for each town in America, lets local residents find and share an unprecedented combination of local information: community events, local news, train schedules, charitable organizations, local videos, farmers’ markets, jobs, real estate, privacy protection, “sales and savings,” local services and a host of online and previously offline community resources.   —>
http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080305006021&newsLang=en
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/17/08

January 18, 2008

Rebecca Padula on the film, “Margaret’s Waltz”
by Jane Lindholm
Vermont Public Radio
01/17/08

During her lifetime, Margaret MacArthur was both a singer and a collector of songs.  For her work preserving oral traditions, she was designated a New England Living Art Treasure, and invited to sing at the Kennedy Center, and colloquially, she took on the name, “Vermont’s First Lady of Folk.”  In May, 2006, MacArthur died at age 78, in her home in Marlboro, after being diagnosed with a rare brain disease just a week earlier.

Now another Vermont folk musician is working to preserve MacArthur’s legacy.   Hinesburg resident Rebecca Padula has produced a 90-minute documentary called Margaret’s Waltz.  The film recently took top honors at the Northeast Alliance for Community Media’s Best Documentary. …and will be shown Friday evening in Burlington. She spoke with VPR’s Jane Lindholm about the film.   —>
http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/78986/
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Post Punk Recipes: Now Playing: Vegan Soup
by Serge Lescouarnec
Serge the Concierge
01/17/08

–>   Rather than merely playing background music , Post Punk Kitchen intersperses its vegan cooking thrills with indie bands on their Public Access TV Shows.  They are taking a break from the Limelight but you can browse The Archive to see past productions…  As for mixing music and cooking  on TV, they are not the only ones as I illustrated in Cook and Groove with Neneh Cherry.    —>
http://www.sergetheconcierge.com/2008/01/post-punk-recip.html
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Marital Bliss
Are the House speaker and his lobbyist wife teaming up for AT&T?
by Jeff Woods
Nashville Scene (TN)
01/17/08

Even the jaded denizens of the state Capitol are wrinkling their noses at House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh’s intervention in one of the legislature’s costliest business battles ever.  Hordes of lobbyists are cashing in on AT&T’s attempt to compete with cable TV companies in Tennessee—and so is Naifeh, assuming he derives benefit from his lobbyist wife Betty Anderson’s lucrative income.

Last year, with Anderson lobbying for the cable industry’s Tennessee Cable Telecommunications Association, Naifeh was cool to AT&T’s legislation, and it failed. This year, Anderson has switched sides, signing on as a consultant with AT&T, and suddenly—guess what?—Naifeh is springing into action, leading lengthy negotiations in the past month to hammer out a compromise that’s likely to favor his wife’s client.

The working relationship between Anderson, known as the state’s most powerful lobbyist, and Naifeh, the House speaker for 16 years, has long been controversial—critics say it amounts to legal bribery—but rarely has Betty’s influence over Jimmy seemed so obvious. Asked about the apparent conflict of interest, Naifeh casts himself as an unbiased mediator between cable companies and AT&T, which combined to spend nearly $11 million lobbying the bill last year alone.   —>
http://www.nashvillescene.com/Stories/News/Woods/2008/01/17/Marital_Bliss/
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Bredesen may weigh in on fight over cable
Jackson Sun (TN)
01/17/08

Gov. Phil Bredesen says he may get involved in a contentious proposal to change cable permitting rules in Tennessee to encourage broadband access around the state.  Bredesen, a Democrat, stayed out of last year’s legislative fight over the measure that would create statewide franchising rules that would allow companies like AT&T Inc. to avoid having to seek hundreds of municipal permits as it enters the cable TV business.  The measure failed last year, but the speakers of both chambers expect this year’s effort to have a better chance of passage.   —>
http://www.jacksonsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080117/NEWS01/80117021
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Verizon arrival highlight of annual cable report
by Vincent Todaro
Sentinel (NJ)
01/17/08

EAST BRUNSWICK- The township is beginning to have access to Verizon’s fiber optic cable lines, a move that some residents hope will increase competition and keep cable TV prices in check.  Township Council President Catherine Diem recently gave an update on the cable television issue as it is playing out in East Brunswick. During a December council meeting, she said Verizon now serves slightly less than 10 percent of the township with the fiber optics technology. The company expects to have the entire community serviced within the next three to four years…

One drawback to Verizon’s system is that it does not yet provide residents with access to EBTV, the township’s cable access station, Diem said. EBTV has been advertising a bulletin board and public service announcements to alert residents of the fact that the channel is only available on Comcast.

Verizon is signing people up for cable service, Diemsaid, but it cannot provide the local cable access channel, which has resulted in some “confusion” among residents.  “As people sign up, they are expecting [EBTV],” she said.  According to Diem, Verizon would not comment or give an update on when the EBTV channel might become available.   —>
http://ebs.gmnews.com/news/2008/0117/Front_Page/026.html
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City looks to expand television channel
by Nicole Young
Capital Online (MD)
01/17/08

To say that programming on the city’s public access channel is scant would be a compliment.  City spokesman Ray Weaver is hoping to breathe life into the boring channel, which up to now has consisted of little more than City Council meetings, religious bulletins, and artist Bob Ross painting happy, little trees more than a decade after his death.

After going on hiatus more than two years ago when the original television studio was shut down, city officials are working to revamp programming on the public access channel found on Comcast channel 99.  Mr. Weaver said he is working to expand the channel’s offerings to include live broadcasts of all public meetings as well as a weekly news program, a city police show and several new shows focusing on things like art in the city.

He also said he wants to answer the age-old question posed to governments time and time again – what do you actually do?  “We want more government-centered programming, more meetings and we want to get as many cameras out there as possible,” Mr. Weaver said. “Sometimes people think we’re not concerned or connected and we don’t care, but we want people to see what we do.”

And now, work is being done to outfit the second floor of the former city Department of Planning and Zoning office at 159 Duke of Gloucester St. with a full Comcast television studio for the broadcast of city programming.  The station is funded mainly by Comcast cable subscribers, as a small portion of their subscription charges go to the city for channel maintenance. The former studio was shut down in hopes of relocating, but was put off for other projects.  “We have an obligation to use our station,” said Mayor Ellen O. Moyer. “We can’t not do our programming so we’re moving forward.”

Since the hiatus, programming on the channel has been running on minimum, with City Council meetings every second and fourth Monday of the month; religious programming, and 30-minute City Hall shows featuring aldermen and department heads discussing the latest issues.  But city officials are hoping to expand to as many as 35 new programs for the station.   —>
http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/2008/01_17-23/TOP
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Verizon applying for cable franchise
by Charlie Breitrose
MetroWest Daily (MA)
01/15/08

NORTHBOROUGH – Town residents could have their pick of cable providers within the next several weeks after Verizon New England Inc. submitted an application to provide cable television, Internet and phone service to the town.  Verizon filed an application at the end of October, said Kathy Dalgliesh, director of Northborough Cable Access Television.   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/northborough/news/x254745309
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BATV considers moving station to Brookline High School
by Neal Simpson (1 comment)
Brookline Tab (MA)
01/16/08

Brookline High students may soon have the chance to get a taste of Tinseltown without leaving the classroom.  The school district is considering whether to set up a pair of television studios in the school, where public access television producers could work side by side with students. The studios, which could open as early as fall 2009, would be modeled after similar programs in Watertown and Beverly.   —>
http://www.wickedlocal.com/brookline/news/education/x1295936911
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Footage flap irks immigration critic
by John Hilliard
Metrowest Daily News (MA)
01/17/08

FRAMINGHAM –  A local opponent of illegal immigration said his civil rights were violated after his public access television show was pulled off the air by the town’s cable station last week.  “This is an abuse of power,” said Jim Rizoli, who leads a local anti-illegal immigration group and hosts a weekly TV show that targets illegal immigrants.

He said his show was cut short last Thursday and replaced mid-broadcast with another program because it included 20 minutes of footage shot by the town’s government cable channel. He said the town’s director of media services, Ron Rego, told Rizoli that footage was the town’s copyrighted material and could not be used for his own show.   —>
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x1613095207
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Why AT&T’s Copyright Filter Could Suck For Everyone — Including AT&T
by Dan Frommer
Silicon Valley Insider
01/16/08

If AT&T installs a copyright filter on its broadband network, will it shoot itself in the foot?  Last week at CES, reps from NBC, Microsoft, and AT&T discussed whether Internet service providers should take a leading role in filtering out pirated, copyrighted content from subscribers’ broadband connections. “What we are already doing to address piracy hasn’t been working,” said AT&T exec James Cicconi, according to the NY Times.

Why would AT&T offer such a service? It could conceivably charge studios for the filter. It might convince itself that it has a vested interest in stopping piracy because it is now a content provider, via its “U-Verse” TV service. And if AT&T frees up enough of its pipes — pirated video uses up a ton of bandwidth — the filter could even cut network capex.

But are any of those rationales worth the blowback? No way, Columbia Law prof Tim Wu writes in a Slate column .

Key questions: How would the filter know the difference between a legal download of copyrighted content and an illegal download of the same content? How will AT&T offer customer service for the filter? If your download gets stopped, do you have to sit on hold with a rep to sort things out? The first time that happened, we’d cancel our DSL subscription.   —>
http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/01/why-atts-copyright-filter-could-suck-for-everyone-including-att.html
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Berkeley Center for New Media gets endowed professorship
by Heidi Benson
San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
01/17/08

UC Berkeley is announcing Thursday the establishment of the first endowed professorship in the 5-year-old Berkeley Center for New Media.  The $3.1 million endowment was seeded by a $1.6 million gift from the Craigslist Foundation, the nonprofit branch of the popular community networking hub founded by San Francisco resident Craig Newmark.  The additional funds will come from a landmark $113 million gift from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, intended to create 100 endowed chairs at the university.

“It’s a good match,” said engineering Professor Ken Goldberg, who was appointed director of the Center for New Media in July.  “Our mission is to advance new media in the public interest, and to explore the effect of new media on culture,” said Goldberg. “In terms of innovation and public service, Craigslist is one of the companies we admire most.”   —>
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/17/MN19UGDJ1.DTL
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Craigslist to establish first endowed faculty chair in new media
by Marie Felde
UC Berkeley News (CA)
01/17/08

The University of California, Berkeley, today announced plans to establish the first endowed faculty chair at the Berkeley Center for New Media with a donation of $1.6 million from craigslist, one of the most popular Web sites in the world.

The donation, which will support research, symposia and lectures, will be matched with $1.5 million from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for a total of $3.1 million. The matching funds come from the foundation’s landmark challenge grant, announced last September, that it gave to UC Berkeley to create 100 new endowed chairs. The new chairs are designed to help the public research university compete with private institutions.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau said the craigslist donation recognizes the Berkeley Center for New Media as a major research center where scholars and students “explore the powerful effect of new media on culture and think rigorously about how new media will continue to change our lives and perceptions.”   —>
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2008/01/17_craigslist.shtml
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LiveBlogging NYMIEG Breakfast – Wireless, Wimax and future of communications
by Howard Greenstein
Random Thoughts from Howard Gr
01/17/08

Breakfast – Wireless and Wifi and The future of communications. Sree starts the panel with nice overview.  Laura – research on wifi use- Cities and public spaces and homes are rapidly being overlaid with a wireless ‘blanket’ of wifi, rfid, Bluetooth, etc. Ubiquity- anytime, anywhere as a tag line. “Freedom is the purpose.” Research indicates that Location and context is most important, not ‘freedom”.

Wifi is a factor in attracting people to go to places – like Bryant Park or Starbucks. Searching for info relevant to their geographic location is a major activity. Mobile entrepreneurs who need to get out of their homes, and spend up to 12 hours a day at wifi locations. Starbucks, Bryant Park, NYPub Libe, and indie cafes.

Skews male (65%), higher income, early adopters. Locations have constituencies. Splash pages that are intro to wireless points are very important places to adv, pass on info.   —>
http://howardgreenstein.com/blog/archives/2008/01/liveblogging_nymieg_breakfast_-_wireless_wimax_and_future_of_communications.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 – 12/27/07

December 31, 2007

Public Access Producers
DCTV8.blogspot.com (NC)
12/27/08

As of January 1, 2008, the Durham Studio will no longer be available to public access producers. Effective November 1, following the expiration of the local franchise agreement with the City of Durham, Time Warner Cable filed for a state issued franchise.  According to the law governing the state issued franchises ‘A cable service provider is responsible only for the transmission of a PEG channel. The county or city to which the PEG channel is provided is responsible for the operation and content of the channel.’   —>
http://dctv8.blogspot.com/2007/12/public-access-producers.html
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Editorial: Vetoes strengthen cable TV bill
Sheboygan Press (WI)
12/27/07

Gov. Jim Doyle, before he signed the cable television competition bill last week, wielded his powerful veto pen and made it stronger…  Doyle wound up vetoing several parts of the bill, and in the process, beefed up consumer protections and gave the state the power to write and enforce regulations and standards for service. Two state agencies, Department of Financial Institutions and Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, will write the rules.

Left hanging, however, is the future of public access, government and educational channels.  There is good reason to have local TV channels that broadcast such things as governmental meetings, local high school sports and school and public service programs. But without a requirement that they be continued on cable systems, their future is bleak because funding for these kinds of channels runs out after three years — and Doyle didn’t change that provision.

We wish he had, since local access channels and broadcasting of government meetings give people a better insight into what is going on in their community.  Doyle’s changes to the bill allow these channels to carry revenue-generating commercial programming to raise money to stay afloat. But a guarantee of public access is something that the Legislature needs to address separately so that public access to cable TV remains viable.   —>
http://www.sheboygan-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071227/SHE06/712270443/1883
~

METV covers Manatee County
by Nicholas Azzara
Bradenton Herald (FL)
12/27/07

MANATEE —  On a stormy July evening last summer, county leaders and public safety delegates turned out to dedicate Manatee’s new $56 million Public Safety Center. The crowd stood under an awning sheltered from the storm while officials thanked the construction crews participating in the project.  Standing near the edge of the overhang was a cameraman about to film the event. Raindrops had drenched the back of his shirt and he warned others to take a step forward to avoid a similar soaking. As the commemoration began, he threw a few gestures to his crew and calmly peered into his camera.

For METV Station Manager Charles Clapsaddle, it was just another day away from the office. The following day he and two others edited their footage and the program aired later that week. In time, it slipped into the annals of METV’s 15-year history. The award-winning station wraps its 15th year later this year.   —>
http://www.bradenton.com/local/story/293637.html
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Minnesota Atheists radio program to debut on Air America Radio in January
by Tim Harlow
Minneapolis Star Tribune (MN)
12/27/07

Minnesota Atheists are taking their message to the air waves with a new radio program that will debut in January on the  talk station Air America Minnesota.  Called “Atheists Talk” — the same name as a show the organization airs on cable access television — the live radio broadcast featuring news, interviews, listener call-ins and special guests is believed to be the first show of its kind in Minnesota, said August Berkshire, a spokesman for the Minnesota Atheists.   —>
http://www.startribune.com/local/12851441.html
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Brick goes Hollywood with new video system
by Patricia A. Miller
Brick Township Bulletin (NJ)
12/27/07

The bland videos of Township Committee meetings and other events on BTV20 will soon be a thing of the past.  Township Council members awarded a $29,204 contract at the Dec. 18 council meeting to Rush Works Media, Carrollton, Texas, for the purchase of a tapeless, portable digital video recording system.   —>
http://bulletin.gmnews.com/news/2007/1227/Front_Page/006.html
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A year in Los Al
A look back at the news in Los Alamitos in 2007, and a look forward at 2008.
by Jorge Barrientos
OC Register (CA)
12/27/07

—>   In January, the nonprofit Los Alamitos Television Corp. that ran the local cable television station, LATV-3, was dissolved following an emotional board meeting that drew vocal opposition from the station’s volunteers and previous managers. The television corporation’s assets were to be absorbed into the city’s general fund, and a city-appointed commission would be created to oversee the station’s operations. In March, the City Council granted final approval to the creation of a city commission to oversee LATV-3. The city this month received final approval from the state attorney general to transfer and receive $133,750 from the now-dissolved Los Alamitos Television Corp. to continue operation of the public access station that has no staff or incoming funds.
http://www.ocregister.com/news/city-alamitos-school-1949964-rossmoor-year
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Fewer wires, more access to come
Consumers getting content through a PC is fading model
Chicago Tribune (IL)
by Jon Van
12/27/07

The world may change for people like George Graves, who takes his laptop computer to the Western Springs library, which has free broadband service. Graves’ household is among an estimated 10 percent of residences in the Chicago market too far from the phone company’s central offices to get DSL broadband.

“We get advertisements for $20 a month DSL, but when I call AT&T, they say it’s not available. This has been going on for two years. It’s exasperating,” said Graves, who doesn’t want cable television-based Internet.  An AT&T spokesman said network upgrades will bring DSL to Graves sometime in the future, but he wouldn’t say when.

For people frustrated by their inability to get broadband Internet connections at the price they want, there may soon be relief in the form of fast wireless Internet connections that will compete with wired connections supplied by phone and cable TV providers.   —>
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-thu_outlook_telecomdec27,0,4599458.story
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It’s still not just Imus
Media Matters
12/27/07

Media Matters for America usually takes the opportunity at the end of the year to name a Misinformer of the Year, an individual or media entity who in that year has made a noteworthy “contribution” to the advancement of conservative misinformation. This year — a year in which Don Imus was removed from his decades-long radio program following a reference to the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos” (Imus returned to the air in December) — Media Matters has decided to change the focus of the year-end item. The Imus controversy resulted in intense media attention to the subject of speech concerning race and gender.

At the time, Media Matters thought it necessary to remind the media that “It’s not just Imus” — that speech targeting, among other characteristics, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ethnicity permeates the airwaves, through personalities including Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Michael Savage. But offensive and degrading speech is not limited to conservative media personalities and “shock jocks,” although they are, of course, well-represented on any such list.

As Media Matters has documented throughout this year, speech that targets or casts in a negative light race, gender, religion, ethnicity, national origin, and sexual orientation can be found throughout the media, and it often bears directly on politics and policy. That speech has earned the title of Misinformation of the Year 2007.   —>
http://mediamatters.org/items/200712220006?f=h_top
~

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

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 10/23/07

October 23, 2007

AT&T U-verse TV Hit by Nationwide Outages
by Todd Spangler
Multichannel News
10/22/07

AT&T U-verse TV subscribers across the country were denied access to multiple cable channels for most of the day Sunday, and the telephone company on Monday said it was still investigating what caused the outages. In online forums at AT&T’s own Web site and on UverseUsers.com, subscribers reported receiving error messages informing them they were not subscribed to certain channels. AT&T spokeswoman Destiny Belknap said the errors began early Sunday morning and that access to all channels was restored by 7:30 p.m. CST. —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6493175.html?rssid=196
~

at&t Scores a Penalty Flag
by Bunny Riedel
Telecommunications Consulting
10/23/07

Are the executives at at&t completely unaware of the national video phenomena called “football?” In my house during football season my husband dons his Eagles cap and spends most of Sunday yelling at the TV screen. He doesn’t only watch Eagles games but takes an interest in Ravens, Patriots, Redskins, Packers, Bears and Chargers. He’s not a big Giants fan, but if pressed, he will watch. Sometimes he is joined in this endeavor by our neighbor Dana, who also likes to yell at the set. Although Dana would prefer they watch the games at his house because his TV is bigger and he has FiOS.

If on this past Sunday, we had at&t as our cable provider instead of Comcast, I might be filing divorce papers right now or posting bail money. I know for a fact it wouldn’t have been pretty and this may be the only time I will ever thank God for having Comcast.

If you haven’t heard at&t’s U-verse TV went kaput on Sunday for a substantial amount of time in a substantial number of markets. Markets where football is considered somewhat important, like say Kansas City or maybe all of Connecticut. These places were joined by outages in Dallas, Cleveland, Detroit (are you kidding me?), Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco and Houston. The Houston customers were probably placated with “Calm down, at least your box didn’t explode!” —>
http://riedelcommunications.blogspot.com/
~

Don’t Tread on Us, States Tell FCC’s Martin
National Conference of State Legislators: Leave Exclusive Contracts for Cable Service in Apartments, Condos to the Marketplace
by John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable
10/23/07

The National Conference of State Legislators agrees with top cable company Comcast that the Federal Communications Commission should leave exclusive contracts for cable service in apartments and condos to the marketplace, saying that to ban them from Washington would impinge on the state sovereignty.

In a letter sent to FCC chairman Kevin Martin, Maryland state Sen. Delores Kelly (D-Baltimore County), chair of the communications committee for the NCSL, said an FCC ban on the contracts would be an “unwarranted presumption of state authority,” adding that the group “respectfully requests that you refrain from adopting any administrative order.” —>
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6493683.html
~

After major projects fail, Wi-Fi reborn as cities refine approaches
by Ryan Kim
San Francisco Chronicle
10/23/07

Municipal Wi-Fi projects, all the rage last year, have fallen into a funk, if you believe the press reports about delays and problems for big deployments in cities like San Francisco, Chicago and Houston. But the reality is somewhere in between hype and hopelessness. The city Wi-Fi movement is noticeably slowing down on some levels, but leaders say it’s progressing with a refined sense of purpose and a clearer perspective on the challenges that face these projects.

More than 400 wireless executives and municipal officials met Monday in Santa Clara at the MuniWireless07 conference to aid the rebirth of the Wi-Fi movement by honing its goals, fleshing out viable business models, and touting new applications for a city wireless network. —>
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/10/23/BUJOSU1FR.DTL&type=business
~

Top 50 Trends in Municipal Wireless: 30-21
What are the Top 50 Trends in Municipal Wireless? We’re counting them down at our MuniWireless 2007: Silicon Valley conference in Santa Clara.
MuniWireless.com
10/23/07

—> 29. After EarthLink: EarthLink (remember them?) wasn’t mentioned much at the conference. MuniWireless founder Esme Vos described multiple potential business models for the post-EarthLink market. She mentioned:
– Municipalities as anchor tenants (example: Minneapolis);
– Municipalities building networks that leverage government applications (Burbank, Calif., for instance, with automated meter reading);
– Municipalities and private companies partnering on networks; and
– Ad-supported networks (partner examples: JiWire and MetroFI)

28. Hit the Road: Public transportation deployments continue to accelerate. One example: Stagecoach, the busiest bus line in Europe, has rolled out public Internet access to riders. In the last nine months, the network has logged 75,000 sessions from 15,000 unique users, according to MuniWireless founder Esme Vos. The average online time is 40 minutes during a 90-minute journey, according to Esme.

27. Going Green: Esme predicted that the “green movement” and clean tech will be major drivers for municipal broadband. Public transportation with attractive WiFi services could assist that movement.

26. That’s A Lot of Devices: Roughly 14 billion things will be connected to the Internet by 2010, according to Forrester. —>
http://www.muniwireless.com/article/articleview/6559/1/23/
~

Watching WiMAX
by Kevin Fitchard
Telephony Online
10/22/07

Bountiful spectrum makes video a WiMAX fit, but there are limits. The aura around WiMAX has become overpowering of late. Anything that can be ascribed to an access technology has been ascribed to WiMAX: the bridging force of the digital divide, broadband anywhere, Wi-Fi on steroids. Proponents would have us believe WiMAX can do everything — and the latest feat they attribute to it is the ability to be the vehicle for delivering next-generation TV services.

That notion, however, may not be as far-fetched as it seems. While it’s unlikely WiMAX operators such as Clearwire and Sprint will launch multichannel linear TV services in the model of the cable providers, satellite companies and now the telecom service providers, TV and video services clearly have a place in the new WiMAX business model.

WiMAX operators are breaking from the old cellular models that created the “mobile Internet,” embracing WiMAX as a means to take the traditional Internet mobile. The difference is subtle, but the former carries with it notions of walled gardens, mobile-optimized content and managed content services, while the latter is the plain Internet — albeit uprooted from any static access line. That means customers will use the WiMAX broadband connection as they would any fixed broadband pipe. And following Internet trends, that means they’ll consume video by the gigabyte.

“Look at the number of people who are connecting over wireline today; it’s fair to say that broadband users will be doubling their traffic in the next few years, and much of that increase will be driven by video,” said Scott Richardson, chief technology officer of Clearwire. “We already know the baseline expectations we have for WiMAX.” —>
http://telephonyonline.com/wimax/news/telecom_watching_wimax/
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Trinity River Referendum Debate Heads To TV
CBS 11 (TX)
10/22/07

DALLAS – On Monday, Dallas iMedia Network is hosting a forum regarding the highly-debated Trinity River Referendum during its anchored program “iN Dallas.” The hour-long public access television program features numerous former and current Dallas city leaders discussing what it means if you vote “Yes” or “No” in regards to the referendum.

Dallas iMedia Network prides itself on interactivity within the Dallas community. Viewers are invited to e-mail questions in advance for the guests to answer by clicking here. Questions can also be called in during the live program at 214-271-4981. The program begins at 4:00 p.m. and can be seen live on Dallas iMedia Network (cable channel 27/95) or online at dallasimedia.net. —>
http://cbs11tv.com/consumer/local_story_295071224.html
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CBS, Comcast officials stress embrace of Internet
‘Old-line’ companies emphasize opportunities and dismiss any threats to longstanding business models
Computerworld
10/22/07

Representatives of older and new media companies detailed their embraces of the Internet Friday at the Web 2.0 Summit conference in San Francisco, with supposed old-line companies emphasizing opportunities and dismissing any threats to longstanding business models.

Executives from CBS, Comcast, Joost and Current participated in panel sessions on media operations and the Internet. While the Internet might be seen as potentially taking viewers away from traditional broadcast and cable television, panelists noted that TV viewership still accounts for several hours per person daily and continues on its 30-year trend upward.

Comcast and CBS officials both noted that the Internet can extend their businesses. “We love the Internet for a variety of reasons,” said Amy Banse, president of Comcast Interactive Media, which is responsible for the cable TV provider’s Internet businesses. People use Comcast’s pipe to access the Internet and Comcast is the largest residential ISP, she said.

But Comcast also believes in cable TV and that it will be around for a while, she said. “People thought that with television, radio would disappear and with cable television, broadcast television would disappear, and we all know that that hasn’t happened,” Banse said. —>
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9043540&intsrc=news_ts_head
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The Significance of Place for Public Access Media
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition
10/22/07

I’m beginning to see the light. The following is a synopsis of my proposed research (a working draft), thus far:

The rise in widespread adoption of global social-networking software has created challenges to previously established forms of locally focused communication. For over thirty years, cable access television in the U.S., a medium with a particular focus on localism and subsidized by cable companies, has served the public with tools for producing non-commercial programs for other individuals in their communities.

But as YouTube and other commercial video-sharing platforms grow in popularity, many authorities at the local, state and national levels are beginning to question the need for funding public access television in the digital age. As a result, these two spaces – virtual and physical – are being portrayed as separate and unequal. The purpose of this project is to bring them together. Its focus it to investigate how the practice of public access media benefits from the social interplay between virtual and physical spaces. Furthermore, it seeks to understand the role of the community media center, as place, in enabling new forms of human interaction at the intersection of public access television and the global social web.

Through comparative analysis this project will attempt to prove that place matters – and perhaps provides a foundation – for those who practice public access media across virtual and physical spaces. In order to test this hypothesis, the study poses the following questions: (1) What is the significance of the public access television center, as place, in the creation of meaning for those who participate in this form of community media production? (2) How does the augmentation of virtual space onto the physical place of community media practice reveal itself in identifiable and/or transferable ways? (3) What can be learned about human agency by making problematic the claim of separate and unequal in relation to the virtual and physical place of public access media?
http://cmediachange.net/blog/2007/10/22/the-significance-of-place-for-public-access-media/
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org