Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
Content tagged with "media"Displaying 21 - 30 of 36
Local Voices Show Support for Local Connectivity Options
Our readers have heard the media murmur around municipal networks steadily grow to a loud hum during the past year. An increasing number of local press outlets have taken the opportunity to express their support for municipal networks in recent months.
In communities across the U.S. letters to the editor or editorial board opinions reflected the hightened awareness that local decisionmaking is the best answer. Support is not defined by political inclination, geography, or urbanization.
Last fall, several Colorado communities asked voters to decide whether or not to reclaim local telecommunications authority hijacked by the state legislature and Qwest (now CenturyLink) lobbyists in 2005. Opinion pieces from local political and business leaders in the Denver Post and the Boulder Daily Camera encouraged voters to support the measures. Downtown Boulder Inc. and the Boulder Chamber wrote:
Clearly a transparent public process is appropriate for identifying the best path to higher-speed infrastructure. One thing is certain. Approving the exemption to State Law 152 is a step in the right direction.
Expensive service, poor quality connections, and limited access often inspire local voices to find their way to the news. Recently, City Council Member Michael Wojcik from Rochester, Minnesota, advocated for a municipal network for local businesses and residents. His letter appeared in the PostBulletin.com:
If we want to control our broadband future, we need to join successful communities such as Chattanooga, Tenn., and Lafayette, La., and create a municipal fiber network. In many cities around the world, residents get 1 gigabyte, bidirectional Internet speeds for less than $40 per month. In Rochester, I get 1 percent of those speeds for $55 per month. I believe if Bucharest, Romania, can figure this out, Rochester can as well.
Boo! Share Your Comcast Horror Stories With Media Mobilizing Project
It was a dark and stormy night... A woman screamed! A shot rang out! You are gripped by the terror of your Comcast bill! No! No! Nooooo!
The Media Mobilizing Project knows how dealing with the most-hated company in America sends shivers up your spine. Now they want you to share your stories of terror at #Comcast HorrorStory. You can also find them on Facebook and relate your tales of bloodcurdling cable butchery.
Tell us your Comcast Horror Story! We at Media Mobilizing Project and CAPComcast.org know that many people have horrible times trying to get affordable rates and reliable service for their Comcast cable and internet.
In honor of Halloween, we want to hear your Comcast horror story! Did your bill make your blood boil? Does Comcast’s attempt to merge with competitor Time Warner Cable send chills down your spine? Tell us now, and on Halloween day we’ll share snippets from the top-10 scariest Comcast stories we see.
At the same time, we think it is "horror"-ble that Comcast pays less than 1/3 of the average taxes other PA businesses pay, with huge tax breaks on their headquarters in Philly -- while our City shutters public schools and cuts education to the bone.
You can also go to the CAPComcast.org website to share your story and sign their petition.
Can we handle the carnage? Only time will tell...
Media Roundup: Blackburn Amendment Lights Up Newswires
Rep Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and her love for large corporate ISPs was all over the telecommunications media this week. She attempted to kneecap the FCC as it explores options to restore local telecommunications authority to communities. Blackburn introduced an amendment attacking local options as the House took up general appropriations bill H.R. 5016.
The amendment passed 223-200, primarily along party lines, with most Republican Reps voting with Blackburn and all but two Democrats opposing the amendment.
Democrats voting to support the amendment included Georgia's 12th District's John Barrow and Jim Matheson from Utah's 4th District. If either of these gentlemen represent you, take a moment to call their offices and point out their voting mistake.
Republicans that voted No were Mike Rogers and Mo Brooks from Alabama's 3rd and 5th Districts. Charles Boustany from the 3rd District in Louisiana and Chuck Fleischmann from the 3rd District in Tennessee (includes Chattanooga) also opposed the restriction. If these elected officials represent you, please take a moment to contact them and thank them for breaking ranks to support local authority.
Coverage this week was fast and furious.
Sam Gustin from Motherboard reported on Blackburn's efforts. Gustin checked in with Chris:
"Blackburn's positions line up very well with the cable and telephone companies that give a lot of money to her campaigns," said Mitchell. "In this case, Blackburn is doing what it takes to benefit the cable and telephone companies rather than the United States, which needs more choices, faster speeds, and lower prices."
You Are Cordially Invited: June 17th Discussion on Cable Companies, Monopolies, and Community Networks
On Tuesday June 17th, Chris will be participating in a conversation hosted by the Media Consortium as part of its Media Policy Reporting and Education Program (MPREP). You are invited to sit in on what is sure to be a spirited discussion on community networks and the lack of competition in the cable industry.
What: Community Fiber Networks: A Realistic Solution to Cable Monopoly?
When: Tuesday, June 17, 3pm ET/ 12 PT
Who: Joining Chris will be:
Ryan Radia, Associate Director for Technology Studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He is critical of government-run or regulated projects in general, and specifically critical of community networks.
Wayne Pyle, City Manager and CEO of West Valley City, Utah's second largest municipality, and also chair of the board of UTOPIA, the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency, a community network serving 11 cities.
This is the first of several monthly briefings hosted by MPREP to discuss media policy issues. Everyone is welcome to participate. Register online for this discussion.
Local Media Sees Need for Municipal Network in Olympia, Washington
Local news editors seem inspired by the current network neutrality debate at the FCC. Newsrooms considering the prospect of paid prioritization are reassessing the value of municipal networks.
Not long ago, the Olympian ran an editorial offering the basics of municipal networks. Editors mentioned NoaNet, the statewide fiber project that brings access to a series of community anchor insitutions and approximately 260,000 people. The piece also acknowledges that port authorities and some Public Utility Districts (PUDs) offer fiber connections in several regions of the state. We have reported on a number of them, including Benton, Okanogan, and Chelan.
The editorial points out that the cities of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater have fiber and conduit they use for government operations. The cities share the fiber and conduit with the state Department of Transportation. The Olympian also notes that if a city wants to provide telecommunications services, its location is critical:
Republican Sen. Trent Lott championed a 1996 bill that prohibited states from blocking any entity that provides telecommunications services. Despite that far-sighted bill, big provider lobbyists have persuaded 20 states to pass legislation making open access difficult.
As suggested by other editors, The Olympian advocates for a municipal approach to curtail damage that will result if network neutrality disappears:
If approved, individual consumers in the South Sound and other U.S. communities can expect slower speeds for smaller services, nonprofits and independent content creators. Why pay for the “HOT” lane, unless traffic is backed up on the main line?
Public Access Media and Community Owned Networks - Community Broadband Bits Podcast #81
Solar Powered Wireless on the Reservation - Community Broadband Bits Episode #76
New Free Press Infographic: Stop the Corporate Cyclops From Gobbling Up Local Media
When we think of the enormous cyclops we don't usually imagine him in a suit and tie but the Free Press does and it works. In their recent Media Giants infographic, the Free Press uses the hulking one-eyed beast to represent corporate behemoths slowly taking control of our media through smaller shell companies.
As media power is consolidated, every one else's voices fade. We all become like the one-eyed cyclops: seeing things through his limited vision. The Free Press sums it up like this:
Media companies are using shady tactics to dodge the Federal Communications Commission’s ownership rules and snap up local TV stations across the U.S.
Gannett, Nexstar, Sinclair and Tribune are on major buying sprees. To grow their empires, these corporations are using shell companies to evade federal caps on how many stations one company can own. And so far the FCC has done nothing to stop this trend.
In some communities, one company owns two, three and even four local TV stations — and airs the same news programming on all of these outlets. The result: An echo chamber where all the news looks and sounds the same.
Take action now through the Free Press' campaign or contact your elected officials directly.