Th is is just a quick post to see if the Twitter Tools plugin I just installed actually works. If we get this just right, I post on this blog, it sends up a tweet to Twitter, which gets picked up by VCAM’s Facebook feed, then sent to FriendFeed, which in turn auto-generates a blog post, which gets Twittered, etc…
The Federal Communications Commission said this week that Comcast’s attempt to revise the practices it uses to manage Internet traffic unfairly favors its own voice Internet service.
The last day at the FCC of Kevin Martin, the outgoing Republican chief, was Tuesday, which leaves the issue to his successor. Democratic sources say the new chairman will be technology executive Julius Genachowski, who advised President Barack Obama on his technology agenda during the transition period.
“The president has long been a supporter of net neutrality; his positions are clear,” said Ben Scott, policy director of the group Free Press, which urged the FCC to look into Comcast’s practices. “And Genachowski was the driver behind (Obama’s) technology platform.”
In a precedent-setting decision last year, the five-member FCC voted 3-2 to uphold a complaint accusing Comcast of violating the FCC’s open-Internet principles by blocking file-sharing services, such as those that distribute video and television shows.
“What this represents in my view is the commission taking seriously what it started with its investigation of Comcast,” Scott said.
The case became a flash point in a debate over a concept known as “network neutrality,” which pits open-Internet advocates against some Internet service providers, which say they need to take reasonable steps to manage ever-growing traffic on their networks for the good of all users.
Comcast, which is appealing the FCC’s earlier decision, has since revised its practices. But the FCC said in a letter this week that the company is still discriminating, this time in how it treats voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP, calls.
Pursuant to a relatively new California statute, 12 Los Angeles public access studios are shutting down, killing a vibrant and celebrated community of volunteer TV producers. According to the LA Weekly, the mayor reallocated the funds that provided the TV studios, staff and equipment to other areas of government, leaving only governmental and educational access centers operating, thereby eliminating the free speec aspect of LA access…
… due to a state law written for AT&T by former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the fall of 2006, cable-television companies are being allowed to escape a 31-year-old requirement to give back to the public from which they draw their riches. Lawmakers in a few weeks can finally shut up the little guys.
“It was clear when the law was written that it spelled the death knell of public access,” says Judy Dugan, research director of Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group in Santa Monica.
The LATimes offers some more perspective…
The new law is designed to make it easier for phone companies to enter into the lucrative cable market by relieving them of certain money-draining contractual obligations.
In Los Angeles, 12 public access studios that provided programming for 11 community channels have been closed by Time Warner Cable Inc. That means much of the city’s diverse, neighborhood-specific public access shows may disappear.
If that happens, Los Angeles cable subscribers would be losing an outlet for their particular communities’ programming, said David Hernandez, president of the Los Angeles Public Access Coalition.
“It’s the regional broadcasting capability that’s lost,” he said.
Twenty other states, including Texas, Nevada, Florida, Illinois and Michigan, have enacted legislation similar to California’s Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act, or DIVCA, according to the nonprofit Alliance for Community Media. In several of those states, the loss of production studios was bitterly fought by opposition groups to little avail.