Is Broadband Access a Public Utility?

Jay Owen Wealth of Networks, Information Technology Issues

Media Reform Daily

News of the movement for January 9, 2013


Future of the Internet

Is Broadband Internet Access a Public Utility?

Should broadband Internet service be treated as a basic utility in the United States, like electricity, water and traditional telephone service? That’s the question at the heart of an important and provocative new book by Susan Crawford. Crawford argues that the Internet has replaced traditional phone service as the most essential communications utility in the country, and is now as important as electricity was 100 years ago.

Sam Gustin, Time

How the TV Business Got Rich Off the Thing That Was Going to the Kill It: The Internet

Surely you’ve heard the news: The cable business is broken, the end of TV is nigh and it’s only a matter of time before the Internet does to television what it’s done to music and newspapers — obliterate the old business models and leave something shiny and new in their place. Maybe. Some day. For now, the dinosaurs still rule the world.

Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

West Virginia’s Broadband Incompetence Balloons

West Virginia is one of the worst connected states in the nation, something that was supposed to be helped by a $126.3-million federal stimulus grant intended to improve state broadband. Instead state leaders doled out most of that money to Verizon, which convinced state officials to spend it on ridiculously overpriced, overpowered and unused routers, and ridiculously overpaid consultants who haven’t actually accomplished anything.

Karl Bode, Broadband Reports

Free Wi-Fi in New York City, Thanks to Google

Google is starting free Wi-Fi in New York City, beginning with the district of Chelsea, in the west side of Manhattan.

Esme Vos, MuniWireless


Save the Internet

Will 2013 Be the Year Copyright Reformers Hit Back?

It’s a post-SOPA world. But the question is, what does that mean for the future?

Joe Mullin, Ars Technica

Vint Cerf: Internet Competition Has ‘Evaporated’ Since Dial-Up

Vint Cerf, co-creator of the Internet, said he is troubled by the prospect of companies like AT&T avoiding government regulation after the transition from traditional phone technology to all-IP networks. Already, he said, competition was decimated when the Internet moved from dial-up providers to cable companies and telcos.

Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

Pakistan Authorities Promise to Lift YouTube Ban Once Firewall Is in Place

Pakistani censorship issues that have been dogging firms like YouTube and Facebook over the past few years may soon be a thing of the past, says the country’s leader. Pervez Ashraf has promised that the ban that has affected YouTube will eventually be lifted.

Addy Dugdale, Fast Company


Media Policy at the FCC

The Telephone Network Is Obsolete: Get Ready for the All-IP Telco

Two months ago, AT&T petitioned the FCC to plan for the retirement of traditional phone networks and transition to what AT&T sees as an inevitability: the all-IP telco.

Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

Oregon Senator Introduces Bill Requiring ISPs to Justify Congestion-Related Usage Caps

Sen. Ron Wyden has introduced legislation that would force Internet service providers to prove usage caps are designed to manage network congestion and not monetize consumer data usage.

Phillip Dampier, Stop the Cap!

Emergency Responders Ask FCC to Expand Broadcasts

The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy and the shooting in Newtown, Conn., is renewing a push by emergency responders to expand a low-power AM radio service used to give travelers traffic information. From California to New Jersey, public-safety officials are urging the FCC to allow them to expand the information they can broadcast on the stations beyond the congestion and traffic stories that are the staple of the service.

Brooks Boliek, Politico

Women’s Org Urges Obama to Name a Woman as Next FCC Chair

The Women’s Media Center, co-founded by Jane Fonda, is urging President Obama to nominate a woman as the next chair of the FCC.

Ted Johnson, Variety


Journalism and Beyond

Tentative Deal Reported in Chinese Censorship Dispute

A tentative agreement to defuse a newsroom strike by Chinese journalists over censorship controls in this southeastern provincial capital has been reached, and some reporters working for Southern Weekend, the newspaper at the heart of the dispute, were told that the paper would publish as usual on Jan.10, one journalist in the newsroom said.Edward Wong and Chris Buckley, New York Times

Standing Up for Freedom of the Press in Kazakhstan

Yevgeniya Plakhina, a young media activist from Kazakhstan, is asking supporters of free and independent journalism to sign a petition on behalf of her former newspaper, Respublika.Dan Kennedy, Media Nation