Broadband/Cable

Why media and journalism scholars support network neutrality

Bill Herman, Save the Internet

Academic associations tend to be politically conservative.

I don't mean that they revere Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman, though plenty of scholars do. Rather, each group – representing a field's professors and graduate students – tends to evade controversy, rarely taking a public stance on an issue that might divide the membership.

Thus, it is remarkable that the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) has declared its support for Network Neutrality.

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Rep. Edwards urges peers to sign net neutrality petition

Broadband Breakfast

Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland sent a letter to her colleagues on Wednesday urging them to sign a petition supporting the principles of network neutrality.

“The rulemaking process is an unprecedented opportunity to protect and promote consumer choice, competition, and innovation on the Internet,” she wrote to her peers, adding that without the “open flow of information on the Internet much of the progress in the 20th and 21st centuries would never have taken place.”

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New FCC commish challenges minority groups on net neutrality

Matt Lasar, Ars Technica

The Federal Communications Commission's newest Democrat, Mignon Clyburn, had some interesting comments to make about net neutrality on Friday at the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council's Social Justice summit. They came as the rush to stop the FCC from implementing its proposed Internet non-discrimination rules is in full force. And leading the charge are groups that, ironically, say they're opposed to discrimination, among them the MMTC.

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The Conservative case for net neutrality

Bill Snyder, InfoWorld

Hey there, conservatives: Net neutrality is your issue, too.

Innovation, economic growth, and the health of content providers are what's at stake as the FCC moves toward a new set of rules governing the Internet. Until now, much of the discussion about the future of the Internet has focused on issues like freedom of expression, fairness, and metered pricing -- real concerns, to be sure. But a pair of academic research papers circulated by the Open Internet Coalition puts the issue in economic perspective.

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Low income, rural, Native American, African American and Latino communities call for an open Internet

MAG-Net

In an historic day for the Federal Communications Commission and the Internet, the Media Action Grassroots Network, ColorofChange.org, Presente.org, Applied Research Center, Afro-Netizen, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Native Public Media and Rural Broadband Policy Group submitted a range of grassroots stories and comments from urban, rural and struggling sub-urban communities in response to the Commission's notice of proposed rule making "In the Matter of Preserving the Open Internet and Broadband Industry Practices."

The groups' comments speak to the urgent need for an open and free Internet for low to no income, rural, Native American, African American and Latino communities.

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Why the Kankakee County Farm Bureau hates net neutrality

Nate Anderson, Ars Technica

The Kankakee County Farm Bureau wants to stop net neutrality. So does the Erie Neighborhood House, along with Downtown Springfield Inc, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties, and the mayor of North Chicago.

The organizations all share several things: they are located in Illinois, they want the FCC to focus on broadband adoption rather than net neutrality, and... they all have connections to AT&T.

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Federal agencies announce next round of broadband stimulus guidelines

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) today announced availability of $4.8 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grants and loans to expand broadband access and adoption in America. This is the second funding round for the agencies’ broadband programs. The investment will help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, and create jobs.

NTIA and RUS also announced the rules for applying in this funding round, which have been modified to make the application process easier for applicants and better target program resources.

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AT&T consultant conjures evidence to claim White House is soft on net neutrality

Tim Karr, Huffington Post

There's some buzz about a recent CNET article by Larry Downes claiming that the Obama administration is backing away from Net Neutrality.

Downes knits together a loose set of assumptions to make this case. And the usual suspects have amplified his argument as proof indisputable that Net Neutrality advocates are on the ropes.

It took Nancy Scola of The American Prospect to dig up dirt on Downes that CNET failed to disclose:

"[M]issing from Downes' scary op-ed on the Obama Administration's commitment to net neutrality: any mention that one of Downes' recent clients at the consulting firm Bell Mason Group is AT&T -- one of neutrality regulation's strongest opponents."

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Is the White House backing away from net neutrality?

Larry Downes, CNet

[commentary]

The Obama administration and its allies at the Federal Communications Commission are retreating from a militant version of Net neutrality regulations first outlined by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in September.

That's my reading of a number of recent developments, underscored by comments made by government speakers on a panel on the first day of a Tech Policy Summit at CES in Las Vegas.

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Doh! Canada responds to Yes Men hoax by zapping thousands of websites

Justin Elliot, TPM Muckraker

The Canadian government managed to temporarily wipe out 4,500 personal and small business Web sites last month as it frantically grappled with a climate change hoax by the Yes Men, enlisting the national cybersecurity agencies of Canada and Germany in the process, a Danish web hosting company and the Yes Men tell TPMmuckraker.

Yes Man Mike Bonanno, one of the marquee personalities of the lefty activist group, tells TPMmuckraker that the experience, in which a German Internet service provider shut down the Yes Men's parody Web sites in response to a Canadian demand, is "really unfortunate for free speech on the Internet. The kind of scary thing about this is that these hosting companies seem so eager to act in the interest of whoever has the most power."

The overzealous response by Canada echoes the Chamber of Commerce's handling of a similar hoax in December: namely, suing the Yes Men in federal court.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey