Communications Rights

Bill Gates adds his voice to white spaces debate

Chloe Albanesius, PC Magazine

Bill Gates is jumping into the white spaces debate.

The Microsoft chairman on Monday spoke separately with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin and Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps to urge passage of a final white spaces rule on November 4.

"Mr. Gates observed that adopting the flexible operating rules advocated by the White Spaces Coalition is essential in enabling white space devices that will provide affordable broadband opportunities and create new markets for innovative applications and services," Edmond Thomas, senior technology policy adviser to the White Spaces Coalition, wrote in a Tuesday letter to the FCC.

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Portlanders face hurdle in switch to digital TV

by Mariah Summers, Willamette Week

Are you ready for Digital TV? If you're a Portlander, there's a good chance the answer is no.

Ready or not, all analog television channels are switching to the digital format in less than four months.

That means if you don't subscribe to cable or satellite and don't have a digital converter box—as is the case for almost one-quarter of Portland residents—your television will be about as useful as a brick come Feb. 17, 2009.

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DTV switch reveals hitch, as some viewers lose local stations

by Betsy Schiffman, Wired

The FCC learned a couple valuable lessons from the digital television switch in Wilmington, N.C. a couple weeks ago. First: Public awareness was not a problem. Second: Access to local affiliate stations' transmission was.

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Constitution Day and the role of the press in our democracy

Why US prisons want their digital television

Jim Davenport, Associated Press

The big switch to digital TV has prison officials scrambling to keep one of the most important peacekeeping tools in prisons across the nation – broadcast television. When the nation's broadcasters make the switch from analog to digital signals next Feb. 17, televisions that aren't hooked up to cable, satellite or a converter box will be reduced to static.

While TV might seem like an undeserved luxury for inmates, prison officials and inmates say the tube does more than fill year after year of idle hours – it provides a sense of normalcy and is a bargaining chip that encourages good behaviour.

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