Tales of the Sausage Factory

If Both Survive the Lirpa , We Will Continue With The Ahn'woon.

Alright Net Neutrality fans, policy wonks, and children of all ages. Bring your quatloos and tune your internet browsers to Von TV on March 11 at 2 p.m. to see THE ULTIMATE STEEL CAGE DEATHMATCH TAG-TEAM POLICY SMACKDOWN ON NETWORK NEUTRALITY!!!!

Yes! For the edification, enlightenment, and entertainment of the policy world, I, yr hmbl obdn’t blogger, with Comcast Complaint Co-Counsel Marvin Ammori of Free Press, will square off against Progress and Freedom Foundation President Ken “the Assassin” Ferree and Phoenix Center President Lawrence “Terminator” Spiwak on the burning issue of network neutrality. As House Subcommittee Chariman Ed Markey (D-MA) once said: “This is no country for old broadband.” And I, personally, can assure you, There Will Be Blood. (If by “blood” we mean some “civil but very intense, passionate debate”).

“Not since the last Latke v. Hamentashen Debate has so much intellectual fire power, passion, and eloquence been mustered in one place on a vital issue of public policy.” — Random Policy Person

“Great background while multitasking.” — Overworked FCC staffer.

“A fantastic series of debates for a fantastic series of tubes.” –Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)

So don’t you dare miss the action! Tuesday, March 11, 2 p.m., live on VonTV and absolutely free. I shall float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, as I and my co-counsel Ammori, make mincemeat out of Spiwak and Ferree!

Stay tuned . . . .

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Inventing the Future

Hat's-off to Ken (and treats on the tube)

I’ve written before about my belief that we’re inexorably entering — and some of us resisting — a paradigm shift in how humans think of information, imagination, creativity, freedom, and non-real property. So I was unexpectedly delighted to receive this letter to all of the university’s Division of Information Technology staff, from our new (heh heh) interim CIO, Ken Frazier. (Below the fold.)

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Too bad this didn't happen last week

Apparently, Comcast’s video on demand (VoD) version of ABC’s July 14 “Nightline” did not match the actual show. According to this report, the Comcast version on VoD eliminates a rather embarassing minute of film for Comcast. Was it deliberate censorship or an encoding error from ABC, as Comcast claims? We may never know for sure, but I wish it had happened last week while the FCC was still considering whether our claims that Comcast might censor news to millions if the FCc approved the Adelphia transaction were merely “idle speculation.”

More below . . . .

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Stevens Bill Score Card Pre-Mark Up

And what a mark up it will be! Senators have proposed hundreds of amendments (more than 250 at one point, but now down to something over a hundred as deals get done). Meanwhile, the Stevens Bill itself has undergone significant rewrite. You can find the final pre-mark up draft at Jim Baller’s site here. For comparison, you can read about the Democratic substitute here (and my brief summary of same here).

Below, a brief score card on some issues I singled out previously: Opening broadcast white spaces (still in, but facing a “poison pill” amendment from DeMint (R-SC)), program access (dropped by Stevens); Broadcast flag (sadly alive and well); Munibroadband (much improved, thanks in no small part to Jim Baller and the coalition of tech folks, muni orgs, and public interest folks put together by Jim Kohlenberger); and, of course, net neutrality (brought up to COPE levels, with some flavoring added to try to buy off the Christian conservatives).

Most importantly, the telcos have inserted a very nasty joker in the deck, known as “Section 1004.” This Section is designed to rig any post-legislation appeal by giving the D.C. Circuit exclusive jurisdiction over all things FCC. This would be a catastrophe not merely for network neutrality, but for media ownership and just about any other provision of law (and therefore merits a post of its own).

More details below . . . .

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

A 2-1 FCC?

Unbelievably, the vote on confirmation for Deborah Tate (the new Republican replacement for Kathleen Abernathy) and Michael Copps (Dem) (to sit another 5 year term) is delayed. Why? Because Senators act like 6 year olds.

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