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February 17 2014

15:00

January 29 2014

12:29

Net Neutrality and You

On Tuesday a DC circuit court of appeals dealt what many are calling a death blow to net neutrality, the ... http://www.onthemedia.org/story/end-net-neutrality/

January 24 2014

03:46

Is Net Neutrality Dead? | On Point with Tom Ashbrook

Net neutrality and a fork in the road for the Internet. We’ll look at what the Internet is really going to be. Netflix’s Chief Content Officer  Ted Sarandos seen at the Netflix Signature Gala at 2013 TIFF, on Sunday, Sep, 8, 2013 in Toronto. Netflix is one of many companies that could be affected by a court-ordered change in the F.C.C.’s ‘net neutrality’ policy, where Internet Service Providers can charge different rates for different quantities of available data downloads. The streaming movie and TV provider requires access to massive amounts of data streaming to play video. (AP) One week ago today came a court ruling in Washington that could change almost everything about the Internet. At least, everything important to a lot of people. A Federal appeals court struck down the F.C.C.’s requirement of “net neutrality.” Internet service providers — big phone and cable companies — had been required to treat everything equal on the web. Now they’re not. They can package and tier and privilege and block and charge for web content like cable TV charges for HBO. That is still sinking in. This hour On Point: what the Internet is going to be, and the fate of net neutrality. – Tom Ashbrook Guests Brian Fung, technology policy reporter for The Washington Post. (@b_fung) John Bergmayer, senior staff attorney at Public Knowledge, a not-for-profit public interest group. (@bergmayer) Randolph May, President of the Free State Foundation. (@fsfthinktank) Jennifer Rexford, professor of computer science at Princeton University. Serves on the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Advisory Committee. (@jrexnet) From Tom’s Reading List Washington Post: 11 questions you were too afraid to ask about net neutrality — “Running a network is expensive. Some believe that if you use more data, you should pay for it — in the same way that your utility company charges you for using more water or more electricity. And companies that operate the networks are always looking for new ways to bring in revenue so that they can make more upgrades — or, if you’re a cynic, so that they can line their pockets.” Los Angeles Times:  ’Net neutrality’ ruling could be costly for consumers, advocates say –”The agency will consider appealing the decision or taking other options, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said, ‘to ensure that these networks on which the Internet depends continue to provide a free and open platform for innovation and expression and operate in the interest of all Americans.’ In the short term, the ruling left big telecom companies, small businesses, government agencies and consumers scrambling to understand its effect and making their cases about how they believe the FCC should proceed.” The Atlantic: No, Netflix Is Not Doomed By the Net Neutrality Decision — “There is an even easier solution for net-neutrality fans. The FCC could decide it has the political cover and popular support to declare broadband providers utilities, like landline phones or roads. This would make Internet providers subject to so-called ‘common carrier’ rules, which would keep them from discriminating against certain services, such as Netflix.” close http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/01/21/net-neutrality-fcc-netflix-streaming

January 21 2014

22:09

Confused About Net Neutrality? Brian Fung’s Got You Covered

Our Jan. 21 hour explored the tricky, technical world of Internet Service Providers and net neutrality, which to many listeners sounded like a lot of acronym soup and technical mumbo-jumbo. We think it’s an important concept to understand — especially after a D.C. Federal Appeals Court struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s long-standing position on web access.

That’s why we’re glad that Washington Post technology policy reporter Brian Fung was able to so expertly lay out the details of the ruling, and what comes next for the F.C.C. Take a listen, and sound informed at your next dinner party or tech policy conference (if you’re into that kind of thing).

Fung explained why people are making a fuss around this court case.

“One reason is that the Internet is obviously a major platform for innovation, and what happens to Internet policy could potentially determine a lot of how the Internet develops and what services we get down the road….What we could be looking at here is looking at services that charge you more for different uses or applications of the Internet. For example, Verizon could charge you a fee for watching, you know, Netflix over the Internet a different fee than it would charge you for say, using email. And what that could also mean is that you could chop it up and slice it up in different ways. So Verizon could start selling you a package of services, and those packages could be priced at different rates and consumers would have to pay for the services they were providing…In the court oral arguments, Verizon’s lawyer said if it weren’t for the net neutrality rules, they would absolutely be looking into these alternative business models.”

But wait, you might be saying. Why do people care so much? Fung said that net neutrality may have already been a part of your web experience without you even realizing it.

It’s been a central part of the Internet– that you should be able to access whatever content you see fit and have that traffic be treated equally no matter where you are or what plan you’re on. Now that could be treated completely different. You might have a situation where you’re trying to watch Netflix, and Netflix may have signed a preferential deal with one service provider, and on the other hand you try to watch Hulu, and Hulu  may not have signed any similar deal, and so that company gets thrown to the wayside….It’s not clear to me that it would be in companies’ interest to do that necessarily. Judging by the outcry that’s already taken place as a result of the net netutraliy decision, from public advocates , I think that companies that serve Internet would have a very hard time trying to block services outright. What you might see instead is much more, I don’t want to say sneaky, but much more subtle ways of routing internet traffic from place to place.

So, you might say now, what can the F.C.C. do to prevent this big change? Quite a lot, Fung said.

There are a couple of ways they could approach this at this point. The simplest way at this point that people have been pointing out is for the F.C.C. to simply classify Internet providers as similar to utilities that the F.C.C. regulates, which includes phone companies and wireless companies and so on. Doing that would allow the F.C.C. to get around the ruling in a totally legal manner, but that would be politically fraught, and so not a whole lot of people see a lot of promise in that approach…Another option would be to simply ask the D.C. Circuit Court to rehear the case, a process that would require a vote by all the judges on the court. And given that President Obama has been trying to put more judges on the court, presumably Obama’s nominess would be friendly to the Democratic agenda of his current F.C.C., so if you kind of imagine it as a party line kind of thing, you might see more judges voting in favor for a rehearing, and then that in turn would increase the chances that the F.C.C. would get a favorable outcome, kind of  like a do-over for the F.C.C.”

But the pro-con argument for net neutrality is not necessarily as bifurcated as “Democrats v. Republicans,” Fung cautioned.

“In some sense, it does fall along party lines if you imagine Republicans to be sort of representative of business, and industry players have very much been supported by Republicans in the part, than you could sort of see this as part of the issue. But on the other hand, matters of the Internet , and Internet policy are often transcendent of partisan politics. You have civil libertarians on the one hand who both come from the realm of libertarian politics as well as conservative and Democratic politics as well.”

So is it really curtains for net neutrality? Fung has a few ideas.

“At this point, it’s very hard to say. The F.C.C. chairman Tom Wheeler has said he intends  to take action on this. He’s suggested, although hasn’t said outright that he intends to appeal the decision. And whether that happens will  take place over the next sort of several months.”

And regardless of what happens, the arguments against net neutrality will continue apace, he said.

“Verizon has been the most vocal, most outspoken business fighting against net neutrality rules. The general argument has been that net neutrality rules aren’t strictly necessary, that a lot of businesses have done a lot to make sure that the Internet stays open to begin with,so this is kind of a solution looking for a problem. There’s consumers who potentially lose out quite a bit on this ruling.”

And still, Fung cautions, there’s more to come in the case.

“This battle isn’t over yet. There’s still gonna be quite a lot that the F.C.C. can do and probably will do in the coming months so I wouldn’t say that this is all over…There’s an argument that at the margins, giving companies the ability to charge other companies for different service for access to subscribers would harm innovation and would prevent start ups from growing and help keep incumbents on top. The argument there is basically, if I’m Netflix and I’m trying to reach a consumer, say Verizon’s consumer, and Verizon is charging me, Netflix, for the right to access that Verizon subscriber, that’s an extra charge that Netflix can pay that  a smaller start up may not be able to pay.”

For more clarity on the net neutrality issue, we highly recommend the work of the fine folks at WNYC’s On The Media, who have covered this story in depth longer than anybody else out there. We also recommend this helpful flow chart from the liberal media watchdog organization, Media Matters, who do as good a job as anybody explaining why you might want to care about net neutrality.

What do you make of the net neutrality debate? Is there something to be concerned about here? Or will Internet Service Providers continue to leave things as open as they’ve been? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook, Tumblr and @OnPointRadio.

09:50

Is Net Neutrality Dead?

Net neutrality and a fork in the road for the Internet. We’ll look at what the Internet is really going to be.

Netflix's Ted Sarandos seen at the Netflix Signature Gala at 2013 TIFF, on Sunday, Sep, 8, 2013 in Toronto. Netflix is one of many companies that could be affected by a court-ordered change in the F.C.C.'s 'net neutrality' policy, where Internet Service Providers can charge different rates for different quantities of available data downloads. The streaming movie and TV provider requires access to massive amounts of data streaming to play video. (AP)

Netflix’s Chief Content Officer  Ted Sarandos seen at the Netflix Signature Gala at 2013 TIFF, on Sunday, Sep, 8, 2013 in Toronto. Netflix is one of many companies that could be affected by a court-ordered change in the F.C.C.’s ‘net neutrality’ policy, where Internet Service Providers can charge different rates for different quantities of available data downloads. The streaming movie and TV provider requires access to massive amounts of data streaming to play video. (AP)

Guests

Brian Fung, technology policy reporter for The Washington Post. (@b_fung)

John Bergmayer, senior staff attorney at Public Knowledge, a not-for-profit public interest group. (@bergmayer)

Randolph May, President of the Free State Foundation. (@fsfthinktank)

Jennifer Rexford, professor of computer science at Princeton University. Serves on the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Advisory Committee. (@jrexnet)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: 11 questions you were too afraid to ask about net neutrality — “Running a network is expensive. Some believe that if you use more data, you should pay for it — in the same way that your utility company charges you for using more water or more electricity. And companies that operate the networks are always looking for new ways to bring in revenue so that they can make more upgrades — or, if you’re a cynic, so that they can line their pockets.”

Los Angeles Times:  ’Net neutrality’ ruling could be costly for consumers, advocates say –”The agency will consider appealing the decision or taking other options, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said, ‘to ensure that these networks on which the Internet depends continue to provide a free and open platform for innovation and expression and operate in the interest of all Americans.’ In the short term, the ruling left big telecom companies, small businesses, government agencies and consumers scrambling to understand its effect and making their cases about how they believe the FCC should proceed.”

The Atlantic: No, Netflix Is Not Doomed By the Net Neutrality Decision — “There is an even easier solution for net-neutrality fans. The FCC could decide it has the political cover and popular support to declare broadband providers utilities, like landline phones or roads. This would make Internet providers subject to so-called ‘common carrier’ rules, which would keep them from discriminating against certain services, such as Netflix.”

January 17 2014

09:01

Week In The News: Bad Water, School Shooting, Net Neutrality

Poisoned water in West Virginia. Net neutrality takes a hit. Another school shooting – New Mexico. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Water buffaloes are made available to local residents in South Charleston, W.V. to fill coolers and other containers at the GeStamp Stamping Plant-South Charleston Sunday morning, Jan. 12, 2014. The ban on using water for drinking, washing and cleaning remains in effect following the chemical spill Thursday in the Elk River that has contaminated the public water supply in nine counties. (AP)

Water buffaloes are made available to local residents in South Charleston, W.V. to fill coolers and other containers at the GeStamp Stamping Plant-South Charleston Sunday morning, Jan. 12, 2014. The ban on using water for drinking, washing and cleaning remains in effect following the chemical spill Thursday in the Elk River that has contaminated the public water supply in nine counties. (AP)

Guests

John Heilemann, national affairs editor at New York Magazine and MSNBC political analyst. Co-author with Mark Halperin of “Double Down: Game Change 2012” and “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin and the Race of a Lifetime.” (@jheil)

Nancy Cordes, Congressional correspondent for CBS News.  (@nancycordes)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN: ’Pay to play’ on the Web?: Net neutrality explained — “How would you like to have to pay a fee to be able to stream YouTube videos at full speed? What if you liked downloading music from, say, Last.fm or Soundcloud, but those sites suddenly became infinitely slower than bigger sites like Amazon or iTunes? Those are the kind of major changes to the Internet some folks are envisioning after a federal court ruling this week on what’s come to be called ‘net neutrality.’”

Politico: House approves bipartisan spending bill — “The House approved and sent to the Senate a landmark $1.1 trillion spending bill that fills in the blanks of December’s budget agreement and sets a new template for appropriations for the remainder of President Barack Obama’s second term. Adopted 359-67, the giant measure literally touches every corner of government. And more than any single document to date, it defines the new budget reality that faces the president and his activist agenda.”

Reuters: Pregnant women warned off West Virginia water in cleared areas — “One week after the spill into the Elk River prompted authorities to order some 300,000 people not to drink or wash with their tap water, officials have cleared more than 200,000 of them to start drinking the water again after tests showed levels below the 1 part per million level safety standard set by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But pregnant women should continue to steer clear of the water in an ‘abundance of caution’ until the chemical is completely undetectable, West Virginia American Water said.”

01:39

Tech News Today 922 | TWiT.TV

The end of Net Neutrality? Windows Phone on Android? Getting a paycheck in Bitcoins, and more. http://twit.tv/show/tech-news-today/922

April 30 2011

06:41

March 25 2011

17:00

RSA - The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

The Internet Age: an era of unprecedented freedom in both communication and culture. However each major new medium, from telephone to satellite television, has crested a wave of similar idealistic optimism, before succumbing to the inevitable undertow of industrial consolidation. Every once free and open technology has, in time, become centralised and closed; a huge corporate power taking control of the 'master switch.' Today, as a similar struggle looms over the internet, increasingly the pipeline of all other media, the stakes have never been higher. Tim Wu is a Columbia Law professor, author, policy advocate, who first coined the phrase "net neutrality". He visits the RSA to deliver an essential review of information technology history and to share his unique insight into the next chapter of global communications. Speaker: Timothy Wu, Professor at Columbia Law School, policy advocate and author of The Master Switch (Atlantic Books, 2011). Chair: Tom Chatfield, author, tech and cultural commentator and game writer. http://www.thersa.org/events/audio-and-past-events/2011/the-rise-and-fall-of-information-empires

March 24 2011

18:01

An Open Internet: The Last, Best Hope for Independent Producers

Al Franken Senator US Senate Senator Al Franken was born on May 21, 1951, and grew up in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. He graduated from Harvard in 1973, where he met his wife Franni. They've been married for 33 years, and have two children: daughter Thomasin, 28, and son Joe, 24. Al spent the last 37 years as a comedy writer, author, and radio talk show host and has taken part in seven USO tours, visiting our troops overseas in Germany, Bosnia, Kosovo and Uzbekistan - as well as visiting Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait four times. In 2008, Al was elected to the Senate as a member of the DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) Party from Minnesota, and was sworn in July of 2009 following a statewide hand recount. He currently sits on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee; the Judiciary Committee; the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and the Committee on Indian Affairs. Al is a long-time advocate for affordable, accessible health care, an economy that works for our middle class, the protection of a secure retirement, the promise of a 21st century education for our kids, and the creation of a green economy that creates jobs and improves our environment. http://schedule.sxsw.com/events/event_IAP000380

March 20 2011

21:31

Tech Weekly podcast at SXSW 2011 | Technology | guardian.co.uk

This week's Guardian technology podcast comes to you from the South by Southwest interactive festival in Austin, Texas. Every year, the geeks descend on this university town in central Texas, and now, on its 18th anniversary, the SXSW event is far bigger than ever. There are 20,000 people here for this show alone, with 25 tracks of content taking place in venues throughout the city, tackling topics as varied as the invisible game layer, the future of journalism, how to take code to the next level, and how to create a personal cult. Mostly, it seems to be about being "awesome" and "how to rock" things, if you go by the titles on the schedule. In this programme Jemima Kiss meets some of the many Brits in town here for business. We find out what really is unique about the web, and we'll get designer, performer and digital joy-maker Ze Frank's views on how SXSW has evolved over the years. Tim Wu reflects on previous revolutions in communications, such as the telephone and radio, and offers some thoughts on the future of the internet and net neutrality. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/audio/2011/mar/15/tech-weekly-sxsw-2011-interactive

August 15 2010

21:44

Gillmor Gang 08.13.10

The Gillmor Gang — Robert Scoble, Danny Sullivan, Andrew Keen, and John Taschek — on Google/Verizon and Oracle/Android. Recorded live Friday, August 13, 2010.
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