Tag Archives: Net Neutrality

Event: How the Internet Works – and how to Protect Freedom Online

This is a great upcoming event, and NYCwireless will be there:

Voterbook Manhattan, the Media and Democracy Coalition, People’s Production House and Free Press invite you to a panel and town hall:

WHEN: Saturday, April 3, 2 p.m.
WHERE: P.S. 20, the Anna Silver School
166 Essex Street, Lower East Side

A town hall discussion and panel about Internet access, what it means in our community, the threats from big cable and phone companies to censor your speech online – and how you can fight back.

Kris Rios, media policy associate with People’s Production House
Tim Karr, campaign director with Free Press
Dr. Michael Livermore, director of the NYU School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity
… and more!

Free and open to all. We will be screening some of the People’s Production House documentary “The Internet is Serious Business,” taking questions, and having a lively discussion.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Jeff Kurzon at jeffkurzon@gmail.com, or Hannah Miller at hmiller@media-democracy.net or 215-888-8036.

We look forward to seeing you!

Community Broadband Hearing at Columbia University on Dec. 11

UPDATE: This is a Community Broadband Hearing by Columbia University, not an FCC Field Hearing. Sorry for the confusion!

Friend Bruce Lincoln, Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Engineering’s Center for Technology, Innovation & Community Engagement, sent us an invite for a Community Broadband Hearing taking place next Friday, December 11 at Columbia. I’m planning to attend, and suggest those of you that fill the different roles outlined below attend as well.

If you are planning on attending, leave a comment so we can find you!

It is important that members of the local community have an opportunity to participate in the National Broadband Planning process which is currently underway in Washington.

Toward that end, I invite you to participate in an FCC Field Hearing on Friday, December 11, 2009 at Columbia University in New York. The meeting will be held in Davis Auditorium from 8:45 am until noon.

The field hearing will bring together policymakers, elected officials, not-for-profit organizations, small businesses, anchor institutions, public agencies, broadband providers, foundations, community-based organizations and community leaders, academicians, and researchers. Together we will share thoughts on how collectively we can ensure all New Yorkers have access to broadband and the educational, economic and social opportunities it can provide.

I hope you will be able to attend as a representative of your organization or constituency. To fully understand the importance of broadband access from all points of view, your participation is vital. The agenda includes a “community visioning session” where you will have an opportunity to share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns with the group.

You can confirm your attendance via e-mail to bl2317@columbia.edu.


Friday, December 11, 2009
Davis Auditorium, Columbia University
8 am-noon

8:00 Registration and Breakfast
8:45 Welcome (Bruce Lincoln, Columbia Engineering)
8:50 Opening Remarks (Dean, Feniosky Pena-Mora, Columbia Engineering)
9:00 “An Overview of the New York State Broadband Vision and Strategy” (Edward Reinfurt, Executive Director, New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation, NYSTAR)
9:30 “Vision of New York City’s Broadband Future” (Gale Brewer, Chair, Committee on Technology and Government, New York City Council)
9:40 Short Break
9:45 Practitioners Panel Session
10:15 Audience Q&A
10:30 Community Visioning Session
11:30 Wrap-up
12:00 Adjournment

AT&T Going to Provide a Filtered Internet all in the Name of Copyright Protection?

David Isenberg talks on his blog about how AT&T is going to filter all of the internet they provide looking for copyright violations. He importantly teases apart the difference between filtering for copyright violations and general network congestion management:

I nominate the end-user to make the decision. If, as I propose above, Internet access providers were to provide explicitly different tiers of service for different, explicitly laid out throughput plans charged at different rates, the user could make that decision. And it would be a free market decision that even a libertarian would love. The carrier would need to decide whether to (a) eat the cost of upgrading its infrastructure to allay the risk of losing customers to bad performance or (b) implement tiered service to save network upgrade costs but risk losing customers who don’t like paying for tiered service. But, hey, that’s business.

Carriers know all this. But, as it turns out, they don’t want to frame the picture simply because they don’t want to be in the Stupid Network business. They’re addicted to adding value. They’ve convinced one class of customers, music and movie moguls, that they can add value for them. Importantly to the carriers, the value they propose to add is network-resident value; the return of the Intelligent Network. Network-resident value is business as usual, even when it imposes huge costs on the rest of society. This is why they persist in framing the two issues as inter-related.

Harold Feld also has weighed in on David Weinberger’s blog:

Which leads to my final point. The very idea of traffic control is that you have to give the ISP the power to decide what is best. But wouldn’t it actually MAXIMIZE network efficiency to treat capacity as a spot market and let users decide? This does not require any great sophistication (assuming the right software). Furthermore, because we keep hearing that it is a relatively few number of sophisticated “bandwidth hogs” that are causing all the heartburn, altering the incentives of these few highly sophisticated actors to change their behaviors will have a substantial global effect.

But the Telcos and Cable Cos do not like this choice, because they want to own the customer.

Broad Coalition Fights for Net Freedom

FreePress just launched the Save the Internet campaign and website, where you can find out more about the battle that is being fought to keep our internet freedoms (free as in unfettered access, not free as in no cost). I’d recommend that everyone read and contact their Senators and Representatives in order to make sure that telcos and cablecos don’t restrict our access to information.

Save the Internet

The SavetheInternet.com Coalition launches April 24 to urge Congress to take immediate steps to save the First Amendment of the Internet — a principle called “network neutrality” that ensures that the Web remains open to innovation and progress.

Congress is about to vote on a bill that would ruin network neutrality by letting big phone and cable companies set up toll booths along the information superhighway. Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are spending tens of millions in Washington to kill any protection of the free and open Internet.

This bill would let these network giants become Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow — and which won’t load at all.

Only giant corporations will be able to afford to pay their toll for speedy delivery. The rest of us will be detoured to the “slow lane” — clicking furiously and waiting for our favorite sites to download. Coalition members are reaching out to millions of constituents in a broad campaign to tell Congress to save net neutrality now:


Our elected representatives are trading favors for campaign donations from phone and cable companies. They’re being wooed by people like AT&T’s CEO, who says “the Internet can’t be free” and wants his company to decide what you do, where you go and what you watch online.

The best ideas rarely come from those with the deepest pockets. If the phone and cable companies get their way, the open and free Internet could soon be fenced in by large corporations. If Congress turns the Internet over to AT&T, everyone will suffer.

The SavetheInternet.com Coalition was formed to prevent Internet gatekeepers from blocking or discriminating against new economic, political and social ideas. We are mobilizing millions of Americans to urge Congress to preserve the free and open Internet.

We must act now or lose the Internet as we know it.