A couple of short interesting stories this week:
The Chattanoogan.com published a "Declaration of Independence from Comcast", written by a "fi-oneer" or person who is testing the new publicly owned FTTH services.
Unsurprisingly, there are some glitches this early in the process, but the fi-oneer seems pretty happy with it overall:
The television is fantastic; we have a multitude of channels, both high def and non high def; local, 'cable,' sports, movies, etc. Contracts are still being completed with a couple of providers, so we are missing my favorite, HGTV. I have been told that it will be coming in less that two weeks.
Although as with any new product there are occasional glitches, but we have only had a few, minor not major ones, at that. The picture might freeze for a few seconds, or pixilate for a few seconds. There are some things you need to learn about the remote control.
Interestingly, early problems can actually help community networks. In Burlington, Vermont, early problems allowed the publicly owned network to demonstrate how good its customer service was compared to the incumbents and gained a better reputation.
More news out of Seattle - following up on our recent story noting Reclaim the Media's push for public broadband in Seattle, Seattle radio station KUOW's program "The Conversation" had some guests discussing the existing network in Tacoma and a potential network for Seattle. Follow that link to listen in, the relevant portion runs from 14 minutes to 21 minutes (a total of 7 minutes).
- Karl Bode at DSL Reports slams a recent report by incumbent-flack group Discovery Institute that concludes government regulation of broadband is unnecessary. Bode's response is worth reading, here is an excerpt:
All of this makes Swanson's whining about "groups that want heavier regulation" disingenuous, given men like Swanson just got done seeing more than a decade of sustained deregulation in the telecom sector thanks in large part to his own lobbying. The result was the United States setting new records for being thoroughly mediocre, given American consumers pay more money for less bandwidth than a significant number of developed countries.
The reality is, and always has been, that some regulation is good, and some is bad, with each effort requiring debate on its particular merits. Paid deregulatory zealots, blindly following their wallets and the calling of their handlers, are the primary reason the nation is one of very few with no substantive broadband policy whatsoever. The blind deregulation ship has sailed, with or without Mr. Swanson and his team of public relation magicians. If he runs, perhaps he can catch it and save us from another decade of pseudo-scientific nonsense.
- Finally, on Friday, you can catch me speaking at a panel on Friday, July 17, at the Alliance for Community Media Conference in Portland, Oregon.