Tag: "freedom to connect"

Posted March 28, 2015 by lgonzalez

If you were not able to attend Freedom to Connect in New York on March 2 - 3, you can now view archived video of presentations from Chris and others.

Now that the FCC has made a determination that may change the landscape of Internet access, it is time to consider the future of municipal networks. In this discussion, Chris discusses passive infrastructure, including dark fiber and open access models as a way to encourage competition on the local level. Chris also looks at financing municipal networks in a fashion that takes into account public benefits created by fiber. He suggests steps elected officials can take now that will contribute to long term ubiquitous access in their communities.

You can also watch videos from other presenters including Joanne Hovis, Hannah Sassaman, and Jim Baller at the F2C: Freedom to Connect 2015 Livestream page.

Chris's presentation is posted here and runs just over 20 minutes:

 

Posted March 10, 2015 by christopher

After the FCC decisions to remove barriers to community networks and to reclassify Internet access as a Title II service to enforce network neutrality rules, Lisa and I spend some time discussing the decision and reactions to it.

We also discuss my presentation at Freedom to Connect, where I offer some thoughts on what communities can do in the long term to ensure we end scarcity and the corporate monopoly model of Internet access.

Though we will continue to fight against barriers to local choice and work to ensure every community has the authority to choose the model that best fits it, we plan to spend more time examining how Internet access can be built as infrastructure rather than as for a specific service from a single provider.

Read the transcript from this show here.

We want your feedback and suggestions for the show - please e-mail us or leave a comment below.

This show is 16 minutes long and can be played below on this page or via iTunes or via the tool of your choice using this feed.

Listen to previous episodes here. You can can download this Mp3 file directly from here.

Find more episodes in our podcast index.

Thanks to Persson for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is "Blues walk."

Posted February 17, 2015 by lgonzalez

If you are still contemplating whether or not to trek to New York City on March 2nd and 3rd for Freedom to Connect 2015, now is the time to take action. Tickets are going fast and seats are limited. ATTENDANCE IS BY REGISTRATION ONLY and this year the event is hot!

Register online through EventBrite.com.

A working agenda has just been posted. An email from David Isenberg, who tirelessly plans and promotes the event every year, described some of the issues to be discussed:

  • The aspects of the Internet's protocol suite that make it the success it has become
  • The all-fronts attack on the Internet by the National Security Agency
  • How community controlled networks, especially the fiber to the home networks being built by communities such as Chattanooga TN and Wilson NC, as well as alternative networks being built by Google, Ting and others, are challenging incumbent telcos and cablecos
  • Title II as the centerpiece of the FCC Open Internet Report and Order

The agenda will continue to develop as planning progresses, so be sure to revisit.

Guest speakers include:

  • Chris Mitchell from ILSR and MuniNetworks.org
  • Susan Crawford, Cardozo Law School
  • Harold Feld, Public Knowledge
  • Jim Baller, Baller Herbst Stokes & Lide
  • Deb Socia, Next Century Cities
  • Gigi Sohn, FCC
  • Tim Wu, Columbia Law School

...and many, many others.

If you are unable to attend, you can still livestream Tuesday's event for a $25 fee. Sign up at http://freedom-to-connect.cleeng.com/.

Posted January 7, 2015 by lgonzalez

Once again it is Freedom to Connect time! On March 2nd and 3rd, New York City's Civic Hall will light up with people like you who understand, appreciate, and cherish connectivity. You can register now at F2C15.eventbrite.com. For a limited time, special earlybird pricing is available.

This is shaping up to once again be and incredible event. You can see videos from the 2013 event here. From the speakers to the live music, this is not an event to be missed!

Chris will be back to present again as will Susan Crawford, Elliot Noss of Ting, and others. More distinguished speakers are being added to the line up as the event approaches. You can get more updates on the website or on Twitter at #F2C15. 

Here is a brief excerpt from the website:

F2C: Freedom to Connect provides a platform for understanding the social utility of infrastructure, for innovation, for creativity, for expression, for little-d democracy. The Freedom to Connect is about an Internet that supports human freedoms and personal security. These values are dear to many of us whose consciousness has been shaped by the Internet, but they are often at odds with the values of mainstream media, Wall Street and governments around the world.

Posted March 14, 2013 by christopher

My presentation from Freedom to Connect on why we should support Community Owned Internet networks. Unfortunately, the video starts about 1 minute into the presentation. Please leave feedback below.

Posted March 3, 2013 by christopher

Freedom to Connect starts on Monday morning, March 4, at 9 AM EST and should not be missed. If you cannot make the live event in Silver Spring, Maryland, you can join from afar.

That's right, there will be a livestream and for a $25 fee, you can join the backchannel discussion.

This conference has some incredible presenters ... and also me - Christopher Mitchell - giving a keynote in the opening session. I'll also be joining the Democracy Now show at 8 AM EST to talk about community owned networks. They also have a livestream at their site.

 

Posted January 9, 2013 by christopher

If we want to protect the open Internet and expand access to fast, affordable, and reliable connections, we need to organize. There are few better ways to organize or get inspired than in-person events with great speakers and time to chat with others.

I will be at both Freedom to Connect and the National Conference for Media Reform and strongly encourage you to sign up with the early bird rates now available.

The first is Freedom to Connect (F2C) just outside Washington, DC, at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland.

F2C: Freedom to Connect is designed to bring under-represented people and issues into the Washington, DC based federal policy discussion. F2C: Freedom to Connect revolves around three central topics.

The first is an open infrastructure owned or controlled by and responsive to the community it serves and whose resources it depends upon. The second is a publicly specified set of Internet protocols open to all who meet its specifications. The third is the use of the Internet to promote government of, by and for the people, and to counteract autocratic government power.

To learn who will address each topic, visit F2C. Below is a short video with some of the fun moments of this conference in 2012. (You can see the presentations and panels from 2012 here.)

Register by Jan 18 to get the early bird discount: $195. Don't forget, this event always has world-class music between sessions -- always a great experience.

NCMR Logo

One month after F2C, Free Press is holding the National Conference for Media Reform (NCMR) in Denver on April 5-7.

I spoke at the last NCMR and will be on at least one, possibly several panels in Denver to discuss community owned broadband networks and Internet policy. This event attracts great people and the conversations in the halls around presentations never fail to...

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Posted June 3, 2012 by christopher

Susan Crawford was one of the featured presenters at Freedom to Connect 2012 and her presentation was noted by Tech Dirt:

To support her thesis, Crawford presented some stunning numbers. In the last two years, Comcast market share has grown from 16.3 million subscribers to 18.5, a 14 percent growth. Time Warner Cable has grown 10 percent, from 9.2 to 10.7 million customers. Meanwhile, DSL subscribers have plummeted: AT&T and Verizon market share is down 22 and 21 percent respectively.

So, while it's good to be Comcast, it's not good to be an American citizen. Without competition, there's no drive to improve the service. The average speed of an Internet connection in the United States is around 5Mbit/s. An astoundingly low number if you look at other western countries. South Korea, for example, has an average of 50Mbit/s. And faster connections are starting to be implemented around the world.

Posted May 27, 2012 by christopher

In a recent editorial (May 24 issue), The New Republic argued that the Obama Administration was doing a decent job on Internet policy and obliquely referenced an article discussing carrier opposition to community broadband. The op-ed begins,

Politicians aren’t always especially thoughtful about, or even familiar with, information technology. George W. Bush used the term “Internets” during not one but two presidential debates. The late Alaska Senator Ted Stevens famously referred to the World Wide Web as a “series of tubes.” And John McCain drew ridicule in 2008 when he conceded that he was still “learning to get online myself.”

Much worse than these gaffes, however, are some of the policies that have been promoted by lawmakers and candidates who seem to fundamentally misunderstand the importance of a free and open Internet. In recent years, we have seen politicians accede to the interests of giant telecom companies rather than support net neutrality; propose anti-piracy bills that threaten Internet freedom; and, as Siddhartha Mahanta recently documented at TNR Online, block poor communities from receiving broadband access.

Good to see this issue being discussed outside of the standard tech circles. Especially when outlets like the New Republic explicitly call for more wireless subscriber protections:

There are, of course, ways in which the administration has disappointed. Even when the White House has done the right thing on Internet issues, it has not always acted as speedily or as forcefully as it might have. Moreover, it has not always done the right thing. Particularly striking was the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision, in late 2010, to exempt mobile carriers from new rules protecting net neutrality. The FCC’s step blocks Internet service providers from slowing down or preventing access to the content of their competitors—but it only applies to wired, not wireless, providers.

While many of us are hopeful that the government will take a stronger hand in preventing carriers from disrupting the open Internet, Vint Cerf (one of the fathers of the Internet) rightly warns us that overall...

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Posted January 20, 2012 by christopher

One of the great conferences, Freedom to Connect, is back for 2011! I'll be in Washington, DC, (well, Silver Spring to be accurate) on May 21-22 to mingle with and learn from a lot of great people that have helped to create the Internet of today and are creating the Internet of tomorrow.

Very early bird registration is now open but ends on January 31.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Vint Cerf, Cory Doctorow, Rebecca MacKinnon, and Aaron Swartz. The program is still being put together - check in from time to time to catch the latest updates.

We'll be talking about community broadband in addition to myriad other issues where democracy intersects with communication.

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