Posts by Chris Lewis:
After disasters, the FCC and the American people must decide not just whether to rebuild, but also how to rebuild.
August 29 will be the 8th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a storm that left a level of devastation and death in the Gulf Coast that horrified our nation. Soon after the storm in 2005 there was an open debate about whether it was smart to rebuild in cities such as New Orleans, where the cost to build back the city’s defenses against future storms was great due to the natural terrain and the level of technology needed to do the job. Residents had to choose if they would return to their homes and invest in making their communities whole again, or simply start over in a new town where the prospects where better.
This decision is not unlike what communities faced following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy along the New York and New Jersey coast in 2012. In both instances, residents decided that their community was “stronger than the storm” and that they would restore their communities back to a place that worked for all its people and businesses.
Even when they agree on what they want, Members of Congress excel at division and making a noncontroversial bill sound like the road to ruin.
FACT: Ask every member of the House Judiciary Committee if they support the right of consumers to unlock their cell phones so they can change service providers and they will say yes. All of them.
And yet for two hours Wednesday, Committee members engaged in heated debate and ultimately voted by a small margin to move the simple four page bill (H.R. 1123) sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte out of Committee and to the House floor for consideration and vote. This should not have been a controversial committee mark up, but many Members of Congress continue to be concerned about what this bill means, rather than what it actually does.
Senators are challenged to think outside the industry talking points, to what consumers are saying loudly in their marketplace choices.
As a part of a series of hearings, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on the “State of Video” communications Tuesday May 14, 2013.
Leaders from the cable, satellite, and broadcast TV industries joined PK’s own video & media policy guru, John Bergmayer on the panel and made one thing very clear: These industries are making a fine profit right now and are not interested in having the power of the Internet change that.
Hearings such as this, that have (somewhat) balanced witness panels are very helpful because they remind us that no matter how much we are told through advertising that what cable, satellite, and broadcast are giving us is what we want, these companies are in the business of protecting their business. The technology that can increase competition and lower the price of cable is already available in online video. Millions of viewers are making this choice to take advantage of online video options today.