Items tagged "Open Access to Research"

Every Federal Communications Commission Chairman has one or two legacy-defining moments in his tenure. For Clinton FCC Chair (and PK Board member) Reed Hundt, it was pushing through the Children's Television programming rules and starting the transition to Digital TV. For the first George W. Bush Chair, Michael Powell, it was the media ownership battles and the adoption of the "four freedoms" that set out the Commission's expectation of consumers' Internet rights.

Current FCC Chairman Kevin Martin will be facing one of those moments in the coming weeks. On Wednesday, the FCC is expected to adopt an order that will begin to set the terms of the most valuable spectrum auction we have yet seen, and likely the last significant auction in our lifetimes. As I wrote about previously, this auction involves 60 MHz of spectrum that broadcasters are to return as part of the digital TV transition. The location (in the 700 MHz band) and characteristics of this spectrum make it ideal for the development of a third, nationwide broadband provider that could compete with the powerful broadband duopoly: telephone and cable companies. Indeed, Congress has made it clear that its expectation is that this auction will lead to the creation of a third broadband "pipe." But unless the FCC takes a very different course than it has in past auctions, this spectrum will most likely land in the hands of those very incumbents. The result is that instead of competition, the public will probably receive no more than so-called "4G" wireless services, which will be yet another service consumers will have to purchase in addition to their cellphone and broadband services.

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If you subscribe to the PK In the Know Podcast, you may already be aware of the most recent episode which was posted last week (thanks, Scott!). For this episode we replay a press conference call from The Save Our Spectrum Coalition. The coalition filed ex parte comments with the FCC on how it should use its auction of the valuable 700 MHz spectrum to create high-speed Internet service that will be a true competitor to broadband services offered by telephone and cable companies. The following coalition members participated in the call:

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Getting Serious About Spectrum Policy

April 5, 2007 Network Neutrality , Open Access to Research , Policy Blog , Spectrum Reform

PK and its public interest colleagues are getting serious about spectrum policy today. We are making three filings at the FCC that are intended to ensure that when the FCC auctions off very valuable spectrum in the near future, that 1) the spectrum is made available to a wide variety of bidders and 2) whoever wins the auction provides broadband services that are open and non-discriminatory. The premise is simple – the public airwaves should only be allocated to parties that serve the public interest, and there is no better way to do so than to ensure that consumers have unfettered access to the broadband Internet, including the right to attach to attach non-harmful equipment.

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Another great podcast episode

March 28, 2007 Open Access to Research , Policy Blog

The other day I suggested a few good podcasts. Our Open Access expert Peter Suber, saw the post and suggested another podcast episode, this one from The Chronicle of Higher Education, an interview with Brewster Kahle, where he discusses the Open Content Alliance and copyright.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Perhaps we should come up with a page with interesting podcasts?

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Is There “Enough” Broadband Competition? And How High Is Up?

February 5, 2007 FCC , Network Neutrality , Open Access to Research , Policy Blog

Last week, the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau released the latest round of metrics on broadband deployment in the U.S. Called "High-Speed Services for Internet Access: Status as of June 30, 2006," the 23-page report assures us that just about every zip code has access to multiple "high speed" internet services (defined as 200 Kbps in one direction) and that many zip codes even multiple providers of "advanced services lines," which provide an astounding 200 kbps in BOTH directions!

Unsurprisingly, this has kicked off the usual argument about whether we have "enough" competition so that we don't need net neutrality or any other rules to keep the internet open.

Allow me to suggest a different approach. Asking if we have "enough" competition is a rather meaningless question. Like so many things "competition" is a rather flexible concept, and focusing on whether there

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Meanwhile, In Memphis . . . .

January 10, 2007 FCC , Municipal Wi-Fi , Open Access to Research , Policy Blog , Spectrum Reform

While my friends at PK get to enjoy the fun and toys at CES (someone pick me up a free Sling Box!), I am off to Memphis Tennessee for Free Press' National Conference on Media Reform (although I expect some of my friends now at CES will likewise join me there).

NCMR will bring together a large number of folks (over 3000) who care about issues central to the information commons: how to prevent a few gatekeepers from controlling the flow of information. On the agenda will include spectrum reform, network neutrality, franchising and cable public access, and media ownership.

One of the things NCMR underscores is the width, depth and complexity of the fight to prevent monopolization and propertization of information. As most folks by now realize, information does not "want" to be free any more than it "wants" to be owned or scarce. It's all about policy choices, and whether we as citizens chose to push for the right policy choices.

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Fantastic Op Ed By Michael Copps in Today’s Washington Post

November 8, 2006 FCC , Network Neutrality , Open Access to Research , Policy Blog , Spectrum Reform

FCC Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps has an excellent Op Ed in today's (11/8) Washington Post. America's Internet Disconnect.

In it, Copps touches on all the aspects of our failed broadband policy. He sums up the cost of our continued broadband failings nicely:

"The stakes for our economy could not be higher. Our broadband failure places a ceiling over the productivity of far too much of the country. Should we expect small-town businesses to enter the digital economy, and students to enter the digital classroom, via a dial-up connection? The Internet can bring life-changing opportunities to those who don't live in large cities, but only if it is available and affordable."

Copps is also careful to say that there is no "magic bullet" to solve these problems. But he does have a number of immediate suggestions:

1) Start doing real reporting rather than issuing reports designed to show how wonderful everything is;

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