Trump’s FCC chair Ajit Pai is a busy guy. Every month or two, a new piece of the precious little public interest media regulation we have left, goes on the chopping block.
The current victims are governmental, educational and public channels given to local communities as a benefit for a monopoly on using the cable infrastructure.
The FCC’s proposed rules would let cable companies count in-kind benefits as payments towards franchise fees, basically taking a huge chunk out of the funds that pay for governmental and public access TV and forcing cities and counties to make up the difference out of their general funds, or reduce services.
Comcast doesn’t need a discount on the pitifully small amount they provide in public benefits in exchange for the rights of way.
At the Magic Theater, old age is when time and objective reality start to melt. In Old Age, a cycle play from Mfoniso Udofia, in a multi-play series chronicling a Nigerian family in the United States.
When In Old Age begins, matriarch Abasiama gets an unwelcome knock at the door from a handyman hired by her children to fix up her old house, specifically the rotting wood floors. The play takes a few shot at the indignities of old age, including aching knees, difficulty moving furniture, not wanting to get up in the morning or change clothes, and dedication to television programs, but then moves on to the main event of old age as a portal between then and now and between the life of the mind and the life of the world.
As the two grouse and “get to know each other”, primarily on the basis of the workman wanting to get the job done, and the old woman resisting this unasked-for but somewhat welcome invasion, boundaries of all kinds start to slip and shift and merge. Time, space, and inanimate objects all get way too fluid as the two protagonists enter their battle, which is fundamentally a battle to connect.
For the handyman Azell Abernathy, played with charm by Steven Anthony Jones, the battle is unwelcome. What he really seems to want is to do the job and get out with joviality intact, but he cannot, and ends up confessing to a painful past, unable to answer Abasiama’s relentless inquiry whether or not he is a good man.
For Abasiama, whose past lacks a narrative but metaphorically occupies the beaten down house filled with junk and rotting floorboards, the struggle is to redirect from that vivid relationship with that past, illustrated by the groaning and muttering of the house she lives in, towards another person.
In the end, after the sort of violent transition that rips at both of them, they find themselves speaking each other’s truths, at least for a while.
The FCC has told a federal court that it was reasonable to reinstate the UHF discount immediately while it considers adjusting the national audience reach cap, that it has the authority to adjust that cap, and that the discount and the cap have to be considered together because the UHF discount is meaningless except in relation to the cap.
That came in an opening brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the challenge to its UHF decision filed by Free Press, Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ (UCC), Prometheus Radio Project, Media Mobilizing Project, Media Alliance, National Hispanic, Media Coalition, and Common Cause. Continue reading FCC Defends UHF Discount Decision in Court→
Charter Communications likely has headed off many broadband-related merger conditions by addressing them early on, experts said. But multiple broadband and cable matters likely will be brought up by and before regulators as Charter seeks approval to buy Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable,they said. Charter agreed “from the get-go” to some of the most obvious potential conditions—net neutrality and discounted broadband offerings to low-income populations—said Barry Orton, telecom professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. That, plus that Charter, TWC and BHN don’t share a “bully” reputation with Comcast based on complaints about strong-arm tactics, indicates the deals could have a relatively easy time winning approval, especially compared with Comcast’s aborted attempt to buy TWC, industry officials said. Continue reading Charter Deal Conditions Could Run Gamut From MFN Clauses to Rate Hike Caps→
Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on February 19th, 2014 Mag-Net Blog
The San Francisco Bay Area is often seen across the country as a blue outpost and a place where liberal ideas predominate. This image is especially widespread in media reports which emphasize cultural and political innovations. But the local media system which indulges in the self-congratulatory blather is itself a retrograde example of corporate consolidation and dominance. More like Texas than Vermont, if you like.
If the purpose of media systems is to connect and to exchange information, then Bay Area communication is about as controlled by big media corporations as the US is dependent on imported oil. The statistics are terrifying: Continue reading Mergers Lock In The Status Quo→