Back at the FCC: Community Information Needs and Hurricanes

The FCC released another paperweight-class report.

Entitled The Information Needs of Communities, this 478 pager (with footnotes) is “an in-depth analysis of the current state of the media landscape along with a broad range of recommendations.”

Produced by journalists, academics, entrepreneurs, and led by Steve Waldman, a former editor and the founder of Beliefnet, the report has the obviousities you would expect, including newspaper revenue has dropped, local TV is a not source of investigative reporting, and the Internet has reduced the cost of gathering and distributing news.Continue reading

Communications Act Version 2.0

Congress announced on Monday that they will start the process of revising the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The key committee players (Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Sen. John Kerry, Rep. Henry Waxman, and Rep. John Boucher) will bring together “stakeholders” in a “series of bi-partisan, issue focused meetings beginning in June.”

As you may vaguely remember, the ’96 legislation was intended to spur innovation and competition by forcing the incumbents to unbundle parts of their networks and make them available to competitive carriers at wholesales prices.

The incumbents resisted mightily both in the trenches and in the courts, and the competitive carriers that have survived to this day are just holding on.

There is a big difference this time around as Congress rolls out 2.0 of the Act. Continue reading