Tag Archives: Local

Court rules the FCC can’t block state net neutrality laws

The FCC has won a key bid to uphold its repeal of net neutrality, but at a significant cost. A federal appeals court handling a Mozilla complaint has ruled that most of the repeal can stand, but that the FCC had “not shown legal authority” to ban states from implementing their own laws. The regulator was trying to “categorically abolish” states’ established power to regulate communications within their borders, according to the court. – Jon Fingas, Engadget » https://engt.co/2oWgXl0 [photo:Orin Zebest/Flickr]

BTV brings local TV to your phone and desktop for free

[LocalBTV] already live in the San Francisco Bay Area and Phoenix, with Los Angeles planned next. The company hopes to be in the 40 biggest metropolitan areas of the U.S. by the end of 2019. […] The TV stations are received at Didja’s data centers, run through TV tuners, bundled with a TV guide, and streamed out over Apple’s HLS live streaming protocol to the app. – Martyn Williams, TechHive http://ift.tt/2zQpF60

Local TV Creates Hurdle to Streaming

photo: Fox

The networks have argued that they are the ones these new entrants should be dealing with. For example, NBC is negotiating with Sony on behalf of at least some of its affiliates, according to people familiar with the matter. And Apple isn’t interested in negotiating directly with affiliates, according to people familiar with the matter. But affiliates have long negotiated their own carriage deals directly with cable and satellite-TV providers, and they aren’t all willing to cede this power in the digital realm. – Keach Hagey, The Wall Street Journal

Pandora opens Minneapolis office to pull local advertisers to streaming music service

photo: Star Tribune

Pandora has had a small local sales team since 2012. It’s now formalizing its presence with a 5,000-square-foot lease in the city’s most recognizable office tower, IDS Center, for about 20 people, with room to grow. The primary function of its Minneapolis location is to land new contracts, or renew existing ones, with local advertisers. About 77 percent of the company’s total revenue comes from ad sales, which experienced 30 percent year-over-year growth in the latest quarter. – Kristen Leigh Painter, Star Tribune

Obscure FCC Regulation Could Make Local TV Channels More Expensive

In some ways, this new regulation is just cementing a practice that has gone on for years. Many local regions like cities and counties have caps on how much cable companies are allowed to charge for their services. Historically, cable companies have petitioned the FCC to override these caps, and the FCC has granted those requests 220 out of 224 times in the past two years. – Annalee Newitz, Gizmodo

Sling TV may add broadcast networks but won’t force you to buy them

Sling TV made “a key decision from the beginning” to omit broadcast content from its basic packages, Chief Executive Roger Lynch said at an industry conference in Chicago on Thursday. “You’ll see us launch broadcast networks in a tier,” he said, referring to collections of channels that subscribers can pay extra to add to the basic $20-a-month service. – Joan E. Solsman, CNET 

The Airwaves: For Public TV or Internet Interests?

The Federal Communications Commission is holding an auction in which wireless companies such as Verizon and AT&T will bid on parts of the nation’s airwaves currently being used by television stations. It’s called a spectrum auction and Todd O’Boyle, program director for Common Cause’s Media and Democracy Reform Initiative, says billions of dollars are at stake. “On the one hand, the broadcasters are looking at a big payday, potentially,” he explains. “And on the other hand, the cellular folks are looking at making lots of money building next-generation networks.” […] According to one estimate, the auction could generate $45 billion, and another forecast says nearly 3,500 low-power television stations could be affected by the spectrum changes. Public broadcasting advocate John Schwartz, director and founder of the Voqal companies, says the government doesn’t seem sympathetic to pleas on behalf of public TV. “The FCC is strongly influenced not only by the lobbying power of the big carriers – because obviously that’s massive – but also out of the concern that the most important and most valuable use of spectrum now is for wireless broadband and not for broadcast,” he says. – Mark Scheerer,Public News Service 

Looks like web TV is going to be as expensive as cable — unless you use an antenna

Dish’s internet TV service, which is likely going to be called Nutv, may not be that much cheaper — at least not if you want access to local channels as well. Dish is looking to offer broadcast channels like ABC and NBC for an extra fee on top of the basic subscription price, according to a Variety report. Breaking out broadcast channels as a separate tier could help Dish to still cater to price-conscious consumers willing to go the extra mile: The company may offer cable channels like Comedy Central as part of its streaming service, and ask consumers to instead get an antenna capable of receiving broadcast channels like NBC for free if they don’t want to pay extra for these local channels. Dish has already struck deals with Disney, A&E Network and Scripps Networks Interactive, and is reportedly targeting a monthly subscription fee of $30 or less. – Janko Roettgers,Gigaom
(Full Story: http://bit.ly/1vIglqW )

AT&T: Cities should never offer Internet service where ISPs already do or might later

“GONs [government-owned networks] should not be utilized where the private sector already is providing broadband or can be expected to do so in a reasonable timeframe,” AT&T attorneys wrote in a filing with the FCC on Friday. “Although many GONs have failed, or at least failed to live up to expectations, GONs can nonetheless discourage private sector investment because of understandable concerns by private sector entities of a non-level playing field. And any policy that risks diminishing private sector investment would be short-sighted and unwise.” – Jon Brodkin,Ars Technica
(Full Story: http://ift.tt/W6UCwG )

Can the FCC clear the way for cities to build broadband? Legal fight heats up over agency’s powers

According to the Fiber to the Home Council, a nonprofit group that advocates for better bandwidth resources, the phrase [“preempt”] provides the FCC with the legal power it needs to preempt the state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina. The group, whose legal submission to the FCC is embedded below, also claims that the agency’s power is even more apparent in cases where there is “a history of federal presence” — such as, the group says, building broadband.
Opposing groups, however, are not so sure. Conservative organizations like the The Free State Foundation claim the 706 argument is a sham, and that states clearly have a right to pass laws limiting municipal utilities without federal preemption. The group also points to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Missouri case to argue that states are only prohibited from restricting private companies, not public ones. – Jeff John Roberts,Gigaom 
(Full Story: http://bit.ly/1ptUqVC )
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