Arts

Passerine Stops in Urbana on Third U.S. Tour

On Tuesday, Aug. 5, Florida folk and Americana band Passerine lands in Urbana, IL, to perform at the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center. Show starts at 7:30pm. Admission is $5-10 sliding scale.

Who Gets to Decide What a City Can Do with Broadband Internet?

While our local municipal boradband was sold off under questionable circumstances with hardly a whimper, the decision was made in part because of the weak hand local governments hold in bringing efficient, low cost services to residents. It was a decision we will come to regret.

Unfortunately, Congressional Republicans and some states want to control local affairs

by Jay Walljasper

“(W)ithout power and independence, a town may contain good subjects, but it can have no active citizens.”  That was the conclusion of Alexis de Tocqueville after touring a youthful American Republic in the early 1830s, as recorded in his classic Democracy in America. Today we are engaged in a renewed debate about the authority of governments closest to the people.

On July 16, by a vote of 223-200 the House of Representatives voted to strip the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the authority to allow communities the right to determine their broadband futures.  Republicans voted 221-4 in favor.

Neutrality Begins At Home: What U.S. Mayors Can Do Right Now to Support a Neutral Internet

by April Glaser and Corynne McSherry

Photo: Free Press/ cc/ Flickr

This weekend at the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting in Dallas, some mayors will take a strong stand in support of net neutrality. According to an op-ed by Mayors Ed Lee of San Francisco and Ed Murray of Seattle, the city leaders are unveiling a resolution calling on the FCC to preserve an open Internet.

In Harm's Way: The Dangers of a World Without Net Neutrality

by April Glaser

Last month the FCC released its proposal for America’s new network neutrality rules. Unfortunately, the agency’s proposal included rules that would permit Internet providers to prioritize certain websites, e.g., make deals with some services for a faster and better path to subscribers. While the FCC claims it is not endorsing such deals, the proposed rules will inevitably be read as exactly that.

The parties most threatened by this kind of network discrimination are those who are trying to make novel and unanticipated uses of the network and who cannot afford payola

Protest Music and People Movements: The Tradition Continues

by Peter Dreier and Dick Flacks

In the most recent Coen brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis, the protagonist -- a struggling Greenwich Village folksinger in 1961 -- is based, very loosely, on Dave Van Ronk, a little-known (outside folk music circles) but influential folk-singer who helped define the folk music revival of the late fifties, and mentored the young Bob Dylan and others during the early 1960s when what Van Ronk called the "great folk scare" took off. To understand the atmosphere of that music scene, the Coens relied on Van Ronk's memoir (coauthored with Elijah Wald), The Mayor of McDougall Street. Van Ronk recounts his serious involvement with various left-wing factions of the period.

In Historic Vote, FCC Advances Rules to Kill 'Open Internet'

Democratic commissioners betray net neutrality rhetoric by approving consideration of rules that would create 'two-tiered internet'

- Jon Queally, CommonDreams staff writer

Despite national outcry and protests both outside and inside a packed hearing room in Washington, DC, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted in favor of advancing a set of rules that threaten the heart of the "open internet" by allowing the creation of "paid priority fast lanes," supplanting the principle known as 'net neutrality' which says all online content must receive equal treatment by the nation's broadband networks.

Grassroots Outcry Pushes FCC Chair to Backpedal on Internet Rules

Advocates say new draft does not go far enough, call for Internet to be reclassified as public utility

- Lauren McCauley, CommonDreams staff writer

(Image: Free Press)

Federal Communications Commission chair Tom Wheeler is backpedaling on his proposed rules that would threaten the democracy of the Internet, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday evening.

The FCC's Flimsy Defense of Fake Net Neutrality

by Craig Aaron

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wants you to calm down.

A firestorm of public outrage flared up after his latest plans to permit a pay-to-play Internet leaked. The Federal Communications Commission lit up with angry phone calls, irate emails, and a lot (I mean a lot) of bad press.

In a speech on Wednesday at the big "Cable Show" in Los Angeles, Wheeler had this to say to his former industry colleagues: "Reports that we are gutting the open Internet rules are incorrect. I am here to say wait a minute. Put away the party hats."

And in a blog post on the FCC website, Wheeler claimed that the many critics of his plan are "misinformed."

To Save the Internet We Need to Own the Means of Distribution

by David Morris

Publicly owned telecommunications networks, argues Morris, offer lower prices and higher speeds than Comcast and AT&T and Time Warner. (Image: Common Dreams)With the announcement by the FCC that cable and telephone companies will be allowed to prioritize access to their customers only one option remains that can guarantee an open internet: owning the means of distribution.

Thankfully an agency exists for this. Local government. Owning the means of distribution is a traditional function of local government. We call our roads and bridges and water and sewer pipe networks public infrastructure for a reason.

Strike Two: Obama's Second FCC Chair Fails on Net Neutrality

by Timothy Karr

The lines are now clear, says Karr: "Either you are for Net Neutrality or you're with [FCC chair] Tom Wheeler. You can no longer say you're for both." (Image: Free Press.net / text added)

When President Barack Obama pledged to appoint a Federal Communications Commission chair who was dedicated to protecting Net Neutrality, we had no reason to doubt he'd find the right person for the job.

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