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This is a guest blog post by Jon Peha. Peha is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, an electrical engineer, the former Chief Technologist of the FCC, and the former Assistant Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The Associated Press reported that cell phone service had been shut down in Boston in the aftermath of today’s tragic Boston Marathon bombing. Happily, this report — sourced to an anonymous official — appears to be mistaken. Verizon and Sprint report that their networks are overwhelmed by the sudden spike in volume (common after a sudden disaster) but they have not been asked to suspend service and are in fact looking to increase capacity.
The fantastically-mustachioed Chase Carey of News Corp. has gotten quite a bit of support in the broadcast community for his "threat" to shut down Fox's over-the-air signals. Fox, CBS, Univision and others have said if they're not able to make antenna-rental services like Aereo illegal, then they'll simply convert to some sort of vaguely-specified "subscription model" where, presumably, rooftop and remote antennas would not be able to pick up their programming.
But I'm not sure that the support and applause directed his way from some circles is quite as welcome. Mike Masnick's reaction was typical of the tech-literate crowds I run in. He writes,
Today, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will begin mark up of the so-called “Internet Freedom Bill.” As explained in the Majority Briefing Memo, we’re still on about that whole “the ITU will take control of the Internet and black helicopters will come for out name servers” thing.” Unfortunately, as keeps happening with this, it looks like some folks want to hijac
I made a passing reference to the rural call completion problem in a post about 2 months ago. I've now written a much longer piece explaining the problem of rural call completion, and the nature of the problem, for the Daily Yonder. You can find the article, and the very nice illustrations they added, over here.
Today's win in the Aereo decision (where PK had filed an amicus brief) has been greeted by predictable moaning from the broadcast industry. "The court has ruled that it is ok to steal copyrighted material and retransmit it without compensation," the National Association of Broadcasters stated, ignoring that what the court said today was precisely that Aereo's service isn't "stealing" anything.
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