News of the movement for August 27, 2012

Save the Internet

AT&T's FaceTime Face Plant

In the wake of AT&T's announcement that it will be blocking the FaceTime video application, AT&T decided to hit the blogosphere to do a little "damage control." Instead, AT&T managed to kick off a consumer revolt with a blog post that has been thoroughly debunked, drawing even more attention to its violation of Open Internet rules (special acknowledgement to AT&T's public relations department ... great work!). The nearly 250 consumers who stormed the comments section of the blog post managed to upstage AT&T and shame them in the process.

AT&T, Have You No Shame?

Given the fact that AT&T has a rich and inglorious history of astroturfing public debate, and that it had no problem standing up in public and telling the world that buying T-Mobile would be awesome for everyone, we're guessing that it does not in fact have a corporate shame-based culture. Perhaps it needs one -- or at least one focused relentlessly on the customer. But if that's not going to happen, it had better purchase a few more suits of adamantine armor for its top executives. Those flames are going to keep burning.

Media Policy at the FCC

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in the Verizon-Cable Pact

The FCC voted 5-0 to approve Verizon's purchase of a valuable slice of the public airwaves in exchange for a partnership with a cartel of cable companies. While both the FCC and the Department of Justice -- which signed off on the swap last week -- placed conditions on the deal, it signals dark days ahead for consumers.

Verizon, Cable Companies Now 'Frenemies,' Can Sell Each Other's Products

The FCC approved Verizon Wireless' deal to purchase lots of wireless spectrum from cable companies while imposing limits on a related deal in which Verizon and the cable companies will resell each other's services.

FCC Approves Verizon, Cable Spectrum Deal

The FCC approved Verizon Wireless' $3.6 billion purchase of spectrum from three cable firms, subject to certain conditions.

FCC Eyes Tax on Internet Service

The FCC is eyeing a proposal to tax broadband Internet service. The move would funnel money to the Connect America Fund, a subsidy the agency created last year to expand Internet access.

FCC Votes to Suspend Special Access Trigger

The FCC announced that it will suspend so-called special access rules that govern price flexibility. In a vote split along party lines, the agency said it will suspend the rules while it looks into whether or not the special access market is competitive.

Have an Opinion on Broadband Caps? Speeds? Tell the FCC

The FCC doesn’t seem to realize it’s summer. The regulatory agency has been issuing decisions like crazy. And this week it also released a series of questions that indicate the FCC is thinking about the need for faster broadband speeds and questioning caps.

Money, Media and Elections

Checking the Facts in Political Ads

Channel 4 has jumped ahead of other Denver, Colo., TV stations in fact checking political ads so far this election cycle. CBS4 has already aired segments analyzing 20 ads, over twice as many as 9News, its closest competitor among the four stations analyzing ads. The numbers are worth pointing out because Channel 4's early analysis of the ads has undoubtedly been appreciated by regular people who've been trying to sort through all the political spots that have aired so early this election season.

Madison Station Won't Show Ad of Paul Ryan 'Killing' Old Woman

Occasionally a TV or radio program sparks so much controversy that its advertisers flee. It is very rare, however, for a TV or radio station to decline an advertiser. After all, advertising is the way they make money. This week, however, WMTV/Channel 15, an NBC affiliate in Madison, Wis., did just that. Station manager Bob Smith refused to air an ad which depicts a Paul Ryan impersonator pushing an elderly woman off a cliff.

Viewers Don't Want Conventional

The rituals of conventions have their charms but don’t seem relevant given that we’ve already been immersed like so many tea bags in a permanent presidential campaign through dozens of debates and thousands of dispatches on the Web and on cable television. Both parties know they have a problem on their hands -- they are making a television show that networks are reluctant to broadcast and viewers are reluctant to watch -- and they have responded in different ways.