[act-ma] Update: Cambridge FCC Hearing on the Future of the Internet, 2/25

Jason Pramas jpramas at igc.org
Thu Feb 21 09:02:31 PST 2008

Hi again, Internet lovers,

As promised, here's updated information on next Monday's Cambridge FCC 
Hearing on policies that will shape the future of the net.

Free Press, the national progressive media advocacy organization, has 
let us know that the best time to for activists to attend the hearing 
will be from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

They also have updated their website (www.savetheinternet.com/=boston) 
with a "Tell a Friend function for spreading the word as well as a place 
where people can sign up to get updates and more information. They also 
have a poster which is available for download at their website. They'd 
like us "to paper Cambridge/Boston with the poster."

The basic event info remains the same as before:
WHAT: A Public Hearing on the Future of the Internet
DATE: Monday, Feb 25, 2008
TIME: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Harvard Law School, Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall
1515 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Mass.

Attached below, please find Free Press' informative press release about 
the event and a full official hearing schedule.

As before, folks that are interested in attending the hearing should 
drop me an email at jpramas at igc.org; to help Free Press have a rough 
idea of how many local activists to expect on Monday.

Hope to see you all there!

Read on,

Jason Pramas
Massachusetts Global Action
Open Media Boston
(now beta testing at www.openmediaboston.org)


February 21, 2008

For Immediate Release

Craig Aaron, Free Press, (202) 265-1490, x25

Comcast in the Hot Seat at FCC Internet Hearing

Legal scholars, technology experts, entrepreneurs make the case for an 
open Internet

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- On Monday, Comcast will be scrutinized by the 
Federal Communications Commission at a public hearing about the policies 
that will shape the future of the Internet. The Cambridge event will 
feature testimony from legal scholars, technology experts, entrepreneurs 
and industry representatives as part of the FCC's ongoing investigation 
into the blocking of legal content by the cable giant and other Internet 
service providers.

WHAT: A Public Hearing on the Future of the Internet
DATE: Monday, Feb 25, 2008
TIME: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Harvard Law School, Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall
1515 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Mass.

The SavetheInternet.com Coalition will be recording public testimony 
outside the hearing throughout the day.

In January, the FCC launched an official inquiry in response to a 
complaint filed by Free Press and members of the SavetheInternet.com 
Coalition -- as well as thousands of letters from concerned citizens. 
The Associated Press first exposed Comcast last fall for actively 
interfering with peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. The company argues 
the FCC has no authority to prevent it from blocking Internet traffic on 
its networks.

Comcast and other big phone and cable companies have been lobbying to 
kill Net Neutrality -- the longstanding principle that prevents them 
from discriminating against Web sites or services based on their source, 
ownership or destination. Last week, Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Chip 
Pickering (R-Miss.) introduced the "Internet Freedom Preservation Act" 
(HR 5353) -- landmark legislation that firmly establishes baseline 
consumer protections in communications law to ensure the Internet is 
open and free from discrimination.

"The value of the Internet comes from the millions of people and 
businesses who use it," said Marvin Ammori, general counsel of Free 
Press and lead author of the complaint that spurred the FCC's 
investigation. "We can't let the narrow interests of Comcast or any 
other network providers short-circuit the Internet's limitless economic 
and social possibilities. With stakes so high, the FCC must act quickly 
to shut down anti-competitive and discriminatory actions that put the 
open Internet in jeopardy."

The hearing will open with statements from all five FCC Commissioners, 
followed by a policy panel, where Ammori and renowned legal scholars Tim 
Wu of Columbia Law School and Yochai Benkler of Harvard Law School will 
square off against representatives from Comcast and Verizon.

"What we're going to see on Monday is a trial of the Internet," said Wu, 
who coined the term "Net Neutrality." "Comcast is in the docket, accused 
of crimes against the public interest, and we'll see how well they are 
able to defend themselves."

The second panel will delve into the technological aspects of Internet 
traffic. It will feature, among others, several experts from the 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Scott Smyers of Sony Electronics; 
and Eric Klinker, chief technology officer of BitTorrent -- developer of 
the innovative file-sharing service targeted by Comcast.

Vuze Inc. -- which filed its own complaint against Comcast with the FCC 
-- will demonstrate its technology for sharing high-definition video 
prior to the first panel. Outside the hearing, there will be a 
"technology fair" where online innovators will show off their products 
and services.

"Now is the time to establish rules and regulations that will enable the 
evolution of the Internet," said Gilles BianRosa, CEO of Vuze. "A few 
powerful companies control the bandwidth through which consumers access 
Internet content, and through which innovative companies like ours 
deliver services. We support building an open Internet that fosters 
innovation for all."

In addition to testimony from experts in the field, the FCC has invited 
the public to share opinions for the official record. The 
SavetheInternet.com Coalition will be recording public testimony outside 
the hearing throughout the day. And consumers across the country unable 
to attend the hearing are invited to record and upload their testimonial 
videos to www.vuze.com.

Both the testimony recorded outside the hearing and the videos uploaded 
to the "FCC Channel" on Vuze will be submitted as a part of the official 
public record in this hearing.

Experts are available for interviews prior to the hearing. To schedule 
an interview, contact Craig Aaron of Free Press at (202) 265-1490, x25
or caaron at freepress.net.

View the FCC's official announcement and agenda here:


The SavetheInternet.com Coalition is a grassroots, nonpartisan alliance 
of hundreds of groups, thousands of bloggers, and more than 1.6 million 
concerned Americans who have joined together to protect Internet freedom 
and Network Neutrality. No corporation or political party funds the 
coalition. Statements by the SavetheInternet.com Coalition are not 
necessarily endorsed by every participating organization. Learn more at 


Agenda and list of witnesses follows:

(All times EST)

11:00 a.m. Welcome/Opening Remarks

11:45 a.m. Technology Demonstration – Gilles BianRosa, Chief Executive 
Officer, Vuze,


12:00 p.m. Panel Discussion 1: Policy Perspectives

Marvin Ammori, General Counsel, Free Press

Yochai Benkler, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Faculty Co-Director,

Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School

The Honorable Daniel E. Bosley, State Representative, Massachusetts

David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation

The Honorable Tom Tauke, Executive Vice President – Public Affairs, 
Policy and Communications, Verizon Communications

Timothy Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Christopher S. Yoo, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Technology,

Innovation, and Competition, University of Pennsylvania Law School

1:30 Lunch break

2:15 Panel Discussion 2: Technological Perspectives

Daniel Weitzner, Director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Decentralized Information Group

Richard Bennett, Network Architect

David Clark, Senior Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of 

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Eric Klinker, Chief Technology Officer, BitTorrent

David P. Reed, Adjunct Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Media Lab

Scott Smyers, Senior Vice President, Network & Systems Architecture 

Sony Electronics Inc.

3:45 p.m. Closing Remarks

4:00 p.m. Adjournment

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