Ooze Out Update: Cave Friends

August 31, 2010 by onair

Tonight! hear new heavy hits from dolphins into the future, foxy baby, cave friend and much much more!

Thee Ooze Out Program
the Mountain Area Information Network
Tuesdays at 10pm

Glenn Beck and the Koch brothers, meet Walter Lippmann

August 27, 2010 by Wally Bowen

Today on “Media Reform & MAIN,” we will discuss legendary journalist Walter Lippmann and how his views on news, propaganda, and democracy can shed light on the phenomena of Fox News, Glenn Beck, and the Koch brothers.

Hosted by Keith Fisher, “Media Reform & MAIN, with Wally Bowen” is heard each Friday at 4:30 p.m. EDT on MAIN-FM.

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Today on ‘Media Reform & MAIN': How the right-wing wags the dog

August 20, 2010 by Wally Bowen

Tune in today from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. (EDT) to hear how right-wing propagandists are the tail that wags the dog of mainstream media, and what we can do about it. “Media Reform & MAIN, with Wally Bowen” is hosted by Keith Fisher and can be heard live each Friday afternoon on MAIN-FM. Or listen to our podcasts at your convenience.

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Impulse Audio TONIGHT 8/19! 7-10pm

August 19, 2010 by onair

Tonight on Impulse Audio the best indie in town! Get down with voices from Pete and the Pirates, Ani Difranco, Hot Hot Heat and more!  and hey,  why not some new wave 80’s sounds from The Cure, Joy Division, and The Church…. CLASSIC!  Impulse Audio….

All music

no mainstream

Test your internet connection speed!

August 18, 2010 by onair

The US has fallen to a rank of #15 world-wide in terms of internet connection speed. You can test your connection speed as it compares to your ISP’s claims by following this link:


The Enclosure of the Internet?

August 8, 2010 by Wally Bowen

* Between 1750 and 1860, the British Parliament passed laws collectively known as the Enclosure Acts to transfer almost 7 million acres of public lands – the “commons” – into private hands.

Large estates, with the latest agricultural technologies, out-competed and then absorbed smaller farms, creating an abundance of cheap farm and factory labor for the Industrial Revolution.

Lobbyists advocating these new laws argued that estate-owners’ superior access to capital and technology would yield greater productivity than a commons open to small producers.

* Between 1928 and 1934, the U.S. Congress passed laws effectively limiting broadcast radio licenses to for-profit corporations, despite the fact that more than 250 community-based, not-for-profit radio stations had been thriving for almost a decade.

Lobbyists advocating these new laws argued that Wall Street-backed chains had superior access to capital and technology and could extend the benefits of radio to underserved areas faster and more efficiently.

The nonprofit stations soon disappeared in the Great Depression or via license-challenges from the corporate chains.

* Between 2002 and 2005, the Federal Communications Commission enacted rules to allow a handful of cable and telephone companies to capture more than 95 percent of all broadband Internet access in the United States, forcing thousands of independent ISPs out of business.

Lobbyists advocating these new rules argued that telecom conglomerates had superior access to capital and technology and could extend the benefits of broadband Internet access to underserved areas faster and more efficiently.

Instead, this handful of cable and telephone companies is poised to complete the “enclosure” of the online commons we call the Internet.

To do so, they must force the FCC to reverse course on a modest set of “open Internet” rules to protect consumers, ensure non-discriminatory treatment of Web content, and promote more competitive broadband markets.

Without these rules, the cable and telco companies will be free to re-structure the Internet into an online world that looks more like cable TV, where easy-to-reach, high-performance channels deliver the content of Fortune 500 companies, while independent and nonprofit content is relegated to second and third-class channels.

Once an electronic commons where innovators could launch a start-up and become the next Google, the Internet is about to become the private domain of online oligarchs.

A few days ago, Google and Verizon gave us a glimpse of this brave new world when the New York Times revealed that the companies had been secretly negotiating a deal to assure favorable treatment of Google’s content.

Over the next six weeks, we have what may be our last chance to prevent the corporate enclosure of the Internet.

Here’s what you can do: the FCC is taking public comment through Aug. 12 at midnight on its plan to restore open Internet rules vacated by the FCC between 2002 and 2005. We have put together a special webpage to help you share your comments with the FCC

It’s also extremely important that you contact your members of Congress – and the White House – to let them know your opinion.

The cable and telephone companies are pouring record amounts of money into Congress (more than $27 million as of May 16, according to the New York Times) to pressure the FCC – and ultimately the White House – to back-down.

Only a strong outpouring of public support can counter this unprecedented lobbying assault by the cable and phone companies and their corporate allies. Please act now to save the Internet.

Bowen to discuss corporate takeover of the Internet Aug. 10 in Chapel Hill

August 7, 2010 by Wally Bowen

The Corporate Takeover of the Internet and How To Stop It” will be discussed by Asheville-based media reform activist Wally Bowen at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10 at the Community Church of Chapel Hill, 106 Purefoy Road. The free talk is sponsored by Balance and Accuracy in Journalism.

Bowen is founder and executive director of the nonprofit Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) and a nationally-known advocate for “net neutrality” and broadband deployment in rural and other underserved areas. Founded in 1995, MAIN is one of the nation’s oldest community-based Internet service providers.

Policymakers in Washington have been holding closed-door talks with the major cable and telephone companies, plus other corporate stakeholders such as Google, to codify new rules that could allow broadband providers to restructure the open Internet into high-performance channels for corporate clients, and slower-performing channels for individuals and small businesses.

These closed-door talks and potential backroom deals to restructure the Internet are a complete reversal of the Obama administration’s campaign promise to preserve an open Internet,” said Bowen, who is part of the national Media and Democracy Coalition spearheading the public-interest push for net neutrality rules.

Concerned citizens have until midnight August 12 to file comments to the FCC on the future of the Internet.

Bowen will also discuss the origins of the open Internet and developments over the last decade that have brought the United States to this critical crossroads in determining the fate of the open Internet.

In the 1990s, the Internet moved quickly from research universities and government institutes into mainstream American life, largely because of ‘common-carrier’ protections governing the nation’s telephone networks,” said Bowen.

In 2002, however, the FCC under former chairman Michael Powell surrendered its authority over cable broadband service – effectively removing common-carrier rules — in a controversial 3-2 partisan vote. After legal challenges concluded in 2005, a divided FCC went on to remove common-carrier rules on the telephone companies’ broadband service via digital-subscriber-lines (DSL).

Bowen called common-carriage “a centuries-old legal concept that prohibits a provider of public services, such as a ferry-boat operator, from picking winners and losers.” In the realm of communications, he added, the concept includes privacy and other consumer protections.

The heart of common-carrier protection is non-discrimination, which means that a broadband provider cannot favor the traffic of Bank of America over the traffic of locally-owned banks in Chapel Hill,” said Bowen.

He said the FCC’s controversial 2002 surrender of authority over broadband also gave the cable and telephone broadband providers the power to pick winners and losers among innovations for the broadband-based Web.

In 1959, a Texas cattle rancher by the name of Tom Carter patented a device that would allow a two-way radio to interconnect with his telephone back at the ranch house. But AT&T told Mr. Carter that he could not connect his device to the telephone network without AT&T’s permission,” said Bowen.

A legal battle ensued, ending finally in 1968 when the FCC ruled that devices such as the CarterFone were valuable innovations and could connect to the telephone network, provided they didn’t harm the network, Bowen said.

The CarterFone rules gave us fax machines, answering machines, and dial-up modems for Internet access,” said Bowen. “But the FCC’s abdication of its authority over broadband in 2002 removed CarterFone protections for innovators. That’s one reason Apple had to cut an exclusive deal with AT&T to bring its iPhone to market,” said Bowen.

Bowen also called the recently-published National Broadband Plan an “historic window of opportunity” to restore the Internet to its original open standards. “If we fail to seize this moment,” said Bowen, “The Internet of the 21st century will become an online space of corporate-control, with limited freedom, privacy and innovation.”

For more information, or directions, please visit www.main.nc.us or call 919.542.2139. END