Local media activist Wally Bowen will speak on the growing shift to mobile Internet access and the impact of federal spectrum policies at two conferences in Washington, D.C. in May. Bowen is founder and executive director of the nonprofit Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN).
On May 16, Bowen will discuss “Civil Rights and the Public Interest in Spectrum Policy” as part of a panel sponsored by the Media & Democracy Coalition and attended by representatives from more than 50 social and economic justice organizations in the Washington, D.C. area.
On May 23, Bowen will participate in a conference entitled “From Broadcast to Broadband: New Theories of the Public Interest in Wireless” sponsored by the New America Foundation, Public Knowledge, and Rutgers University’s Institute for Information Policy and Law. He will take part in a panel discussion on “What is the Public Interest in Wireless.”
MAIN has been providing wireless broadband services in Buncombe, Madison, Yancey and Mitchell counties since 2003. Bowen calls spectrum policy the “civil rights issue of the 21st century.” Spectrum policy, he says, will determine if a handful of corporations controls the Internet, or if community networks will be free to provide alternative Internet access that preserves civil liberties, supports local economies, and empowers grassroots innovation. For more information, visit www.main.nc.us.