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Register for the July Broadband Breakfast Club Event: “Over the Top: Broadband Video’s Impact on Future TV”

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Washington, Friday, July 12th, 2013 – BroadbandBreakfast.com will hold its July 2013 Broadband Breakfast Club event:

Over the Top: Broadband Video’s Impact on Future TV” on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001 from 8 am – 10 am.

Registration at: http://broadbandbreakfast.eventbrite.com

“Over the Top,” or video distribution directly over broadband networks, is the new way video is increasingly being consumed by a younger generation of internet users. What are the needs and preferences of this new generation, who watch films and programs on smart phones, tablets and laptops — but not on necessarily on televisions or through cable or broadcast programming? Apple’s iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Aereo and a range of other companies have begun to pave a new direction for what’s being called “future video” and “future TV”. What are the impacts of these new viewing patterns and video viewing options upon pay-television and broadcast providers? Are the new players in the broadband landscape able to purchase rights to also offer pay-television content? And is the traditional consumer “bundle” of television, telephone and broadband service no longer desirable for the typical consumer? These and other questions will be addressed by a panel of experts and moderated by Drew Clark, Chairman and Publisher of the Broadband Breakfast Club.

Details and Registration are available at:

http://broadbandbreakfast.eventbrite.com

Panel:

John Bergmayer
Senior Staff Attorney
Public Knowledge

John Bergmayer specializes in telecommunications, internet, and intellectual property issues. He advocates for the public interest before courts and policymakers, and works to make sure that all stakeholders–including ordinary citizens, artists, and technological innovators–have a say in shaping emerging digital policies. He is a member of the Colorado bar and a graduate of the University of Colorado Law School.

Daren Miller
Director
Content Partner Management
Centurylink

Daren Miller is a 30 year veteran of the telecommunications, cable and media industries. He currently serves as head of programming for CenturyLink. Miller’s responsibilities include content licensing and management for CenturyLink’s consumer video product platforms, including its wire line video service, PRISM, as well as its broadband portal. Prior to joining CenturyLink (formerly through Qwest Communications), Miller served in a number of senior management roles with TCI, Liberty Media and Fox Sports affiliates. He was the principal architect and manager of TCI’s, subsequently Liberty Media’s, portfolio of 15 regional sports networks and related businesses, now known as Fox Sports Nets. Miller has held roles in cable MSO programming licensing and television network management and operations for those affiliates. He has extensive experience in the negotiation of sports television programming as well as multiplatform pay television distribution rights. Miller is currently based in Denver, Colorado.

Michael E. Drobac
Senior Policy Advisor
Patton Boggs

Michael Drobac helps clients from the technology and telecommunications sectors define public policy objectives, develop strategic messaging in support of those objectives and define and execute outreach strategies. He advocates before Congress and federal agencies in support of policy objectives. Prior to joining Patton Boggs, Mr. Drobac was director of government relations for Netflix. He established and served as the first director of the company’s Washington DC office. Mr. Drobac also brings nearly ten years of experience in legislative affairs on Capitol Hill, acquired during periods of service to the offices of three United States senators. For Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Mr. Drobac reviewed all legislative items for the senator, with a primary focus on telecommunications and technology as well as judiciary matters, serving as lead policy advisor on Internet and technology issues for the Senate Commerce Committee.

Sharon Peyer

Founder

HitBliss

Sharon Peyer is a co-founder and VP, Business Development of HitBliss. In this capacity she oversees efforts related to the licensing of content distributed in the HitBliss store, efforts to attract third party brands to HitBliss Earn and HitBliss’ consumer marketing efforts. From 2004 until 2007, Sharon held similar responsibilities at Pixamo, a photo sharing and social networking startup that she co-founded and successfully sold. Prior to Pixamo, Sharon worked in a variety of entrepreneurial capacities primarily within the investment and venture capital industries in the United States and Europe. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University and a Master degree in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.

Eric J. Wolf 

Executive for Technology Strategy and Planning 

PBS 

Eric Wolf is PBS’ Vice President for Technology Strategy and Planning. He spends much of his time at the intersection of media, technology, public policy, and the future. He’s currently working on issues as varied as the upcoming spectrum auctions, PBS next generation of content distribution, and unified asset management tools for PBS’ internal departments. Prior to PBS, Eric spent 9 years with AOL leading groups that built products used by tens of millions of people around the globe. Earlier in his career Eric held technology and organizational leadership roles at Peter D. Hart Research, a public opinion research boutique, and Symbolics, Inc. He holds 3 U.S. patents in the realm of interactive communications and an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Political Science from Brown University.


Additional speakers have been invited

Moderator:

Drew Clark is the Chairman and Publisher of the Broadband Breakfast Club, the premier Washington forum advancing the conversation on broadband. Additionally, under his leadership as Executive Director of Broadband Illinois, he has helped unite the Land of Lincoln around a vision of Better Broadband, Better Lives. Illinois’ State Broadband Initiative has become the national model for public-private collaboration. Broadband Illinois provides the tools that citizens, communities and businesses need to get online and to get more out of their internet use. Clark earned his Bachelors of Arts (with Honors) in Philosophy and Economics from Swarthmore College, his Master of Science from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and his Juris Doctor from George Mason University School of Law. He has written widely on the politics of technology, entertainment and telecommunications for Ars Technica, GigaOm, National Journal, Slate, the Washington Post, and the Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property. He also serves on the board of the Rural Telecommunications Congress. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter.

American and Continental breakfasts are included. The program begins shortly after 8:30 a.m. Tickets to the event are $45.00 plus a small online fee.

The Broadband Breakfast Club is sponsored by Comcast, Google and US Telecom.

The Broadband Breakfast Club series meets on the third Tuesday of each month (except for August and December).

The upcoming event schedule can be viewed at

http://broadbandbreakfastseries.eventbrite.com

Read our website for broadband news and event write-ups

http://www.broadbandbreakfast.com

Videos of our previous events are available at:

https://broadbandbreakfast.com/category/broadband-tv/

Background on BroadbandBreakfast.com

BroadbandBreakfast.com is in its fifth year of hosting monthly breakfast forums in Washington on broadband policy and related subjects. These events are on the record, open to the public and consider a wide range of viewpoints. Our Broadband Breakfast Club meets on the third tuesday of every month (except for August and December).

Our elected official keynotes have included Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Diane Watson (D-CA), James Clyburn (D-SC), Joe Barton (R-TX) and the former Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA).

Our agency and commission official keynotes have included Deputy Undersecretary for Agriculture Dallas Tonsager; FCC Wireless Telecommunications Chief, Ruth Milkman; former RUS Administrator Jonathan Adelstein, Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill; former Deputy Assistant Secretary NTIA Anna Gomez; and former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, among others.

Our moderated discussion panels are comprised of leaders from a wide variety of organizations including government, industry, law firms, academia, nonprofit, journalism and many others. Our audiences are equally diverse.

For More Information Contact:

Sylvia Syracuse
Director of Marketing and Events
BroadbandBreakfast.com
Sylvia@broadbandcensus.com
646-262-4630

Sylvia manages the Broadband Breakfast Club, on-the-record monthly discussion groups that meet on the THIRD Tuesday of each month. She has had a long career in non-profit development and administration, and has raised funds for technology and science education, and managed a project on health information exchange adopted by the State of New York. She understands community education and infrastructure needs for effective broadband access.

Big Tech

Washington’s Antitrust Push Could Create ‘Chilling Effect’ on Startups, Observers Say

There is concern that an FTC focused on ‘big is bad’ will stunt economic growth in the future.

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FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan

WASHINGTON, September 23, 2021 – Advocates for less government encroachment on big technology companies are warning that antitrust is being weaponized for political ends that may end up placing a “chilling effect” on innovative businesses.

The Institute for Policy Innovation held a web event Wednesday to discuss antitrust and the modern economy. Panelists noted their concern that antitrust law may be welded with political aims that will ultimately create a precedent whereby the federal government will stifle innovators who get too big.

Jessica Melugin, the director of the Center for Technology and Innovation, said technology companies could see what’s happening in Washington – with lots of talk of breaking up companies deemed too big – and be uncertain of the future.

She noted that growing companies largely seek one of two things to make it big: grow to file an initial public offering, where the company’s shares are publicly traded, or wait until a large company buys you out. She said talk emanating from the White House and Washington generally about regulating the industry could deter larger companies from acquiring them, and onerous financial regulations could put a damper on IPO dreams.

“If you start robbing companies of other smaller companies they purchased, it’s going to give a lot of entrepreneurs and a lot of funders in Silicon Valley pause,” Melugin said. “If another path to success gets blocked – the IPO is now harder, and now acquisitions are a little bit questionable…that’s a chilling effect.”

President Joe Biden has made a number of appointments to key positions that is bringing more attention on Big Tech, including known Amazon critic Lina Khan to chair the Federal Trade Commission, which recently filed an amended case against Facebook for alleged anticompetitive practices. He also appointed antitrust expert and Google critic Jonathan Kanter as assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

FTC could set a bad precedent if focus is ‘big is bad’ 

Christopher Koopman, the executive director at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, said he’s concerned about the precedent Khan could set for big companies.

He said the odds are that once Khan starts, she will continue down “this path of ‘big is bad’ because that’s a prior that she has and she’s continued to operate on her entire professional career. It just so happens that the focus of this is on tech companies.

“We may be building a regulatory apparatus that will continue to burrow a hole right down the middle of the American economy before we even have a chance to ask if that’s really what we want,” Koopman added. “We just have to recognize that it doesn’t matter, really, who is running the FTC – once we tell the FTC to go break up big companies, they’re going to go break up big companies.”

And the concern for Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of lobby group NetChoice, which advocates for less government regulation on the future of technology, is not just a domestic problem, but an international one, too.

“I really do worry about us shanking our innovation and essentially giving a free kick to our competitors and that seems to be what we’re doing,” Szabo said. “Right now, we lead the world.

“This is an international issue, this is a national issue, and we really need to – whether Conservative or Democrat – as Americans we need to see the forest from the trees. And if we want to put corporations ahead of competitors and think those are good democratic values, go ahead and do it.

The House has before it six antitrust bills targeting big technology companies, which passed the chamber’s judiciary committee in June. The goal of the bills is to rein in the power of Big Tech through new antitrust liability provisions, including new merger and acquisition review, measures to prevent anticompetitive activity, and providing government enforcers more power to break-up or separate big businesses.

Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr said earlier this year that Big Tech has too much influence and power, citing the ability of Apple and Google to remove applications like controversial chat website Parler from its app stores.  Carr recently recommended that Big Tech contribute to the Universal Service Fund, which supports broadband expansion in low-income and rural areas of the country, because these companies benefit from broadband.

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Big Tech

Tread Carefully on Tech Platform Data Portability, Conference Hears

Politico panel debates merit of allowing tech platform users to migrate data freely.

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Public Knowledge's Charlotte Slaiman before a Senate committee on September 21, 2021.

WASHINGTON, September 23, 2021 – Panelists debated Monday the merits of forcing companies to allow users to migrate their data from one platform to another, with some lauding the proposal and others cautioning Congress not to stifle innovators by taking a blanket approach.

The Politico Tech Summit hosted a panel discussing legislation before the House – H.R. 3849 – that would force companies to allow users to move their data from one platform to another. The idea behind the concept of data portability is to instigate competition by reducing the barrier for users to use other services that they would otherwise avoid because they cannot take their contacts, connections, and photos with them to the new platform.

Experts say such a portability mandate would be welcomed by younger internet platforms that are competing to grow their networks, but admonished by larger firms like Facebook and TikTok, who would argue that they grew their networks organically and don’t wield any uncompetitive pressures by keeping their networks private.

“[Anti-trust legislation] is really about opening up markets for innovative competitors to enter,” said Charlotte Slaiman, competition policy director for public interest group Public Knowledge.

“Network effects are very powerful in many of these dominant digital platforms. Network effects means it’s very difficult for a person to leave a network. Even if you’re upset with Facebook, you don’t want to leave because of your one thousand connections or whatever.

“If you think about it from the perspective of an entrepreneur, they’re facing this problem times a million users,” Slaiman added. “The sources of funding know it, the venture capitalists know…interoperability is about addressing those network effects.” Interoperability is the extent to which a platform’s infrastructure works with others, which can facilitate data portability.

And more competition is emerging in the online platform space. For example, sites like Parler and Vero have emerged as social networking alternatives to the likes of Facebook, while video sites like Rumble and Locals have emerged as alternatives to YouTube.

Slaiman argues that platforms should compete on the features and user experiences they offer, not on owning a pool of users and profiles.

Slaiman testified similarly before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights on Tuesday.

Caution for portability legislation

Zach Graves, head of public policy for the think tank Lincoln Network, said there are a lot of cases where mandated portability “makes a lot of sense.

“If you look at the telecom context, you know the fact that you can take your phone number and port it to a different carrier. But we should approach this with caution. There are tradeoffs… I think there’s sort of a category error in how they’re constructing this that big is bad and that’s how we should regulate it,” he said.

“I would prefer a more sector specific approach,” Graves added. “If we’re talking about online retail, we should regulate online retail. If we’re talking about online ads, we should regulate online ads. The fact that we’re saying these companies are big and we should scrutinize them and give them a special framework I don’t agree with.”

Steve DelBianco, CEO of lobby group NetChoice, which pushes for a tech future free from onerous government regulation, was more blunt.

“The interoperability mandate will be a disaster for competition, for privacy and for data security,” he said. “There’s a complete difference between phone number portability and data portability compared to having interoperability where you open a hole into your application which means that any competitor can see data that violates your own privacy requirements. [That creates] security problems.

“People can join multiple social networks at the same time. The theory of network effects really falls down on this.”

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Section 230

Repealing Section 230 Would be Harmful to the Internet As We Know It, Experts Agree

While some advocate for a tightening of language, other experts believe Section 230 should not be touched.

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Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., speaking on the floor of the House

WASHINGTON, September 17, 2021—Republican representative from Colorado Ken Buck advocated for legislators to “tighten up” the language of Section 230 while preserving the “spirit of the internet” and enhancing competition.

There is common ground in supporting efforts to minimize speech advocating for imminent harm, said Buck, even though he noted that Republican and Democratic critics tend to approach the issue of changing Section 230 from vastly different directions

“Nobody wants a terrorist organization recruiting on the internet or an organization that is calling for violent actions to have access to Facebook,” Buck said. He followed up that statement, however, by stating that the most effective way to combat “bad speech is with good speech” and not by censoring “what one person considers bad speech.”

Antitrust not necessarily the best means to improve competition policy

For companies that are not technically in violation of antitrust policies, improving competition though other means would have to be the answer, said Buck. He pointed to Parler as a social media platform that is an appropriate alternative to Twitter.

Though some Twitter users did flock to Parler, particularly during and around the 2020 election, the newer social media company has a reputation for allowing objectionable content that would otherwise be unable to thrive on social media.

Buck also set himself apart from some of his fellow Republicans—including Donald Trump—by clarifying that he does not want to repeal Section 230.

“I think that repealing Section 230 is a mistake,” he said, “If you repeal section 230 there will be a slew of lawsuits.” Buck explained that without the protections afforded by Section 230, big companies will likely find a way to sufficiently address these lawsuits and the only entities that will be harmed will be the alternative platforms that were meant to serve as competition.

More content moderation needed

Daphne Keller of the Stanford Cyber Policy Center argued that it is in the best interest of social media platforms to enact various forms of content moderation, and address speech that may be legal but objectionable.

“If platforms just hosted everything that users wanted to say online, or even everything that’s legal to say—everything that the First Amendment permits—you would get this sort of cesspool or mosh pit of online speech that most people don’t actually want to see,” she said. “Users would run away and advertisers would run away and we wouldn’t have functioning platforms for civic discourse.”

Even companies like Parler and Gab—which pride themselves on being unyielding bastions of free speech—have begun to engage in content moderation.

“There’s not really a left right divide on whether that’s a good idea, because nobody actually wants nothing but porn and bullying and pro-anorexia content and other dangerous or garbage content all the time on the internet.”

She explained that this is a double-edged sword, because while consumers seem to value some level of moderation, companies moderating their platforms have a huge amount of influence over what their consumers see and say.

What problems do critics of Section 230 want addressed?

Internet Association President and CEO Dane Snowden stated that most of the problems surrounding the Section 230 discussion boil down to a fundamental disagreement over the problems that legislators are trying to solve.

Changing the language of Section 230 would impact not just the tech industry: “[Section 230] impacts ISPs, libraries, and universities,” he said, “Things like self-publishing, crowdsourcing, Wikipedia, how-to videos—all those things are impacted by any kind of significant neutering of Section 230.”

Section 230 was created to give users the ability and security to create content online without fear of legal reprisals, he said.

Another significant supporter of the status quo was Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich.

“I don’t think Section 230 needs to be fixed. I think it needs [a better] publicist.” Kovacevich stated that policymakers need to gain a better appreciation for Section 230, “If you took away 230 You would have you’d give companies two bad options: either turn into Disneyland or turn into a wasteland.”

“Either turn into a very highly curated experience where only certain people have the ability to post content, or turn into a wasteland where essentially anything goes because a company fears legal liability,” Kovacevich said.

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