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:
Senior Staff Attorney
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.
Content Partner Management
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
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 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
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
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
Read our website for broadband news and event write-ups
Videos of our previous events are available at:
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:
Director of Marketing and Events
Tech Policy Conference Panelists Tackle Challenges of Federal Privacy, Antitrust Laws
Academics were concerned about an anti-preference bill, while one state AG said he’s ‘pragmatic’ about a federal privacy law.
ASPEN, Colorado, August 15, 2022 – Academics expressed concern Monday about antitrust legislation before Congress that would prevent companies from preferencing their own products on their platforms, arguing the legislation targets only certain companies and hasn’t shown it would benefit consumers.
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, S.2992, which is currently before the Senate and aims to ban discrimination against third-party products on the host platform, defines targeted companies by their value – which effectively narrows the number of affected companies and makes it a problematic piece of legislation, according to some academics.
“I think it’s very difficult to single out specific companies…for specific rules,” Judy Chevalier, a professor of finance and economics at Yale University, said at the TPI Aspen Forum on Monday.
“It’s hard to imagine what is the principle whereby private label band aids are a bad idea at Amazon but they’re a good idea at Walmart,” she added. “The self-preferencing rule can be applied to Amazon in a way that I think can be interpreted to limit their ability to introduce and promote their private label products.
“It’s not very convincing that this behavior has thus far harmed consumers,” she continued. “So I think singling out particular companies in this broad brush way strikes me as problematic.”
Dennis Carlton, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago business school, said the legislation makes him “nervous” because of the impact on innovation of targeting certain industries over others.
“High tech industries are rapidly changing, and whenever we have regulation or try and have regulation of rapidly changing industries, it is just too hard for the regulators to keep track of what’s going on and they wind up causing delays in innovation,” Carlton said.
“Innovation is one of the strongest ways we improve our products and our standard of living. It makes me very nervous when you target specifically an industry or…make exceptions to other industries without…economic criteria or any attempt to show that this would produce a benefit not a harm. So it makes me nervous these proposals.”
Similar sentiments were expressed on a Broadband Breakfast panel in March, in which an association representing large technology companies blasted the legislation introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., as unfairly targeting certain online platforms and excluding large retailers.
“The bill very carefully picks winners and losers,” said Arthur Sidney, vice president of public policy at Computer and Communications Industry Association, which includes members like Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
State AGs weigh in on privacy legislation
On a separate panel at the Forum on Monday, the state attorneys general of Colorado and Nebraska discussed the state of privacy legislation – both in their own state and at the federal level.
Introduced in June, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (H.R. 8152) cleared the House Energy and Commerce Committee last month for House floor votes. The proposed bill would provide Americans protections against discriminatory use of their data, require covered entities to minimize the data they collect, and prevent customers from needing to pay for privacy.
Despite his state having passed comprehensive privacy laws that are considered leading and a model by some, Colorado AG Phil Weiser said he’s “pragmatic” about a federal law.
“If a federal law is as good and strong as what we worked on in Colorado, I am comfortable with that law preempting Colorado, provided state AGs have the authority to enforce federal law,” he said. “It’s important to me to have that model because, you could imagine a world where the feds are not engaged in active enforcement, then the states can pick up that slack.”
Before the introduction of the legislation, some experts were concerned that having a number of different state privacy laws would harm smaller companies operating across multiple states. One lawyer noted that the longer companies have to wait for a uniform federal law, the greater the burden of compliance on them.
In fact, two Democratic California reps – Anna Eshoo and Nanette Barragan – were concerned that such a federal law would override their own state’s law. Eshoo proposed a provision, which was not included during a markup of the bill, that would have allowed states to add privacy provisions on top of the federal baseline.
“If you do have multiple standards,” Weiser said, “we have to solve for the problem, which is a problem right now of what I call interoperability or harmonization: How do we make sure that different state laws enable compliance across them as opposed to putting businesses in, to me, the unacceptable position of saying, ‘I can either comply with Colorado’s law or California’s law, but not both.’?”
Having had a privacy proposal in its legislature that did not pass, Doug Peterson, AG for Nebraska, said the state is taking a wait-and-see approach, including observing how states, including Colorado, fare with their own laws.
Americans Should Look to Filtration Software to Block Harmful Content from View, Event Hears
One professor said it is the only way to solve the harmful content problem without encroaching on free speech rights.
WASHINGTON, July 21, 2022 – Researchers at an Internet Governance Forum event Thursday recommended the use of third-party software that filters out harmful content on the internet, in an effort to combat what they say are social media algorithms that feed them content they don’t want to see.
Users of social media sites often don’t know what algorithms are filtering the information they consume, said Steve DelBianco, CEO of NetChoice, a trade association that represents the technology industry. Most algorithms function to maximize user engagement by manipulating their emotions, which is particularly worrisome, he said.
But third-party software, such as Sightengine and Amazon’s Rekognition – which moderate what users see by bypassing images and videos that the user selects as objectionable – could act in place of other solutions to tackle disinformation and hate speech, said Barak Richman, professor of law and business at Duke University.
Richman argued that this “middleware technology” is the only way to solve this universal problem without encroaching on free speech rights. He suggested Americans in these technologies – that would be supported by popular platforms including Facebook, Google, and TikTok – to create the buffer between harmful algorithms and the user.
Such technologies already exist in limited applications that offer less personalization and accuracy in filtering, said Richman. But the market demand needs to increase to support innovation and expansion in this area.
Americans across party lines believe that there is a problem with disinformation and hate speech, but disagree on the solution, added fellow panelist Shannon McGregor, senior researcher at the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life at the University of North Carolina.
The conversation comes as debate continues regarding Section 230, a provision in the Communications Decency Act that protects technology platforms from being liable for content their users post. Some say Section 230 only protects “neutral platforms,” while others claim it allows powerful companies to ignore user harm. Experts in the space disagree on the responsibility of tech companies to moderate content on their platforms.
Surveillance Capitalism a Symptom of Web-Dependent Companies, Not Ownership
Former Google executive Richard Whitt critiqued Ben Tarnoff’s argument in ‘Internet for the People’ during Gigabit Libraries discussion.
July 15, 2022 – A former Google executive pushed back against a claim that the privatization of broadband infrastructure has created the world’s current data and privacy concerns, instead suggesting that it’s the companies that rely on the web that have helped fuel the problem.
Richard Whitt, president of technology non-profit GLIA Foundation and former employee of Google, argued that while the World Wide Web is rife with problems, the internet infrastructure underlying the web remains fundamentally sound.
Whitt was responding to claims made by Ben Tarnoff, a journalist and founder of Logic Magazine, at the Libraries in Response event on July 8. Tarnoff argued – as he does in his recent book, “Internet for the People” – that the privatization of broadband infrastructure in the 1990s has allowed the use and commodification of personal data for profit to flourish (known as surveillance capitalism).
Privatization, Tarnoff claims, has raised such issues as polarization of ideologies and the “annihilation of our privacy.” As a result, he said, the American people are losing trust in tech companies that “rule the internet.”
Whitt responded that the internet is working well based on the protocols, standardized rules for routing and addressing packets of data to travel across networks, derived at the onset of the internet.
The World Wide Web, a system built on the internet to allow communication using easy-to-understand graphical user interfaces, allowed for browsers and other applications to emerge, which have since perpetuated surveillance capitalism into the governing approach of the web that it is today, said Whitt, suggesting it’s not ownership of the hard infrastructure that’s the problem.
The advertising market that encourages surveillance extraction, analysis and manipulation is, and will continue to be, profitable, Whitt continued.
The discussion follows a Pew Research Center study that found that only half of Americans believe tech companies have a positive effect in 2019 compared to a seventy-one percent in 2015.
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