[ACRLEADS:1554] Disheartening Development (fwd)

Kristine R. Brancolini (brancoli@indiana.edu)
Wed, 7 Feb 2001 10:14:21 -0800 (PST)

This is not specifically related to video in libraries, but I thought you
might be interested. -- Kris

Kristine R. Brancolini, Director, Digital Library Program
Main Library E170, 1320 E. Tenth Street
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405
Phone: 812.855.3710 | Fax: 812.856.2062 | Web: www.dlib.indiana.edu

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2001 11:54:27 -0600
From: "Spalding, Helen H." <SpaldingH@umkc.edu>
To: ACRL Leads <acrleads@ala1.ala.org>
Subject: [ACRLEADS:1554] Disheartening Development

-----Original Message-----
From: S.Michael Malinconico [mailto:mmalinco@slis.ua.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2001 11:33 AM
To: ALA Council List
Subject: [ALACOUN:5556] Disheartening Development

The URL below is to a story in today's New York Times. The
New FCC head has articulated a policy of lesser regulation
of the communication industry, "... the new chairman,
Michael K. Powell places greater faith in the marketplace to
correct possible problems and he emphasized a sharply
reduced role for his agency."


And as further evidence of the enlightened, compassionate
conservative approach he intends to pursue, "He then added
that he thought 'digital divide' was a dangerous phrase
because it could be used to justify government entitlement
programs that guaranteed poor people cheaper access to new
technology, like digital television sets or computers. 'I
think there is a Mercedes divide,' he said. 'I'd like to
have one; I can't afford one. I'm not meaning to be
completely flip about this. I think it's an important social
issue. But it shouldn't be used to justify the notion of
essentially the socialization of the deployment of the


"Mr. Powell said, for instance, that he had a difficult time
providing a proper definition for "public interest," a
phrase salted throughout the nation's telecommunications
laws as the standard that regulators are supposed to apply
when they consider merger and license transfers and allow
broad deregulation. That phrase had been interpreted
expansively under Democratic appointees to justify imposing
conditions on several large corporate mergers."

Mr. Powell's idea is to let one of the greediest, least
responsive -- how many people on this list feel they get
responsive service from their cable or telephone companies
-- industries regulate itself.

If Kurt Vonnegut has written his remarks, we would have had
to suspend disbelief:

"He said he did not regard cable rates going up by more than
30 percent as a sign of failure of the cable deregulation of
the last few years.

"He also said the agency had no role to play in the emerging
debate about whether to transfer to the states the $6
billion federal program that provides Internet service to
public schools and libraries."

Surely, this is a matter this Council should at least debate
and possibly act on.

S.Michael Malinconico
School of Library and Information Studies
The University of Alabama
Box 870252
Tuscaloosa, AL  35487-0252

Tel: +1(205)348-8824 Fax: +1(205)348-3746

"But to live outside the law you must be honest." R.Zimmerman