Telecom headlines, week of 28 July (I)

Gary Handman (
Mon, 28 Jul 1997 08:57:13 -0700 (PDT)

Title: Clinton Set To Nominate FCC Chairman
Source: Wall Street Journal <>(A3)
Author: John Wilke
Issue: Federal Communications Commission/Policymakers
Description: President Clinton plans to name FCC General Counsel William
Kennard as chairman of the five-member Commission. President Clinton is also
expect to name New Mexico Corporation Commissioner Gloria Tristani and the
Justice Department's Michael Powell to the FCC. In May, the President
nominated House Commerce Committee Chief Economist Harold Furchtgott-Roth to
the Commission, but the Senate Commerce Committee has taken no action yet to
confirm the nomination.

Source: Wall Street Journal <> (B1)
Author: John R. Wilke
Issue: Federal Communications Commission/Policymakers
Description: William Kennard, President Clinton's pick to head the FCC,
will face a tough confirmation process, but once confirmed will do well
because of his consensus-building style of leadership. Kennard would be the
first African-American to be Chairman of the FCC. Kennard would be expected
to promote pro-consumer policies in terms of cutting cable rates and keeping
Baby Bells out of the long distance markets until they fully open their
local markets. Kennard is also concerned about the lack of diversity in
media ownership.

Title: America Online, in Reversal, Won't Give User Phone Numbers to
Source: Wall Street Journal <>(B6)
Author: Rebecca Quick
Issue: Online Services
Description: Pressured by customers and legal authorities, America Online
will not make subscribers phone numbers available to telemarketers. AOL
employees, however, will be making calls on behalf of marketers and some
customers are still not happy. "The call is still being made -- I could care
less who makes it," one Miami customer said. "The backbone of the issue is
that information collected for one purpose shouldn't be used for another
purpose," said Deirdre Mulligan of the Center for Democracy and Technology

Title: Network Speeds Tempo of Downloading Songs
Source: New York Times
Author: Andrew Ross Sorkin
Issue: Internet Content/Copyright
Description: At Home Network -- which provides high-speed, high-capacity
access to the
Internet -- is expected to announce plans to make highest-quality audio
recordings available for quick download. Over a normal phone line, these
downloads would take an hour or more. Over At Home, it'll take ~5 minutes.
The music industry, however, is afraid the service could lead to more piracy.

Title: A Pileup On The Information Highway
Source: National Journal (p.1513)
Author: Graeme Browning
Issue: Internet
Description: Recent errors that caused confusion on the Internet raise
concerns that the global network will be able to handle the electronic
commerce of the many businesses that are flocking to it. The errors have
also raised concerns about Network Solutions, the company that runs the main
registry of Internet addresses. Daniel Weitzner of the Center for Democracy
and Technology <> says, "If MCI's network keeps crashes on
you, you may decide to switch to AT&T. You don't have that option on the
Internet with respect to domain names. If you want to keep, say,
running, the only company that can do that for you is Network Solutions. You
can tell them you're angry about their service, but you can't take your
business elsewhere."

Source: New York Times
Author: Deborah Shapley
Issue: Digital TV/Spectrum
Description: Budget Conference Committee members have agreed on provisions
that may delay the transition to digital television. The Federal
Communications Commission set 2006 as the date broadcasters would have to
return spectrum currently used to air television. All broadcasts after that
date would be in the new digital format. But House and Senate budget
conferees have agreed on language that sets up a three-tiered test for the
return of spectrum. Broadcasters may keep both their analog and digital
licenses if 1) 15% of all households in the market they serve lack access to
digital signals; 2) less than 85% of households have cable, digital TV sets,
or digital converter boxes; or 3) if one of the four major networks is not
broadcasting digital signals in the area. The Clinton Administration and
Senator John McCain have opposed changing the FCC's rules.

Title: Web Advertising Beyond Banners
Source: New York Times
Author: Nzong Xiong
Issue: Advertising
Description: Last year, advertisers, particularly technology and financial
services companies, spent $301 million on ads on the Internet. In the first
quarter on 1997 alone, $133 was spent. Advertisers want more bang for their
many bucks and are looking for new ways to advertise including: pop-up
windows, roadblocks, tickers, and incentives. [see <>,
<>, <]

Title: Trying to make computer channel surfing as attractive as the couch
potato(e) variety
Source: New York Times
Author: Regina Joseph
Issue: Old vs New Media
Description: Seventy-one years after John Logie Baird invented the
television, we've moved from the one-sized, fits-all BBC, one-station model
to the fragmented cable model to, most recently, the interactive channel
with a companion Web site. And Internet service providers are moving toward
the "channel" concept as well. "it's simply the easiest way consumers can
find info."

Title: Disney Blitzes Cyberspace With 'Daily Blast' Service
Source: Wall Street Journal <> (B4)
Author: Bruce Orwall
Issue: Online Services/Internet Content
Description: Disney has launched a Internet service for children 12 and
under called the 'Daily Blast' featuring different games, comics, and news
and sports information every day. "It's part of a recent blitz by Disney to
establish Internet beachheads for many of its products, from ESPN to ABC
News." The Daily Blast costs $4.95 a month and this doesn't include
Internet access. Disney hopes that the service becomes a ritual for kids.
Analysts question whether enough families will support the Daily Blast when
other kids' sites are free.

Title: Advice for Removing Spam's Stain From the Screen
Source: Washington Post
> (WashBus 19)
Author: Victoria Shannon
Issue: E-mail/Privacy
Description: This article looks into different strategies that one can
use to avoid the greasy spiced ham that somehow always finds a way into
one's "inbox." AOL users have different keywords they can type
("marketing prefs" and "postmaster") to help guard their e-mail
accounts. Several groups would like to put the responsibility on
Internet service providers to filter out spam, but no feasible way of
doing this has been realized. Many believe that legislation will be the
answer, but for those who don't want to wait the 2 and a half
years...check out the Coalition Against Unsolicited E-Mail
<> and the Stop Junk E-mail site at

Title: "Euroskeptics" Offer a Lesson On the Web as Political Arena
Source: New York Times
Author: Edmund Andrews
Issue: Old vs New Media
Description: "The media speaks the words of the Government, and the says we
want to be involved with the euro," says Martin Dessing president of Dutch
political group Boycot de Euro. "I think we've started a new discussion, and
that's why we've started to use the Internet." Television and newspapers had
all but ignored people skeptical of the European currency, but these
dissenters "have created a textbook example of how political groups outside
the mainstream can use the Web as a political tool." Activity on the Web
shows that there is more opposition to the Euro than political leaders care
to admit. See <> and

Title: Let the People See Justice be Done
Source: Washington Post
tml> (A19)
Author: Fred Graham, Court TV
Issue: Journalism
Description: This op-ed, written by the chief anchor and managing editor
of Court TV, attacks the judicial trend of barring television cameras
from the courtroom in "high profile" cases. According to Graham, the
states that allow cameras in the courtroom all conducted studies to
judge the potential effect of the cameras on judges, attorneys, etc.,
and that these studies should not be ignored simply because a case is
"high profile." Graham believes that the public interest is better
served because the higher the profile of a case, the more vital it
is that the public be informed. And the better the ratings are for his

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000