Interim Executive Director Casey Rae Speaks to MN Musicians and Composers
Monday, March 10, 2014
Good morning. Thank you for all for being here, and thank you for having me at the Minnesota Music Summit. It’s truly an honor to be joining you at this amazing event. Today, I want to explore the future of music, which is still being written, and which you all can play a part in writing. Some of the issues I’ll be bringing up will no doubt be familiar to you. Others may not be as familiar. But it’s not just about me giving some prepared remarks, it’s about dialog. It’s about the very real connections between people who are passionate about music, who create it and nurture it. And those are the connections that I love to make. In 2014, there’s no single approach to being a musician or composer, so it’s become critical that we listen and learn from one another.
High costs, crappy customer service and speeds well below what’s advertised. How much do you love your Internet Service Provider (ISP)? If you have Comcast or Time Warner Cable, chances are not a lot. These two cable behemoths consistently come in at the top of “worst companies ever” lists, and we’re sure plenty of musicians can count themselves among the frustrated. Now these two companies wanna get married. But will the government allow it?
That’s something that Washington, DC is grappling with as we speak. On one side of the debate you’ve got well-heeled corporate lobbyists working on behalf of ISPs keen to make more money from controlling even more of the broadband marketplace. On the other, you’ve got regular Internet users, consumer groups and creative entrepreneurs who are tired of being promised one thing and paying out the nose for another.
Pono, the Toblerone-shaped personal hi-res audio player backed by Neil Young and endorsed by a gaggle of high-profile rockers, recently made waves at SXSW, and its Kickstarter campaign has already zoomed past its stated goal and raised over $5 million with 16 days to go. But will the device live up to the hype? More importantly, what will it mean for musicians? read more
Back in January, we shared the crummy news that a federal appeals court had overturned the FCC’s Open Internet Order, which established basic rules of the road for ISPs (Internet Service Providers). The upshot is that net neutrality—so important to preserving a level playing field online for musicians and everyone else—is once again in jeopardy.
Then in February, we shared the more encouraging news that incoming FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was now fully determined to do something about it, having just received a million signatures in support of an open, accessible Internet. As the new head of the independent government agency tasked with regulating communications technologies, Wheeler announced an action plan and asked for feedback.
You won’t be surprised to learn that we had a lot to say!
Ever see the movie Groundhog Day? Sometimes Washington feels a little like that. Case in point: the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today announced its intent to move forward with a net neutrality rulemaking proceeding via a statement from Chairman Tom Wheeler. We’ve seen this movie before, but now we’re gearing up for the sequel.
Déjà vu aside, this is a significant development. On January 14, 2014, a federal appeals court threw out the FCC’s Open Internet Order meant to preserve a level online playing field for creators and other entrepreneurs. Since then, we’ve been waiting to see what Chairman Wheeler’s next move might be. Today, we have our answer.
In a nutshell, Wheeler’s plan involves a public comments proceeding, followed by an expected rulemaking under a different legal rationale than the one the court rejected. Wheeler seems confident that the Commission can issue new rules based on its existing Congressional mandate to “encourage broadband deployment by, among other things, removing barriers to infrastructure deployment, encouraging innovation, and promoting competition.” Others, FMC included, are concerned that this approach may not be the clearest way to protect an open, accessible internet.
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced how the FCC will move forward following a recent court decision invalidating the bulk of its 2010 Open Internet Order. This order established basic rules of the road preventing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from choosing winners and losers online based on business or other preferences. Chairman Wheeler declared the FCC’s goal of establishing new rules under a different legal rationale, as well as the opening of a new docket for public comment. read more
On February 12, 2014, news broke that Comcast, already America’s biggest Internet service provider and video distributor, would attempt to buy Time Warner Cable for 45.2 billion dollars. The deal would impact everything from internet access and pricing to how media is delivered.
The following statement is from FMC Interim Executive Director Casey Rae: read more
On February 3, 2013, Democratic leaders in the US House of Representatives and Senate introduced companion bills to preserve a level online playing field. The move follows a recent court ruling that threw out the Federal Communications Commission’s 2010 Open Internet Order establishing basic rules of the road for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). These rules are meant to prevent the very few companies that provide Internet service from blocking or discriminating against lawful content based on business or other preferences.