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Court Ruling Calls into Question Net Neutrality Regs, Broadband Plan

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 6 2010

This morning, the DC Circuit Court issued a decision that affects many of the policy matters of interest to our readers. In short, the court found that the Federal Communications Commission was exceeding the bounds of its authority when it went after the Internet provider Comcast for throttling BitTorrent's peer-to-peer traffic. That, more or less, is the same authority that the FCC is relying upon when it talks about enforcing net neutrality or even implementing some (but by no means all) of the provisions of the National Broadband Plan we've talked about in this space. To boil things down, there's a few different things that can happen now. The FCC can work to figure out how to justify its authority over the networks that make up the Internet. And/or Congress can pass some laws that give the FCC detailed power on Internet matters. Either approach could involve heavy doses of citizen engagement. Stay tuned.

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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