World
How States in the US Are Fighting to Keep Towns From Offering Their Own Broadband
North Carolina and Tennessee are the latest states to side with telecoms, which have long lobbied against allowing cities to become Internet providers
 
Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission voted to ease the way for cities to become Internet service providers. So-called municipal broadband is already a reality in a few towns, often providing Internet access and faster service to rural communities that cable companies don’t serve.
 
The cable and telecommunications industry have long lobbied against city-run broadband, arguing that taxpayer money should not fund potential competitors to private companies.
 
The telecom companies have what may seem like an unlikely ally: states. Roughly 20 states have restrictions against municipal broadband. 
 
And the attorneys general in North Carolina and Tennessee have recently filed lawsuits in an attempt to overrule the FCC and block towns in these states from expanding publicly funded Internet service. 
 
North Carolina’s attorney general argued in a suit filed last month that the “FCC unlawfully inserted itself between the State and the State’s political subdivisions.” Tennessee’s attorney general filed a similar suit in March. 
 
Tennessee has hired one of the country’s largest telecom lobbying and law firms, Wiley Rein, to represent the state in its suit. The firm, founded by a former FCC chairman, has represented AT&T, Verizon and Qwest, among others. 
 
James Tierney, director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School, said it is not unusual for attorneys general to seek outside counsel for specialized cases that they view as a priority. 
 
Asked about the suit, the Tennessee attorney general’s office told ProPublica, “This is a question of the state’s sovereign ability to define the role of its local governmental units.” North Carolina Attorney General’s office said in a statement that the “legal defense of state laws by the Attorney General’s office is a statutory requirement.” 
 
As the New York Times detailed last year, state attorneys general have become a major target of corporate lobbyists and contributors including AT&T, Comcast and T-Mobile.
 
North Carolina is no exception. The state’s Attorney General Roy Cooper received roughly $35,000 from the telecommunications industry in his 2012 run for office. Only the state’s retail industry gave more.
 
The donations are just a small part of contributions the industry has made in the states. In North Carolina’s 2014 elections, the telecommunications industry gave a combined $870,000 to candidates in both parties, which made it one of the top industries to contribute that year. Candidates in Tennessee received nearly $921,000 from AT&T and other industry players in 2014
 
The FCC’s decision came after two towns – City of Wilson in North Carolina and Chattanooga in Tennessee – appealed to the agency to be able to expand their networks. 
 
The vote has rattled some companies. In a government filing earlier this year, Comcast cited the FCC’s decision as a risk to the company’s business: “Any changes to the regulatory framework applicable to any of our services or businesses could have a negative impact on our businesses and results of operations.”
 
If the court upholds the FCC’s authority to preempt restrictions in North Carolina and Tennessee, it may embolden other cities to file petitions with the agency, according to lawyer Jim Baller, who represents Wilson and the Chattanooga Electric Power Board. “A victory by the FCC would be a very welcome result for many communities across America,” said Baller. 
 
For some residents in and outside of Chattanooga, clearing the way to city-run broadband…
 
 
Courtesy: ProPublica

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TV18 Broadcast and CNN to part ways from January 2016
TV18 and CNN will not renew their licencing agreement for CNN IBN news channel from next year
 
TV18 Broadcast Ltd and Cable News Network Inc (CNN) have decided not to renew their 10-year licensing agreement for English news channel CNN IBN in India. This means from January 2016 onwards CNN will move away from IBN and the TV18 group and both will go own way. 
 
"TV18 and CNN will be successfully concluding their 10-year licensing arrangement in January 2016 for CNN IBN. The conclusion of the arrangement will enable each company thereafter to chart its own growth trajectory independently in one of the most dynamic, complex and fast growing markets in the world," the companies said in a joint statement.
 
On 7 July 2014, Independent Media Trust (IMT) a subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) took over the controlling stake of TV18 Broadcast and Network18 Media and Investments.
 
At 12.32pm, TV18 was trading 2% up at Rs37.05 and Network18 was up 4.8% at Rs59.10 on the BSE, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was marginally up at 27,674.

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Court sets date for framing of charges in Madhu Koda case
A court here on Tuesday set July 14 for its order on framing of charges in the coal block allocation case allegedly involving former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda.
 
Special Judge Bharat Parashar reserved his order in the coal block allocation case against Koda, Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd. (VISUL) and others. 
 
The court was hearing the case related to Jharkhand's Rajhara North coal block allocation to VISUL.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation has alleged that former coal secretary H.C. Gupta, Koda and others conspired to favour VISUL in allocating the coal block.
 
Others accused in the case include VISUL director Vaibhav Tulsyan, chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan, government officials Basant Kumar Bhatacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh and alleged middleman Vijay Joshi. 
 
They have been charge-sheeted for cheating and criminal conspiracy under the Prevention of Corruption Act. 

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