Communications-related Headlines for 1/31/97

Commm(subliminal message: Leave work and go see Star Wars)unications Related
Headlines 1/31/97

On-Line Ire Still Directed at Company

Does More Time on Line Mean Reduced TV Time?

Heaviest Users Are Left in the Cold In Settlement Pact

Retired General's Mission: Making Cyberspace Secure

Reformer in the Lobby

Battling Cyber Saboteurs

FCC Plans to Fine WTTG-TV $10,000

Report Says Act has Brought No Local Competition

Broadcast Ownership Proceeding

From New York Times (D1) (
Title: On-Line Ire Still Directed at Company
Author: Seth Schiesel
Issue: AOL
Description: AOL's attempts to assuage users' anger with refunds and free
kittens have not entirely succeeded. Many customers are angry that the
people online the least amount of time are getting the biggest ($40)
refunds. Also, users complained that AOL had not staffed enough operators
to handle the refund calls so callers had an experience as satisfying as
trying to get online the past few weeks. AOL, though, reported that they
have had many positive responses about their refund plan.

From the New York Times (D5)(
Title: Does More Time on Line Mean Reduced TV Time?
Author: Bill Carter
Issue: Television
Description: A Nielsen study found that homes with AOL accounts watch TV
15% less than the average household. A representative from the Fox TV
network questioned the validity of the finding because the sample size of
the survey was very small (262 homes). The study was done in September
before the recent AOL feedingfrenzylogjam began. The households with AOL
also had a higher income and more education than the average household.
AOL was planning to use the survey not to say that the Internet leads to
less TV watching, but to prove to advertisers that the Internet was a
viable place for advertising.

Title: Heaviest Users Are Left in the Cold In Settlement Pact
Author: Jared Sandberg and Rebecca Quick
Issue: AOL
Description: The average AOL customer spends 16 hours a month online.
AOL's refund plan allows cash back for anyone online less than 15 hours a
month. Those who were online too much to qualify for a cash refund
represent 40% of the company's eight million users. State officials, who
pressured AOL to provide some sort of compensation to customers unable to
get online, and the company defend the refund policy. Overall, AOL's
cancellation rate has not gone up in the past two months, and many
customers report that they are waiting to see how AOL clears up the mess.

From the Washington Post (A19)(
Title: Retired General's Mission: Making Cyberspace Secure
Author: John Schwartz
Issue: Privacy/Security
Description: Retired Air Force General Robert T. Marsh is the chairman of
the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection. The
Commission will be holding hearings around the country on protecting the
computerized systems that run the nation's telecommunications, power and
finance infrastructures. The Commission will publish a report this July.

From the Washington Post (A19)(
Title: Reformer in the Lobby
Author: Al Kamen
Issue: Lobbying
Description: Retired Texas representative Jack Fields, former Chair of the
House Telecommunications subcommittee and member of the House Commerce
Committee, has formed the Twenty First Century Group. The company will
focus on issues before the Commerce Committee, particularly in areas of
telecommunications, securities, energy, health and the environment.
Although by law Mr. Fields cannot lobby his former colleagues, Cyndy
Wilkinson, his former staff counsel on the Commerce Committee, has also
joined the firm and has no such post-employment restrictions.

From the Washington Post (G1)(
Title: Battling Cyber Saboteurs
Author: Elizabeth Corcoran & Victoria Shannon
Issue: Privacy/Security
Description: Someone breaks into your company's computer system. Who ya
gonna call? Not the Ghostbusters -- the Computer Emergency Response Team
(CERT) at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. They're available free
at 412-268-7090.

From the Washington Post (G1)(
Title: FCC Plans to Fine WTTG-TV $10,000
Author: Paul Farhi
Issue: Children's Television
Description: DC-area Fox affiliate Channel 5 will be fined $10,000 for
breaking FCC rules concerning the type and amount of ads run during
programs aimed at children 12 and under. The station was one of four fined
for breaking rules resulting from the Children's Television Act.

from TR Daily
Title: Report Says Act has Brought No Local Competition
Issue: Competition
Description: Americans for Competitive Telecommunications, a coalition of
consumer groups and small business owners, have released a report that says
little progress has been made in local telephone competition. "As we
approach the one-year anniversary of the original bill designed to provide
for a procompetitive national policy framework, the reality is that all
industry players and regulators are entangled with federal and state rules
to implement the Act, and there is yet no competition," said Mark Phigler,
ACT's President.

At the FCC (
NATIONAL OWNERSHIP PROCEEDINGS. Granted request by Media Access Project
and extended to March 21, 1997, the time to file reply comments in the
matter of three related rulemaking items regarding national and local
ownership of television stations and attribution of broadcast and
cable/MDS ownership interests. Dkt No.: MM- 94-150, MM- 92-51, MM-
87-154. Action by Bureau Chief. by Order. (DA No. 97-210). MMB

METROPOLITAN AREA SCHOOLS. The FCC announced that it is donating more
than 45 surplus computers and associated electronic equipment to seven
schools in the Maryland and Metropolitan District of Columbia areas.. CIB
Contact: Roy Kolly at (202) 418-1154.
...and swoosh, we're off