Arlington County is considering renewal of Comcast's cable franchise. You can participate in the process by joining a focus group discussion from June 16 to June 23. The discussions are organized around topics/organizations to which Comcast's service is relevant. Here's the complete focus group schedule.
Comcast has responded rapidly to at least one infrastructure problem in our neighborhood. But the scope of the discussion includes not just service quality, but also service scope. Comcast provides important facilities to the school system, the local government, Arlington Independent Media, and other local organizations. These services and possible additional services are up for discussion.
The Ode Street Tribune believes Comcast should offer open access for community video. Arlington residents should be able to upload videos to a staging server where they would then be streamed over a special Comcast community video channel. Responsible use of such a channel could be encouraged by requiring uploaders to provide a verified real name and (Arlington) address. If necessary, a cap on total video broadcast time per person per month could be established. Users who uploaded inappropriate content could have their community video broadcast privileges revoked. To ensure that the video stream is visually interesting, the video server would interweave the three videos on top of the queue in 30-second-maximum serial segments. The resulting video stream would be like a Twitter stream, but with video and with Arlington residents as the predefined follow group. Such a service would provide a new visual dimension for our Arlington community.