This month, we’ll be hearing former EFF Austin Board member Michael Hathaway present information from the world of modernizing electric utilities and the regulatory bodies that love them in a talk entitled “Smart Grid and the Internet.” Here’s the summary:
Michael Hathaway, CEO of Tiga Energy Services, Inc, www.tigaenergy.com, will share his unique and controversial perspective on the Smart Grid as it mirrors the evolution of the Internet.
He will outline the similarities between these two industries, explore lessons learned from the Internet and ponder the various scenarios for Smart Grid ranging from it transforming our lives to becoming a dot-com bubble.
This will not be a conventional industry overview of the Smart Grid, so bring an open mind and lots of questions!
Michael Hathaway is a technology executive whose career spans the the early days of digital audio, the broadband & multimedia revolution, to the rapid evolution of the energy industry occurring today. He currently heads up Tiga Energy Services, a network communications and cyber security firm that serves the energy industry.
Michael is always an engaging and passionately rational speaker and conversationalist. It’ll be a good talk and we’re all sure to learn.
We meet on First Wednesdays at The Flying Saucer [ @FlyingSaucerAus ] from 7-9pm. So that puts us on Wednesday September 7th. Parking is available on the surface lots, in the garages, and in the field adjacent to the SFC Farmer’s Market, which takes place every Wednesday in the commons field. We’re in the reserved room in the back right corner as you walk into the Saucer. We’re raising bandwidth issues with Flying Saucer, so for now bring your wireless access device of choice if you got em; any less pressure on the network infrastructure helps. And we have our own VGA cable this time to avoid that “everything is yellow” jaundiced-effect. Power strips will be available on side tables.
Scott McCullough, telecommunications attorney and member of the EFF-Austin Board of Directors will discuss the net neutrality issue viewed through the lens of the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger.
How is this merger related to net neutrality? In a letter to the FCC, EFF’s Cindy Cohn said this: “One of the major contributing factors to the risk of non-neutral behavior by carriers is the lack of sufficient competition.” EFF argues in favor of competition and against consolidation of market power. Cohn goes on to argue that “if the Administration, both the FCC and the Department of Justice, seeks to support a more neutral, more innovationfriendly digital communications infrastructure, it should use its efforts to assist in the creation of more competitors, rather than fewer. The merger thus represents a step in the wrong direction.”
Scott will discuss the merger, EFF’s position, and broader issues of net neutrality.
Bring your comments and questions!
W. Scott McCollough is an attorney whose practice focuses on communications, computer and Internet law and regulation, with an emphasis on representation of consumers and small competitive and new technology application and service providers. He also provides instruction and training in those areas to individuals, groups, and companies. He is Board Certified in Administrative Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Past activities included 10 years as an Assistant Texas Attorney General and Contract Consumer Advocate (representing residential and small business consumers) with City of Austin Electric Utility (1994-1999). Past Regulatory Counsel for Texas ISDN Users Group and Texas Internet Service Providers Association. He has unparalleled knowledge and experience relating to those places where technology and regulation intersect – and often collide – all the way up the protocol stack.
EFF-Austin, working with the LBJ School of Public Affairs in Austin, is helping organize the Texas Government 2.0 Camp on January 28-29 at the Austin Community College Eastview Campus. You can see more about the event here: http://txgov20.org/
“The Texas Government 2.0 Camp will bring together leading thinkers from all levels of government, academia, media and industry to explore the best ways to make Open Government work for everyone. They will share initiatives already in progress and collaborate on how to leverage social media tools and Web 2.0 technologies to create a more collaborative, efficient and effective government. Though the possibilities seem endless, resources are often in short supply and by harnessing the power of new technologies governments do more than ever before.”