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Reply #29: This is why the Telecom Act of '96 Was so DEVASTATING to the Party: [View All]

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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-08 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #3
29. This is why the Telecom Act of '96 Was so DEVASTATING to the Party:
Edited on Tue Jul-15-08 10:18 AM by mod mom
This is why endorsement of the Telecom act of '96 was so devastating to the party:

The Telecommunications Act of 1996<1> was the first major overhaul of United States telecommunications law in nearly 62 years, amending the Communications Act of 1934, and leading to media consolidation.<2> It was approved by the 104th Congress on January 3, 1996 and signed into law on February 8, 1996 by President Bill Clinton.



Noting the historic nature of the bill, President Clinton stated that the legislation would "stimulate investment, promote competition, provide open access for all citizens to the Information Superhighway." However, many public interest groups are concerned that the act undermines public interest values of access.



This study tells the story of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and its aftermath. In many ways,
the Telecom Act failed to serve the public and did not deliver on its promise of more competition,
more diversity, lower prices, more jobs and a booming economy.

Instead, the public got more media concentration, less diversity, and higher prices.

Over 10 years, the legislation was supposed to save consumers $550 billion, including $333 billion in
lower long-distance rates, $32 billion in lower local phone rates, and $78 billion in lower cable bills.
But cable rates have surged by about 50 percent, and local phone rates went up more than 20 percent.
Industries supporting the new legislation predicted it would add 1.5 million jobs and boost the economy
by $2 trillion. By 2003, however, telecommunications’ companies’ market value had fallen by about
$2 trillion, and they had shed half a million jobs.

And study after study has documented that profit-driven media conglomerates are investing less in news
and information, and that local news in particular is failing to provide viewers with the information they
need to participate in their democracy
Why did this happen? In some cases, industries agreed to the terms of the Act and then went to court
to block them. By leaving regulatory discretion to the Federal Communications Commission, the Act
gave the FCC the power to issue rules that often sabotaged the intent of Congress. Control of the House
passed from Democrats to Republicans, more sympathetic to corporate arguments for deregulation.
And while corporate special interests all had a seat at the table when this bill was being negotiated, the
public did not. Nor were average citizens even aware of this legislation’s great impact on how they
got their entertainment and information, and whether it would foster or discourage diversity of
viewpoints and a marketplace of ideas, crucial to democratic discourse.

Now, as Congress once again takes up major legislation to change telecommunications policy, and as it
revisits the Telecom Act, major industries have had nearly a decade to reinforce their relationships with
lawmakers and the Administration through political donations and lobbying:

• Since 1997, just eight of the country’s largest and most powerful media and telecommunications
companies, their corporate parents, and three of their trade groups, have spent more than $400 million
on political contributions and lobbying in Washington, according to a Common Cause analysis of
federal records.

• Verizon Communications, SBC Communications Inc., AOL Time Warner, General Electric Co./NBC,
News Corp./Fox, Viacom Inc./CBS, Comcast Corp., Walt Disney Co./ABC, and the National
Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and the United
States Telecom Association together gave nearly $45 million in federal political donations since 1997.
Of that total, $17.8 million went to Democrats and $26.9 million went to Republicans.

• These eight companies and three trade associations also spent more than $358 million on lobbying
in Washington, since 1998, when lobbying expenditures were first required to be disclosed.
All this investment once again gives radio and television broadcasters, telephone companies, long-distance
providers, cable systems and Internet companies a huge advantage over average citizens.
While these corporations have different, and sometimes opposing views on individual provisions of a new
Telecom Act, their overriding desire is for less federal regulation. A new Telecommunications Act could
be written “in a matter of months, not years,” and be a “very short bill,” focused on an almost complete
deregulation of the telecommunications industry, said F. Duane Ackerman, chairman and CEO
of BellSouth Corporation. “The basic issue before the Congress is simple,” Ackerman said.
“Can competition do a better job than traditional utility regulation?”
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  -Pittsburgh-area Comcast has moved MSNBC off of basic cable scheming daemons  Jul-15-08 06:55 AM   #0 
  - They're moving a whole bunch of our channels too (MA)  bicentennial_baby   Jul-15-08 07:02 AM   #1 
  - Oh my God! My friends are going to flip out! I got them hooked on  napi21   Jul-15-08 07:03 AM   #2 
  - DAMN! I just checked my TV. No MSNBC except the one TV  PA Democrat   Jul-15-08 07:17 AM   #3 
  - You are getting ripped OFF.. We have the Top Dish plan  SoCalDem   Jul-15-08 10:00 AM   #27 
  - This is why the Telecom Act of '96 Was so DEVASTATING to the Party:  mod mom   Jul-15-08 10:16 AM   #29 
     - ....."competition" . . . ? Where. . . . ? Capitalism isn't about competion ...  defendandprotect   Jul-18-08 01:56 PM   #42 
  - I'm going to make some phone calls to Democratic politicians later today.  PA Democrat   Jul-15-08 07:20 AM   #4 
  - I just ditched my dish and went to Comcast cable.  RebelOne   Jul-15-08 07:23 AM   #5 
  - Why did YOU get rid of Dish . . . ??? It's being recommended here . . .  defendandprotect   Jul-18-08 01:58 PM   #43 
  - They obviously hate Joe Scarborough and Tim Matthews  Freddie Stubbs   Jul-15-08 07:27 AM   #6 
  - my tinfoil hat is crackling  mopinko   Jul-15-08 07:29 AM   #7 
  - Yet I have att and it's still on my regular channel?  sellitman   Jul-15-08 07:36 AM   #8 
  - $$$$$$$$$$$$$  KharmaTrain   Jul-15-08 07:45 AM   #9 
  - Comcast owns the Golf Channel  RockaFowler   Jul-15-08 08:02 AM   #11 
  - "There is no way that the Golf Channel was generating more interest and viewers than MSNBC."  jberryhill   Jul-15-08 07:47 AM   #10 
  - Am I wrong or was Abrams also ditching the right-wing stuff . . .???  defendandprotect   Jul-18-08 01:59 PM   #44 
  - Moving MSNBC to the digital tier would be enough for me to cancel cable  high density   Jul-15-08 08:46 AM   #12 
  - Kick..... Is this happening in other cities????  scheming daemons   Jul-15-08 09:05 AM   #13 
  - Yes it has - Google it  RamboLiberal   Jul-15-08 09:09 AM   #16 
  - In Denver, Comcast moved MSNBC and 2 Cspan Channels to the upper tier  librechik   Jul-18-08 12:13 PM   #35 
  - Time for folks there to switch to Dish Network...  calipendence   Jul-15-08 09:06 AM   #14 
  - Yes... but could I watch it on my TV card on my PC?  scheming daemons   Jul-15-08 09:06 AM   #15 
  - I just got rid of Dish.  RebelOne   Jul-15-08 10:19 AM   #30 
  - I don't like losing reception every time there's inclement weather n/t  Skittles   Jul-20-08 02:02 AM   #79 
  - Anyone know if there are any new VCR or digital recorders  RamboLiberal   Jul-15-08 09:11 AM   #17 
  - TivO series 3 HD box eliminates the need for a cable box  48percenter   Jul-18-08 03:11 PM   #54 
  - This problem was discussed by Thom Hartmann and others last October...  calipendence   Jul-15-08 09:14 AM   #18 
  - S. Florida Comcast moved CSPAN2 off basic cable. I was trying to get them to carry CSPAN3...  JBoris   Jul-15-08 09:18 AM   #19 
  - Comcast nearly doubled our rate then dropped c-span2  bagimin   Jul-15-08 09:49 PM   #33 
  - Right . . . the moment Comcast came in they began to cut C-span II/Senate . .  defendandprotect   Jul-18-08 02:02 PM   #45 
  - Per local radio talk show host the decision was solely COMCAST's  PA Democrat   Jul-15-08 09:19 AM   #20 
  - This has to do with the war between the right wing and GE  Stuart G   Jul-15-08 09:19 AM   #21 
  - And my guess is..  Stuart G   Jul-15-08 09:25 AM   #23 
  - This happened with my cable company (Charter) when they  Texas Explorer   Jul-15-08 09:23 AM   #22 
  - comcast is a retardlican tool.  Froward69   Jul-15-08 09:51 AM   #24 
  - and you are laughably uninformed  onenote   Jul-18-08 04:38 PM   #64 
  - But..but.. The Golf Channel is WAY more popular than MSNBC...  Junkdrawer   Jul-15-08 09:53 AM   #25 
  - BTW: I posted a warning June 20th...  Junkdrawer   Jul-15-08 10:04 AM   #28 
  - Join me in emailing Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz and others to get the out there!  mod mom   Jul-15-08 09:58 AM   #26 
  - Suggest contacting TV critic Rob Owen at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  RamboLiberal   Jul-15-08 10:22 AM   #31 
  - Rob Owen already knows about it and doesn't seem concerned at all  onenote   Jul-18-08 02:42 PM   #48 
     - the reason that some channels get moved and others don't isn't political, its contractual  onenote   Jul-18-08 02:45 PM   #50 
  - Kick for the evening crowd  scheming daemons   Jul-15-08 06:27 PM   #32 
  - Comcast  JodyD   Jul-18-08 12:11 PM   #34 
  - Thank You Jody. Some People Just Always Think There's A Conspiracy,  OPERATIONMINDCRIME   Jul-18-08 12:19 PM   #37 
  - Capitalism, itself, is a conspiracy --- a ridiculous "King-of-the-Hill System" . . .  defendandprotect   Jul-18-08 02:09 PM   #46 
  - You kept Fox News, CNN, and CNN HN on Basic Cable..You chose MSNBC (the more liberal cable news)..  Junkdrawer   Jul-18-08 12:36 PM   #38 
  - Judy D is a propagandist for Comcast.  ooglymoogly   Jul-18-08 01:28 PM   #40 
  - Ridiculous  onenote   Jul-18-08 02:40 PM   #47 
     - Fox News, CNN, and CNN HN (The Glenn Beck Channel) stay on Basic Cable. MSNBC is moved to Digital...  Junkdrawer   Jul-18-08 03:02 PM   #51 
        - Those channels almost certainly have contractual provisions protecting their tier placement  onenote   Jul-18-08 03:41 PM   #56 
           - Your arguments are sillyer than Judy D's nt  ooglymoogly   Jul-18-08 07:48 PM   #75 
  - If subscribers want MSNBC and C-span II/Senate, what meaning does  defendandprotect   Jul-18-08 01:46 PM   #41 
  - Okay, so now Comc-ASSED is monitoring DU??  48percenter   Jul-18-08 03:08 PM   #53 
  - Well, they probably are.  newmajority   Jul-18-08 05:02 PM   #70 
  - 2 questions for Jody  scheming daemons   Jul-18-08 03:16 PM   #55 
  - I'm not jody, but my guess is that it had a lot to do with contractual provsions  onenote   Jul-18-08 03:58 PM   #59 
     - They replaced the spot on the dial with The Golf Channel...  Junkdrawer   Jul-18-08 04:02 PM   #60 
        - and how does that have anything to do with my point?  onenote   Jul-18-08 04:06 PM   #61 
           - Since they were preempting 62 to 99, they went out of their way to move MSNBC...  Junkdrawer   Jul-18-08 04:14 PM   #62 
              - wouldn't that make it less business savvy  onenote   Jul-18-08 04:32 PM   #63 
                 - ..and I will move to either Verizon or a dish...  Junkdrawer   Jul-18-08 04:41 PM   #65 
                    - hope you aren't in Long Island -- Verizon in Long Island doesn't carry MSNBC at all  onenote   Jul-18-08 04:44 PM   #66 
                       - The whole "MSNBC may not have had a Basic Tier contract" line seems, logically, to be part...  Junkdrawer   Jul-18-08 04:57 PM   #69 
                          - contract terms explain why they probably didn't move CNN or Fox  onenote   Jul-18-08 05:08 PM   #71 
                             - Prove it....your argument is based on a probable cow jumping `  ooglymoogly   Jul-18-08 07:57 PM   #76 
  - Hey Jody, Comcast is not getting one more stinking DIME from me.  PA Democrat   Jul-18-08 05:10 PM   #73 
  - Did you move Fox News to digital in Pittsburgh? No, 'nuff said.  tsuki   Jul-19-08 11:33 PM   #77 
     - They moved MSNBC, CSPAN1 and CSPAN2 to digital here in Colorado  thewiseguy   Jul-20-08 12:27 AM   #78 
  - ROFLMAO!!!!!  OPERATIONMINDCRIME   Jul-18-08 12:17 PM   #36 
  - Too bad not everyone is as sophisticated and brilliant as you.  Bluebear   Jul-18-08 02:44 PM   #49 
     - Oh Man You Ain't Kiddin!  OPERATIONMINDCRIME   Jul-18-08 05:10 PM   #72 
        - Well, I have to give it to you. Simple, but consistent ridicule has been more effective...  Junkdrawer   Jul-18-08 05:19 PM   #74 
  - DIRECT TV - Get it  Ioo   Jul-18-08 12:37 PM   #39 
  - Comc-ASSED is just comcASSTIC isn't it?  48percenter   Jul-18-08 03:05 PM   #52 
  - They did this in Portland last year  depakid   Jul-18-08 03:48 PM   #57 
  - They're doing it nationwide - a few markets at a time...  Junkdrawer   Jul-18-08 03:56 PM   #58 
  - We can't even get MSNBC  WCIL   Jul-18-08 04:50 PM   #67 
  - If they keep it up I will turn the fucker off! I'm sick of them anyway!  lonestarnot   Jul-18-08 04:51 PM   #68 

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