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help - bills in house and senate to eliminate local public access tv

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boddhi Donating Member (92 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:04 PM
Original message
help - bills in house and senate to eliminate local public access tv
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/09/30/141...

Local public access television across the United States is being threatened by legislation introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

<snip>

Senate Bill 1504 - the Broadband Investment and Consumer Choice Act - was introduced in July by Republican Senators John Ensign of Nevada and John McCain of Arizona. According to the bill, the act would "eliminate government managed competition of existing communication service" and "provide parity between functionally equivalent services."

Essentially, the legislation would eliminate a requirement for telecommunications companies to pay franchise fees to local municipalities. These fees are required as compensation to the community for use of the public right of way through which the companies route cables and utilities. By eliminating the franchise fees, the bill will eliminate the only source of funding that the public access provider receives.

<snip>

Right now, the way some of these bills are written, the city is taken absolutely out of the equation. Any kind of community control is taken out of the equation, and in fact, one of the bills even proposes not to allow class action suits in the case where whole areas are discriminated against by the video provider, and the city cant represent you by -- according to this bill, and the state has diminished power, and I'm not making this up, a congressional staffer told me that if you have a problem with your cable service, that they expect you to call the FCC.

<snip>

A search on Google News for "Bill 1504" and "Public Access" yields virtually nothing - this is a big story that is being ignored.
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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. maybe someone could post this to Slashdot?
those folks get to get really riled about this sort of thing.
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