[Chtechcomm] Take Action to Protect Local Voices On TV

Terri Buckner tbuckner at ibiblio.org
Thu Feb 9 22:21:02 EST 2006


*FEBRUARY 13 (MONDAY) IS THE DEADLINE
TO FILE YOUR COMMENTS WITH THE FCC!*

The time is now to Take Action to Protect Local Voices On TV! The Giant 
Telephone and Cable Companies (including Verizon and Comcast) want to 
"streamline" the Video Franchising process in our cities and towns at 
the expense of local, multi-lingual voices in our Media and Democracy.

If the Communications Giants get their way, thousands of Public Access 
Centers (like BNN in Boston and CCTV in Cambridge) will lose their 
funding and be forced to shut their doors on millions of community 
voices around the country.

*What's The Issue?*

The Communications Giants are asking the Federal Communication 
Commission (FCC) to get rid of local franchising authorities ("LFAs") in 
the video franchising process. LFAs serve cities and towns by giving 
them the right to negotiate the terms of their service with video 
providers. In return for using our public rights of way (i.e., public 
streets and sidewalks), video service providers are required to give 
back money, channels, and facilities - the resources that bring us 
Public Access TV.

The Giants (particularly Verizon) however, claim that the local 
franchising process "simply takes too long." And they contend that LFAs 
should be removed from the process.

Without this process, how would cities and towns be able to protect 
themselves from such negative impacts as (1) high cable rates, and (2) 
"red lining" (or the practice of offering services to wealthy 
communities only)?

*Why Public Access TV Matters!*

Public Access TV ensures that everyone, including under represented, 
under served, and under resourced residents, can speak for themselves on 
local cable television. Public Access TV channels (like BNN in Boston 
and CCTV in Cambridge) provide our communities with:

1. The tools, training, and facilities to create their own media and 
make their voices heard.
2. Opportunities for all citizens to become active, critically thinking 
producers rather than passive consumers of media.
3. In depth coverage and multiple, multilingual perspectives on issues 
important to your local community.

To learn more about why Public Access TV Matters watch “Independent 
Community Producers Speak Out!” at the Media Policy Blog: 
http://mediapolicy.blogspot.com/2005/11/independent-community-producers-speak.html 


*TAKE ACTION NOW!!!*
Tell FCC Protect Local Voices on TV!

*Here's What To Do:*

STEP # 1:

*WRITE A BRIEF LETTER: *(two or three paragraphs) stating your support 
for Public Access TV. Make sure to mention the Public Access TV channels 
in your town. For sample talking points that may help you write your 
letter, visit this link: http://mnn.org/saveaccess/nprmhowto.html

STEP # 2:

*FILE YOUR LETTER ONLINE: *For an easy description on how to file your 
letter with the FCC, visit this link:
http://www.mnn.org/saveaccess/nprmhowto2.html

When filing your comments to the FCC, make sure to include:
1. Your name and address
2. The Public Access TV Center you support (for a list of all Public 
Access TV Channels in Massachusetts go to: 
http://www.communitymedia.se/cat/linksma.htm)
3. Make Sure to Refer to NPRM 05-311

After you've sent your letter to the FCC make sure to send a copy to The 
National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors at 
info at natoa.org.

Help protect local voices in our Media and Democracy. Tell the FCC to 
Protect Public Access TV!



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