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, multilingual 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 (city 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 only to wealthy communities)?
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, multi-lingual perspectives on issues important to your local community.
To learn more about why Public Access TV Matters watch “Independent Community Producers Speak Out!” at Media Policy Blog.
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.
STEP # 2:
FILE YOUR LETTER ONLINE: For an easy description on how to file your letter with the FCC, visit this link.
When filing your comments to the FCC, make sure to include:
1. Your name
2. The Public Access TV Center you support (for a list of all Public Access TV Channels in Massachusetts click here).
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 email@example.com.
Help protect local voices in our Media and Democracy. Tell the FCC to
Protect Public Access TV!
Action Coalition for Media Education, Greater Boston