Verizon Bill Strategy Blog

March 8, 2007

John Donovan (CCTV) created People First, a “weblog/strategy piece”, as a way for people to work together to defeat the Verizon bill in the Massachusetts State House. The site provides a comprehensive approach towards achieving this goal.

“Verizon has introduced a bill into the Massachusetts State Legislature which is a disaster in more ways than one could even count, and they are putting a full-court lobbying and media press on to pass it, with extraordinary local and national dollars behind it. We need to kill this bill, but it’s going to take a seriously organized effort to win.

If you’re concerned about the future of community access to media and free speech, check out the blog and get involved.


Action Alert! from The Alliance for Community Media

December 8, 2006

Demand Fair Play for PEG Community,
Our Towns And Cities!

(From The Alliance for Community Media)

Take Action Now!

“The Alliance is calling on all supporters of Community Media to call and write the FCC no later than Wednesday, December 13!

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is preparing to issue a rule-making on video-franchising. This rule-making is the bureaucratic version of the national telecom laws we helped to defeat this past year. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. We cannot allow the FCC do to us what some members of Congress were unable to do.

Part of what is being proposed:

  • All PEG, I-Net and other in-kind services would be counted against 5% franchise fees. 5% would be an absolute cap.
  • Municipalities would have to approve new franchises for telephone companies within 90 days or allow them to operate without franchises.
  • There would be no build-out requirements allowed whatsoever.

We expect a vote by December 20th.”

Take Action Now!

Telecom Bill Stalled in Congress?

September 6, 2006

Media Week‘s Todd Shields reported Monday that the telecom bill in Congress may be stalled, or “disconnected” as the article suggests, due to the upcoming election season and other legislative priorities on Capitol Hill:

“The bill has prevailed in several votes and now needs an OK from the full Senate to clear Congress. But opponents have the calendar working for them. Lawmakers return to work Sept. 5 and adjourn by early October for the fall election campaign. The intervening weeks are likely to be jammed with routine appropriations and debate on national security.” – “Telecom Bill May Be Disconnected

Read the article here.

Save Public Access!

August 31, 2006

(From Cambridge Community Television‘s E-mail Update for Sept. 1, 2006)

“When the US Senate reconvenes, it is expected to consider H.R. 5252, the Advanced Telecommunications and Opportunity Reform (ATOR) Act.

This is the bill that has been pushed through Congress by Verizon, in an attempt to remove local control over cable franchising and allow telecommunications service providers to pick and choose which neighborhoods and communities they wish to serve. The bill also threatens internet neutrality. (See Save The Internet for more information.)

We need you to call our Senators and say ‘I urge the Senator to do everything within his power to keep H.R. 5252 from being voted on. If it IS brought to a vote, I urge the Senator to vote against the bill.

To take action:

Call Sen. Kennedy now at 617-565-3170.

Call Sen. Kerry now at 617-565-8519.”

Video Franchising and the FCC

August 5, 2006

(via Benton Foundation Headlines)

Faltering Telecom Bill May Spur FCC Action on Video Services

(Wednesday, August 2) “The prospect that Congress may not pass telecom overhaul legislation this year could spur the FCC to help the Bell telecommunications companies more rapidly enter the video market.

The FCC is considering two potential vehicles for obtaining regulatory relief, although action is not imminent.

One item concerns municipalities’ review of cable franchises, and the other addresses the definition of Internet-enabled services, including video programming.

The proposals could put the FCC at the core of faltering telecom legislation by undercutting municipal review of the Bells’ video services.

The House-passed bill, H.R. 5252 — which would pre-empt municipal cable franchises with a nationwide franchise — is stuck in the Senate over the issue of whether some telecom firms could be empowered to have tighter control over network providers’ content.”

Read the article here.

No Vote Scheduled This Week for Video Franchising and Net Neutrality Bill

August 3, 2006

(From Broadcasting & Cable)

No Floor Vote Scheduled for Franchise Bill

By John Eggerton — 8/1/2006

“Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has not scheduled a floor vote this week for the video franchise bill, and is ‘highly unlikely to’ given the already crowded schedule, according to a source close to the Leader’s office.

That likely means a September vote at the earliest, depending on whether bill backers can get the votes.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens is still lining up the 60 he needs to defeat a threatened filibuster of the bill over its absence of strong network neutrality provisions. Frist has made it clear that he won’t schedule a vote until he can be assured it won’t take up floor time only to be mooted by a filibuster.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), for one, has pledged to block the bill.”

Read the rest of the article here.

News from Save Access

July 25, 2006

Help save public access tv and the internet!

(via MNN)

“The Telecommunications Bill S.2686, aka HR.5252 (which is a companion bill to the COPE Act in the House) passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee on June 28th. It is slated to be voted on in the Full Senate Floor in the next few weeks.

It is urgent that you tell your U.S. Senators to protect Public, Educational & Governmental (PEG) Access TV, net neutrality & not allow phone companies to “redline” low-income & rural communities. Tell your friends and family across the country to do the same.

For more info and to email your Senators go to:

PUBLIC ACCESS = TV Made By, For and About Our Communities!
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