Alert from the Alliance for Community Media: Major Action Afoot

Posted by Mitchell - December 6, 2006 (entry 498)

Dear Friend of Community Media,

I am writing to prepare you for a VERY important official action alert from the Alliance for Community Media.

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.

Somewhere in the near future, public comment and meetings will be formally cut-off. We have to get our contacts and comments in before then so the weight of our community will be felt in the formal record.

The FCC process is different and more formal than is the Congressional. The meetings are required to be made public. There are five commissioners and they all have to respond to YOU. You may contact them each, whether you represent an organization or not. They have all had to meet with industry already. They need to hear from us.

You will receive talking points and tools for making this contact easy. The Public Policy Work Group has tried to make this FCC contact an easy step-by-step process for everyone. It is a learning process for us all. Please watch for the action alert.

We are always successful when we stand together in these efforts. We know what is at stake. We understand how these little technical questions fit into the big picture of who we are as a people and the world those who follow will inherit from us.

We'd like to generate about 500 contacts in the next week. The whole set of actions will take 30-45 minutes, max. It is not too much of an investment. Set aside a little time and spread the word far and wide.


Anthony T. Riddle
Alliance for Community Media
666 11th Street NW, Suite 740
Washington, DC 20001

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