saveaccess's blog

Congress Poised to Kill Community TV

Posted on April 24, 2006 - 9:29am.

The Nation, April 24, 2006
By Jeff Chester

Congress is about to strike a blow that would eliminate the last remaining policy insuring local oversight of communications companies. A GOP-led effort on behalf of the telephone lobby (principally Verizon and AT&T), also backed by many Democrats, is about to toss in the dustbin the longstanding policy enabling cities or counties to negotiate a "franchise" agreement with companies that provide cable TV service. A key House committee is poised to pass legislation that would strip away the rights of communities to have any say in how phone and cable networks serve them in the digital era. . .

( categories: HR.5252 COPE )

Video Franchise Gains Steam in DC

Posted on April 21, 2006 - 6:46pm.

Light Reading
APRIL 21, 2006

The idea of a national video franchise got another push this week, Light Reading has learned. Sources in Washington say a House floor vote on Rep. Joe Barton’s national video franchise legislation is already being planned, a strong sign of the bill's momentum.

Barton’s bill, called the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006 (COPE), will be marked up and voted on in full committee next week, probably Wednesday. The bill passed the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet by a margin of 24-7 April 5...

( categories: HR.5252 COPE )

New Broad Coalition Fights for Net Freedom

Posted on April 21, 2006 - 8:17am.

The Coalition launches April 24 to urge Congress to take immediate steps to save the First Amendment of the Internet — a principle...

Congress is pushing a law that would abandon “network neutrality.” Network neutrality prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from choosing which Web sites open most easily for you based on who pays them more. Your local library shouldn’t have to outbid Barnes & Noble for the right to work more properly on your computer. . .

Go to the site and sign onto their campaign: Save the Internet

( categories: )

Will Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and the Others Really Fight for Net Neutrality?

Posted on April 21, 2006 - 8:11am.

Word from sources in Congress say that the major companies arguing for network neutrality have failed so far to demonstrate they are seriously committed to seeing legislation passed. While the CEO's from the Bell companies, we were told, glad-handed members of Congress, leading online companies have been largely MIA.

Imagine if on its home pages Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's MSN urged users to take actionand asked them to save the Internet. Congress would be overwhelmed with angry emails and letters. The Bell/cable industry "grass-tops" faux campaign would be seen as a very minor, paid-for, outcry. But we wonder whether Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! really want to see network neutrality legislation? They must have serious misgivings, since they have done such an incompetent and half-hearted lobbying effort so far.

Certainly they are thinking about the downsides of legislation. For today's call for network neutrality could (and should) lead to other legislative safeguards, such as protecting privacy online. Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo! fear that such privacy safeguards would threaten their interactive advertising/data collection digital golden gooses.

Complete Article: Digital Destiny, AUTHOR: Jeff Chester

( categories: )

Barton Shielding Telecom Bill From House Judiciary Panel

Posted on April 21, 2006 - 8:03am.

Technology Daily
April 14, By Drew Clark

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Joe Barton, R-Texas, is doing everything possible to avoid having his panel's telecommunications legislation referred to the Judiciary Committee.

Last week Barton and Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., were cautious about accepting amendments that might give Judiciary jurisdiction over their bill. . .

( categories: HR.5252 COPE )

Area government officials say AT&T wants to remove local oversight

Posted on April 21, 2006 - 8:00am.

By KURT HAUGLIE, Gazette Writer
April 14

OSCEOLA TOWNSHIP — Osceola Township Supervisor Steven Karpiak is concerned that local governments may be about to lose control of cable communication access and franchise fees in their communities if proposed legislation in Lansing becomes law.

The legislation, which is being promoted by telecommunications companies AT&T and Verizon in states around the country, would place the decision about where cable is installed with state government. . .

Beating the COPE Act: New Legislation Threatens Future of Public Access TV.

Posted on April 21, 2006 - 7:56am.

by Lyell Davies
Apr. 14, 2006

On April 5th the phone company backed COPE Act was “marked-up” and moved out of sub-committee in Washington. The COPE Act follows on the heels of BITS II and earlier controversial legislation that seeks to help the phone companies enter into the Broadband video-service market—and in the process change rules that have for decades successfully governed local telecommunications

( categories: HR.5252 COPE )

AT&T: Let Us Sell You Video Access Or We'll Sue

Posted on April 21, 2006 - 7:53am.

Networking and Telecom Blog
Preston Gralla

AT&T has come up with a unique approach to getting people to sign up for its Project Lightspeed video service: Sue the bejesus out of any city or town that doesn't immediately accede to the company's demands for tearing up its street to lay down fiber.

AT&T is suing three Chicago suburbs -- Roselle, Wheaton and Carpentersville -- because the towns haven't yet given rights of way for Project Lightspeed to dig up municipal streets. Project Lightspeed is a multi-billion dollar fiber upgrade that will let AT&T sell video service to homes. . .

( categories: ILLINOIS )

TX: Swarming Capitol paid off for SBC

Posted on April 21, 2006 - 7:48am.

from: TMC Net

[April 13, 2006]

Swarming Capitol paid off for SBC

(San Antonio Express-News (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Apr. 13--During the 2005 Legislature, the halls of the Texas Capitol were thick with SBC Communications Inc. lobbyists touting the benefits of a bill that would deregulate the phone giant and ease its entry into the video business.

( categories: AT&T | State Franchises | TEXAS )

Cities could lose if cable bills pass

Posted on April 21, 2006 - 7:45am.

By JAY GOETTING, Register Staff Writer
Saturday, April 15, 2006 1:12 AM PDT

Cable television battles being waged in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento may have a profound effect on Napa TV -- the two cable access channels full of local programming -- and hurt the bottom line of local government.

Two pieces of legislation raise questions about who has the right to award cable and other communications franchises, and who collects the related fees. One would give the state the control, the other would give it to the Federal Communications Commission. Right now, cities award cable franchises.

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