The Telecomms, Lobbyists, State Government and Big Media

Posted on January 16, 2008 - 11:17am.

from: BitchSlappin

The Telecomms, Lobbyists, State Government and Big Media

The small local independent papers are full of news that is NOT being picked up by Big Media, and when you put these pieces together it shows how broken things are. First are the stories about the big telecomms steamrolling into statehouses and buying state congressmen right and left, not to mention Governors, to get their state franchise legislation and deregulation pushed through, bad state legislation that trashes Public Access TV, lessens or trashes completely the ability for municipalities to control their own right of ways, allows the franchisees to cherry pick the areas they wish to serve, negates any oversight on the consumer complaint process, overrides current franchise agreements in place that provide access to libraries, schools and municipal government as part of the agreement, and all kinds of other giveaways. Then there are the stories of what has gone wrong in the states where state franchising exists.

For instance:

“Reach out and Torch Someone” should be the new AT&T Slogan. Your World Delivered . . . On Fire. This story really burns my buns about AT&T, a company that should have had its regulatory short ones grabbed ages ago. It was well over a year ago that the same type of Uverse boxes with the same type of batteries exploded in Texas. So here we are now in Wisconsin, the State where the Governor put a couple bandaids on a bad, bad cable bill and rammed it through so AT&T could benefit, as he did when they fattened his campaign coffers, and AT&T is now trying to hide their irresponsibility with this latest explosion in Wauwatosa on Christmas Day.

And AT&T is still not complying with the FCC conditions for merger.

Art Brodsky points out the problem with the “Conect Kentucky” model, a broadband initiative that started out well, then was taken over by the area Telecomms and turned into a deregulation nightmare, with little deployment reporting, and no real benefits to Kentuckyans. Connect Kentucky Provides Uncertain Model for Federal Legislation

And now they’re trying to take the Connect Kentucky model nationwide, and talking some US Congresspeople into thinking it’s a good idea. The New Telecomm Astroturf Group pushing anti consumer state telecomm deregulation is called Connected Nation. And the Congresspeople supporting this group are the ones who should know better, after the last round of Federal Telecom “Reform” legislation last year, introduced by Senator “Tubes” Stevens. Is ‘Connected Nation’ A Phone Industry Sham?

Looking more closely at the oft-praised ‘Connect Kentucky’ model…. And they’ve already started their Telecomm Lobbying Blitz in Ohio. Bottom line here is that “Connected Nation” or “Connect [your state name here]” is the new buzzphrase to replace last year’s “Cable Choice and Competition“. And any state that buys into this malarky will end up with little or no Public Access Channels, or lack of funding for Public Access, as well as the aforementioned right of way nightmares, redlining, exploding equipment, and less competition than before the state franchising.

That’s not all. Even State Legislators who fought the good fight last year can be bought this year, as in the case of Tennessee State Senator Raymond Finney’s FlipFlop on State Franchising proves.

Another year, another round of knock down the State Pins for the Telecomms. I just hope I don’t see any Astroturf Connect Pennsylvania initiative coming my way, though with the way these bozos keep coming back with lobbyists and campaign contributions, I imagine I will. And of course my local papers, both owned by huge Media Groups, will not bite the hand that feeds them. They’ll be shovelling this anti consumer crap down everyone’s throat.