TN: Connect Tennessee and the Battle over State Franchising

Posted on February 29, 2008 - 6:01pm.

from: Bitch Slappin'

Connect Tennessee and the Battle over State Franchising

There’s another AT&T sponsored Cable Franchising Bill in Tennessee, this one being pushed by the Telecom Astroturf group “Connected Tennessee“. It’s not the only Tennessee Cable Franchise bill, but it is the one getting the most press and attention, probably because of the dough that’s being slung around, and now that telecom money is being handed out to Democrats, much to the chagrin of the Repuglycans, who seem to be running on a budget these days.

I hope you people in Tennessee are awake and ready to do some yelling. First of all, it’s already been proven that AT&T cherry picks rich neighborhoods the minute the ink is dry on a franchise bill. They’ve also been negligent about replacing the faulty batteries in their huge and plug ugly Uverse boxes, resulting in more than one explosion, and only got on the stick about it after lawsuits were filed. And if their version of the bill goes through, they’ll put those boxes wherever the hell they want, since all public right of way protections go out the window. Public Access Programming? You surely jest. AT&T doesn’t want to pay for that, that’s much too . . . civic minded. And if you think the addition of a Competitor will lower your cable bills, you better talk to the folks inTexas re their cable bills or research Maryland’s cable fees, since state franchising hasn’t yet resulted in any significant permanent fee drop, and instead has resulted in higher pricing after the first year shakeout.

Start sending those emails and faxes, call your CongressCritters (especially the ones getting Telecom dough, and let them know you’re watching over their shoulder!) and start sending out those letters to the editor! Only by keeping these issues front and center will the media and the legislators be moved in the right direction and away from being another notch on AT&T’s belt.