The Telcos are coming

Posted on April 21, 2006 - 7:30am.

from Maine Townsman, March 2006
By Lee Burnett, Freelance Writer

These may be the good old days of public access TV.

The funding mechanism for public access TV – local franchising – is under attack in Congress. The big telephone companies Verizon, AT&T and SBC want to enter the lucrative home video market without having to negotiate local franchise agreements with every community, as cable TV companies have been required to do. The telcos are pressuring Congress for a national franchising system or, at the very least, a state franchising system.

“This is the Darth Vader that people in [public] access have been fretting about for as long as I’ve been involved,” said Richard Rhames, a former Biddeford city councilor who was instrumental in creating Biddeford’s public access system. “The fear has been . . . the telcos are coming, the telcos are coming.”

Complete Article: Maine Townsman

( categories: Telcos | AT&T | HR.5252 COPE | Verizon )