Published on Save Access (

WA: New video bill would benefit Qwest, but hurt citizens and consumers

By saveaccess
Created 02/23/2007 - 10:43am

Dear Washington State media activists,

Reclaim the Media was in Olympia this week to speak against a very bad new telecommunications bill, SB6003, which would open the door for Qwest and other telecom companies to provide cable-type video services to customers statewide - but on the company's terms.

Their terms don't include fair support for PEG (public access, government and educational) TV programming, and they would seriously erode local customer accountability. Last but certainly not least, this corporate-sponsored bill would allow Qwest and other companies the right to "cherry-pick" the neighborhoods they want to provide the best services to, while skipping over less affluent or rural neighborhoods.

Speaking in favor of the bill at its first public hearing before the Senate Water, Energy and Telecommunications committee this week were representatives from Qwest and the state telecommunications lobbying association. Reclaim the Media codirector Karen Toering and policy advisor Michael Weisman spoke against the bill, along with a range of community leaders, public access TV advocates, local government representatives, and cable industry mouthpieces.

This bill promises "competition" to benefit consumers, but it offers only a fake version of competition. We need real competition in our media diet, real diversity, and real democracy. We'll be in touch again soon to let you know how to help defeat this attack on our community media accountability!

Info and full text of the bill:
RTM analysis:

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