Alliance for Community Media’s Statement for the Platform Committees of the Democratic & Republican National Committees

The Alliance for Community Media today is asking the Platform Committees of the Democratic and Republican National Committees to embrace policies protecting local cable franchising authorities’ ability to require PEG access channels and adequate mechanisms for supporting them within their franchise agreements.  From the Alliance’s Platform Statement:

In summary, the ACM proposes a national policy of “community reinvestment” through Public, Educational, and Government access organizations which includes funds and bandwidth and/or spectrum that will be used for public purposes by:

• Allowing the local community which owns the public right-of-way to franchise and determine the best use of the community’s property. This principle must be protected by Federal law.

• Dedicating ten percent of the public airwaves and capacity on communication facilities that occupy public rights-of-way to PEG use for free speech, diverse points of view, local programs, community based education and political speech.

• Mandating funding of five percent of gross revenues from all infrastructure and service providers and spectrum licensees to support PEG equipment, facilities, training and services.

• Making PEG access universally available to any consumer of advanced telecommunications services capable of full-motion video.

The Alliance strongly encourages its members and all other community media advocates to actively engage and insist upon, at every available opportunity, these “Keep Us Connected” policy goals – at every meeting of every appropriate local, state, regional, and national policy-considering body — Democratic, Republican, and otherwise.

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One Comment on “Alliance for Community Media’s Statement for the Platform Committees of the Democratic & Republican National Committees”

  1. williamahuston Says:

    The ACM is lobbying to support
    > … protecting local cable franchising authorities’ ability to require PEG access channels

    I applaud what the ACM is doing, however I do not believe this goes far enough.

    This just pushes the fight from the national level to the local level,
    and believe me, when activists in a community without public access
    tries to campaign to get public access, the cable companies come out
    in full force, including using really devious methods of influence,
    including propaganda campaigns, slander, and perjury (lies before
    public bodies).

    This is not conjecture. We saw all of this here in Binghamton NY.

    As long as the ACM is waging a fight at the national level,
    why not GO ALL THE WAY and ask for legislation which
    MANDATES public access nationally?

    As long as we go along with the precident established by
    the 1984 Cable Act which allows local communities to
    “opt out”, then the whole thing is going down the toilet.

    e.g., Look at history! Look at what public access looked
    like in America between 1969 and 1979 (WOW!!),
    vs. what has happened in the time after the 1984 cable act
    (DEATH OF ACCESS EVERYWHERE).

    Why do we need a provision for communities to
    opt out of this FREE SPEECH ZONE?

    The benefits to communities of Public Access
    are quite large, and the possible liabilities
    (slander, nudity, profanity) are small and relatively
    harmless. These incidents should be dealth with
    on a case bases, AND NOT by establishing a policy
    which allows communities to PULL THE PLUG
    just because a small amount of offensive material
    is present.


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