Community Media: Selected Clippings – 04/21/07

AT&T doles out $54,000 ahead of cable bill debate
Doyle, lawmakers say money won’t affect stands on deregulation legislation
by Steven Walters
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (WI)

Madison – Communications giant AT&T pushed a controversial bill to have state government license cable systems by showering more than $54,000 in campaign cash on dozens of lawmakers and Gov. Jim Doyle over the past 15 months.

Campaign-finance records show that AT&T’s political action committee gave a total of $10,000 to four legislators and the Assembly Republican Campaign Committee in the past two months, when legislators negotiated details of the complex package with AT&T’s 15 registered lobbyists. —>

Cable, phone companies spar over regulatory system
by Lloyd Dunkleberger
Gainsville Sun (FL)

—> The third major player in the cable fight is local government. And the cities and counties generally oppose changing the existing local franchise system, arguing they are better able to regulate the cable services. Sarasota City Commissioner Fredd Atkins testified before a Senate committee last week that he was concerned that it will be more difficult for consumers to get help with problems if cable services are regulated in Tallahassee rather than at the local level. “Who will I call?” he asked.

Whether a phone company-backed cable bill emerges from the Senate this year may depend on whether supporters can get the bill to the Senate floor. The measure (SB 998) is scheduled to be heard Tuesday by the Senate General Government Appropriations Committee, the bill’s last committee stop. And Senate President Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, said next week is the time for the major bills that feature turf fights between industries and special interest groups to be heard on the Senate floor.

Geller, who voted for the Senate bill in the Community Affairs Committee, believes the phone companies have a strategic problem with getting a favorable bill out of the 40-member chamber. The bill currently contains “anti-cherry-picking” provisions. “With the anti-cherry-picking provisions, the phone companies don’t like the bill,” Geller said. But Geller said if the phone companies manage to get those provisions changed, “I don’t think they have the votes” in the Senate. —>

Verizon is pressured on network
by Carolyn Y. Johnson
Boston Globe (MA)

Senator John F. Kerry and Representative Edward J. Markey yesterday said they would send a letter to Verizon Communications Inc. demanding that it finish building a fiber-optic network to deliver TV, phone, and Internet service throughout Massachusetts.

“These cities and towns are eager to work with Verizon to grant franchises so that their citizens can receive new cable competition,” Markey said. The reaction from Kerry and Markey came after the Globe reported this week that Verizon had suspended applications for new cable licenses. —>

Student Senate meetings to air on pbCAM
by Samantha Kenney
The Clock (NH)

Information pertaining to students became a little more accessible on Sunday, April 15 when the first installment of Plymouth State Student Meetings were aired on pbCAM, the Plymouth public access television station.

“I pushed really hard to have this on public access,” said Trevor Chandler, chair of this year’s Student Senate Communications Committee, “not only for town/gown relations, but also to make Student Senate more accessible to the student body.” —>


compiled by Rob McCausland
Dir., Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, PEG access TV, public access television, redlining, video franchising

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