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  Preserve and Defend Community Media - Change the Framing of the Debate by Writing or Calling Today! We Are Always Citizens and Not Always "Consumers"

The telecommunications map (cable, telcom, broadband, all digital communication) is being redrawn now so please speak up for media rights in our community - or visit Free Press's site ! Write/email your local city councils & Mayors & your state and federal reps & the print media and strongly request their participation in the untraveled new world of (public access) television AND Internet broadband that we deserve as the 5th largest TV audience in the US (San Francisco).

It's time we get involved as a community with the coming age of technology, media consolidation and provision, and all the forms of digital communication all around us.

The congressional rewrite of the 1996 Telecom Act will favor commerce over free speech, art, and uninhibited communication amongst ourselves and it's already started!

Veiled as consumer choice acts, they are discussing many measures that may change every way we get information and entertainement and screen culture. The Telecom and Cable companies are going to duke this out without us, and that means whoever buys the most votes will win... UNLESS we get organized and start lobbying for community media and freedom of information (and how we can access it).

Ten Reasons to Get Involved:

1. AT&T’s Ed Whitacre wants consumers and content providers to pay for use of his network. “The Internet can’t be free … for a Google or Yahoo or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes free is nuts.”

2. BellSouth’s William Smith told reporters that he would like to turn the Internet into a “pay-for-performance marketplace” where his company could charge for the “right” to have certain services load faster than others.

3. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg says that Web applications need to “share the cost” of the broadband services already paid for by consumers. “We need to pay for the pipe.”

4. The National Cable and Telecommunications Association Monday sent a letter to legislators highlighting that a merged AT&T- BellSouth would be larger than the entire cable industry.

5. The merger could put the brakes on a possible overhaul of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, "especially with regard to video franchising," a cable industry source suggested.

6. Key members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have been negotiating a bill focused largely on granting nationwide franchises to expedite the entry of the Bells into pay video services. AT&T -- along with another Bell, Verizon Communications -- has been actively seeking such legislation.

7. Democrat, Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, sounded a critical note, "Coming only 125 days after the FCC's approval of the SBC-AT&T merger, AT&T's proposal to purchase BellSouth would remove yet another potential competitor from the communications marketplace and calls into question whether the future of communications policy will be marked by strategies to promote vigorous competition or by further efforts to facilitate new mergers."

8. The two main lawmakers -- Energy and Commerce Chairman Joe Barton, R-Texas, and ranking member John Dingell, D-Mich. -- have close ties to the Bells. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Dingell's top five lifetime campaign contributors include BellSouth and SBC Communications -- the latter of which recently acquired AT&T, and subsequently adopted the name of the one-time "Ma Bell." And SBC was the second most generous contributor to Barton during the 2003-2004 election cycle, according to the group.

9. The top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, John Dingell (D. - MI) warned a committee at the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors that a rewrite of the 1996 Telecommunications Act could hurt municipal interests -- particularly regarding their authority over video franchising and property rights of way.

10. Local control in video franchising must remain in the hands of local governments to ensure maximum protection for consumers, according to testimony presented today by a representative of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

Free Press is the most organized, consolidated site for News & Activism
National Journal Online for Telecom legislative updates.

Sign the online petition at Net Freedom here for local control, Net Neutrality, and Public Access support and send it to all your friends!

  Public Access Television in the Mainstream Media - HOT Topic!

SUPPORT Video Vision by clicking these links to drive traffic to articles about Public Access so we can get journalists to report on Public Access! Best activist action is to forward the articles to everyone and to write a thank-you note to the journalist, so they know we appreciate the coverage.

SF Supervisor Sandoval: Renegotiate a Better Comcast Deal > SFBG site

SF Should Renegoiate a Better Comcast Contract >

SF Chronicle Update on City Settlement with Comcast > SF Chron site

Spotlight on Literary Sci Fi Show "Fantasy Bedtime Hour" > SF Chron site

SF Bay Guardian Editorial - Reject the Comcast Settlement and Negotiate a New Contract SFBG site

Update on City Settlement with Comcast SFBG site

Milpitas Completes A Comcast Franchise Agreement Milpitas Post site

Columbia Missouri Getting a Handle on Fair Share the Cable Providers Should Pay for Public Access Columbia Post site

Public Access & Media Activism Links:

Media Alliance - Search for local actions and classes

Alliance For Media Literacy

Alliance for Community Media

Free Press - Updates & News on all Public Access legislation

San Francisco Links:

San Francisco Supervisors Contact Info -
It's easy and best to call! Calling takes two minutes, and they love to hear from citizens, and at night you can just leave answering machine messages if you're shy ! You don't have to be a registered voter, you can be ANY age, and you can call the swing votes on any city-wide issue.

Stop by the Public Access studio on Market and Valencia and ask how you can advocate for Public Access television. They have classes and equipment as well - everything you need to get your art, views, and your community on the air!

Links to Video Vision Media articles:

Public Access Community Television (Electric 6 and Joanna Newsom)

Art During War (Dresden Dolls and Coldcut featuring Jon Spencer)

Political Music Videos (Antony & The Johnsons and The Vanity Project)

Saddle Creek Records Spotlight (Cursive, The Faint & Bright Eyes)

Director Sue Costible Spotlight (Numbers, Gold Chains & AGF)

Coachella Music and Arts Festival 2006: Music Videos (Ladytron, Deerhoof ++)

Best Music Videos of 2005

Coachella Music and Arts Festival 2005: Music Videos 2005

San Francisco Mission Creek Music Festival 2005 (Buckethead)