Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Comcast & AT&T Taken To Task Before Congress

This is primarily a production techniques blog but people need to be aware of the threats to a tremendous free video production and distribution resource, public access TV. These community TV stations provide cheap or free production tools and video training in thousands of communities across the country.

Unfortunately access TV has been under corporate siege in the last couple of years. Thanks in part to gullible state legislatures and the corporate lackeys controlling the FCC, the meager resources and channel space allocated to access TV are directly threatened (and in some states, already lost.)

Given the tiny budgets of access stations, why do corporations work so hard to escape their public service obligations? Certainly the money isn't the issue, but I think control is.
Corporations are resolute in their commitment to evade any social obligation, government regulation or accountability to the communities they profit from. In It's A Wonderful Life, I think George Bailey's rebuke of Mr. Potter's attempt to shutter the Building & Loan speaks volumes, "You're talking about something you can't get your fingers on, and it's galling you."

Well AT&T and Comcast were finally taken to task for their uncivil actions yesterday before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet in the hearing, "PEG Access in the Digital Age."

Many of the statements and questions from the committee members suggest support for the preservation and future health of PEG access TV. Time will tell if those words are followed substantive legislative action.

You can learn more about the issue and participate in the efforts to protect this important public resource by visiting the Alliance For Community Media.

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