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Regarding Comcast

Editor's Note: Here is the testimony from last week's FCC hearing held at Northwestern of Barbara Popovic, the executive director of Chicago's public access television network, CAN TV.

The FCC recently asked over 40 questions as part of its Future of Media proceeding. That proceeding started with the assumption that many of the challenges encountered in today's media environment will be addressed by the market without government intervention.

It's not happening.

Comcast has made public interest assertions about the merger. The Alliance for Communications Democracy has filed comments indicating the numerous ways that those assertions fail to protect the public interest in relation to PEG Access.

In Chicago, Comcast has made good on its obligations regarding public access. But Comcast's support of public channels has been withdrawn in a growing number of places where government has failed to protect the public.

Despite the fact that competition is but one of the FCC's public interest goals, during the previous administration, competition trumped all other principles and a host of FCC rulings shook up the field. Industry dressed up business decisions that were adverse to the public interest as a necessary reaction to competition. The FCC passed rulings that swept aside decades of development in public media. We're talking about three votes. Because on most of those rulings, Commissioner Copps was one of two opposing votes.

So what will this FCC do to turn that around? What will you do to affirmatively reinstate the goals of localism, diversity, and service for all?

The FCC has yet to grant the ACM et al Petition challenging the discriminatory treatment of PEG channels that blatantly defies these goals. What signal does that send for this merger?

Understandably, the industry acts in its own interest. It's the FCC's job to act in the public interest. We don't need ombudsmen at the FCC. We need leaders. Thank you.


* Stop Comcast!
* Opposing Comcast
* Comcast Sucks


Disclaimer: Barbara Popovic is a friend of Beachwood editor Steve Rhodes and owns the building he lives in.


Comments welcome.


Posted on July 19, 2010

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