Tell the FCC to Keep Public Access Accessible

Today’s Democracy Now! (3/9/09) features Amy Goodman reporting that “a House Appropriations subcommittee has… asked the FCC to look into the allegations” of media activists across the country:

Community media groups are accusing the telecom giant AT&T of discriminating against local public access channels across the nation, and the deadline for public comment is midnight tonight. The dispute centers around how AT&T delivers public television stations to customers. Instead of putting the stations on individual channels, AT&T has bundled community stations onto a generic channel that can only be navigated through a complex and lengthy process. Public television advocates say AT&T is imposing unfair restrictions that will severely restrict audiences.

AT&T itself declined to have representatives on Goodman’s broadcast, so she went ahead with three community media advocates, including the “former head of the National Federation of Local Cable Programmers, now known as the Alliance for Community Media,” which is encouraging those concerned to participate in the Federal Communications Commission “public comment period [that] ends at midnight eastern time tonight.”