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Volume Control

They’ve Finally Figured It Out

“The agency that for so many years did the bidding of the big boys in the industry … has finally discovered what has been obvious in every living room in America — a small cartel of big brands dominate cable TV, blocking diversity and making it impossible for independent channels to compete.”

Danny Schechter, Coffee House

Is It Washington Or Islamabad?

“It’s a familiar storyline: frustrated by political opposition to his agenda, the government head declares a state of emergency, invoking an obscure, never-before-used provision of the law to assert virtually unlimited authority. Television is the first target.”

James Gattuso, The Technology Liberation Front

Pass Legislation First, Grab for Power Later

“These are worthy goals, to be sure, but relying on the 1984 Telecom Act’s 70/70 provision seems like a stretch to me. Personally, I’d like to see any FCC action in this area supported by additional legislation before proceeding with an agency power grab. So, why is the FCC considering regulation? This smells like a regulatory body trying to expand its power base. There’s something rotten on 12th Street.”

Ike Elliott, Telcosm

Consumer Choice: It’s a Good Thing

“The programming changes contemplated are, from my vantage point, a good thing and will benefit consumers and provide additional choice. Good job, Republican Chairman Kevin Martin.”

Bill Manzi, mayor of Methuen, Mass.

He Doesn’t Like The Cable Guy

“This seems to send the Commission sailing blithely into anti-cable territory, with no guideposts to speak of … For whatever reason, Martin just doesn’t like cable, and he’s happy to do to them what he would never do to phone/wireless.”

Susan Crawford, Cybertelecom