For Immediate Release COPE Bill Edit Memo

Posted on May 4, 2006

Dear editorial writer:

We want to bring to your attention a critical House vote expected the week of May 8 on a telecommunications bill that not only threatens to make it harder for average families to get high-speed Internet access, but could also transform the Internet from a medium that connects people and allows them to engage in their democracy, to a vehicle that operates for big companies that want to sell good and transmit television programs, films and games.

We've written an edit memo on the subject below.{FB3C17E2-CDD1-4DF6-92BE-BD4429893665}/COPE-BILL_5-4-06.PDF

Here are the first few paragraphs:

Within the next two weeks, and with very little media attention, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act, also known as the COPE bill. The bill will have an impact on every American family, but the only agenda that will be promoted and enhanced by this bill will be that of the country's largest telephone and cable companies.

The COPE bill will rewrite our telecommunications laws. Its sponsors are pushing it as an antidote to high cable rates and our lagging place in the world when it comes to the number of people who are getting access to high-speed Internet.

But the COPE bill will not do what its sponsors promise. Indeed, it threatens to raise cable rates for poorer folks, and may make it less likely that average families get access to high-speed Internet. But Even worse, the COPE bill could transform the Internet from a medium that helps people talk to one another, engage in their democracy more directly and become informed about issues, into a vehicle that only operates efficiently for big companies that want to sell goods and transmit television programs, films and games. It would squash the Internet's potential for expanding democratic discourse and place barriers in the way of the entrepreneurs with new ideas.

Click here to read the full memo:{FB3C17E2-CDD1-4DF6-92BE-BD4429893665}/COPE-BILL_5-4-06.PDF

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Media and Democracy

Tags: Broadband for All

Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

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