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This Common Cause New York testimony reads, in part, 'This franchise agreement is a valuable opportunity for New Yorkers to gain improved services and greatly expanded access to government information. Common Cause/New York strongly supports the idea of this contract, but, as with any negotiated contract, the devil is in the details. Instead, Common Cause/New York is concerned that it seems to be a $70 billion sweetheart deal, drawn up behind closed doors, that does not adequately protect ordinary New Yorkers.'
Testimony stating that the FCC should reconsider its decision to allow incumbent radio licensees to expand into neighboring spectrum without imposing additional public interest requirements. The Second Report & Order is premised on the unexamined and unsupported assumption that the Commission is not assigning new spectrum for mutually exclusive commercial uses to incumbent licensees.
A slew of recent polls make clear that most Americans, nearly 80%, support keeping the network neutrality rules that are the foundation of an open internet. These are the rules passed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2015, under the leadership of then-chairman Tom Wheeler, that keep the big Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon from determining your internet experience, because they’d rather do that themselves than let you do it. Net neutrality rules prohibit blocking or throttling content. And they keep ISPs from favoring their affiliates, corporate friends, and those who can afford sky-high broadband prices with fast lanes on the net, while the rest of us are told to travel in the slow lane.
As postings on 80,000 websites and messages from millions of internet users across America protested a Trump administration plan to end “net neutrality” rules, a band of lawmakers and activists gathered outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to join in the fight.
Today's proposal, if approved, will cut the open internet off at the knees. The majority at the Commission has invited a few telecom giants to design and control our communications future and relegates consumers and innovators to passive recipients of what the big boys deign to provide us. This is exactly the opposite of how the internet was supposed to function, with citizens empowered to frequent the sites and services of their choice - not subject to corporate censorship or slow lanes.
Sinclair's acquisition of Tribune Broadcasting is expected and disappointing. Expected because the new FCC majority is foaming at the mouth to rubber stamp more massive media mergers; and disappointing because Sinclair is not known for the best journalism in the land, to put it mildly. Our nation’s civic dialogue suffers yet another blow with this merger.