June 27, 2006

Stop AT&T's Plan to Control California Media

This week, the California State Senate will begin voting on a new law that will decide whether your neighborhood gets competition in cable TV and Internet services. It's called AB 2987.

This bill is supposed to bring new competition in cable TV and broadband to all Californians. In reality, it's a major hand-out to AT&T that badly weakens consumer protections that prevent redlining -- offering service in rich neighborhoods but not poorer ones.

Tell the State Senate to halt redlining and bring competition to ALL Californians:

Senator Charles Poochigian
(916) 651-4014

Right now, if AT&T wants to offer cable TV service to your community, they have to negotiate with your local government to secure the right to lay their wires down your streets. This process of "franchising" cable TV systems through negotiations with local elected officials has guaranteed consumer protections and public access television channels. Most importantly, these franchises guarantee build-out, a requirement that the cable company serve all local households, not just the rich neighborhoods.

AB 2987 would end local franchising and place that power at the state level. Worse, the bill removes the requirements to protect consumers and ensure universal build-out of services to all households.

We all want competition in cable TV. More competition and choice are good things, and the incumbent cable companies have often delivered high prices, poor customer service and terrible labor relations. But we want competitive providers to build out service to ALL Californians. We want consumer protections that apply to both cable and telephone giants. We want local channels for local voices.

Take action to stop the corporate handout and protect California consumers:

Senator Charles Poochigian
(916) 651-4014

Call your State Senator and say that you oppose AB 2987 without strong consumer protections and build-out requirements. Demand real choices for ALL Californians!

Your action today makes a difference.


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