Support local media, call NC House members today

As you may know, last session the State Legislature passed a law which allows cable and phone companies to avoid many of the public service requirements that have existed for over 30 years. Those requirements mainly have to do with channel space and support for Community Media Centers, like Chapel Hill's own The Peoples Channel, and Public, Educational, and Government (PEG) Access channels. The bill has turned out to be a very serious blow to local governments and nonprofits like us. Many of us concerned with the legislation worked together to produce a new piece of legislation that would remedy two major problems with the bill: funding for Community Media Center and PEG channels, and deployment of broadband to rural and economically distressed communities.

The bill, S-1068 moved along quickly in the Senate and is now on the House side, but there is a fear that they won't take it on before the session ends or at all. I haven't given a call to action thus far because we thought this bill would have no problems and I know you all have busy lives. However, we need to make calls by tomorrow (Wednesday).

This could mean a difference of The Peoples Channel having a budget of $9,000 a year, or $200,000 a year. This is very serious!

Below you will find very simple script that you can read word for word. You don't have to be an expert to let your reps know that you care about The People's Channel and its future. If they ask questions you don't know how to answer, tell them you'd be happy to put them in touch with myself, who helped to author the bill.

Please don't let the telecom corporations take away funding for The Peoples Channel!

Here is your Orange County Representatives' contact information. Not sure who represents you? Use this zip code look-up. Suggested script:

I am calling to urge you to support S-1068.

S-1068 ensures that revenue from the statewide video franchise law that passed last summer is returned to local governments to support two things:

1. Broadband buildout for rural and low-income communities

2. Community Media Centers (derived from PEG Channels) to provide digital
media training for our young people and small-business incubation for our
digital entrepreneurs.

Both of the above were overlooked and underfunded in the video franchise law last summer. S-1068 corrects these oversights.

Many thanks for your support of S-1068 and for ensuring a stronger digital media economy in North Carolina.

Thank you all so much and let me know if you have any questions! I also have more information on the web site:

Let's swamp their offices with messages, voice mails and emails!



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