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Dear Senator,

June 28, 2006

I am writing this letter to express some concerns regarding The Communications, Consumers’ Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006 (S-2686). As you consider this legislation, and the many amendments associated with it, remember that the airwaves belong to the public, and the establishment of the infrastructure of the internet has been publicly funded. As such, the People have some important Rights concerning the operation of the media which need to be protected.

Local and independent media serve the public interest by offering local content and a richer, more unique view of the world. These things are simply not offered on commercial media outlets.

To protect these interests and Rights, Congress must take steps to protect and strengthen local and independent media, and the freedom of the press; generally, the People’s ability to keep informed. To accomplish this, this bill should do — or be amended to do — the following things:

  1. guarantee the protection of local ‘rights of way’ and municipal control of these public spaces.
  2. ensure strong net neutrality provisions to protect the internet.
  3. guarantee strong ‘build-out’ provisions to prevent red-lining of communities based on geography and income.
  4. protect the right of municipalities to provide broadband and video services.
  5. protect Public, Educational and Governmental channels (public access TV) and facilities and their current funding levels.
  6. promote wider public use of unlicensed spectrum.
  7. expand Low Power FM radio licensing.

As a member of congress, your are in position to protect the People’s media interests and Rights against powerful, commercial media entities who seek to control — in an undemocratic way — what we see and hear in the media. As a constituent and patron of local and independent media, I urge you to take the above items into consideration as you debate this legislation.

I appreciate your time and look forward to your response on these particular items.

Your Constituent Montag

*The numbered items come directly from a Democracy Now! action alert.

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