The Ohio House of Representatives' public utilities committee will be holding another hearing on Senate Bill SB 117 on Wednesday, June 6, at 11 a.m. We need people to attend. Please call and or e-mail your representative and the Governor this week.

Public, Educational and Government Access channels are under imminent threat by AT&T sponsored legislation.

Ohio Senate Bill SB 117 threatens to undermine public, educational and government access television (PEG) throughout the state of Ohio. Established in the early years of cable television, public access provides the opportunity for average citizens to produce and broadcast their own TV shows, an extension of First Amendment free-speech rights. Cable access channels are a vital part of our democracy, allowing citizens to communicate directly with one another without mediation by the dominant corporate media. AT&T's bill is threatening this essential part of our democracy.

SB 117 allows cable companies to redline, targeting wealthy and middle class neighborhoods for service, avoiding low income and working class neighborhoods. It includes a major cut in franchise fees threatening already financially strapped public access stations, passing on line fees and other costs to them, further eroding their viability. PEG channels will be moved off of basic to upper tiers, totally marginalizing them by cutting their potential audience.

The bill sunsets funding for PEG access at the end of the franchise or January 2012, whichever comes first. DATV's (our local access station) contract expires in January 2008! AT&T?s proposed delivery system for PEG access is internet streaming which severely limits the quality of the video. It also allows cable companies to disenfranchise access stations altogether. . Ask your organization to pass a resolution in opposition to the Bill.

Don't let AT&T buy Ohio! Save Free Speech! Save Public Access Television!

Miami Valley Full Employment Council produces Citizen Impact, a news magazine show at DATV. Logan Martinez 275-7259/