From: stephen provizer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 11/20/97 6:13pm
Subject: public comment
The Advisory Committee on Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television
Broadcasters is going to be debating the fate of the new digital TV
technology in D.C. next month. They are soliciting public comment and I
think we need to pipe in with our 2 cents.
Maybe those with some electronic savvy can consider helping us strategize
how to get the government to utilize the potential of digital radio(which
is already here) to serve the community.
I would urge you to consider pasting the message below into an e-mail and
sending it to: <email@example.com> with the subject line "public comment"
Watch for a schedule of December events to be sent out soon.
Dear Committee Members:
I am writing to urge you to try and envision the opening up of the public
airwaves through digital technology as an opportunity for real public
In the opinion of many, past decisions made concerning the use of
technologies such as analog television, cable and radio have not served the
public particularly well. Considerations about the "public interest" have
been made within the context of commercial decisions; not the other way
around. Once the conversation has been shaped in this way, the battle for
public access is lost, or at best, tokenized.
If media reports are correct, the additional bandwidth which is being made
available by this new technology will be used either for "commercial" or
"non-commercial"(i.e., Public Broadcasting) use. There has been no mention
of giving communities direct access to this bandwidth, and, once the die is
cast, there never will be. On the contrary, if it is granted, pressure to
roll back public access will be ongoing-as witness the situation in cable
television right now.
Consider that the role of communications in a democracy is vital and that
the increasing concentration of media ownership guarantees that a
relatively small, powerful group will apply tremendous pressure to subsume
new technologies under their aegis. I hope that you maintain an independent
stance and decide digital technology should be utilized in a way that
benefits the average citizen and community, not the most influential and
entrenched media stakeholders.
Steve Provizer Radio Free Allston
20 Reedsdale St. 106.1 FM
Allston, MA 02134 A Voice for Community