From: David Sommerstein <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 12/9/97 8:29pm
Subject: public comment
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 its 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.
Thank you very much for your time.
528 Ninth St.
Alamosa, CO 81101