From: Peter R Smith <>

To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(piac)

Date: 12/16/97 12:03pm

Subject: public comment

I urge you to require digital broadcasters to provide substantial and

significant (not 3am time blocks ) of free TV time to candidates for

public office.

As the chase for campaign contributions grows more and more unseemly and

leaves our candidates more and more beholden to big money interests, the

time has come to try to restore some sense to our campaigns. Free

airtime would be a huge step in that direction. Vast sums of the

campaign funds raised go toward buying TV time. Let's take away some of

the incentive to take huge contributions from special interests by

mandating free TV time.

The airwaves are public property. Broadcasters own the rights to them at

our pleasure. They are making money hand over fist and certainly could

afford to dip into a small peice of their profits to offer free TV time.

More and more Americans are tuning out elections. We should do all we

can to reinvigorate our democractic process and requiring free TV time

(for all serious candidates, not just those of the two major parties) is

a key component of that.

I urge the Committee to support such a requirement, and look forward to

hearing your response.


Pete Smith

Denver, CO