From: Syracuse Community Radio <>

To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(piac)

Date: 1/4/98 8:34pm

Subject: digital TV

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


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


available by this new technology will be used either for "commercial" or

"non-commercial"(i.e., Public Broadcasting) use. There has been no


of giving communities direct access to this bandwidth, and, once the die


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


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.