From: Scelfoj <Scelfoj@aol.com>
Date: 5/22/98 12:02am
Subject: comment for upcoming advisory meeting
Dear Ms. Edwards,
As I live far from Minneapolis and cannot attend the upcoming meeting
(regarding the public interest obligations of digital television
broadcasters), I would be very grateful if you were able to pass along my
comment, or at least the position included in it.
From the very first Communications Act which established the FCC, the United
States of America has been concerned with maintaining the public's right to
use and benefit from the airwaves. Because they are most often used by (and
now owned by) private corporations, it is disingenuous to expect them to waive
self-interested activities for those which contribute to the public good.
Unfortunately, public benefits are not always the most commercially lucrative.
For these reasons, strict measures should be enacted which would require that
digital broadcasters uphold their end of the bargain set forth in the
Telecommunications Act of 1998:
1) provide free and equal airtime to all political candidates
who make the
2) levy an advertising tax, the profits of which would go
subsidizing public television stations; and
3) issue broadcasting licenses which are subject to annual
pending successful upholding of above policies.
These small requirements will have gigantic impacts in helping a proper
democratic atmosphere return to American political and cultural life. As
communication is the primary way in which we determine our social lives, it is
essential that diverse discussion is permitted (and encouraged) to take place.
This should not be a privilege limited to very wealthy political candidates or
those who own their own television network.
In exchange for the free use of the public's--our--airwaves, this is truly
only a minimal request.