COPE Act on the House Floor Tomorrow — Call Your Rep To Oppose It

I just got off the phone with the office of Rep. Tim Johnson, my congressperson in the House, asking him to oppose the COPE Act, which goes to the House floor for a vote tomorrow.

The COPE act stinks in a variety of ways. First, it would create a national franchise depriving local communities of their bargaining power with cable television providers. This would make it difficult for communities to get educational and public access channels as part of granting cable providers access to the public right-of-way.

Second, the COPE act grants this privilege first and exclusively to the big telephone companies, like AT&T and Verizon, but asks nothing of them in return. It’s a complete hand-over to the telecomm oligopoly without any public interest obligation whatsoever.

Efforts were made in the House Commerce and Judiciary committees to have network neutrality provisions inserted into the COPE Act, so that the likes of AT&T and Verizon would be prevented from discriminating against internet media in favor of the channels they plan to offer over their internet-based cable TV services. But those efforts failed, leaving the COPE Act with no redeeming qualities.

Save Access and both have lots of information about the COPE Act, along with tools for contacting your representatives. You can find out who your rep is at the House’s Write Your Representative page.


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