News Release: Senator Leahy and Congresswoman Matsui Reintroduce Landmark Net Neutrality Legislation
Provided by Congresswoman Doris Matsui’s office:
The Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act would protect consumers, prevent a two-tiered Internet system
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), member of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, on Wednesday reintroduced bicameral legislation to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ban so-called “paid prioritization” agreements between a broadband provider and a content provider. Reintroduction of the legislation comes as the FCC prepares to approve updated open Internet rules in February.
The Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act, which Leahy and Matsui first introduced together last year, would help prevent the creation of a two-tiered Internet system, ensuring start-ups and entrepreneurs have access to the marketplace and ensuring consumers can access all content equally. Nearly 4 million Americans wrote to the FCC last year in support of a free and open Internet and against a two-tiered system.
“The Internet must be a platform for free expression and innovation, and a place where the best ideas and services can reach consumers based on merit rather than based on a financial relationship with a broadband provider,” said Senator Leahy, who chaired two hearings on the issue of net neutrality last year. “The Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act would protect consumers and sets out important policy positions that the FCC should adopt in its current consideration of open Internet rules.”
“Our economy and the Internet ecosystem cannot afford ‘pay for priority’ schemes or Internet fast lanes. Paid prioritization is simply a tax on innovation and consumer choice. As the FCC develops rules of the road for the Internet, we must ensure there are no tolls, gatekeepers, or a two-tiered Internet system in this country. The Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act would ban Internet fast lanes and preserve a truly free and open Internet for all Americans,” said Congresswoman Matsui, who chaired a net neutrality field hearing at the California State Capitol in her district of Sacramento last year.
The Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act would require the FCC to use its existing authority to prohibit paid prioritization agreements between Internet Service Providers (ISP) and content providers on the last mile Internet connection, the connection between the ISP and the consumer. In addition, it would prohibit broadband providers from prioritizing or otherwise giving preferential treatment to its own last mile Internet traffic or the traffic of its affiliates over the traffic of others.
Cosponsors of the bill include Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Democratic Representatives Anna H. Eshoo, Raking Member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee (Calif.), Janice Schakowsky (Ill.), Michael Honda (Calif.), Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), Niki Tsongas (Mass.) and Mark Takano (Calif.).
A copy of the bill is available online.
To share your thoughts, please visit the webpage at http://matsui.house.gov.
The Access Sacramento Hometown TV crew videotaped all 16 bands Sunday in the 34th Annual Skip’s Stairway to Stardom summer concert culminating an eight-week band training program.
Here’s a sample of the winning band, The Grey Area:
Access Sacramento produces about 25 hometown TV events each year under a grant from the Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Television Commission.
The 2nd place band was “Here’s to the Kids,” and the third place band was “Colour Zero.”
If your non-profit organization has an event appropriate for TV coverage, please fill out a Hometown TV application 30-45 minimum days before your event.
The full broadcast will air next month on Comcast and Consolidated Communications (SureWest) Channel 17 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 14.
Access Sacramento Names Antelope Resident Roniecia Harris as New Director of Production and Training
Access Sacramento is pleased to announce today (Aug. 4, 2014) the promotion of Roniecia Harris as its new Director of Production and Training.
Harris, of Antelope, CA, has been serving as television director and on-line producer for most of Access Sacramento’s Hometown TV and Game of the Week broadcasts for the last year, and has been teaching the TV Studio class since 2011. She held a variety of other production titles with Access Sacramento since 2009.
“We are delighted Roniecia has agreed to take on responsibility for the production and training department,” said Gary Martin, Access Sacramento Executive Director. “Her previous experience with us in addition to her background in business working in both corporate and government video will be a great benefit.”
Harris has been a finalist for several Western Access Video Excellence awards from the Alliance for Community Media West. Her job experience includes productions for several Place Called Sacramento films, plus work in Sacramento with Video Streaming Services, the New Destiny Centre and the California Department of Rehabilitation
Harris has Associate of Arts degrees in Television Production and Broadcast Journalism from Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, and is working on her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Sacramento State.
“This position is a great opportunity for me,” said Harris. “But I’m truly excited to continue to help Access Sacramento’s community members be successful.”
Besides being familiar with Access Sacramento’s TV Studio and remote production truck, Harris is also experienced with a video editing software, including Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Vegas Video.
Access Sacramento is a non-profit 501(c)3 community-based arts organization and public access cable operator for Channels 17 and 18 on Comcast and Consolidated Communications (SureWest) cable and AT&T U-Verse Channel 14.
For more information:
Gary Martin, Executive Director
4623 T Street, Suite A
Sacramento, CA 95819
916 456-8600 ext. 100
by TD Trice
It is with deep regret and condolences that Access Sacramento takes this time to acknowledge the passing of a dear series producer, our very own Gospel Lady, Sharon Durette.
Sharon first started producing programs with Access in March of 2005, and through her determination and perseverance retired with nearly three hundred television productions to her credit. As a television producer, Sharon made all of the efforts to have her programs on our public access channel, as well as streaming worldwide.
The focus of her television series, “The Gospel Lady”, was to share her life experiences with the Lord through scripture-based instruction and prayer. During breaks in producing programs here at Access, she would often stop you in the hallways, take hold of your hand, and pray with and for anyone in need. Though she had many personal challenges, she enjoyed taking the time to bring her small puppy into the Main Office to lighten the mood and brighten our day!
She will be always loved and dearly missed here at Access Sacramento!
Gary Martin 2014, Access Sacramento, Community Media, gary martin, PEG, PEG Financing, Public Access, Public Access Television, Sacramento Metropolitan Cable TV Commission, SMCTC, Sue Buske, The Buske Group 0 Comment
by Gary Martin
Executive Director, Access Sacramento
In a vote to support community media on cable, the California Senate yesterday voted to ask for an improvement in federal law so that local Public, Education, and Government (PEG) access television channels have more flexibility in the way they can spend their money.
The California Senate voted 26-5 in support of Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 39, which calls on U.S. Congress to modify rules that require money to support equipment purchases may also be allowed to pay for operational expenses like salaries and office expenses.
The California Assembly previously voted in support of AJR 39, so the request will now be forwarded directly to California’s lawmakers in U.S. Congress.
“This is an important step forward in sending a message that removal of restriction on how PEG funding cam be used is of critical importance in California and across the country,” said Sue Buske, community media advocate and President of The Buske Group, a Sacramento-based community media consultancy and research firm.
Community access media supporters point to the job creation and economic development that would occur if the proposed spending restrictions are removed.
While some money that flows to many PEG channels and Community Media Centers around California is unrestricted and can be spent on operational expenses, many other centers only receive dollars that are restricted for exclusive use on capital outlay like cameras, microphones and other production equipment.
Since 2008 when the economy declined, nearly 50 community media center around California have closed because local lawmakers decided to keep the unrestricted cable dollars for different city initiatives, and to only allow the capital outlay money for the PEG channels. The rules provided money for equipment, but left no money to pay for staff; with no one on salary to make the equipment purchases, the public access channels were forced to close their doors.
The PEG channels in Sacramento periodically have had reductions in their unrestricted funding because of economic events, but overall have enjoyed the favorable support of the Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Television Commission (SMCTC) and have remained open for broadcasting on public, education and government channels since 1986. Just two weeks ago, the SMCTC voted renewed support for its PEG channels and provided a much appreciated 2% Cost of Living Adjustment.
That has not been the case elsewhere. In Santa Rosa earlier this month, lawmakers voted to provide $300,000 to public access for 2014-15 but announced their intention to cut the funding by $75,000 in each other next two years, with no intention to renew support after the current three-year offer.
A change in federal law then, if approved by Congress, would provide the freedom for public access centers in California and around the country to control their budgets with fewer restrictions and to support both job creation, economic development and the mission of providing local citizens access to community programming that rarely receives broadcasting time on local commercial stations.
Gary Martin is the executive director for Access Sacramento, the 28-year non-profit non-commercial operator of two public access channels in Sacramento County whose mission is “Giving voice to the thoughts, dreams, opinions and community arts and cultural events that make Sacramento County such a wonderful place to live.”
Here’s your chance to tell Access Sacramento exactly what you think.
You’re invited to Access Sacramento on Friday, Feb. 21 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. to tell exactly how non-profit Access Sacramento can make your life better. The community gathering is called: Focus ’14-’15.
“Making a Difference… One Voice at a Time” is our mission to help residents of Sacramento County be heard on cable television, radio and the Internet. Are we doing a good job for you? Could we do something better?
The public, our members, and those connected with Access Sacramento in any way are invited to stop by Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m. for a meet and greet social with snacks in the Coloma Community Center Auditorium at 4623 T Street, Sacramento.
From 6-8 p.m. those attending will have an opportunity to provide structured feedback while visiting Access Sacramento’s TV Studio, Digital Media Lab, and other offices where you can meet the staff and board of directors.
Each space will have collectable raffle tickets, for a grand prize gift drawing at 7:45 p.m. back in the auditorium. Some feedback topics might include:
Studio and TV Truck Use.
Digital Media Lab Software.
Program Submission in the Cloud.
Tri-Caster Green Studios in the Community.
Neighborhood News Bureau Youth Journalism Training.
Sacramento Has Talent Audition & Show.
Place Called Sacramento Film Festival.
Low-Power FM radio station launch.
Hometown TV & Game of the Week.
Newsletters & Website Outreach.
Staff & Board Accessibility.
We want to hear what you have to say, so we can Focus ’14-’15 in the best way to meet your needs.
Mark your calendar and join us Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m. Feedback, Food, Fun, Prizes.
Retired Founder of Access Sacramento TV and former Executive Director Ron Cooper was honored with a resolution for his dedication to free speech and community and civic engagement in a brief presentation at the California State Capitol today by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson (D-Dist. 7).
Cooper retired on August 1 after 26 years with Access Sacramento, serving first as the director of Operations and Training and then as the non-profit foundation’s Executive Director since 1992.
The resolution recognized Cooper as “a successful advocate for public and local access programming, particularly for disenfranchised and under-represented members of the community who feel their voices are no longer being heard.”
Cooper was joined at the presentation by his mother Arlene Cooper of Jackson, CA, Access Sacramento Board of Director’s member Edgar Calderon, and current Access Sacramento Executive Director Gary Martin plus several Access Sacramento video production crew members who video taped the event for the channel.
Access Sacramento is the name used by the non-profit Sacramento Community Cable Foundation in running Channels 17 and 18 on Comcast and SureWest Cable and on Channel 99 for AT&T U-Verse.