LAPA Leased Access Programmers Association

Why No Help from Members of Congress?

I've been unable to get my U.S. Senator, a member of the Senate Commerce committee, with FCC oversight to simply make inquiry as to whether or not FCC is ever going to defend the new rules adopted in Nov. '07 that have been held up by a U.S. District court 'stay' at the request of NCTA, the powerful national association of the cable industry.

Then by accident I came across a website that shows NCTA's political action committee donated $5,000 to his campaign. To find out how beholden your member of Congress is to the cable industry visit

If you're a LAPer (leased access programmer) or would like to be one or you simply think big government and big business run roughshod over what the chairman of BP calls 'the small people' then you may need to get involved in cleaning house before it's too late.

It’s no secret cable doesn’t like competition, yet it appears that is exactly what Congress wants. Section 612 of the 1992 Act, which deals with leasded access reads: “The purpose of this section is to promote competition in the delivery of diverse sources of video programming and assure the widest possible diversity of information sources are made available to the public from cable systems in a manner consistent with growth and development of cable systems.” Section 612 also encourages production and distribution of competing commercial programming that is not affiliated with the cable systems. In other words, while Congress is clearly interested in fostering diversity of information and programming, it wants to do it in a for-profit environment.

However, apparently that was a different Congress. My U.S. Senator only went to DC in 1993 as a member of the House. He was appointed to the Senate Dec. 31, 2007. NCTA bestowed $5,000 on him in 2008.

So much for representation of ‘the small people’.