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 http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/committees/national-cable-and-telecommunications-association-political-action-committee-ncta-pac.asp?cycle=08

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’.

TW Must Stop Charging

FCC: Time Warner Must Stop Charging StogMedia Fees For Leased Access Programming

Click Here to read article from The Benton Foundation

How Cozy!

How Cozy!

f you’re a LAPer (leased access programmer) or ‘wanna-be’, LAPer then it may be wise for you to be aware of how FCC treats those that try to exercise the right to this ‘genuine outlet’ for local cable TV carriage as intended by Congress.

Recently NCTA (the national cable TV association) had its annual convention in Los Angeles and the following was on their website.

On C-SPAN 2 Tonight: Kyle McSlarrow's (President & CEO, NCTA) conversation with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski airs tonight on C-SPAN2 at 8pm EST/5pm PST.

Now compare this ‘conversation’ with how FCC responded when I emailed a request as president of the national Leased Access Programmers Association. I asked, “When is FCC going to revisit the now 'stayed' new leased access rules or is the commission simply going to do nothing?” The response I got was not a sit down on TV with the FCC Chairman but instead: “As you may know, agenda items are announced one week prior to the Commission meeting date and can be viewed from that time on at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-296775A1.pdf.”

I had posed one other question that should have an answer readily available to any asking whether it is from a leased access user or cable operator. I asked, “How can users or prospective users of leased access find out specific rules regarding 'same type' technical services for delivering content. Will wireless broadband (basically through the air signals) be treated equally as other 'through the air" techniques such as VHF-UHF, Satellite or standard analog Microwave?How will the court ruling on Comcast and Internet managing effect our ability to have live shows on a channel were we use IPTV and the Internet to deliver the signal?

The response I got to this was: The information can be found at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2009-title47-vol4/pdf/CFR-2009-title47-vol4-part76.pdf.

Of course this is a far cry from any responsible discussion; it is simply opens a website to the page with 47 CFR Ch. I (10–1–09 Edition)

But wait, as long ago as 2007, FCC was far more professional when they answered a similar question posed by an attorney.

Check out at http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Cable/Orders/1997/da971074.txt. You should note they actually gave an answer. Now go back and read again the type answer I got.