PLEASE NOTE: This unofficial website represents the views of neither
the City of Reno nor its Citizens Cable Compliance Committee.

Sample letter to federal lawmakers about
McCain/Ensign cable deregulation bill

City/County/Town Letterhead

**Be sure and send copies as indicated—these are key legislators on this legislation**
**Send copies to municipal groups as indicated so they can follow up**
**Fax or email copies promptly**

The Honorable _____________ [your U.S. Senator] fax 202-_________
Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable _____________ [your other U.S. Senator] fax 202-_________
Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

via mail and facsimile

RE: S. 1504, the Ensign/McCain Broadband Investment and Consumer Choice Act

Dear Senator ___________and ___________:

Please oppose the Ensign/McCain Broadband Investment and Consumer Choice Act.

Among other things, in the cable and broadband area this bill will:

Abolish cable franchising, which ensures that the services cable companies provide meet our local needs, provide needed protections for us and the public, and allow these provisions to be changed over time as needs change and technology evolves;

Unlike any other utility service, abolish requirements that cable service be provided wherever in a community there is sufficient population density to make service economic. Phone and electric service are not provided only where the provider elects to provide service— all areas with sufficient population density are served. Cable and broadband should be the same;

Allow cable companies to "redline" and deny service on the basis of race, sex, senior citizen status. So if a customer opposes action by their provider, the provider can deny service, even though the customer has paid the bill on a time manner;

Reduce (perhaps substantially) the cable franchise fees providers pay to use public property;

Apparently (we say apparently because the bill is not entirely clear on these points) grants video providers the right to use public rights of way in perpetuity, without even the protections that the courts impose when the government condemns property.

Does not adequately preserve local ability to manage the streets, such as requiring providers to relocate lines at their expense when streets are straightened or widened.

Does not have meaningful provisions on channels for public, educational or governmental use, and lacks provisions in current law requiring the provider to provide funds to support these channels.

Does not have provisions to protect safeguard the public if the provider causes damage to the right-of-way or goes bankrupt.

There are other deficiencies assoc associated with the cable and broadband portion of the bill. The bill addresses matters not related to cable or broadband. Some of the provisions which are particularly objectionable are those that:

Apparently abolish all zoning of cellular towers, so towers can be put anywhere in a community, without regard to whether they are needed or their effect on property values. Many of our residents prefer not to have a cellular tower next to their home?

Abolish telephone franchises and fees, even though these companies have and should continue to pay "rent" to use the public way, which is maintained at great expense by the Town; and

Attempt to prevent local governments from providing the public with wireline broadband and wireless broadband communications services.

The City/County/Town supports video competition and believe it is being adequately addressed through local franchises. The Ensign/McCain bill does not offer comparable benefits to local governments nor the public. It ignores local “community needs” which are addressed through the current cable franchising process. And it's apparently abolishing of wireless tower zoning, telephone franchises and utility taxes and saddles restrictions on local government communications systems for no apparent purpose.

For these reasons, we ask that you oppose this bill.



cc: The Honorable Ted Stevens fax 202-224-2354
522 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0201

The Honorable Daniel Inouye fax 202-224-6747
722 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-1102

The Honorable John McCain fax 202-224-2235
241 Senate Russell Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-0303

The Honorable John Ensign fax 202-224-6244
364 Senate Russell Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2805

The Honorable Conrad Burns fax 202-224-8594
187 Senate Dirksen Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-2603

[your U.S. representative] fax 202-__________
Washington, D.C. _______

The Honorable Joe Barton fax 202-225-3052
2109 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-4306

The Honorable Fred Upton fax 202-225-4968
2161 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-2206

The Honorable John Dingell fax 202-226-0317
2328 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-2215

The Honorable Edward Markey fax 202-226-0092
2108 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-2107

The Honorable Charles W. Pickering fax 202-225-5797
229 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-2403

Ms. Cheryl Leanza
Principal Legislative Counsel
National League of Cities
1301 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 550
Washington D.C. 20004

Mr. Jeffrey Arnold
Deputy Legislative Director
National Association of Counties
440 First Street, N.W.
8th Floor
Washington DC 20001

Mr. Ron Thaniel
Assistant Executive Director
U.S. Conference of Mayors
1620 I Street
Fourth Floor
Washington, DC 20006




E-mail addresses and other information about your representatives:
United States House of Representatives — Members
United States Senate — Members

    Watch this website and Barbwire by Barbano in the Sunday Sparks Tribune for updates. Click here to request placement on our mailing list.

     Thank you.

Back to Unofficial Citizens Cable Compliance Committee Home Page



Site designed & maintained by Deciding Factors