An important message from MAIN

December 18, 2012 by Wally Bowen

Dear Friends of MAIN:

As  you know, MAIN helped gain FCC approval of the “TV white spaces” for rural broadband in 2008.

Now, AT&T is trying to strangle TVWS in its crib. You hadn’t heard?

No surprise. Corporate media won’t touch a story revealing how Wall Street works to control our media infrastructure, and therefore what we read, hear, and see.

That’s why MAIN and our media reform allies exist.  We pull back the curtain, à la the Wizard of Oz, on what’s really happening in the corridors of power. Please make a generous year-end donation to continue this all-important work.

The stakes have never been higher. Here’s why:

 * On Nov. 7, 2012, AT&T announced a $14 billion “upgrade” to move its entire wireline network to the Internet. The same day, AT&T notified the FCC of its intent to abandon its wired networks in rural and low-wealth communities.

If this were a newspaper headline, it would read: “AT&T to Rural America: Drop Dead.” Industry analysts expect other major carriers to follow suit.

* On July 2, 2012, Verizon filed a lawsuit to block the FCC’s Open Internet rules with the breathtaking claim that, like a newspaper publisher, Verizon owns the content that travels over its network.

Verizon’s suit claims that Open Internet rules ensuring user-privacy and non-discrimination violate its First and Fifth Amendment rights (free press and private property).

The handwriting on the wall is clear. The cable and phone cartel is making radical moves via corporate-friendly courts and legislatures to complete their capture of the Internet.

They may have over-played their hand.

MAIN and our national allies believe this is the opening we need to focus attention on building a “third pipe” alternative to the cable-telco cartel. This “third pipe” is largely based on the “community network” model MAIN has pioneered since 1996.

That’s why we need your support now more than ever.

This is our moment. President Obama pledged that he would “take a backseat to no one” in preserving an Open Internet. With your help, we will make sure he keeps that pledge.

Is there any more important work than ensuring a more open and democratic media?

All the issues and challenges you care about begin – or end – with media access.

Please support this work with a generous, tax-deductible donation. You can make a secure online donation, or you can mail your donation to: MAIN, 34 Wall Street, Suite 407, Asheville, N.C. 28801.

In Solidarity,

Pat Battle                                                                    Wally Bowen
Board President                                                       Executive Director

PS – On Nov. 30, 2012, the FCC approved the long-awaited low-power FM radio rules, clearing the way for MAIN-FM to resume broadcasting with a much stronger signal! Stay tuned for details.