Because of the urgency of the issue, Media Mouse is reprinting this slightly edited action alert that went out on the Progressive Directory of Western Michigan mailing list today. For additional background information, see the Media Mouse article titled “Bill Threatens Public Access and Net Neutrality in Michigan.
As early as this week, the Michigan state Senate may vote on a bad bill that would allow large corporations like AT&T to overlook needy communities, ignore consumers and gut Net Neutrality. The bill is a dream for AT&T, but a nightmare for Michigan residents.
The Video Franchising Bill is a market grab by communications giant AT&T — at the expense of Internet choice, local funding and programming. The bill would allow the company to gut consumer protections, cherry-pick which communities receive high-speed broadband and video service, dodge local community access requirements, and ignore Net Neutrality — the fundamental principle of the free and open Internet.
On Tuesday, SavetheInternet.com activists gathered at the Capitol Rotunda in Lansing to protest the legislation — an AT&T giveaway called the “Michigan Video Franchising Bill” (HB 6456). Hundreds of other Michigan residents have already contacted their state senators — asking them to vote NO on this bill.
In Grand Rapids, citizens can keep the pressure on by contacting Senator Bill Hardiman and requesting that he vote “NO” on the “Michigan Video Franchising Bill.” Hardiman can be contacted at (517) 373-1801. A sample script for the call is available from Free Press as is a system for logging calls.