I am pasting a draft letter to Verizon here below. This letter is a very simplified version of the talking points I supplied last week. As an example, NCTV will be sending this out to membership, to local organizations with which we have worked, and to local legislators.
I'm again providing links to those legislators below.
Here is the draft letter. PLEASE NOTE, there sections of the letter you need to edit on your own.
(insert Senator or Rep. name here)
Room (insert Room number here)
Boston, MA 02133
Dear Senator (or Rep. name)
I am writing to address Massachusetts Senate Bill 1687. The Bill is currently scheduled for a hearing at the Statehouse on Wednesday, May 18th.
I oppose this bill. It could cripple the ability of our community to effectively support and sustain our local cable television studio.
(insert Personal story here-or delete this section)
There currently exists in Massachusetts a legal structure – the Massachusetts Cable Act (M.G.L.166A)- that has allowed, and continues to allow, successful and effective negotiations between communities and cable providers. This law works as it currently exists and it accomplishes its purpose. It provides support that allows for the existence of these vital community resources.
The proposed Senate Bill 1687 only serves to undermine that support. Imposing a 90-day time frame on cable license negotiations, makes this Bill unrealistic and weakens the ability of communities to identify and properly ascertain their telecommunication needs. Verizon has had no difficulty in acquiring cable licenses in the communities they have identified as desirable in Massachusetts, having successfully negotiated over 110 licenses in this state. This bill does not encourage competition; it handicaps the local negotiating position and weakens the community rights the Cable Act is intended to protect.
I urge you strongly to oppose Massachusetts Senate Bill 1687.