Protest "Telcom Reform"

by Audrie Krause

On February 8, the first anniversary of the Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996, NetAction and the Center for Educational Priorities are launching a month-long Internet demonstration to call attention to the wide gap between the rhetoric and reality of this sweeping legislation.

President Clinton and Congress promised the American people that enactment of the Telecommunications Reform Act would lead to a cornucopia of technological innovations that would change the nation's cultural frontiers, expand our choices, dazzle our eyes, and inform our minds. Instead, we've been censored in cyberspace, subjected to TV ratings systems, and prevented from experiencing the benefits of a truly competitive marketplace by the emergence of "cartels" created by mega-mergers in the telecommunications and media industries.

This is not reform! And it's not too late to demand that our decision makers deliver on what they promised us on February 8, 1996: MORE competition, MORE consumer choices, MORE widespread access to information technology.

The Center for Educational Priorities and NetAction are spearheading this demonstration in an effort to pressure the Federal Communications Commission and other state and national regulatory agencies to ensure that the Act is implemented in a way that truly benefits the public. We invite you to join this effort by linking to the site at for one month beginning on February 8. By linking to the protest site, you will be adding your voice to a united demand for true telecommunications reform.

The site is currently under development. When completed, it will feature brief summaries of the impact the Act has had in its first year on telecommunications and technology policy, media ownership and content, and censorship, along with suggested actions to help ensure that implementation of the Act truly benefits the public. We are also creating extensive links to other organizations working on these issues, as well as to other sites with current information on censorship, mega-mergers, universal service, school hook-ups, and the v-chip. We welcome suggestions for additional links to add.

Please let us know if you will participate in the demonstration by contacting NetAction, by email at, or by phone at 415-775-8674. Thanks!