The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Timothy Karr: 201-533-8838,,

Free Press Welcomes Congressional Effort to Update Communications Act

The Public Must Have a Seat at the Table


Today, the chairmen of the Senate and House commerce committees and communications subcommittees announced the beginning of a process to develop proposals to update the Communications Act.

Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner made the following statement:

"We appreciate congressional interest in updating the Communications
Act, and welcome Congress' oversight in ensuring that our
communications laws benefit consumers.

"We believe the current structure of the Communications Act, as revised
over the years, provides a flexible framework for reaching the goals of
competition, innovation and openness during a time of rapid
technological change. The FCC's recent move to fix the classification
mistakes of the Powell and Martin Commissions simply restores the legal
structure established by Congress for our country's communications

"Our economic future depends upon getting all Americans connected to
broadband, and that cannot happen unless the FCC acts fast. The 1996
Act took more than five years to enact, and the most recent attempt to
rewrite the law produced no results. We cannot wait for Congress to act
to protect consumers and carry out the National Broadband Plan.

"We hope that the public will have a seat at the table during this
process, and that any draft legislation will put the needs of Main
Street before the demands of Wall Street."

Free Press was created to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what's actually happening in their communities.

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