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LOCAL Announcement :: Media

Chicago Media Action Alert: The Internet's Future in Illinois

Illinois residents who are interested in the future of the internet and telephone technology will be interested in a state law which is scheduled for revision in the next couple of months.
CHICAGO MEDIA ACTION ALERT: February 22, 2005
www.chicagomediaaction.org

Illinois residents who are interested in the future of the internet and telephone technology will be interested in a state law which is scheduled for revision in the next couple of months.

The Illinois Telecommunications Act, the state's law which governs policy pertaining to telecom and the internet, is expected to be rewritten in 2005
during the Illinois General Assembly, which is expected to end in May 2005.

Though many questions are likely to be raised during the rewrite, the main issues might be those of control and cost. Will communities be able to
create their own technological infrastructure based on community needs and desires and timetables? Or will communities be dependent on giant telecom companies like SBC and Comcast whose primary concern is profit? (This touches on issues like the digital divide, challenges to corporate power, and the rights of communities to shape their own future.)

Committees in both the Illinois House and Senate are slated to begin proceedings, and a state bill, Senate Bill 499, has already been introduced.
Read the bill and what it means (it's not good) here:

tinyurl.com/4bjlc

www.freepress.net/communityinternet/=ILbill

newstandardnews.net/content/

www.freepress.net/news/6843

We encourage Illinois residents to contact their state legislators and ask that they maintain the right of Illinois municipalities to establish their own community internet services, and to hold local public hearings on the Telecom Rewrite.

A suggested letter that you can use (and modify) is online here:

www.chicagomediaaction.org/news.php

You can contact your state senators and representatives here:

www.ilga.gov/

(click on "Legislator Lookup" under "Additional Resources")

You are also encouraged to contact the members of the Illinois Telecommunications Committee, which are listed here:

www.ilga.gov/house/committees/members.asp

This local-scale struggle for the internet's future is going on in (so far) nine other states throughout the country. To learn more of what's
happening nationally, you can visit:

freepress.net/communityinternet/

For Illinois, there is an active mailing list called Get Illinois Online, which you're welcome to join to get more involved or to learn the latest happenings:

www.getillinoisonline.org/

We especially encourage you to spread the word about this rewrite, and forward this post to others.
 
 

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