TeleCommUnity is an alliance of local governments and their associations which are attempting to refocus attention in Washington on the principles of federalism and comity for local government interests in telecommunications.

It advocates for local governments’ interests on matters of federal telecommunications and broadband legislation that affect their authority, use and control over public lands and rights-of-way, zoning and public use of frequency spectrum. Among these interests are reasonable compensation for use of public real property rights by telecommunications, cable, and broadband companies. The alliance will participate in lobbying, media education, and citizen outreach on these issues.

To carry out its mission, TeleCommUnity is providing an online clearinghouse that provides positive examples of local governments’ role in promoting and managing telecommunications development. It also is providing forums, white papers and speaker’s bureau through which local officials can communicate the importance of these principles.

Local Governments Have Three Interests In Modern Communications Infrastructure:

  • We are among the largest consumers of communications services;
  • We are the dominant landlord of communications service providers
    which use public real estate and public rights-of-way to deliver services;
  • We are the regulator of last resort, concerned about economic development, job creation and the fair treatment of consumers.

Local Governments Must Do More With Less:

  • This requires imaginative implementation of modern telecommunications and information technology;
  • Local governments must leverage their scarce public resources – in the form of real estate, public rights-of-way and consumption dollars – to create adequate infrastructure to ensure that the marketplace delivers modern communications networks to local business, residential and governmental consumers;
  • Traditional local government taxes, in the form of excise and property taxes, are at risk in the new world of virtual global electronic commerce.


Local Governments Support Equitable Federal, State and Local Policies to Expand the Potential of Electronic Commerce Through Telecommunications:

  • Expand telecommunications competition where possible;
  • Restrict monopoly abuses, consumer injury and geographic discrimination
    where the market will not sustain adequate competition;
  • Ensure private companies do not use scarce public resources without
    assuming appropriate public interest obligations.


Users Of Public Resources Have An Obligation To:

  • Pay reasonable rent;
  • Promote universal availability of service;
  • Close – not widen – the Digital Divide;
  • Reject anti-competitive behavior;
  • Address unmet community needs and interests in
    accessing and using telecommunications services.

Local, State and Federal Legal Systems Must Be Committed To:

  • Preservation and fair compensation for public property rights;
  • Protecting private and intellectual property rights;
  • Regulate gatekeepers that assert monopoly power over the flow of content;
  • Require non-discriminatory interconnection of networks.



Support H.R. 3745, the CAP Act of 2009
Representative Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Community Access Preservation (CAP) act of 2009, H.R. 3745. The bill addresses some of the vital issues facing public, educational, and government (PEG) channels.

Contact your Senators and Representatives to request that they cosponsor the bill. Below are resources that may be helpful.

Text of H.R. 3745
Summary of bill
Sample letter to Members of Congress
Find your Senate and House Members

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides $7.2B for Broadband projects. See TeleCommUnity Summary

Whats on the House and Senate floor

House Majority and Minority Views
Senate Majority and Minority Views

Recent news headlines
Search for regulations
Search for filings
Search through Communications Act

 

Find a state PUC proposal
Search through state bills

 

 

 

 

 

 

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