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Lowell Telecommunications Corporation is a community media and technology center serving the diverse urban population of Lowell, MA. The organization is committed itself to first-come, first-served telecommunication services to anyone in the community interested in expressing themselves. It is also committed to providing training and access to the media communication skills of the 21st century. The organization's vision has always been about telecommunication' technology - everything from video cameras to computer, from cable channels to the Internet - and its uses in community information and content production.
The future is not about technology. It's about people. For a community media center, it's about people harnessing technology to provide meaningful content to their community. Lowell Telecommunications Corporation is a community media center serving the diverse urban population of Lowell, MA. Since its inception, the organization, like many other such centers, has committed itself to first-come, first-served telecommunication services to anyone in the community interested in expressing themselves. It is also committed to providing training and access to the media communication skills of the 21st century. The organization's vision has always been about telecommunications' technology (everything from video cameras to computers, from cable channels to the Internet) and its uses in community information and content production. In the summer of 1998, after three years of providing training and access to thousands of residents, the organization reaffirmed that its mission was to "Build Community Through Technology". Since that time, the organization has became committed to decentralizing its services and working even more actively with our community partners in realizing our community media and information needs. As Lowell begins the process of refranchizing with AT&T Broadband, our visions for the future are still firmly focussed in our original core beliefs. While new technologies come and go and our learning curves become ever faster, LTC's mission is still to serve its community. Yet a digital world that is realizing the long hyped convergence of all media, does bring with it some fantastic dreams or at least some interesting questions. For instance, once the majority of media becomes digital (delivered through all sorts of conduits), how will a local media center make the case for local content when all content is potentially global? How do we begin demanding access to more than bandwidth in a world where media storage and web portals are becoming equally crucial infrastructure to access to distribution? How can we lock into a ten-year contract that demands physical resources when those resources change on an 18-month (or faster) cycle? How do we confront the potential glut of content that will be available once all those worldwide producers pump it out there and who will guide us to that content? For LTC and its community, our future is one in which access to media distribution networks in whatever form they may take, are open to communities and are without commercial intent. It is also a future in which funding from the whole range of mega-media / telecommunication conglomerates making huge profits from our public airwaves, public rights of way, and even aerospace are required to give back to community media and information endeavors not only in the United States, but around the globe. It is a future in which visual, media and technology literacy are just as important as traditional literacy and where our centers work with schools and the community to ensure that this becomes a reality. LTC also sees a future where the distinction between a public education government access center, a community technology center, a media arts center, a telemedia center, a free speech organization, a cyberartist hangout, a community center, and countless other nomenclature melt away as we all explore, learn, make and share information, content, knowledge and each others company.
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