Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/15/07

House votes for cable competition bill
by David A. Lieb (AP)
Belleville News Democrat

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A bill intended to spur competition with cable TV companies won overwhelmingly approval Wednesday in the Missouri House.   —>   Consumer advocates say the bill still does not include enough protections for customers.   —>

House Democrats Blast FCC Policies
by Roy Mark

—>   Dingell was particularly critical of a December FCC decision streamlining video franchise rules for telecom giants like AT&T and Verizon, who are rolling out broadband-based television service to compete with cable operators.  The new rules pre-empt most of the power of local franchising authorities to dictate the terms and conditions to distribute video in a community.  “In 1984, those of us who wrote the law established well-defined and distinct roles in cable regulation for the local governments and for the FCC,” Dingell said. “If reform of that regulatory structure is necessary, then it is the prerogative of Congress. It is not, however, the role of the FCC.”

Cities to fight federal cable television ruling
by Nicole Montesano
McMinnville News-Register (OR)

—>   But cities say the ruling may have been improperly enacted. And they said it would harm residents by eliminating funding for public, educational and government access, imposing unreasonable deadlines designed to give companies the upper hand in driving deals and eliminating requirements for companies to ensure low-income neighborhoods get service comparable to that given high-income neighborhoods.

“It’s disappointing to see the FCC support the ability of the telecommunications industry to – in effect – seize control of public property for additional profit,” said Estacada Mayor Bob Austin, President of the League of Oregon Cities.  According to the league, the text of the written rule was not circulated in advance, and actual details were not released until weeks after the rule’s adoption.   —>

During its 2006-07 fiscal year, ending June 30, the city expects to take in $2.1 million in franchise fee payments. A little less than half is earmarked for McMinnville Community Media, which oversees Channel 11.  The city also assesses public, educational and governmental access fees under the so-called PEG program. This year, it is expecting $75,000, which has been earmarked for Channel 11 equipment needs.

Under the program, each cable subscriber pays $1 a month, and Comcast passes this money onto the city. But the FCC ruling puts that in jeopardy, warning, “It would be an unreasonable refusal to award a competitive franchise if the (city or county) denied an application based on a new entrant’s refusal to undertake certain obligations relating to public, educational, government and institutional networks.”

Multnomah County schools and libraries use institutional networks to provide high-speed Internet access at low cost, and many communities depend on PEG and franchise fees to fund their public access channels.  “The proposed rules, which the public had no opportunity to review before their vote, are illegal, unnecessary and counter-productive,” charged Hillsboro Mayor Tom Hughes. “Our national organizations will fight to have this FCC action reversed.”    —>

Second cable channel tested
by Sarah Holcomb
Milpitas Post (CA)

Milpitas Community Television, the city’s new public access network, officially has a channel: Channel 26.  Until the studio is fully up and running, the channel will simply show a banner graphic that states, “You are watching Milpitas Community Television,” but the channel was tested in late February, when a budget workshop with Milpitas City Council conflicted with a Milpitas Unified School District Board of Education meeting.  Usually, the city would tape the school board meeting and play it later, but with two channels, the city can air both at the same time. The budget workshop was shown on the city’s government access channel, Channel 15, and the school board meeting was broadcast on Channel 26.   —>

Michigan Station of the Year 2007 for Vision 22, Haslett Public School Television

Powered by MaestroVision Digital Cablecast Technology, Vision 22, Haslett Public School Television has been recognized as the Michigan Station of the Year 2007. The award was announced at the annual presentation held at the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference & Expo, on March 13th & 14th in Lansing, Michigan.  A cutting edge, student run, award-winning program – Vision 22 is recognized at the national, regional, and state-wide level for professionalism and creativity in local news, public affairs programming and community outreach initiatives.   —>

Concord talent show
Musician and photographer Peg Cawley kicks off CCTV Arts Telefest
by Meg Heckman
Concord Monitor (NH)

This weekend’s cable access arts bonanza is among the few venues diverse enough for Peg Cawley’s résumé. Cawley is a photographer, poet and former music professor who owns her own typesetting machine and, last year, started classes to learn to play viola da gamba. On Sunday, she’ll appear at the start of the similarly eclectic Concord Community Television Arts Telefest, telling viewers about her lifelong creative pursuits.

Station managers chose one of Cawley’s photographs – a black-and-white close-up of stringed instruments – for the fund-raiser’s promotional posters. Cawley will appear in the first few minutes of the 12-hour broadcast and provide signed copies of the poster to donors. Cawley, 85, laments the local blight of darkrooms and despises digital cameras, so she was thrilled when CCTV showed interest in a 20-year-old black-and-white print.    —>

Looking at Media Ownership
by Dan Kennedy
Media Nation

Tonight I’ll be moderating an hour-long panel discussion called “How Media Ownership Affects Content,” part of the “Critical Focus” series on media issues produced by Somerville Community Access Television. The program will be shown live at 8 p.m. in Somerville and Cambridge, and should be webcast here.  Joining me will be:

* Paul La Camera, president of WBUR Radio (90.9 FM)
* Robert Hilliard, a communications professor at Emerson College
* Yolanda Hippensteele, outreach director at the media-reform group Free Press

Mass. Tax Battle Unites Enemies
Associated Press
Broadcast Newsroom

(Multichannel News) _ The political season in Massachusetts is creating interesting dynamics between the telephone and cable industries, which will fight each other tooth and nail on a bill this season to reform cable franchising but link arms to mutually fight a plan by the governor to eliminate some decades-old personal-property-tax exemptions.

“In the morning we’re allies. In the afternoon we’re knocking each other’s blocks off,” joked Paul Cianelli, president of the New England Cable & Telecommunications Association  Incumbent cable companies, RCN, Verizon Communications, wireless-service providers, chambers of commerce and high-tech industries formed a coalition to fight an initiative by Gov. Deval Patrick to close what he described in February as “tax loopholes” used by businesses in the commonwealth.   —>

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, community media, FCC, municipal programming, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

One Comment on “Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/15/07”

  1. […] Community Media Selected Clippings 03 15 07 Clippings for PEG Posted by root 2 hours 10 minutes ago ( Milpitas community television the city new public access network officially has a channel channel 26 powered by maestrovision digital cablecast technology vision 22 you can comment below or link to this permanent url from your own site blog at wordpress c Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Community Media Selected Clippings 03 15 07 Clippings for PEG […]

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