Community Media: Selected Clippings – 03/17/07

[Milford, CT – a picture of what awaits your municipality? – rm ]

Milford, broadcast company strike deal
by Chris Rhatigan
New Haven Register (CT)

—> The city has struck a deal with Sound View Community Media Inc. to broadcast municipal programming for 50 percent of the week. The city, along with other area municipalities, fought with Sound View for about a year to broadcast only its town meetings. Milford was looking for 100 percent town-specific broadcasting, but settled for 50 percent in an agreement that was hammered out this week, according to Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr.

The state’s Department of Utility Control rejected a bid by the municipalities for town-specific channels last year.

As a result of the agreement, meetings of one of the city’s three elected boards (aldermen, planning and zoning, and education) and other community information will be broadcast during the following times on Channel 79: from noon until midnight Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; from midnight until noon Thursday and Friday; from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sundays.

All other times will be area programming, featuring information and meetings from all Sound View towns, including Stratford, Bridgeport, Orange, Woodbridge and Fairfield.

OH: New Bill Introduced SB 117

The OK Chapter of the Alliance for Community Media Central States chapter has sent out the following news item.

A NEW video franchising bill has been introduced in the Ohio State Senate, SB 117. The bill can be found on the Ohio State web site. Access supporters in Ohio will be planning a response to this new proposed bill.

Pemi-Baker franchise fees weighed in Plymouth
The Citizen of Laconia (NH)
by Bob Martin

PLYMOUTH — Representatives of Pemi-Baker Community Access Media, or pbCAM, addressed the Board of Selectmen recently about a proposed increase in the cable user franchise fee. pbCAM Advisory Board Chair Joanne Koermer said that she hopes it would increase to 5 percent, a number that she said is comparable to many towns of Plymouth’s size. “Our contract is until 2013,” said Koermer. “We are only allowed one increase with a maximum of 5 percent so we won’t be back again to ask for more.”

In September of 2003, the Plymouth Selectmen voted to implement a 2 percent franchise fee to fund and support cable access programming in the Pemi-Baker area. The fee provided funding for a part time executive director, a position held by Jamie Cadorette since 2004. However, viewership has increased since the original fee was decided, which has resulted in the addition of another channel. pbCAM can now be found on Channels 3 and 20 through Time-Warner Cable Television in the towns of Plymouth, Holderness, Ashland, Campton, Thornton, Rumney, Wentworth, Warren, Dorchester and Groton. —>

False Advertising and the New TV War (IL)
Crazy Politco’s Rantings

AT&T is trying, though some deceptive advertising, to convince everyone that their new U-Verse service, which is TV over IP, should replace cable TV. The advertising comes from a group called TV4US, which, while it has an impressive list of backing organizations, is nearly 100% funded by AT&T.

AT&T does get one thing right, my cable bill has gone up over the last 8 years, but doing the math, my cost per channel has gone DOWN by about 20%. My original cable service in Illinois (through, AT&T oddly enough) gave me about 75 channels total on the medium tier service I buy, for $39.99 Today, after Comcast took them over, I’m getting about 130 channels on that same tier of service, for $59.99. But I also get video on demand, and 100 more music channels than I did then. So I’ve actually dropped from AT&T’s rate of about 54 cents a channel to around 43 depending on how you count music and VOD as channels. —>

Official says Elwood’s new law is illegal
Meeting Act Violation
by Kim Smith
The Herald News (IL)

—> The ordinance spells out specific requirements that must be met before an individual can tape a public meeting. The individual would have to pay a $25 fee and give notice 48 hours prior to regular meetings and two hours prior to any special or emergency meetings. The person would also have to provide the clerk with a certificate of person or professional liability insurance. “This is breaking the law,” Glasgow said. “It is the right of any person to record a public meeting.”

Hauert said he got the idea to tape meetings from traveling to neighboring towns. He was concerned that the village was growing too quickly and wanted to show more residents what was being done on a local level. “I feel people have the right to know what is going on,” Hauert said. “I thought I would volunteer to tape the meetings so I could hand the tapes over to Kraus Cable to run on their public-access channel. I feel we all have the right to watch meetings from the comforts of our homes. A lot of people cannot make it out to the meetings.”

When Hauert set up his camera at a workshop meeting Wednesday night, he and Mayor Robert Blum had a verbal confrontation. Blum asked if he had complied with the new ordinance, and Hauert said he did not and would not because he believed the ordinance is illegal. —>,4_1_JO17_ELWOOD_S1.article

Sparring over broadband via TV
Associated Press
Baltimore Sun

WASHINGTON // Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. and other technology companies are bumping into resistance from television broadcasters as they seek regulatory approval to deliver high-speed Internet service over unused television airwaves. The technology companies, which have submitted a prototype device to the Federal Communications Commission for testing, say their intent is to make broadband Internet connections accessible and affordable to millions more Americans.

Broadcasters, though, fear the unproven device could interfere with TV reception, and even some technology experts have reservations about how well the device will perform. Matters could get even more complicated, broadcasters say, when the industry switches from analog to digital signals in February 2009.

At the center of this dispute are unused and unlicensed TV airwaves, part of the spectrum known as “white spaces.” They are located between channels 2 and 51 on televisions that aren’t hooked up to satellite or cable, though use of such services would not preclude anyone from accessing the Internet over unused spectrum in their region. “This is some prime spectrum real estate,” said Ben Scott, policy director for Free Press, a national nonpartisan public interest research group that supports using the public airwaves for Internet service. —>,0,4437168.story?coll=bal-technology-headlines

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

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: