The Alliance for Community Media today is asking the Platform Committees of the Democratic and Republican National Committees to embrace policies protecting local cable franchising authorities’ ability to require PEG access channels and adequate mechanisms for supporting them within their franchise agreements. From the Alliance’s Platform Statement:
In summary, the ACM proposes a national policy of “community reinvestment” through Public, Educational, and Government access organizations which includes funds and bandwidth and/or spectrum that will be used for public purposes by:
• Allowing the local community which owns the public right-of-way to franchise and determine the best use of the community’s property. This principle must be protected by Federal law.
• Dedicating ten percent of the public airwaves and capacity on communication facilities that occupy public rights-of-way to PEG use for free speech, diverse points of view, local programs, community based education and political speech.
• Mandating funding of five percent of gross revenues from all infrastructure and service providers and spectrum licensees to support PEG equipment, facilities, training and services.
• Making PEG access universally available to any consumer of advanced telecommunications services capable of full-motion video.
The Alliance strongly encourages its members and all other community media advocates to actively engage and insist upon, at every available opportunity, these “Keep Us Connected” policy goals – at every meeting of every appropriate local, state, regional, and national policy-considering body — Democratic, Republican, and otherwise.