Tell the FCC about PEG

September 5, 2012, 09:51 by dliu

PEG stations have just a few days left to submit comments to the FCC about how much PEG contributes to their communities.

Copying here a recent notice from NATOA about the FCC’s latest Notice of Inquiry, and why every PEG station should make itself heard (The NOI is wordy, but NATOA helpfully provided a template for responding, along with electronic filing instructions):

“The FCC has released a Notice of Inquiry that “solicits data, information, and comment on the state of competition in the delivery of video programming for the Commission’s Fifteenth Report.”  The goal of the inquiry is “to enhance [the Commission’s] analysis of competitive conditions, better understand the implications for the American consumer, and provide a solid foundation for Commission policy making with respect to the delivery of video programming to consumers.”  As such, the Commission is encouraging “thorough and substantive submissions from industry participants, as well as state and local regulators with knowledge of the issues raised.” 

The Commission is seeking information on a number of issues directly related to local PEG operations.  It is vitally important that PEG operators from across the country submit comments so that the Commission is provided with a full and complete picture of the status of PEG programming. 

NATOA, ACM and ACT are providing our members with a template they may use to submit comments to the FCC.  It is not necessary to answer all the questions posed, or to even use this template.  Rather, the goal is to tell the Commission about PEG services in your community.  TELL YOUR STORY – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Comments are due September 10; Reply Comments are due October 10.

Along with the comments template are instructions on how to file your responses with the Commission.  Also attached is the Notice of Inquiry.  All of these documents are available on our websites.

If you don’t tell the Commission about PEG programming in your community, no one will – except your cable operators!  Act today.”

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One Comment

  1. I am writing on behalf of Wilbraham Public Access in response to the FCC inquiry, Annual Assessment of the Status of MB Docket No. 12-203 Competition in the Market for the Delivery of Video Programming.
    I am the Executive Director, a department head working for the Town of Wilbraham.
    Wilbraham Public Access is a Public, Educational and Governmental community TV station with 3 channels (5, 19 & 20)serving the Town of Wilbraham and also seen in the Town of Hampden Massachusetts. (Approximately 6,000 subscribers)
    We cover community, school and government meetings like Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Finance, Housing Authority etc. The meeting coverage of evening meetings has been requested by residents especially senior citizens who may not drive after dark, but also find it easier to hear the audio on TV rather than a meeting room.
    WPA trains students in Elementary, Middle, High School and College as well as community volunteers in communication, production both in field and studio and editing. We allow residents (and students) the ability to share their voice with their communities.
    WPA has volunteers from all ages (10 to 75 years old) who work together or their own to create programming for the community.
    WPA is in charge of the Town Facebook Page that helps inform the community of what’s going on in an emergency. It is used for weather emergencies (NWS notices) which was tested after a tornado, microburst and early snowstorm that hit the town in 2011. All three events took out the power to the community for several days. The Facebook page allowed Town Officials and emergency services the ability to communicate with residents in times of need. (Facebook search – “Town of Wilbraham Massachusetts” or link from the website wilbraham-ma.gov).
    The cable provider in Wilbraham is Charter Communications. Two small neighborhoods in Wilbraham on the west side of town also have a second provider but the majority of the Town only have cable and internet access through Charter Communications. This is a problem in that there is no competition and residents call to complain that the Town and WPA have not brought in competitors. The Town and WPA have looked for secondary providers, but have been unable to find competitors as it is not cost effective for a company to build a fiber optic system in a small community.
    The Town has had issues with Charter responding to residents service complaints.
    We also take complaints from residents about the constant rise in the cost of cable and internet access. Residents have stated that they don’t want to use satellite dish over cable since they will lose the community TV station.
    The funding for WPA comes from the cable company and there is a fear that if that funding ends there will not be another way to fund community TV in a small community like ours.

    Caroline Cunningham
    Executive Director
    Wilbraham Public Access
    28 Springfield Street
    Wilbraham, MA 01095
    (413) 599-0940 W
    (413) 433-7331 C
    ccunningham@wilbraham-ma.gov

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