Executive Director Annie Folger plans to speak at a public hearing in Sacramento on 3/24/14, to voice support for AJR39, the PEG Channel Funds Joint Resolution, introduced by Assemblymember Roger Hernandez. The resolution asks that Congress eliminate outdated language in US Code — an essential fix to solve the operating vs. capital funding issues that have caused the closure of PEG facilities across California.
Specifically, Assembly Joint Resolution AJR39 seeks to address critical and immediate threats to public, educational, and government (PEG) channels in the community. The measure calls on the US Congress to amend Section 542 of Title 47 of the US Code to:
1) Allow states and their municipalities to determine the best use of PEG channel support
2) Restore and protect funding for PEG operations
3) To allow states and local governments the flexibility to use PEG funding for legitimate expenses other than capitol expenses
4) Ensure PEG channels are transmitted without charge to local governments _________________________________________________________________
Alliance for Community Media
February 18, 2014
Protect Existing Public Assets in Comcast Merger Deal
The proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast is a clear threat to media localism and diversity. Public, educational and government (PEG) access centers are anchor organizations providing the public with training, facilities and channel time as part of the cable industry structure. A growing number of communities report that Comcast is cutting funding, taking back channels, and refusing to provide basic technical advancements like high definition (HD) carriage and VOD to the public.
According to the 2011 Analysis of Recent PEG Access Center Closures, Funding Cutbacks, and Related Threats prepared for Alliance for Communications Democracy with support from the Benton Foundation, “PEG Access Centers in at least 100 communities across the United States have been closed since 2005. A disproportionate number (93) exclusively served the public.”
Of those 93 Centers that exclusively served the public, 49 of them were in Comcast communities. Despite Comcast’s assertion that “we have over-delivered on our public interest commitments,” the evidence speaks for itself.
In an online statement about the proposed acquisition of Time Warner, Comcast lauds its “commitment to making available diverse, local news, and children’s programming on various platforms in the cable systems we are acquiring from Time Warner Cable.” Those claims are put to the test in every local community that has to fight for the basic survival of PEG resources and channels. It is time for our regulators and legislators to take action to prevent Comcast from eroding the most valuable public asset that exists as a result of cable franchising.
House to Re-write Foundational Communications Law
Submitted: December 3, 2013 – 8:25pm
Originally published: December 3, 2013
Last updated: December 6, 2013 – 6:17pm
Source: Hill, The
Author: Brendan Sasso
Coverage Type: reporting
House Commerce Committee, 45 Independence Ave SW 2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, 20515, United States
The leaders of the House Commerce Committee announced that they will begin re-writing the Communications Act, a foundational law that regulates the television, telephone and Internet industries.
Updating the act will be a multi-year effort, and each potential change will likely prompt intense lobbying from powerful industry groups. The Communications Act, which outlines the power of the Federal Communications Commission, dates back to 1934, and was last updated in 1996. House Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said the communications and technology sectors were “stalwarts of our national economy” throughout the economic downturn. “We must ensure that our laws make sense for today but are also ready for the innovations of tomorrow,” he said. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), the chairman of the subcommittee on Communications and Technology, said that when the Communications Act was last updated 18 years ago, “no one could have dreamed” of the coming advances in the Internet. The committee will begin its review with a series of hearings and white papers in 2014.