New rules may be implemented with the FCC that could decimate funding to local community television. You still have time to weigh in with public comments today and tomorrow. See below for a current 2018 update and easy how-tos for public comments. (You can read more about the FCC history and cape ann tv leading up to 1623 studios in a prior 2016 post.)
Erich Archer says thanks and please feel free to share:
LETTER TEMPLATES & HOW TO FILE COMMENTS BY 11/14/18
You can submit a comment to the FCC before November 15th with these steps:
- Go to this link: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/proceedings?q=name:((05-311))
- Click on ‘+ Express ‘
- Fill in your information and send
The FCC’s “Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making (FNPRM) on Cable Franchising” was published in the Federal Register on October 15. This means that the deadline for comments will be November 14. This proposed Rule seeks to redefine and place a value on cable franchise obligations that have been traditionally defined as “In-Kind” (backhaul of signal, IPG, possibly our PEG channels themselves). The result would be to charge these “expenses” back against the franchise fee and essentially undermine the intent of the Cable Act. The national impact on PEG Access and local municipalities could be devastating.
US Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts knows community media and why it exists. He was on the House committee that helped enact the 1984 Cable Act that supported PEG across the United States. That’s why he’s outraged at the actions of the Federal Communications Commission to destabilize communities in its FNPRM on Cable Franchsing.
Among other things, the rulemaking proposes to define “in-kind” support so broadly it will allow cable companies to deduct just about ANY support against franchise fees – thus defunding municipalities AND community television.
Senator Markey is trying to organize Democratic US Senators to support a letter to the FCC disapproving of the proposed rulemaking. ACM wants to thank him for the effort. He’s been a champion of our cause for many years! Here are the Senators who so far have agreed to sign on to the Markey letter:
- Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI)
- Senator Ben Cardin (MD)
- Senator Maggie Hassan (NH)
- Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow (MI)
- Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden (OR)
- Senator Bernie Sanders (VT)
We want to thank all the ACM members who’ve been contacting their US Senators about signing on, but we need more! Please contact your US Senator about joining Senator Markey’s effort to oppose the FNPRM. You may notice some Democratic Senators who are not on the list!
If you need assistance or background information about the FNPRM, please contact Mike Wassenaar by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.