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Public, Educational, and Governmental (PEG) Access Cable Television Channels: Issues for Congress

Yet the fees have brought tremendous benefits to cities and towns, despite their decline as more cable viewers cut the cord. PEG stations supported through the fees have widely been considered a hallmark of media localism.

When the FCC announced last year that it would reassess regulation of franchising fees, PEG media outlets were quick to spring into action and warn of potential harm to their financial health. PEG organizations are hunting for new revenue sources. Others are asking their communities for contributions. Just about anyone observing trends in local journalism and media ownership can see the need for better policies across the country to support local information.


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In fact, that principle was at the heart of the aforementioned act — that community needs must be met when local government and the cable industry form franchise agreements. By airing municipal meetings and candidate forums, PEG stations help to reignite waning interest in local elections.

FCC is at it again: Proposed changes to benefit big cable, harm local access channels |

In Goffstown, N. Now multiply that success to 1, channels across the country. All of these affected cities are at risk because of the FCC order, which treats local communities with contempt.

The new rules, which will take effect in September, will allow cable companies to assign market values to benefits and charge the amount back to local communities in most cases. Benefits include items such as free cable subscriptions for schools, discounts for the elderly, and perhaps most importantly fiber connectivity to local government buildings such as police departments, fire stations and libraries.

The rationale?


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But talk with communities in 23 states that have limited or eliminated fees that communities can charge for the use of their property and support of community channels — states such as Wisconsin and Ohio — and look for a correlation between limiting local power and increasing broadband investment. Jump to navigation.

Cable Television | Federal Communications Commission

Pursuant to Section of the Communications Act, local franchising authorities may require cable operators to set aside channels for public, educational, or governmental "PEG" use. Public access channels are available for use by the general public. They are usually administered either by the cable operator or by a third party designated by the franchising authority.

Educational access channels are used by educational institutions for educational programming. Time on these channels is typically allocated among local schools, colleges and universities by either the franchising authority or the cable operator. Governmental access channels are used for programming by local governments. In most jurisdictions, the local governments directly controls these channels. PEG channels are not mandated by federal law, rather they are a right given to the franchising authority, which it may choose to exercise.

The decision whether to require the cable operator to carry PEG channels is up to the local franchising authority. If the franchise authority does require PEG channels, that requirement will be set out in the franchise agreement between the franchising authority and the cable operator.

Franchising authorities may also require cable operators to set aside channels for educational or governmental use on institutional networks, i. Franchising authorities may require cable operators to provide services, facilities, or equipment for the use of PEG channels. In accordance with applicable franchise agreements, local franchising authorities or cable operators may adopt on their own, non-content-based rules governing the use of PEG channels.