American Community Television Calls on Charter to Stop its Abusive Treatment of Public, Educational and Government Access Television

Calling it “abusive,” American Community Television (ACT) reacted today to the news that Charter Communications is slamming all the Public, Educational and Government (PEG) access television channels in St. Louis to the 900′s.

“It’s an abuse of the public trust and an abuse of the citizens of St. Louis,” said Bunnie Riedel, executive director of ACT.  “Charter is doing this because they want to kill off PEG access television in St. Louis.”

St. Louis is home to award winning PEG access television channels such as the government channel (STL TV); the educational access channel (HEC TV); and the public access channel (KDHX TV).

“This is a despicable act,” said Riedel, “It is a slap in the face to the people of St. Louis.  Every cable subscriber pays for these channels, every subscriber should be able to receive them and access them easily.”

In a letter written to Michael J. Lovett (President and Chief Executive Officer of Charter Communications) John Rocco, President of ACT wrote:

“We also note that in the basic tier line up in St. Louis there are five shopping channels.  You would never slam those channels into a digital Siberia as you have with the PEG channels, because you know that a great number of St. Louis residents would not be able to receive those channels, nor would they seek them out even if they had digital converters.”

Rocco also called the action discriminatory against underserved communities, such as the elderly; the disabled; low income; ethnic communities; etc., communities not generally served by the mainstream media and who are frequently disenfranchised from participating in local government.

“This is another compelling reason why we must have the Community Access Preservation Act (HR 3745) passed, to keep these channels on the basic tier of service,” said Riedel.

To contact Ms. Riedel or Mr. Rocco, please call 410-992-4976 or email riedel@acommunitytv.org.

You can read Mr. Rocco’s full letter and Charter’s response.

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