February 1, 2011
New Jersey Legislation to Eliminate PEG Access Television Harmful to Communities
American Community Television (ACT) has learned that a bill before the State Legislature would completely wipe out Public, Educational and Government (PEG) access television in that state.
“This is the most aggressive piece of industry backed legislation we have seen to date,” said John Rocco, President of ACT. “Other states have seriously damaged our local community media, but New Jersey seeks to wipe it out all together.”
Introduced by Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-Elizabeth), the bill removes provisions for PEG access television, eliminates traditional requirements that cable companies provide cable and internet connectivity to public schools and municipal buildings, eliminates equipment and training for access users and reduces franchise fees paid to local government as rent for use of the public rights-of-way.
“This is a scorched-earth bill that is a give-a-way to the cable industry at the expense of local government and local community television,” said Rocco. “Senator Lesniak should be ashamed. In an era of media consolidation we need these channels more than ever. And I can’t believe the local governments and public schools, which are already suffering in this economy, can possibly afford to now pay for internet access.”
ACT has issued an action alert urging people in New Jersey to appear at the hearing on Thursday.
For more information on this issue or to speak with John Rocco directly, call 410-992-4976 or email Executive Director Bunnie Riedel at riedel@acommunity