October 26, 2011
A recent Congressional Research Service Report “Public, Educational and Government (PEG) Access Cable Television Channels: Issues for Congress,” details the challenges faced by PEG access television because of statewide franchising laws and actions by the Federal Communications Commission.
“The study lays out what we have been saying all along,” said John Rocco, President of American Community Television. “PEG access television has been under attack and is in desperate need of a Congressional fix.”
The study by the CRS cites the original intent of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 and says “These PEG provisions have been a primary vehicle for fostering in cable systems the long-standing U.S. media policy goal of localism.” It also summarizes the benefits to PEG and localism if the Community Access Preservation Act (HR 1746) were to pass.
“The report also points out the flaws in AT&T’s U-verse delivery of PEG channels,” said Rocco. “And it makes it quite clear that AT&T’s U-verse product is very inferior when it comes to delivering our local channels. The CAP Act requires all video providers to deliver PEG channels without material degradation or the alteration or removal of content and data. This would go a long way in fixing some of the problems we have with U-verse.”
The Community Access Preservation Act (CAP Act—HR1746) was introduced this year by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and co-sponsored by Congressman Steven LaTourette (R-OH) this year. It now has 17 co-sponsors (including LaTourette).
Read the report here: Congressional Research Service Report