Tag Archives: PEG

Cable Companies Threaten to de-fund free speech community public access television. Save your Public Access Centers.

We call upon the FCC to reject the proposal coming from Cable companies to defund our PEG channels.
PEG channels provide Cable customers with the only truly LOCAL programming on their cable systems, and, at the same time, empower their customers and build community through digital inclusion, and education and access to the tools and technology needed to participate in the media landscape, something found nowhere else. PEG stations are really more of a selling point, that offers an edge to cable subscribers, a gain that comes exclusively from Cable. Why are they not seeing that? To suggest PEG is a burden to cable companies is disingenuous at best. The cost for Dish and and Phone networks is currently about the same as Cable, so to suggest PEG provisions are driving up the cost of cable may also be disingenuous. What is provided to sustain PEG is given in exchange of rights of way. ROW is something that deserves due consideration in the FCC’s decision in this process. Additionally, it should be noted that under current congressional legislation the cost for PEG is not something that has to be passed on to subscribers, the cable companies choose to do so. Public Access in Worcester has a demonstrated growing need for community participation and mainly from the disenfranchised. What happens to these people? Where is their free speech?The FCC must see the proposed rule change coming from the Cable providers as a nothing more than a money grab. If any changes are needed the Verizons , Dish networks, and the Googles, that should be giving back to support PEG as well, in exchange for the rights of way that they also benefit from. Write to the FCC and share this comment.


Here is the “BACKGROUND”

I thought I’d provide some background to help some better understand WCCA TV
Just background to clarify:
I thought I’d provide some background to help some better understand WCCA TV
Some background History and facts :
The City of Worcester, around 1985, under City Manager Mulford, organized a community group and charged them to form a non-profit organization in 1985 to facilitate and advocate for public access ( as a free speech venue opened to ALL citizens and organizations, including religious,via the cable channel(s)). This newly formed organization was to run as a private autonomous community non-profit, this became Worcester Community Access Inc., aka WCCA TV in 1986 . We continue this work and mission today and proud to have established a large community of partnerships city wide, while serving public access, as an institution that stands for media democracy, media literacy and creative innovation. We provide a free speech platform to all , rich or poor, of all backgrounds, creeds, and heritage, to tell their stories, share their points of view, express and celebrate their vision and dreams. We also add public vitality to downtown, and community engagement, with students and volunteers systemically connected through the City six days each week. We serve as a TV studio, a “STEAM”Educational facility, and a neighborhood center in one facility seconds away from City hall at the heart of downtown. I have been the Executive Director for the organization since 1990.

In 2014, City collected about $2.1 million in 2014 from the cable license of that $1.3 was allocated to the 3 PEG channels, (P) WCCA received $765,166.85 of that while the City channel received $347, 803.11 , the WPS received $278,242.49 and the City holding on to 1,391,212.45 which they seemed to have dedicated to INET, and Admin Fees. As I understand it, under current Federal Telecommunications Act /Cable Franchise law, municipalities are not allowed to utilize license funding for general use. The same law requires public/community input during these renewals. WCCA submits detailed financials and activity reports to the city on a quarterly basis along with an independently conducted audit annually. We have done this for at least 20 years or so.
As one may see from the above, currently, WCCA does NOT receive 55 % of the license fee annually, it does, however currently receive 55% of the PEG allocations annually. These are moneys that are provided to the City through the cable licensed cable provider, in Worcester’s case, Charter.

During the last Cable franchise renewal, WCCA conducted a full community ascertainment that demonstrated a community need to expand the public access operation. We expressed a vision and plan to carry that out to the City, as have during every renewal period. We never expected the City’s Cable funding to fully meet Worcester’s community media needs, however if a chance exist to further public access and community participation, the people of Worcester deserve a chance to discuss it in an open way. That is where our advocacy comes into play and why I occasionally address issues before the council.

WCCA greatly appreciates what is allocated to serve the public access mission we carry out. That funding is also supporting , in large part, a staff of 10, run it’s building, and programming. WCCA does not wish to take funding away from the E and G channels. In fact we want to seem them thrive. We just feel the city council and citizens deserve to know what is going on and have some say about it and to seek out opportunities that allow for further growth of the public’s portion of the PEG channels. WCCA has operated with a strong vision for development to enhance and better meet community needs and mission. We are excited to soon share our plans to expand our studio and class room space as well as to better assist creative business with their media needs.

So, on behalf of the people we serve, that’s where I speak up on occasion.

WCCA is NOT shown in HD. Charter’s system only allocates an SD channel for public access use.

Change the way we think about charities, including WCCA TV 13 “The People’s Channel” (a non-profit charitable Organization)

Not too long ago, during a discussion about WCCA’s community media needs assessment report, I pointed out the justification for the city to consider allocating an increase PEG ( Cable Franchise License funding, money that is not tax money )operations and capital funding to support WCCA TV 13 ( non-profit and charitable public access / community media) programs and creative space. I paused for a reaction and one of the persons there, a notable person, said “..if the community wants to see WCCA TV expand, they [the community] should pay for it.” How demoralizing I took that sentiment to be. Not for me but for the community we serve.

You can < href=”http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong.html”> cut to the chase or read on.

Funding to support Public, Education and Government (PEG) Cable channels does not come from City tax coffers, it comes from a percentage of gross annual revenues made by the Franchise license agreements made with cable and phone companies, money generated from cable and phone gross profits is used to support our PEG channels. Unlike the E&G of PEG, WCCA’s mission is to empower all who live in Worcester , especially the disenfranchised.

Let’s face it if you are a CEO of a large corporation, a Mayor, or A City Manager, or a rich super star, you have no problem getting TV exposure. The majority of the people WCCA TV serves are middle class, non-profit organizations, youth groups, and the poor. You are strapped all ready, how are YOU or these organizations going to pay to sustain these channels and programming?

If commercial for profit Television was sustainable, in Worcester, from an economic business perspective, don’t you think a major affiliate would have already set up camp here by now?

The center of thought behind the congressional CABLE ACT/Telecommunication ACT was to provide a means for the communities, especially the disenfranchise, or otherwise cut off from broadcast spectrum, to access broadband channels.

As an institution for media democracy and creative innovation, WCCA TV provides that access along with the tools and technology and education, needed to level the playing field and empower you. To enable you to participate in a free flow of news, information, views and opinions in a free speech platform. FREE of corporate retribution and Government whim. Media in the hands of the PEOPLE to build community and to transform our lives for the better, to reflect their true interest.

People may forget WCCA TV 13 is a non-proift charitable organization. It’s time we think about how systemically connected this community anchor institution is and why it exist and should be properly supported. WCCA TV stands for

I’ve been singing this song for 26 years. I should not have to be. I invite everyone to consider listening to this video:
< href=”http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong.html”> THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT CHARITY . It’s time for a change a real social innovation.