Take Action to Stop Defunding of PEG Channels
July 23, 2019
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering changes to §621 of the Cable Act of 1984 that impact cable franchising agreements across the nation. The proposed rules change how cable operators compensate local jurisdictions for use of our public rights-of-way. They set a precedent to preempt local control of cable franchises by our local municipalities.
Most cable franchise agreements require payment of a franchise fee for use of the public rights-of-way. Cable franchise fees are not a consumer tax and unrestricted for any specific purpose. Cable franchise agreements often help fund media centers and PEG television organizations like TCMedia. They support other essential government services such as public safety and infrastructure.
What's At Stake - Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making on Cable Franchising
TCMedia believes that any corporation using public lands should pay for that use. The proposed rules allow cable operators to deduct the value of any in-kind provision negotiated in the franchise contract from the franchise fees paid. This could include the value of the PEG channels and facilities our community relies on. It may mean several million dollars of lost revenue locally. Nationwide, cities and counties stand to lose billions.
How can you help? Visit Petition2Congress to leave your thoughts. We encourage you to send a letter or an email to your elected officials, asking them to contact the FCC, insisting they keep the current rules in §621 of the Cable Act.
You can find contact information for your Thurston County representatives below:
- Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Tenino, Rainier, Yelm, Rochester