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FCC Threat to Community Television

THANK YOU to everyone that has filed comments to the FCC. Comments closed on November 14th. Out of the comments filed (October 14-November 14), 61% came from Massachusetts and those that were filed from our four towns made up 14% of all comments nationwide and 23% in Massachusetts. 
 

FCC Proposed Rule Change - Next Steps

FCC Propsed Rule Change - Follow up from PACTV

The next steps: 

The FCC is accepting “Reply Comments” through December 14th– members of the public may respond to each others’ initial comments.  

We have asked our four towns to submit reply comments support PACTV’s comments and those of MassAccess – the state-wide organization PACTV is a member of – that advocates for community media in the Commonwealth.

Then comes the final rule – the FCC will review and analyze the comments and decide whether to proceed with their proposed rulemaking Or Issue a new or modified proposal OR take no action on the proposal. If they rule to proceed with their proposed rulemaking it could become effective at least 30 days after they publish it in what is called the Federal Register.

Parties who disagree with the final rules or FCC analysis may file a petition for reconsideration explaining why they believe the FCC was wrong.

The FCC will then issue an order granting or denying the petition.

If the FCC rules to proceed with their proposed rulemaking, PACTV, access centers, cities and towns, and advocacy groups may also seek court review of the decision.

To see the filings, visit this link: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=05-311&sort=date_disseminated,DESC

We will keep you posted and thank you again for supporting PACTV, Plymouth Ed TV, Dragon TV and community media centers nationwide!

More about the FCC's proposed ruling:

The Federal Communications Commission is considering rule changes that would potentially alter, at cable operators' discretion, the terms of the agreements between cable operators and towns. The FCC's rule change would allow cable operators to treat funding for cable-related costs as “in-kind” donations. This means they would deduct an undefined amount from monies that traditionally have gone to community media. Under the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 (amended in 1992), towns in Massachusetts can collect a franchise fee in exchange for cable's use of public right's of way. This franchise fee may be up to 5% of the cable operators' Gross Annual Revenues (GAR) assessed to cable subscribers and utilized for Public, Education and Government (PEG) access programming and channels.