Protecting the public’s channels

KUC News

Assessing the Damage

July 7, 2008

Survey Shows That State Video Franchise Laws Bring No Rate Relief While Harming Public Benefits

State video franchise laws have swept the nation in the past few years, including passage of the Cable and Video Competition Law of 2007 in Illinois. The change from regulation by local governments to state law has resulted in harm to public benefits in many states around the nation.
Illinois law protects public benefits like public, educational and government (PEG) access. But that law must be upheld and all state franchise holders held accountable if Illinois residents are to enjoy the same access to local information that exists today on PEG channels.
In May, 2008, the Alliance for Community Media (ACM) initiated an online survey to look at early results from state video franchise law. The results show significant harm to public benefits in states across the country, even in the early stages of implementation of these new laws. Members of ACM and the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) participated in the survey.
 For a summary of the findings, click here.
The Alliance for Community Media is a national membership organization representing more than 3,000 PEG access centers across the nation. Local PEG programmers produce 20,000 hours of new programs per week, and serve more than 250,000 organizations annually through the efforts of an estimated 1.2 million volunteers.