KOCT-Your Community Channel- has been providing programming for the Oceanside & North County community for over 31 years. There are PEG (Public Education & Government) channels in towns large and small all across this nation. Since 2005, PEG access channels have suffered severe setbacks as a result of statewide franchising laws. The historic recession took an additional toll and as a result thousands of PEG channels have shut down over the past decade.
The good news is that U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin & Edward Markey have reintroduced the Community Access Preservation (CAP) Act legislation to ensure public access to local television programming.
The CAP Act amends the Cable Act to ensure that PEG fees can be used for any purpose not just for capital expenditures. (Many PEG channels have funding for equipment but no funding for a staff to operate them!)
Other important elements of the CAP Act are:
- Makes sure that cable operators transmit PEG channels without charge to the local government
- Makes sure that PEG channels are available on the Basic tier for service and available to all subscribers without the need for additional equipment.
- Allows communities to have the capabilities to transmit their programs in High Definition
- Allows communities to have the ability to submit programming guides just like all the other channels
We’ll keep you in the loop on this important legislation and seek your help in contacting your local Congressional and Senate representative in support of the CAP Act when it moves a little further down the legislative road….
John Rocco, President of the American Community Television said it best: “Now, more than ever, the CAP Act is desperately needed. Our local community media is critical to the communities as media continues to consolidate…the need for local Government transparency is at an all-time high. We must protect and preserve this precious community resource and make sure the local community is represented in the media landscape.”