PEG Facilities Would Lose Millions in Funding Under New Legislation

Posted on May 31, 2006 - 8:51pm.

A new report issued by the Alliance for Community Media shows clearly how much support would be lost to Public, Educational and Governmental Access communities (PEG) under bills now being considered by Congress. SB2686 and H5252 use variations on a 1% franchise fee funding scheme for PEG and/or I-Net operations. While the Alliance recognizes this as a good first step, immediate adjustments are critical to prevent devastating losses to existing PEG centers.

As written, the bills do not keep whole the complete monetary and non-monetary support some communities have negotiated with cable providers— including I-Net, cable drops, remote location video feeds, studio facilities and more. Any funding received now that is more than 1% above the 5% franchise fees would be lost. These valued community resources are not captured by these bills and would be lost if current legislation passes.

The loss for many communities is 35-50% of funding. In others, reductions run higher than 75%! Some communities lose more than $1,000,000. This means that communities with thriving PEG activities would see them grind to a crashing halt. Large cities and small towns are affected similarly. [See attached PDF report for more]

( categories: HR.5252 COPE | Senate S.2686 )