Forward thinking in Beverly MA and in the Senate

The city there is conducting it’s community assessment and it has determined that it wants to triple it’s public access programming.
It’s always great to see the mission of a fellow non-profit (PEG) facility encouraged.Although the cable is “allowed” legally to pass the cost through to subscribers, there is no law forcing them to pass it on. It also amazes me that Comcast makes a claim that subscribers are not willing to pay any increase. DUH!!! Why doesn’t such a statement come forward from the cable when people are forced to pay for other commercial channels most people never care to watch? Out of the hundreds of cable channels , how many do you never watch that the cable company pays to keep on it’s system? Those cost are also forwarded or passed through to you only not as discriminated / itemized such as your public access channel is. Nothing gives better bank for the buck on cable than your local community/ public access channels. Nothing is certainly more local or focused on building community as public access channels. More that a TV channels public access are community resources. Glad to see the folks in Beverly agree with that.

In other good news:

Senators Call On FCC To Fix USF Disparities

By Juliana Gruenwald

February 22, 2011 | 10:27 AM

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Three senators representing largely urban states are urging the Federal Communications
Commission to address disparities in contributions between their states and others as
part of the agency’s overhaul of the Universal Service Fund, which subsidizes
telecommunications service in rural and high-cost areas.

In a letter late last week to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Sens. Frank Lautenberg,
D-N.J., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Commerce
Communications Subcommittee, argued that on average their states pay much more into the
fund than they receive back. New Jersey had the biggest disparity of the three states,
paying an average of $4.68 into the fund for every dollar they get back.

The FCC this month launched an effort to overhaul the fund to transition it to support
broadband service over traditional telephone service and reform which providers are
required to pay into the fund. But the senators said the current FCC proposal does not
adequately account for or address disparities between states.

“Although we support the concept of universal service and recognize the importance of
universal access to broadband for all Americans, the USF desperately needs to be changed
to address the numerous inequities and inefficiencies in its current administration,” the
lawmakers wrote.

Some members of Congress, particularly in the House, have said they plan to draft their
own universal service overhaul measure.

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