Tag Archives: WCCA TV 13

MBI mission will not be fulfilled unless it includes Public Access Television centers as primary anchor institutions

The MBI plan to broaden broadband connections in Massachusetts will not be a fulfilled mission if it does not include public access television centers such as WCCA TV 13 as primary ANCHOR INSTITUTIONS.
When it comes to broadband inclusion in that network project, centers such as WCCA TV 13 are anchor institutions second to none when it comes to the need for community inclusion for broadband use. Let’s not forget cable was the first broadband. The public access mission should not be compromised because of moving from cooper to glass modes of transmission. Furthermore a move from distribution from linear to non-linear to move data, video and other forms of communication is irrelevant as there will always be a segment of the community in need of a means to connect, or tools of producing content, training and more, as public access centers provides on a day to day basis. For Public access the bottom line is one built upon community participation, inclusiveness with a goal to empower. Broadband should NOT be just be about serving profit driven initiatives or limited to government use. This is electronic common space we are talking about.

In today’s Telegram we read the following:

Speedy Internet on its way
Mass. Broadband Institute on mission

By Lynne Klaft CORRESPONDENT

FITCHBURG — If the Massachusetts Broadband Institute fulfills its mission, high-speed, high-volume Internet service will be in every corner of northern Central and Western Massachusetts in the next few years.

Gov. Deval Patrick created the agency in 2008 to bring low-cost high-speed Internet access to all homes, businesses and public buildings in the region. The groundwork for a north-to-south underground conduit from the Connecticut state line to Vermont is now complete.

MBI Director Judith Dumont said at a Fitchburg State University forum last week that her agency worked with the state Department of Transportation to lay miles of fiber-optic cable along Interstate 91. The network, MassBroadband 123, is being tested now and is expected to be “lit” in December.

That network will eventually bring high-speed Internet service to more than 120 cities and towns in Western and northern Central Massachusetts.

“The cable that was laid has 576 strands of fiber. One fiber is enough to support all the voice traffic in Massachusetts, so you can see we are overbuilding, building for the future,” said Ms. Dumont.

Once the network is up and running, Internet providers can sign contracts with MBI to lease space on the network with the goal of providing service to areas that lack Internet access or are underserved. Eight providers have already signed letters of intent.

The agency also plans to connect 1,300 community “anchor institutions” — schools, town halls, police and fire stations, hospitals, libraries, colleges and state government offices. The anchor institutions are being reviewed, building by building.

The fiber cable will be strung to the pole in front of the building and a connection made to the building. However, the anchor institution must pay service fees and for internal network computer equipment.

MBI has also completed a survey of 35,000 utility poles on which fiber-optic cables will be placed.

“Many of these are jointly owned telephone and electric company poles, and agreements will be signed with all of the owners. Considering that we have had two tornadoes, one hurricane and a record-breaking snowstorm in October since we started, work has slowed a bit,” said Ms. Dumont.

Steps to put the network infrastructure in place include the permitting process at state and local levels, securing access approvals and the scheduling with pole owners to complete work necessary to string fiber optic cables.

“We’ve had storms and strikes. What’s next? Locusts? Cost estimates are coming in higher than expected, but we are looking into other funding resources,” said Ms. Dumont.

The agency expects to complete stringing cable in 2012.

The MBI was awarded $45.4 million in federal stimulus funding, and the state is providing $26.2 million in matching money for the MassBroadband 123 network.

Completion of the network is scheduled for 2013. The network will use 1,338 miles of cable and serve 333,500 households and 44,000 businesses in an area populated with about 1 million people.

Fitchburg State University’s Regional Economic Development Institute has been mapping northern Central Massachusetts using a geographic information system.

The database that the college has compiled for MBI includes estimated cable services, estimated DSL services, and business sites by address, including specific business Internet needs. Teams of students drove through northern Central Massachusetts with smartphones to collect the data, measuring broadband availability; then confirming it with the communities that they were in.

MBI is mapping broadband availability across the state. The information will be incorporated into the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Map.

The institute was awarded $1 million from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to help local small businesses with technical plans, digital learning and training.

Another $1 million grant will be used to develop a “veterans’ portal,” to connect veterans to the resources they need and to create an online veterans services site that is streamlined and accessible.

Mayor Lisa A. Wong of Fitchburg sees broadband as the future.

“I needed a translator at first to understand what MBI was doing, but I have seen what it can do

“Broadband is the future of the city and the future of our nation. We have to close that digital divide, connect the unconnected,” said the mayor.

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If you are a candidate running for a local office this year contact WCCA TV “The People’s Channel”

You can be seen on TV sharing your point of view, platform, political philosophy, background, experience, etc..
Why not make affordable public access/ community television as a part of your media presence? If you wish to connect with the community you are hoping to serve public access / community television WCCA TV 13 is the place to be seen.

If you are a registered candidate running for a local office this year contact WCCA TV 13, “The People’s Channel”.
Time slots for a special educational edition of the popular show “SOAPBOX” are available on a first come first serve basis.

Be seen and heard at WCCA TV.

Contact via email, subject: “WCCA TV Candidate Profiles” to mauro[at]wccatv[dot]com or phone 508-755-1880 ext 10.

WCCA TV comments on WoMag’s CAP Act article

Worcester Magazin’e, Jeremy Shulkin presents an article concerning the council’s stance on the Community Access Preservation Act ( CAP Act).

Some points worth noting:
As far as I am aware, the Capital provision for Worcester’s public access was $300K.

Unlike Charter, a cable system, the sole mission of Public Access is to empower the people with access to channels, facilities, tools and training to encourage participation in a free speech electronic forum that is free from the political whim and corporate retribution. ONLY PUBLIC ACCESS is TV BY FOR AND OF THE PEOPLE.

The programming on public access reflects the interest of our community. Compared to the hundreds of other channels on the system we believe that is pretty valuable and worth protecting.

WCCA TV is Worcester’s flagship station. Cohan’s questions on subscriber value, is ludicrous, in the face of Charter’s TV 3 programming full of infomercials, including the other hundreds of channels on the system, from Home Shopping, Soap and Game channels, etc., we might want to turn Cohan’s the question around. Does Charter, as well as as their customers, find all of that valuable and worth the expense?

As one person commented on WoMag’s site “I find the quote regarding PEG quality of programming to be hysterical. I guess PEG just can’t match the quality of Jersey Shore or Housewives of Wherever or the Kardashians. How much do consumers pay for that dribble? Charter should be able to “easily explain” what value most of their programming has for the consumer.” makes my point.

It also begs the question, why is it that when a cable or phone company raises the issue of a cost pass through relative to channels, the public access channels seem to get discriminatory treatment?

Cost Pass through is not something that is mandated by law. Charter does not have to pass the cost on to subscribers.

The CAP Act isn’t the answer to meeting all community media needs, but is is a good first step on the side of communities.

BTW Verizon had pushed for statewide legislative changes about a couple of years ago, and it was defeated in Massachusetts due to the strong public access and municipal advocacy here. Worcester or Massachusetts is not immune to it.

Thanks to Jeremy for bringing the subject to light.

Free Tax preparations and an opportunity to get more money back

Have you heard about the EITC and VITA programs? You may be qualified to receive an earned income credit. It may be well worth checking out this WCCA TV produced episode of Soapbox.

Public Access Television video blogging since the beginning

Members of our community have been video blogging since 1986. Many of their shows incorporate the opinions of not only the host or reporter of these presentation, but also of their guest.
Cable was the first broadband technology. Today the expansion now includes use of community video as well as internet at a very sophisticated level.
The reach of public access well exceeds many local print outlets and even some radio broadcast. As there are hundreds of centers throughout the nation facilitating a public platform available for many. Even locally, WCCA TV 13’s reach stands tall in comparison to all other media. It is certainly more Worcester specific than most others. In addition there is no other television channel broadcast, on line, or on cable with more locally (Worcester) produced local information and culture and video content anywhere. It’s commercial free and not in competition with commercial media outlets. Which, makes me wonder why, when some reporters mention accomplishments of our producing members or name some of our shows, such as “COFFEE WITH KONNIE”, they often fail to mention the link to WCCA TV 13.
More importantly, than the reach, as valuable as that may be to some, it is the availability of this important resource that contributes greatly to our city by encouraging participation, inclusiveness, providing educational and skill developing opportunities, as well as a free flow of news, information and fresh ideas.
how many cities have public access tv? More than you might think.
WCCA TV 13 is YOUR community pubic access television station Worcester.

A WCCA T “Band Edge” TV show testimonial

“BAND EDGE” a hit music performance show featuring local musicans and performance groups has been placing the spot light on local are talent for nearly two years. We are lining up next season talent. If you or your group, choir, jazz band, acoustic group, can perform at a professional level and wish to share your talent with nealry 50,000 house holds on WCCA cable channel 13 and as well as more on the world wide web at wccatv[dot]com contact me at WCCA TV at 508-755-1880 ext. 11

The following illustrates a groovy and cool testament of this unique opportunity in Worcester.

” I want to thank you, the administration and the staff of WCCA for making
this TV show possible. It is a wonderful experience for us and is such a
great vehicle for sharing our music.

…. we are planning to do a “viewing” on the large screen in the music classroom as part of
our annual jazz “Cool Yule” hang (complete with egg nog and ginger cookies) to celebrate the end of term.

Happy Holidays to you and to everyone at WCCA TV.” Rich Falco Professor Director of Jazz Studies
WPI

Public Access Community Television An Important Resource

I often find many people who still confuse public access television with PBS. They mistakenly believe that public access institutions depend upon tax dollars or draw from city tax revenues . They do not. Public Access television exist in this country because Federal law allows for our municipalities to mandate support of these centers through the cable franchise agreements in exchange of rights of way. Reading the law it is obvious the intent is to empower community members free from dependence upon government, or giant media/communication companies. Ideally, as a free speech platform, the public access institution should be reasonable funded, autonomous, and free from political whim and corporate retribution. Pointing to the tremendous and amazing volume of community produced video works, workshops, Internships, outreach activities enjoyed by many organizations, including the marketing and promotional benefits experienced by many through WCCA’s public access channel, in addition to networking opportunities, it is easy to understand how public access television offers a significant return of investment for those municipalities that encourage Public Access TV.
Watch the video in the following link to learn about why I think public access is an important and valuable resource.
Something about public access television.