Your View (site blog, not mine personally)
Tell FCC by Dec. 14 why you support cable-TV funding
Time again is short to support ACMi, Arlington's cable-TV station: We asked you earlier this month to write to the FCC. We're asking again. You have only until Dec. 14 to send comments to the Federal Communications Commission in support of continued funding to present Public, Educational and Government programs, known as PEG.
Please help us stop the FCC from gutting funding for community media, including ACMi!
The Federal Communications Commission is planning to give cable companies a big gift this holiday season -- a pass at paying for the use of our streets to run their wires into our homes.
The fees that Comcast, Verizon and RCN pay to the Town of Arlington supply more than 99 percent of ACMi's funding. If those payments go away, so will video production training, support for area nonprofits; coverage of local issues and events, including concerts, sports games and government meetings; and the production of thousands of hours of unique local programming.
This is the time to make your voice heard by filing comments with the FCC opposing this change. Please follow the steps below. And hurry: The deadline for reply comments is Dec. 14. It will take just a few moments of your time to register your opposition to this plan. Here's how:
1.) Write a brief letter, on letterhead if you are representing an organization, starting with this opening:
The Honorable Ajit Pai, Chairman
The Honorable Michael O'Rielly, Commissioner
The Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner
Dear Chairman Pai,
I write to support the Comments of the Cable Act Preservation Alliance ("CAPA") and to disapprove of the proposals and tentative conclusions set forth in the FCC's September 25 Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making in Implementation of Section 621(a)(1) of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 as Amended by the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, MB Docket 05- 311.
[Then add your comments about why you think continued support of community media is important - describe how you value Arlington Community Media Inc. (ACMi) and how important it is in Arlington.]
Close by requesting their continued support of community media, and sign your letter.
2.) Now you need to upload it to the FCC website:
Publisher's connection to ACMi
The following are updated comments, first published in 2015, by Bob Sprague, YourArlington publisher:
My connection to Arlington's cable-TV station dates to the mid-1990s, before it was ACMi and during a time when the studio was on Mystic Street owned by a corporation. I recall appearing on camera discussing local media issues and thinking what a direct way to reach Arlington's public cable provided.
Two years after I began publishing YourArlington, in 2006, ACMi, now a nonprofit directing its own future, became my first advertiser. It has continued nonstop since then, during a time when the whole operation on Park Avenue has grown significantly.
Beyond advertising, ACMi is a continuing community resource for news and opinion. The station's overall goals are similar to YourArlington's.
Over the years, I have watched as ACMi has expanded, significantly upgrading its equipment, broadening the number of public meetings covered, professionalizing its news operation and establishing a studio across the high school.
The number of public meetings to cover is a challenge for me, but by watching an ACMi broadcast -- as it occurs on replay or via video on demand -- I can catch up.
I do think ACMi could improve by providing a schedule that reports what specific meeting is scheduled for replay, rather than having to guess. Yet when some snafu occurs, I find the staff very responsive to my requests. Thanks, James Milan, Sean Keane and Norm McLeod.
The watch-anytime option of video on demand has been a lifesaver for me.
ACMi is a must for Arlington's growing media landscape. All should support its continuing impact on our town.
This viewpoint was published Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, and updated Nov. 30.
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