Supporters of CreaTV,
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed policy that could eliminate the major source of funding for CreaTV San Jose and result in media access centers closing their doors in communities across the country.
The proposed policy would significantly change the structure in place for “franchise and PEG fees” – a structure that has been in place since the 1980s. The change would allow cable companies to essentially charge local municipalities for access to historically “in-kind” resources such as cable channels, I-net services, and access to the system to deliver content over these channels.
These in-kind resources are part of the public service obligation of cable companies for the ability to use public land to run their cable and fiber network for profit.
The ability for a cable company to charge municipalities for these in-kind services would cost our local governments millions of dollars. Local governments would be forced to choose between supporting community media or the millions of dollars of lost revenue.
CreaTV San Jose, along with community media centers nationwide, is preparing to fight this policy change. This policy could eliminate the free access that community media centers provide to people to create their own media and broadcast it over the cable system. You could lose government transparency provided through televised local government meetings. This policy change could reduce your access to diverse information, the arts, and local voices in media. One of our most powerful and democratic community resources could be lost.
This is a historic decision-making process and we need you to voice your concern.
Submit a comment to the FCC before the due date of November 15 in just three steps:
1) Visit the FCC website at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/proceedings?q=name:((05-311))
2) Click on “+ Express”
3) Fill in your information. In your comments, indicate your opposition to the tentative conclusion that cable-related in-kind contributions, such as those that allow community programming to be viewed on the cable system, are franchise fees. Include the value of this programming to you as a viewer or as a community member who has used our facility to take a class or produce your own content.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Donate to CreaTV San Jose to help diversify our revenue streams, so we can be more resilient to changes in public funding.
Please contact me if you have immediate questions or would like to talk more about this FCC proceeding. To learn more about our value to the community and some facts about the effects this would have on CreaTV, read below.
We need your to help protect community media!
Chad A. Johnston – CEO
CreaTV San Jose
CreaTV Value and Impact
PEG funding for CreaTV affords community members, nonprofits, and local governments access to vital technology tools and educational opportunities needed to create and distribute content that commercial media outlets and ever shrinking newsrooms have no resources to cover.
The funding allows us to reach out and work with communities who are most effected by the deep digital divide that exists in San Jose, presenting unique community based solutions to youth and adults to gain necessary 21st Century workforce skills and technical self-confidence.
While CreaTV has a strategic plan to replace decreasing PEG funds over the next decade, the FCC’s redefinition of in-kind services against PEG Fees would immediately devastate our ability to serve the community.
If Comcast could count the in-kind value of the channel bandwidth it provides to the City and CreaTV San Jose, it would likely completely wipe out the PEG Fee contribution of approximately $1.4 million given in 2017. With a total annual budget of just over $2 million, this would decimate our organization.
In 2017, CreaTV served 198 nonprofit organizations in San Jose and Silicon Valley through education and affordable media production.
We helped create 150 media projects, on a sliding scale, for nonprofits, community groups and City and County departments, helping tell the story of our community and providing valuable information necessary to participate in civic and cultural life.
In 2017, our state of the art studios and professional staff facilitated 320 community productions and helped create 50 Public Service Announcements for nonprofits and government agencies.
We offered our 451 members nearly 150 hours of educational programs and community events in our facility and throughout the City of San Jose.
We distributed 2,734 hours of original content through our four cable TV channels as well as 36,072 YouTube views of locally produced content.