Bipartisan bill would require cable operators to fund, carry PEG channels

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U.S. Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) have jointly introduced the Community Access Preservation Act (H.R. 1746), which would put content, reception and signal-quality requirements on carriage of public, educational and government access channels and require cable operators to pay for them, according to the Alliance for Community Media. The bill, introduced Thursday (May 5), would amend the Communications Act to require cable operators to carry PEG channels without alteration or degradation, and make them viewable without additional equipment charges to every subscriber.

American Community Television (ACT) , which advocates for PEG channel access, told Broadcasting & Cable that the bill is “critical to the survival of these important local television channels. We could be losing as many as 400 PEG channels, starting now and continuing through January 2012, if we don’t solve these problems.”