Weekly News From the President: MassAccess Legislation Efforts & More
We received great feedback from people who attended the 2016 ACM Conference in Boston about our Birds of a Feather sessions. We will be continuing them this year at the Minneapolis Conference next month. The idea is for conference attendees to lead discussions and organize efforts on issues that are important to them and other community media operations.
If you want to hold a Birds of a Feather discussion, let Katie know at email@example.com in the next few weeks so we can put you on the schedule! People will also be able to organize sessions when they are in Minneapolis, but we want to hear from you before things get started!
There are some very interesting developments in the Massachusetts legislature this year being led by MassAccess, our affiliate in the state. The volunteers with MassAccess have been organizing to push bills forward that would eliminate discrimination by cable companies and ensure PEG channels can be seen in HD and on Electronic Program Guides.
The bills are H2682 and S1857. The legislature heard testimony last week from MassAccess, state legislators, the cable industry and ACM Legal Council Jim Horwood. The bills take an important step to provide equal footing for our channels to compete in the marketplace, and we want to applaud MassAccess for pushing forward on the effort! If you want more information about the bills and the effort, go to www.massaccess.org.
I’ve received several inquiries from members about what they should do about the FCC’s July 1, 2017 deadline for closed captioning registration and certification that was established in the Second Report and Order on Closed Captioning last year.
At this point, we are telling access channels not to worry about this year’s deadline. The FCC will need to take several steps that require public notice before the deadline is active. Since we are now into June, it will not be possible for them to enact the registration process in time for a July 1st deadline. We’ll keep you posted when we get updates from the FCC on this issue and our waiver petition.
My thanks go out to Bob Duthaler, David Garb, Rich DeSimone and all the other folks at Jersey Access Group for asking me to speak at their state conference this last week on the future of community media and closed captioning. It was great to see folks in the Garden State and talk about concerns PEG operations have for the future.
President & CEO