The FCC has proposed a policy that could eliminate a major source of funding from MetroEast — and our friends at Open Signal — and could result in community media centers closing their doors in every community across the country.
The policy would change the “franchise fee” structure that has been in place since the 1980s, and would allow the cable companies to charge cities for access to historically “in-kind” resources such as cable channels, I-net services, and access to their system to deliver content to people’s homes.
This would cost our local governments millions of dollars, and would force them to choose whether supporting community media is more valuable than the millions of dollars of lost revenue.
The City of Portland and cities all over the country are preparing to fight this legislation. MetroEast, Open Signal, and our sister stations locally and nationwide are preparing to fight.
This policy could eliminate the free access that community media centers provide citizens to create their own media and broadcast it over the cable system. One of our most powerful, most democratic local resources could be lost.
What We Can Do
MetroEast and Open Signal staff and legal support will track and share additional information as this policy advances through the FCC process. We will connect with elected officials, our local cable regulatory commission, and cities to unite with them in the fight against this policy.
This is a historic piece of policy — and we ask you to voice your concern. Here are the ways you can help:
Submit a comment to the FCC before the due date of December 14 in just three steps:
1. Visit the FCC’s website at Bit.ly/SaveCommunityMedia
2. Click on ‘+ Express’
3. Fill in your information
In the meantime, your donation to MetroEast will support our advocacy efforts and help us diversify our revenue streams, so we can build our immunity to changes in public funding.
Please stay tuned for more information and use the hashtag #SaveCommunityMedia on social media!
If you’d like to talk more about this, or have immediate questions, please get in touch with me at the contact information below.
Together, we can protect community media.
Martin C. Jones
MetroEast President & CEO