From Denver to Durango, public-access TV channels still face budget threat after FCC decision

The Colorado Sun: Public-access channels fearing funding cuts received a temporary reprieve as the Federal Communication Commission exempted the channels while approving new rules that limit how much cities can charge cable TV providers in franchise fees.

The PEG channels —  short for public, educational and governmental access — are often one of the few local sources televising city council meetings, particularly in rural areas where broadband is unavailable. 

But the FCC was clear that cities must include “in-kind” contributions as part of the up-to-5% cable franchise fee. Local governments charge the fee to cable TV providers in exchange for the right-of-way access to install or repair cable lines in the streets. The FCC, which posted the order on Friday, said it would later revisit whether PEG channels should also be considered as part of the 5% cap.

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