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Supervisor Bosworth Asks FCC to Ensure Interests of Public, Education & Government TV Channels are Protected

 September 6, 2019
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Supervisor Bosworth Asks FCC to Ensure Interests of Public, Education & Government TV Channels are Protected
Future of Town’s own NHTV could be in jeopardy

North Hempstead, NY – Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth this week sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman in response to the FCC’s recent ruling that would allow cable companies to charge local Public, Education and Government (PEG) TV channels for in kind services they provide.

Under the Communications Act, local government like North Hempstead can require as part of cable franchise agreements that cable operators meet demonstrated community needs by setting aside channels for PEG stations. Currently, cable companies pay a franchise fee to the Town for the right to construct, operate and maintain a cable system in the public rights-of-way to provide cable service within the Town, while also providing services at no cost. For cable viewers, the local franchising charge that shows up on their cable bills amounts to a few cents a month, but this fee produces great benefits to all the people who watch PEG stations.

NHTV is winner of numerous first place awards from the Alliance for Community Media’s Annual Hometown Media Awards and was nominated for an Emmy in 2019 for a short film about the Department of Environmental Conservation’s work in Manhasset Bay. NHTV can be viewed on Channel18/63 on Optimum by Altice and Channel 46 on Verizon, or visit www.myNHTV.com or www.youtube.com/townofnorthhempstead.

In her letter, Supervisor Bosworth stated: “I am concerned that the FCC’s proposal would allow the cost of local channels to be deducted as an ‘in-kind’ service from the franchise fees paid to local governments. This loss of revenue would result in a substantial reduction of the scope of the PEG channels or in their complete loss altogether.

“I am asking that you work to ensure that the interests of local programming are protected when adopting a final rule…the Town’s NHTV station provides informative, educational and entertaining programming for all the 225,000 residents within our borders.”

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