Posts Tagged ‘city’

CANCELED: July 29th Public Hearing

July 21, 2009

We just found out that next week’s Public Hearing regarding the Verizon Franchise Agreement has been canceled. I will immediately post the new date when it is rescheduled.

Tomorrow the city will be hosting a Post Agenda Hearing about the franchise agreement, during which speakers who are experts in the subject will discuss the topic at hand. We would like to establish a presence at the hearing, so we invite friends of PCTV to join us in attendance. Please keep in mind that only the guests invited by the city council will be permitted to speak at this hearing. The details include the following:

Wed. July 22, 2009; 1:00 pm
Council Chambers
 (5th floor of the City-County Building in Pittsburgh [414 Grant Street])

We hope you can make it downtown tomorrow. Thank you for your support!

Help Us SAVE ACCESS in Pittsburgh!

June 30, 2009

Talking Points for Meetings and Letters to the City:
CABLE FRANCHISE PROCESS WITH VERIZON AND RENEWAL WITH COMCAST: BIG OPPORTUNITIES OR A HUGE LOSS TO THE CITY

  • Cable franchise process can assure state of the art communications services are provided in ALL areas of Pittsburgh, by both Verizon and Comcast.
  • Can help assure that Nonprofit Organizations, Neighborhood and Citizen Groups, and Schools have the ability to effectively use Media to accomplish their goals.
  • Federal and State laws allow the City to negotiate agreements that include channels, equipment, facilities and services for use by the public and nonprofit organizations.

o In exchange for letting Verizon and Comcast make hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 10 years through these cable franchise agreements.

  • In 2008, City asked PCTV to conduct a needs assessment to determine what should be in a franchise with Verizon, and in a renewal franchise with Comcast.
  • PCTV hired a highly experienced consulting firm to conduct the needs assessment and provided it to the City. It included:

o Telephone survey

o Community meetings and focus group sessions

o On-Line Survey

o Three huge reports documenting public input

  • Needs Assessment indicated that there is VERY strong support and interest in PEG access channels and having a Community Media Center.
  • Updated equipment, facilities, and training are needed to create and expand local Pittsburgh programs for the PEG access channels.
  • PCTV should be funded to evolve into a modern Community Media Center that:

o Provides technical assistance to nonprofit organizations and community groups;

o Takes video and digital media services and equipment into underserved neighborhoods;

o Provides media literacy training to youth and others; and

o Adapts to changes in media technology and culture

  • Verizon and Comcast should provide expanded channel capacity, funding, and support for public and educational access to significantly improve the existing PCTV facilities, equipment and services, which are currently INADEQUATE to meet current and future community needs.