Posts Tagged ‘funding’

It’s Not Over Yet

September 1, 2009

A HUGE thank you to all of our supporters who were able to make it to the City-County Building for the public hearing!!

Over 90 people registered to speak in front of city council for the hearing that lasted about 4 1/2 hours. Even though a lot of those people had to leave before their names were called, PCTV had a strong presence in the room–about 70 of the registered speakers were PCTV supporters who shared stories about the impact of the station on the community, demanded more funding and resources, and stressed the importance of their 1st Amendment rights and a level playing field to express themselves. The battle, as they say, was certainly a victory for Pittsburgh Community Television but we have not yet won the war. City Council still has to vote yea or nay on the agreement within 30 days, though due to the city government’s preoccupation with the G-20, the vote could be cast as early as next week.

We still need your help in order to influence city council to vote AGAINST the current Verizon Franchise Agreement. We urge you to contact your city council representative and let them know that the provisions in the current agreement are inadequate to meet the needs of Pittsburgh Community Television for the next 10 years.

The turn-out and eloquence of yesterday certainly made an impact on some council members’ thoughts toward our station, but some will need more persuasion to even consider voting against this agreement. Click here (or here) for a list of the city council members and their contact information, and, as always, if you have any questions for PCTV you can reach us at 412-322-7570. The future of Pittsburgh Community Television is in your hands!

Related news articles:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Verizon tells City Council it will open center for FiOS customers
WDUQ: Public Hearing held in City on Verizon Cable Agreement

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.