Public, educational and government (PEG) channels across the U.S. have been closing and consolidating over the last few years. This is the result of:
(1) the economic downturn’s impact on municipal funding,
(2) an FCC decision that PEG operating support fees imposed upon cable franchise operators generally come out of the franchise fee, and
(3) a shift away from local franchising making it difficult for localities to negotiate operating support for PEG channels.
Now some states and localities are asking Congress to help reverse that trend. They are urging Congress to amend federal law to clarify that PEG funding required under state law and local franchises can be used for any purpose. A resolution to this effect gained unanimous support in a committee hearing before the California legislature and similar resolutions are being considered by communities in Michigan and elsewhere in the country.