Legislative Update April 2024: News from Trenton & Washington, DC

by Dave Garb, Legislative Committee Chair



On Thursday May 16, JAG ( Jersey Access Group) will be hosting our yearly conference (jagconference.com) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Edison, New Jersey. This event brings together many facets of the community media world, including access television stations, municipal and elected officials, advocates/supporters of community media and telecommunication issues and services.

Legislative Update March 2024: News from Trenton & Washington, DC

by Dave Garb, Legislative Committee Chair



Last October the White House urged congressional appropriators to dedicate $6 billion to extend the ACP, or Affordable Connectivity Program through the end of 2024. The ACP allows about 23 million low-income households to receive discounts on their internet bills of up to $30 a month. Lawmakers and Federal Communications Commission officials have held numerous rallies calling for this program to receive a new round of appropriations from Congress.  If it does not receive this money, the existing funds would expire in the end of April as reported by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, this past January. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.), the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said recently at an event to gather support for this program, “it’s going to be very detrimental to all these people that need internet access if the funding expires”.

Legislative Update February 2024: News from Washington DC- The Congressional Budget Office

by Dave Garb, Legislative Committee Chair


As we have talked about in the last few newsletters, the American Broadband Deployment Act of 2023 (HR 3447), is still in play in Congress. If enacted, it would impose new restrictions on local authorities regarding their ability to regulate a variety of state and local land use and zoning issues that pertain to the deployment of the telecommunications infrastructure. This would include wireless and wireline deployment, and new limits on the requirements and renewals of cable franchise agreements.

Legislative Update January 2024: News from Washington DC

by Dave Garb, Legislative Committee Chair





Closed Captioning and Web Accessibility Requirements for Local Governments

Where it Currently Stands for PEG

The Americans with Disability Act has compliance obligations for local government accessibility for websites, video streaming, and even cable broadcasting.

While the FCC has long excluded community television from captioning requirements, the Department of Justice, state governments, and private citizens have renewed a push to require captioning for all types of video content, and particularly those found on the internet.

Legislative Update December 2023: News from Washington DC

by Dave Garb, Legislative Committee Chair




Closed Captioning / ADA Requirements

Where it Currently Stands for PEG

Recently, there has been concern regarding the Closed Captioning of PEG programming, and if the PEG community will be mandated to offer captioning.

Our partners at the Alliance for Community Media have some thoughts to ponder about where things currently stand on this issue.

Legislative Update November 2023: News from Washington DC

by Dave Garb, Legislative Committee Chair



Senate confirms Anna Gomez to FCC

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Universal Service Fund – Latest Update 

On January 19th, the 5th Circuit Appellate Court tried to decide if it should toss out a ruling that upholds the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Fund.  The judges expressed their objections about the constitutionality of the practice of using an outside company to collect fees for the telecom assistance programs.

Legislative Update October 2023: Updates and Reminders About H.R. 3557

by Dave Garb, Legislative Committee Chair



Senate confirms Anna Gomez to FCC

The American Broadband Deployment Act of 2023

This past June, a newsletter was sent to inform you of a bill that was passed out of the Congressional House Energy and Commerce Committee, titled the American Broadband Deployment Act of 2023 (H.R. 3557).  JAG, along with our national partners, believe this bill would be a serious detriment to every municipality in our state.

We have learned at the end of September that the Committee’s Majority leadership has shared a draft committee report to go along with H.R. 3557.  This is typically the next step in the process for bills going to the Rules Committee and eventually the House floor sooner, not later.

Change is Coming to Support ADA

by Dave Garb, Legislative Committee Chair



On the 33rd Anniversary of ADA,
The Biden-Harris Administration is working to make it easier for people with disabilities to access public services. They are taking new steps to strengthen the ADA and improve online accessibility to state and local services for those with vision, hearing, cognitive, and dexterity disabilities.