A Retrospect of the Importance of PEG and News from the FCC

Over the decades, PEG Television Channels have demonstrated their value to the communities they serve.  We  have been challenged over and over again to get our vital information out to our local viewing audiences, especially in times of crisis.   But there has never been anything more challenging than during the past pandemic.  It was the access stations that found ways to get their individual messages directly out to their communities.  

The Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act

by Dave Garb, Legislative Committee Chair

A couple weeks ago, Vice President Kamala Harris announced that millions of American households have signed up for broadband internet credits through a provision in the bipartisan infrastructure bill called the Affordable Connectivity Program.  This bill passed in November of 2021 and White House officials are calling it an example of the administration’s efforts to lower costs for Americans amid the high inflation that has swept our nation.

State Video Franchising Laws and the Legal Actions Taking Place in New Jersey

by Dave Garb, Legislative Committee Chair

Last month we talked about legal action that has begun here in New Jersey against over-the-top service providers and their franchise fee obligations.

The following is from the law firm Kessler, Topaz, Meltzer & Check, LLP, who are leading this action.  It is a brief summary of the factual allegations and procedural history of Borough of Longport and Township of Irvington v. Netflix, Inc. and Hulu, LLC, No. 2:21-cv-15303-SRC-MAH (D.N.J.) (the “Netflix/Hulu Litigation”).

State Video Franchising Laws and the Legal Actions Taking Place in New Jersey

by Nancy Werner, General Counsel for NATOA

Legal action has begun to take hold all across the country and even here in New Jersey.  Communities are beginning to fight back against over-the-top service providers and their franchise fee obligations believed owed to them as required by franchising laws and the New Jersey Cable Television Act, N.J. Rev. Stat. § 48:5A-1.  

The information that follows is from Nancy L. Werner, General Counsel for NATOA and explains what is happening and why these actions are taking place.

Federal Communications Law and Policy: What to Expect in 2022

After years of frenzied federal activity in the communications space, particularly by the Federal Communications Commission, 2021 was a relatively slow year for local governments in terms of battling proposals that would harm community interests and PEG access operations.  On the flip side, this reprieve also meant that little has been done to curb the harmful impacts of past laws and decisions.  So, what will 2022 bring? 

Understanding Broadband Grants

by Ken Fellman, Of Council, Helmer, Conley and Kasselman, PA

Ken Fellman

As Americans have spent a significant amount of time on the internet during the pandemic, the federal government has created several programs addressing broadband deployment.  Here, we address two major Congressional initiatives that provide significant funding to expand broadband networks.  On March 11th, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which allocates funding to state, county, and municipal governments, and establishes that state and local governments receiving this funding may use it “to make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.”  As of this writing (August 12, 2021), the House will be considering the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by the Senate, which establishes a $42,450,000,000 grant program to states who in turn award subgrants to local governments and other entities for broadband and other infrastructure projects.