FCC Nominee Withdraws from Confirmation Proceedings

Sad news came out recently, when Gigi Sohn, a longtime public interest advocate and former Democratic FCC official, withdrew her nomination to the FCC.  She said her decision to pull out follows “unrelenting, dishonest and cruel attacks” made by cable and media industry lobbyists.  This announcement is seen as a huge defeat for consumer advocates, who had rallied behind her.

The Biden administration has a very ambitious broadband agenda that has been up in the air for more than two years, amid a 2-2 stalemate at the FCC.  Sohn was first nominated by the White House in October 2021, and had the support of many consumer advocate groups.

Protecting Community Television Act To Be Reintroduced

We have all been waiting for a long time to see the Protecting Community Television Act be moved on by our federal lawmakers.  During the 117th Congress, these bills had many co-sponsors, 2 of which included New Jersey’s own Representatives Donald Payne, Jr. and Bonnie Watson Coleman.  Unfortunately, it was never voted on and was left to be hopefully brought up in the new Congress.

TWO “Calls To Action”

Last month JAG, the Jersey Access Group, had the distinct pleasure of presenting a special joint session with the League of Municipalities at their annual conference.  It was on the Broadband Grants and Funding opportunities that was created from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which was approved last year by the federal government.

Following the Money: Accessing Broadband Funding

Following the Money: Accessing Broadband Funding”
JAG and the NJ League of Municipalities present a joint session that explains how to access broadband funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Last year the Federal Government approved $65B to improve broadband deployment and adoption. This funding will flow to states for distribution.
During this session, our expert panel discusses how municipalities can apply for grants and use
funds at the local level. The panel is hosted by Mayor Brian Wahler of Piscataway Township. Other panelists include Valarry Bullard, Broadband Advisor to Governor Murphy; Joseph Rivera, Manager of Broadband Access – NJ BPU; Ken Fellman, Esq. Of Counsel, Helmer, Conley, & Kasselman, P.C.; Robert Boyle, CEO Planet Networks; and Bob Duthaler, JAG President.

A Retrospective on the Importance of PEG – The Full Picture

Last month we talked a little about how PEG Television Channels showed their true value to our individual communities during the pandemic. We all embarked on a “fast tracked” learning curve in order to deliver important information and programming to our audiences.

Local governments, schools, small businesses, community organizations and of course, our residents, all benefited immensely because of the endeavors of their individual access channels.

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.