FCC Releases Third Report & Order - Wisconsin is OK!

  • fcc affirms that video service providers can be required to pay for PEG capital expenses beyond the 5% franchise fee cap.

  • video service providers may also be required to provide transmission equipment and ongoing costs of transmission.

  • fcc sidesteps the access channel issue, refusing for now to make municipalities pay for them.

In its draft Third Report and Order released on July 11 in advance of its August 1 meeting, the FCC decided to NOT include PEG access channels (Section 44), transmission costs (Section 49), and any other PEG-related capital costs (Section 39) in the 5% cap on "fees, taxes, or assessments of any kind." However, the FCC left the door open to revisit the idea of including the cost of cable access channels in the future. 

Bottom line, the FCC R&O is GOOD NEWS for Wisconsin.

In an era of media globalization and consolidation, PEG access stations continue to give viewers critical information about their communities and offer and important platform for local voices. They catalyze civic engagement and they provide invaluable education services. As the Commission proceeds on this issue, we urge you to consider the potential impact on PEG stations.
— October 29, 2018 Letter from Democratic Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) and nine others to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai