Save Access

An Overview of the Struggle:

Click here for a quick summary of current Video Franchising Legislation in the State of Iowa.

Free Press has developed an excellent site outlining the threats to PEG Channels on the local, state, and national level. These pages also include direct links to individual bills and convenient web forms you can fill out to oppose these bills.

Cost of Qwest Legisaltion SSB1208 to all Iowans

Cost to Municipalities
1. Revenues from franchise fees would decrease, as the gross revenues subject to franchise fees for new entrants would be less than those of the incumbent. Franchise fees would be decreased if and when the incumbent migrates to the new statewide franchising structure.

2. Benefits provided in incumbent franchises could be eliminated or reduced as the incumbent migrates to statewide franchising. Typical benefits across Iowa are:

- free cable service to government buildings
- use of institutional networks
- video production services for city council meetings
- access to the emergency alert system
- high speed internet connections for government, libraries, and schools
- capital support and equipment for local government access operations and channels
- free or reduced rate placement of public service announcements
- costs to cities for budget shortfalls

3. A municipality’s abilities to make and keep whole contracts for services would be undermined.

Costs to Consumers

1. Basic tier rate regulation would be eliminated likely increasing costs to consumers with limited income.

2. Consumer protection and complaint resolution services would be eliminated.

3. Enforcement of FCC Customer Service Standards regarding service calls, phone response, business hours, etc. would be effectively eliminated.

4. Requirements for minimum technical standards would be eliminated.

5. Citizen input into the “community needs and desires” as required by federal cable TV franchising law would be eliminated.

6. Competitive advantages would be given to Qwest and others in the marketplace contrary to state law.

7. Service would not be universally deployed across the entire community potentially denying competition to some neighborhoods while providing service to others perceived as more profitable.

Costs to the Community

1. Operational funding for public, educational, and government access channels above funding by municipalities would be eliminated putting those channels continued existence at risk.

2. Capital contributions and equipment for local community channels would be eliminated.

3. Free wiring or service for cable TV and Internet for schools and libraries could be lost.

4. Production agreements for city council meetings, schools, and other community organizations would be eliminated.

5. Additional costs would be imposed on community channels for transmission technologies.

6. Educational use of institutional networks could be eliminated.

Thanks to:
Iowa City Public Library
Free Press
Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN)
Neil Lehto and the Municable Yahoo Group
Alliance for Community Media