As many of you know, the FCC proposed a new rule that directly affects the funding of FCTV and community media centers across the country. We wholeheartedly thank everyone who submitted comments to the FCC on our behalf. Unfortunately, on August 1st, the FCC Commissioners approved the rule in a 3-2 vote.
This new ruling will allow cable providers to include "in-kind benefits" in the franchise fees that they pay the town as part of their cable license agreements. This fee in Falmouth, for example, is 4.5% of Comcast's gross annual revenue (or GAR), established in its current ten-year contract with the town. A large portion of FCTV's operating costs come from this financial source.
Up until this ruling, the cable companies were obligated to fulfill this fee with monetary payments only. By claiming that non-monetary benefits that the company already provides, such as Institutional Networks (I-Nets), now also count toward their franchise fee, they can significantly restrict FCTV's income and, subsequently, our ability to operate.
There has never been a better moment to support FCTV.
Look for our mailer in the next few days for more information. Together, we can ensure FCTV can continue to provide the services and programs that our community has depended on for a quarter of a century. For more information about how you can support FCTV and the Falmouth Community Media Center, please contact Debra Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-457-0800.