Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Government Access Channel?  

A government access channel is one of the three types of “Community Access Channels” first designated under the “Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984.” This Act provides residents with local television programs and information over dedicated Public, Educational and Government (PEG) cable channels.

Authorized by the FCC, local ordinances, franchise agreements, and government access channels are  used by cities and counties to communicate information to citizens, constituents and employees.

Government access channels differ from public and educational access channels. Unlike public channels, government channels are granted editorial rights to choose the content, format, and subject of information broadcasted to the public. In addition, a government channel has access to stored data and holds the rights to selectively highlight the most relevant issues. This “selection” process is determined by the channels target audience. This concentrated insight into local government workings allows the public to be more informed and in turn increases  participation in the community and government.

 

Why have a Government Access Channel?

A government channel purpose is to provide local information from local perspectives. Traditionally, governments are among the primary developers of local information, but have relied on commercial news sources to deliver it to the public. This situation changed with the introduction of government access channels in the 60’s and 70’s. Today these channels provide a convenient and inexpensive way for local governments to educate citizens about the daily operations within local governments and community events.

Governments are now able to provide professional looking public service announcements, video segments, program series, public meeting coverage with their own channel and equipment. If governments were to contract with outside vendors for these services the price would be too high. Governments now have the equipment and the ability to create their own programming, making a government access channels an essential and cost-effective communication tool.

Government access channels also promote city and county services, provide education, and market accomplishments to potential investors. Promotion of local events is often a neglected yet important function of government. Government channels provide a convenient forum for this purpose.

Channels can be incorporated into a government’s public information distribution process, along with newsletters, press releases and other written material. This abundance of material and information will attract developers, new businesses, and new residents. To make the the idea of government programming information more alluring, many government channels incorporate  “talk shows,” news coverage, sports productions, and magazine shows. In an era when there is an abundance of information sources, government channels develop programs for local enjoyment and enrichment.

 

Who can watch the PEG channels?

Currently, any AT&T U-Verse (Channel 99) or Comcast Cable (Channel 23) subscriber can watch our PEG channel.  This channel is required by federal law to be available to any cable service subscriber.

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