How to start receiving Public Access Television in your town.
Are you a resident of Coös or Northern Grafton County that doesn’t have access to Channel 2? Would you like to know more about bringing LATV public access television into your community? We want to help you make that happen. Reach out to us if you have interest in seeing LATV Public Access available in your home. Simply send an email to the Station Manager for more details.
A brief overview of the franchise agreement.
As we look to develop our goals and initiatives for 2018, accessibility is a key component. One area of focus for us is the expansion of the station’s broadcast signal. Currently we air programming on Spectrum’s Channel 2 in Littleton, Lisbon, Bethlehem, Monroe, Franconia, Sugar Hill and Carroll (Twin Mountain). This is possible through a cable franchise agreement that the towns share with Spectrum. The agreements are contracts that are held between the Spectrum and the towns. The documents outline a variety of terms and conditions. Items such as the cable communication system maintenance, construction provisions, and service provisions all exist in these documents. Also within the contracts are public access, or PEG television, terms and conditions. This is the section that LATV exists within.
The Franchise Agreement places the “Profile Cable Television Consortium” as a steward of the partner town’s agreement. The Consortium works as a single entity to negotiate the terms of the contract for the partnered towns. Within the agreement lives our station’s access to the Spectrum CATV system so we can send out a broadcast signal. LATV Channel 2 broadcasts to the homes of the town’s television subscribers. In addition, all citizens within the town will have access to the Station and it’s benefits. Video equipment, editing classes, videography classes, access to produce and air unique content, and working within the station are all available benefits. However, what about individuals not located within those towns?
Becoming part of the consortium.
LATV Channel 2 is a service entity that currently operates out of Littleton High School. At this time, the LATV broadcast signal is only available within towns that are part of the Profile Cable Television Consortium. However, any town within our region is welcome to become part of the consortium. Should a town express interest in acquiring the LATV broadcast signal, or joining the consortium, a town representative should attend the monthly consortium meetings; held every 2nd Thursday at the Tower Room in the Littleton Opera House at 6:30 pm. Who can be a representative? Anyone, really. It could be a Select Board member or a town official, but generally it is simply an individual with a desire to become involved.
With a representative selected/appointed/volunteering, the town signs on with the consortium as a member, and pays its proportional cost of dues. The dues help cover legal fees and services to navigate the components of the cable contract with the cable provider. Once the town is “official”, they have a voting seat on the consortium board.
In addition to the proportional dues paid to the consortium, the representative works with the board of selectmen (and in turn, its citizens) to negotiate the franchise fee for their town. Each town would agree to a 1% to 5% fee for cable subscribers to help subsidize the station’s operating budget. The money collected goes to supporting the station for staffing, the purchasing of equipment, repairs and maintenance, production costs and other overhead components.
Benefits of being a member town.
When a town is part of the Consortium, the LATV broadcast is available for the town’s television subscribers. However, in addition to the broadcast itself, the station can be used for a variety of enrichment opportunities. Video editing training, film production opportunities, equipment rental, station volunteerism and other similar offerings become available. Maybe you have an idea for your own television show? The station can help you put it together. Professional setting, equipment and staff is available to help you realize your vision. Not only can the studio and it’s equipment be used to create exciting new programs, a journalism and news reporting component can be explored as well. Maybe you want to cover local news or events in your town? We can provide you with the equipment, the platform and the audience to present it.
The benefit of the station’s ability to put local content into local homes is a key. Local sports, local news, local events and local coverage is where the power of public access lives. With the North Country being as remote as it is, much of the “local” coverage is for regions outside of our area. With a central station committed to the townsfolk of the north country we can truly bring our neighborhoods home.
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