AT&T's new cutting-edge television service, U-Verse, is creating frustration for community programming advocates and being investigated by both state and federal officials. After receiving a large number of complaints, Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, launched an investigation into the U-Verse system's underminging of access to PEG channels (i.e. Public Education and Government stations).
State money should support public access channels and
alternative online media to amplify the voice of marginalized and
under-represented communities in our democracy.Continuing support forpublic,
educational and governmental (PEG) access channels, some of the only
remaining media outlets that broadcast local voices and cover local issues,
will allow for targeted programming by and for particular segments of the
community that might not be served by major outlets.
The future is very uncertain for public, education and government (PEG) channels.Theselocal channels have traditionally been carried by cable companies as apublic service to highlight local community and public voices. Historically, PEG channels have been receivable on both analogand digital service, ensuring that PEG stations were accessible by anyindividual with a television, regardless of income level or cablepackage. Now that the Digital TV transition is just around the corner, the question is what happens to these channels.