In the Akron
area Time Warner has designated channel 15 as the public channel. From 6am-10pm
Monday -Friday Akron Public Schools controls the channel. Public programming is aired from 10pm- 6am Monday-Friday and on
Saturday and Sunday. Governmental programming can pre-empt any programming without advance notice. According to Akron
city ordinance (639-1989) this should not be the situation. "No
later than the time the channel capacity of the system is expanded to 35 channels, the Company shall make available a second
community service channel EXCLUSIVELY for educational programming, as requested by the City. No later than the time
the channel capacity of the system is expanded to 62 channels, the Company shall make available an additional channel for
community service programming, as requested by the City."
There are also provisions for up to 3 additional
community service channels.
There are currently over 200 channels available yet only 1 community service channel because the City has never requested
any additional channels. For many years, citizens in the community and even the director of APS 15 have requested a
separate channel for educational programming.
Instead of requesting an additional channel for educational programming, the Mayor and Council President approved
drastic changes that began 4/1/05. As a result, there is very little programming on channel 15. Marco Somerville, Mark Williamson,
and Dave Muntean(city law department) have all stated that the changes were to eliminate "objectionable programming ". This
is an exercise in editorial control over the content of programming on a PEG channel and in clear violation of Federal language.
The changes created a "box" consisting of Akron
, Cuyahoga Falls
, Moodier, Monroe Falls
. Only programming that is 100%
content from these communities is permitted. Popular programming such as "Democracy Now" and "Army News" are among the shows
eliminated. In addition, producers are required to pay Time Warner a $25 fee with every tape submitted for airing. All
programming by Akron
producers has been eliminated from airing in Canton
and vice versa. PEG programming continues as usual in Youngstown
across the nation. There were no public hearings on these changes, council as a whole was left out of the decision making
process as were Government officials from Cuyahoga Falls and the other effected cities.
By law, Time Warner is required to provide community service channels. By law, they cannot have any editorial control
over the content. By law, they cannot block airing indecent programming. By law, the City needs only to request an additional
channel and Time Warner must provide it. There is currently a Federal lawsuit pending to address these and other issues regarding
Time Warner cable's violations of the law.
There are 3 ways that you can help restore community service programming in the Akron/Canton area.
We need money to continue the Federal lawsuit against the City of Akron
Time Warner. $1000 is needed immediately to get the transcripts which
needed to prepare for trial. Go to HowToFightCityHall.com
and contribute to
our legal defense fund.2)
We need money to continue producing community service programming. The
$25 fee is in addition to normal production
costs and equipment because Time Warner refuses to provide us with a studio. Go tohttp://freedomjournaltv.tripod.com
become a sponsor. Email
donations to call330 384 email@example.com
and credit cards accepted.3)
Contact Marco Somerville, Mike Williams and all members
of Akron City Council at 330-375-2256 and DEMAND
that they make Time Warner follow the law both local and
Federal. They can reverse these restrictions at any time as they hold the franchise agreement over Time Warner.
Additional information on public access programming is available
@ buskegroup.com/PEG_Access_Basics.pdf and http://freedomjournaltv.tripod.com