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If you are one of those individuals that complaints about your cable television programming and if you are one of those that wants more local access television, you have an opportunity to have your voice heard and make a difference.
The City of Lowell is currently holding public hearings to discuss the renewal of the City cable contract with Comcast. As some of you are aware, through a fee assessed on our monthly bill, funds are directed to the City of Lowell. The first hearing took place on March 13th.The second and last public hearing will be held this April 10th . All cable subscribers and interested parties are invited to attend the hearings and share comments or suggestions about cable service.
These funds are disbursed to the public, education and government (PEG) channels which are operated by the Lowell Communications Corporation (LTC) and Lowell Educational Television (LET) . LTC operates channels 8, 95 and 99. The first two are community programming and the last one is government. And LET operates Channel 22.
The City of Lowell also receives funds for its intranet as well as other technical operations. And I believe that Greater Lowell Technical High School also receives some funds from this contract.
As part of the information gathering the City of Lowell IT Department and LTC have partnered to survey of Lowell residents and gather information that will help in drafting an agreement which is responsive to the public’s needs and desires. The answers provided in this survey will also assist LTC and LET to better serve the City with its programming and outreach.
Here is the link to the survey
I just finished taking it and I did in 2 minutes.
Oh, and did I mention that everyone who takes this survey is eligible to win a $50 Amazon gift card.
Update (by Jack):
Check out LTC Executive Director Jessica Wilson and Production Assistant Sarin Ruom as they explain what a cable ascertainment hearing is, and why you should attend. (Special thanks to Lauris Jackson for his behind the scenes work on this spot!)
The Lowell City Manager is holding two public hearings to gather information about Lowell’s cable television needs. All cable subscribers and interested parties are invited to attend the hearings and share comments or suggestions about cable service.
These hearings will be held on MARCH 13 and APRIL 10 starting at 6:30 PM in the City Hall Council Chamber.
Information from the hearings directly effects Lowell’s contract with COMCAST cable, and LTCs ability to continue bringing you local coverage of meetings and other important programing in the coming years. We invite you to please join the meetings and tell Lowell what is important to you about LTC’s local cable.
These hearings are also incredibly important for LTC. As you may know, 80% of our funding comes directly from Comcast as part of their contract with the City, called franchise fees, this payment ensures that for use of our land to run cable, Comcast will give us back use of some cable bandwidth for local communications.
I urge you to please JOIN US at one or both of the hearings and tell Comcast what you love about LTC, and what role we have played in your life. Your opinions are an important part of preserving local cable access.
Just a note, some things that cannot be negotiated at the cable hearings include:
• what channels Comcast offers and where they are placed
• asking for other service providers like Verizon
• asking for cheaper rates
But you can advocate for:
• support for LTC via franchise fees and capital payments
• senior citizen discounts
• services/areas to be offered
• more visibility for LTC programming via: listings in the program guides, broadcasting in the HD tier, and space on Comcast Video on Demand
If you cannot make the hearings you can also submit written or email comments or suggestions to Miran Fernandez, MIS, Chief Information Officer, City Hall, 375 Merrimack St., Lowell, MA 01852. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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