Maine Legislation Restores PEG Stations to Their Original Lower Channels and Adds HD Broadcast Quality!

After Charter/Spectrum unilaterally changed the channel numbers of PEG stations from channels 13 and below to 1301-1303, Maine PEG stations through CTAM - COMMUNITY TELEVISION ASSOCIATION OF MAINE (www.CTAMine.org) fought back in Augusta, our state capital.

In a David vs Goliath battle, we got legislation passed to move the channels back as well as changing our broadcast resolution to HD. It was appealed by Spectrum but we prevailed in the first round. Our stations were moved back to the original channels. Spectrum is also working with stations for technology and pricing to implement HD broadcast.

Spectrum is appealing to a higher level court. We are hoping we will prevail again. This is a key to putting PEG stations on par with commercial broadcast stations in channel positioning and broadcast quality.

The following is a summary of the Legislative initiative to restore PEG channels to their original locations on Charter/Spectrum systems in Maine.

Last year Maine Passed LD1361, An Act To Insure Non-Discriminatory Treatment of PEG Channels By Cable System Operators, Public Law 245:

https://legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills/bills_129th/chapters/PUBLIC245...

which, in addition to restoring the channels, provides for other PEG and municipal benefits as well.

This newspaper article describes the issue.

https://newspaper.pressherald.com/infinity/article_popover_share.aspx?gu...

And the local CBS affiliate, WGME provided a follow up to the story:

https://wgme.com/news/i-team/judge-orders-cable-companies-to-comply-with...

During the appeals process, by court order, Maine PEG channels were restored to their former locations as of July 31, and the next level of appeals is being heard by the First District Court in Boston in October.

The Maine Attorney General, the Alliance For Community Media, The Alliance for Communications Democracy and Public Knowledge have all filed briefs in support of the Maine Judges decision to uphold the law.

It is hoped that a successful defense of the law here in Maine will prompt other States to follow suit with similar legislation. Stay tuned!

-Submitted by Tony Vigue,
CTAM Legislative Policy Committee
Www.ctamaine.org

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