ACM New York recently shared something fairly unexpected for some states: a public services regulator not coming down on the side of a cable provider. A post on their Facebook page leads to a July 27, 2018 story in the Times Union newsite: “PSC orders Charter cable giant out of NY.” This was also reported on the WNYT site.
PSC = Public Services Commission. Wow, they can do that? Wait—why would they do that? Our own Tony Arrien boiled it down for ACMNY’s Facebook followers:
The reason for the order is that the Network Expansion Provision for broadband in less densely populated areas of the state has not been met—there was a requirement of 25% per year over the four years starting in 2016 since the merger was approved.
I must say that I am impressed that the PSC is standing up for the less populated areas of New York for their broadband needs.
It is my wish that the needs of those many under-served areas for Local Community Media (Public Educational and Government Access TV) also be addressed. Our state is so far behind the rest of the North East Region, particularly upstate NY and even some areas out on Long Island in terms of even having government and school meetings recorded and aired. We call them “dark areas” for community media. Public Access is even more rare in New York State.
New York State needs to find ways with the change of technology to fund and ensure some minimum requirements for coverage of hyper local public, educational and government content to be provided on all types of video distribution systems, so that no resident is left out of their vital local information in this digital age.