Independent Video Producers on San Antonio Public Access TV

Friday, May 11, 2007

Public Access Producers in San Antonio Texas have been in a long battle over keeping Public Access Television alive in Texas. We monitor what goes on at the City and State level. Since San Antonio was the 1st city to be impacted by changes to telecommunications laws in Texas we are the crash-test dummies for what will happen to the rest of Texas and the U.S. when it comes to Public Access Channels.

A threatening item is on the Agenda for the San Antonio City Council meeting on April 5, 2007. Below is a copy of the agenda item. Of note is the part of Alternatives. This request for action basically states that if the AT&T U-Verse test fails, that AT&T should not be required to carry the Public Access, Governmental, or Educational channels (PEG for short), And THAT THE OTHER CABLE COMPANIES SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO AS WELL, which would kill public access. Is this how AT&T is trying to get out of having to carry the public access channels? Inquiring minds want to know. What we have found out about how U-Verse really works can be reviewed in these links and in this Wall Street Journal Article from February 2007.

Wall Street Journal, U-Verse

Request for Council Action

Agenda Item # 23
Council Meeting Date: 4/5/2007
RFCA Tracking No: R-1345



City Wide

Agreement with AT&T to conduct testing for PEG carriage on its system


This ordinance authorizes an agreement with AT&T Texas to conduct first office application "FOA" for the purposes of AT&T to carry the City's Public, Education and Government (PEG) programming on its U-Verse TV Service.


AT&T and the City of San Antonio are working together to have carriage of the City's three PEG channels. The Texas Utilities Code requires that the City provide PEG programming in a format compatible with the provider's technology and that the provider carry the channels after the City has made that request. This agreement is to test signal compatibility. The City has identified one point of demarcation for all three PEG channels for AT&T. Each party will be responsible for its side of the demarcation point. The City will install transmission equipment to transmit PEG content. AT&T will install and test encoders to capture the City's PEG programming. Upon termination of this agreement, the City is entitled to the equipment installed by AT&T for the City's PEG channels.


In the Summer of 2006, AT&T Texas began testing the delivery of IPTV. The City has the right to request that its community (PEG) channels be carried on its system. Testing is required because the deliverly of service is different than that of our current cable operators. The City and AT&T have identified a single point of demarcation to simplify and reduce the cost of implementation.

The City could chose not to carry PEG channels on AT&T 's system. However, the City should then consider removing the requirement of its other cable providers in order to be consistent with our cable/video providers and to provide consistent cable/video services to citizens.????????????????????

What is the hell that suppose to mean??????????????????

That they can kill PEG??????????(edited in)

The City receives 1% of state certificated cable/video providers revenues for the purposes of providing PEG services. Funds have been appropriated in this 2007 budget to provide connectivity to additional providers.

Staff recommends approval



Ben Gorzell




Pat DiGiovanni

Deputy City Manager

Update 4-12-07, the City Council postponed voting on this issue one week, and held a public meeting, however the following week they passed this ordinance. Video of that meeting will be posted on this blog this month and run on Public Access Television in San Antonio in May 2007.

No comments: