Sturgeon Bay residents may no longer be able to follow city council meetings, community choir concerts or future Christmas parades on cable TV under rule changes proposed by the FCC. The agency is considering rules changes that would require communities to pay cable providers for use of public access channels. Providing free channels for community use has been at the heart of franchise agreements between cable providers and the municipalities they serve. Jason Mann, of the City of Sturgeon Bay Public Access, says if the rules are changed it could be too expensive for communities to support access channels and end some popular programming.
Mann says changes in technology have created more viewing options for people and more competition for cable companies.
Wisconsin Community Media and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities have gone on record in a letter to the FCC opposing the rules changes for public access channels.