On February 6, 2009, the FCC released a Public Notice that seeks comments on the cable carriage of public, educational and governmental (PEG) channels. In December 2008 and January 2009, the FCC received separate petitions from The Alliance for Community Media, the City of Lansing, Michigan, and the City of Dearborn, Michigan. Each of the petitioners asked the FCC to end all discriminatory carriage of PEG channels by cable providers. The proceeding stems from two carriage practices of cable providers. The first involves the distribution of PEG channels in a digital-only format that would be unavailable to analog subscribers. The second issue involves the delivery of all PEG channels solely through a webcast streaming service.
To date, cable industry organizations have filed comments arguing that the FCC should not hamper cable operators' formatting flexibility and digitization of basic tier programming. Whereas, various individuals, organizations and municipalities support the arguments in the petitions and emphasize the public service needs served by PEG channels.
The Public Notice is available here.