Access Contra Costa is about locally produced cable television in the cities of Concord Clayton, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Martinez and others in Central Contra Costa County, California. In these communities Comcast Cable has negotiated a franchise that expires in 2021. It provides both TV channels and capital funding for community television enterprises in government, education and public access. These monies are not gifts, grants or a tax. It is a portion of the rent Comcast pays for access to the public right of way.
In the City of Concord. Comcast pays 5% of their gross (non-Internet) revenue to the City general fund. Comcast also pays an additional $.71 per subscriber per month for equipment to operate the community (PEG) channels as well as operate community data networks (INET).
If you compare these amounts to other franchises, Comcast seems to be getting off pretty easy.
Consider the garbage company in Concord. They pay a franchise fee of 6%, and provide free trash pickup at most city operations. Apparently they are putting out more resources than the cable company and at a lesser profit.
And, if you compare the cable franchise itself to other recent franchises in California it should be obvious that Comcast got the wheat and the rest of us are receiving the chaff.
This blog is about using these television channels to edify our community. To permit each citizen an opportunity to know what is happening. As our newspapers fail to deliver local news, we turn to the Internet and local blogs like www.Claycord.Com. These venues help us learn what is happening in our communities.We migrate from the television oligopoly to community media an open pathway to see and hear the events around us.
This blog will voice support for a system of local public and educational television that addresses both public desire and the fiscal realities of this enterprise. This blog will put forth credible, workable and innovative solutions. And finally, this blog will offer ways of improving the communication of those who serve their community and give them a greater voice.
In future postings there will be background information about cable access television, who is who in community media in Central Contra Costa County. This blog will be joined by other contributors who will create both a lively dialog and some serious action.