A personal appeal from Karen Henderson, General Manager at Westborough TV to the Westborough community:
Cord-cutting is at an all time high – and every time someone drops cable and switches to a streaming service, WTV loses income. That, coupled with higher demands for local access services and the constant flow of new technology leaves WTV in a declining financial situation with a somewhat uncertain future.
To that end, Westborough TV and other local access centers across the state have been pursuing state legislation that would assess a fee to video streaming companies for their use of public rights-of-way, just as happens currently with cable. And, just like cable, a portion of these fees would go to benefit the ongoing efforts of community media stations like Westborough TV. With the organization facing an uncertain financial future, the legislation is not only timely, but also vital to its survival.
Here’s where WTV needs your help. The bill will be going to committee hearings on Beacon Hill shortly and we are asking people in our community to write to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy and the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, The Internet and Cybersecurity and urge them to favorably review our Bill – it’s a mouthful(!) – “An Act Relative to Digital Entertainment On Public Rights-of-Way.” It’s Senate Bill 2200 and House Bill 130. Without an update to the laws in how community media is funded, organizations like ours will soon have to face cuts in vital services or personnel.
Technology, communication, and life itself has changed so much over the years, but the need to be informed and connected, and the importance of community has not changed and is maybe even as strong as ever. And that’s been the main focus for Westborough TV over these many years, and we’re hoping for years to come. We believe strongly that S. 2200 and H. 130 can help secure the financial future of our industry and we urge you to write our legislators and both the Joint Committee at the Statehouse: Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy and the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, The Internet and Cybersecurity.