|September 22, 2008
Updated on Interconnection of PEG Stations Between Verizon and Incumbent Providers
For more than a year we have been monitoring the BPU process to resolve disputes surrounding PEG interconnection with incumbent cable providers. This issue involves carrying PEG channels on all cable systems serving a municipality regardless on which system the programming originates. For more background on this see the League’s Cable Television Resource Center at http://www.njslom.org/cabletv_resource.html
The BPU has resolved the issue with Verizon and three of the four affected cable companies either through settlement or Board order.
First, the Board’s actions assisted in fostering a settlement between Verizon and Time Warner Cable. As of September 11, 2008 municipal public, educational and governmental programming was facilitated in all 14 towns in the Time Warner service area.
In August Verizon and Comcast told the BPU they believed they were close to making a voluntary settlement of the issue and requested additional time to reach settlement. The BPU would prefer this type of voluntary settlement as it speeds the process and makes it more likely both parties will comply. The parties have been directed by the Board to reduce their agreement to writing and submit it to the Board before the next BPU hearing scheduled for October 3, 2008.
Verizon has not reached settlement with Cablevision or US Cable. On September 12, after many attempts to foster an agreement among these parties, the Board ordered interconnection and expects to issue the formal order to the parties within the next few weeks detailing the terms and conditions.
The League will continue to monitor this process and advise you of any changes after the October 3 meeting of the BPU.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.