WINCHESTER - The Select Board voted unanimously to pay WinCAM from the town’s recently created PEG (Public, Education, Government) Access fund. WinCAM, the town’s local cable access provider, no longer get’s paid directly from Verizon; instead, the cable company pays the town, which in turn allocates the money to WinCAM.
An agreement between the town and WinCAM had been updated to reflect the new rules set forth by the state, and also to remove a section concerning WinCAM renting out space at he high school as they now have their own building.
The board “highly” supports WinCAM, as member Jacqueline Welch noted.
“This is a necessary step,” she continued, “and important for their revenue so they can operate.”
Chair Mariano Goluboff added how WinCAM plays a “critical role” in the town. He thanked them for providing coverage of the board’s meetings, especially on snowy nights when residents may be unable to get to the Town Hall to watch the meetings in person.
“We appreciate WinCAM’s work,” he stated.
Back in the spring, Town Meeting supported a warrant article to create the PEG Access and Cable Related Fund to support PEG access services.
Federal law states that because a cable television company uses public rights of way through telephone poles and underground conduits to sell their product, they must contribute an amount of their gross annual revenue not to exceed five percent. They can cover this cost by charging cable subscribers via separately stated Franchise Fees.
In 2014, state law required communities establish a separate special revenue fund into which PEG cable funding would be deposited. This would benefit WinCAM, the town’s PEG access station.