A plan to expand a Connecticut government channel could end up costing you more money.
The Connecticut Television Network, which is known as CT-N, wants to cover more hearings, but there may not be any money in the state budget to pay for it. Cable providers are being asked to foot the bill and now, that fee could be passed on to the customers.
If you work in state government or are interested in what goes on at the capitol, CT-N is your eyes and ears. They cover legislative hearings, which most cable companies carry, but they're limited. They can only cover two hearings a day and CT-N wants to expand.
"What we are saying here is that CT-N is a state civic network and would become like a statewide governmental access channel and funded in the same mechanism the local access channels have been funded for decade,” Paul Giguere, who is the president of CT-N, said.
Connecticut taxpayers have been paying operating expenses. A bill now being heard would change that and make cable companies pay roughly $3 million a year.
"I am a fan of CT-N. I think it’s a great system, a great program we have in Connecticut,” State Sen. Mike McLachlan, who is a Republican with the Government, Administration & Elections, said. “But this is exponential growth of CT-N in one stroke. I think we need to walk before we run here."
C-T-N feels they “should be a must carry like broadcast and local access channels” and according to CT-N, it would cost about $0.40 per subscriber.
The cable industry doesn't like this plan especially since they are being asked to pay for this and that people with satellite dishes and the internet would be able to watch C-T-N for free.
“They want to discriminate and focus exclusively on cable subscribers,” Paul Cianelli with the New England Cable & Telecommunications Association said. “This is a cable subscriber tax bill and cable subscribers should be furious about this."
The cable industry is calling this a tax, but that's not the way CT-N sees it. It could have a difficult time passing.
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