Thursday, May 30, 2024

Public Access TV – HB 5446


By John Ecay
Executive Director
Sound View Community Media

Public Access TV, Cable, and streaming services were built into law as cable companies and communications providers were given access in the state. The idea was that freedom of speech and access to share our different experiences was essential for our free press and democracy.

Over the last ten years many people have dropped their TV access and moved to direct streaming services. Those services are not obligated to contribute to public access programing. This means that both the state of Connecticut and the non-profit public access stations have lost taxes and funding.

There is a new law being considered by our state legislature. HB 5446 will reconstitute the Gross Earnings Tax (franchise fee) to apply to all services. This is not only good for the state, which has lost millions of dollars in the last few years, but also Public Education and Government (PEG) TV, which is struggling for survival. This is simply a more equitable way of ensuring that this channel, which preserves individuals’ First Amendment right of free speech, survives into the future.

Here in Stratford, this helps support our local Sound View Community Media. Sound View is an independent third-party non-profit Public Access studio based in Stratford, which serves Bridgeport, Milford, Fairfield, Woodbridge and Orange.

Your support is needed to restore fairness and access to public TV, cable and streaming platforms.

Please write to your representatives below asking them to support public access TV:

Joe Gresko:

Laura Dancho:

Ben McGorty:

Herron Gaston:

Kevin Kelly:

Speaker of the House Matthew Ritter:


  1. If the bill passes will Optimum use it as an excuse to raise rates by claiming increased programming costs forced on them by the State?


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