Kaua‘i residents speak at PEG public forum

A small group of interested Kaua‘i residents expressed their opinions about Ho‘ike: Kaua‘i Community Television, Inc., on Wednesday evening at a meeting held at the Mo‘ikeha Building.

The public forum was one of several conducted across Hawaii in an effort to gather views and concerns about the State’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ (DCCA) future plan for Public, Education and Government (PEG) access.

At the meeting, a DCCA preliminary draft was available to the public.

That document outlined 16 principles for discussion relating to a future plan for PEG access.

According to that draft, “the goal is to create a statewide cable access plan which will set forth the state’s policies towards PEG access.”

In a written statement submitted by Carol Bain, president of Kaua‘i Worldwide Communications, “A large part of the (preliminary) plan describes a future of less regulation and a move toward fundraising and money-making for sustainability and growth for PEG access.”

PEG access was created through the collaboration of the DCCA, cable TV operators and the four counties. Each access organization, including Ho‘ike, is funded by fees which are collected by the cable operator from its subscribers.

Those fees can be used to manage PEG cable TV access.

“A key threshold question is whether, and to what extent, the State should be responsible for PEG access matters and cable TV regulation,” said Mark Recktenwald, director of the DCCA.

On Wednesday evening, Kaua‘i residents had the opportunity to express their views about cable access, the 16 items for discussion in the DCCA draft plan and a few other matters relating to the topic.

Among the 16 issues outlined in the draft were “PEG by-laws, an expanding role for counties in cable regulation, financial resources and sustainability.”

The director stressed that the draft was in no way a finished plan. Recktenwald said that that the DCCA will welcome comments and suggestions until Sept. 5. Once all comments have been received, the organization will finalize the plan.

Interested individuals can send e-mailed comments to cabletv@dcca.hawaii.gov.

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