LAPA Leased Access Programmers Association

The real enemy of “leased access”

The language is plain and clear, well it should be ‘plain and clear’ but FCC’s Media Bureau, refuses to define or explain the following.

In the Second Report and Order and Second Order on Reconsideration of the First Report and Order, CS Docket No. 96-60, FCC 97-27, released February 4, 1997 we find language that “the Commission indicated that, while a cable operator may not impose a separate charge on a leased access programmer for the same kind of technical support that is already provided to non-leased access programmers, a charge may be added to recover the cost of providing a tape recorder or a camera, for instance, if such equipment would be provided to non-leased programmers at the same additional charge.”

In the order in, FCC states;
“The information provided by (the cable site) is relatively brief and falls short of a full justification for the $50 fee it asserts could be justified. Thus, for example, it is not clear why the cost allocated for modulators is not a cost ordinarily provided in common to other programmers and thus recovered under the implicit fee calculation rather than as a separate technical support fee.”

Yet two individual cable sites insist my firm, StogTv, must pay for the expensive modulators required for the to place our leased access programming on a digital tier. While I don’t have ‘proof positive’ they provide these devices and all other necessary interconnecting devices and/or materials when they place non-leased programming on a digital tier, I’ll be serious money the truth is—the do.

Sadly the problem seems to not lie with the cable operators. They’re simply trying to maximize their profits when they wrongfully impose ‘conditions and terms’ on LAPers (leased access programmers) beyond that the law and FCC rules supposedly permit. The enemy of leased access is the very agency charged by Congress with seeing we truly have the “genuine outlet” for programming on local cable sites. FCC’s own Media Bureau has long gone far out on the limb to permit cable sites to impose conditions on LAPers that place us in positions where they then have us at a clear financial disadvantage in securing local business