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Comcast moves PEG channels to digital; Dingell objects

Wed, 01/02/2008 - 8:31am
Brian Santo

Across the country, Comcast has been gradually reassigning channels to its digital tier, but in moving several public, education and government (PEG) channels in several Michigan markets, the company has run afoul of a powerful congressman.

House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) helped write legislation that demands PEG channels be widely accessible and at the lowest possible cost. Channels on the digital tier require a set-top box (STB). Though Comcast is offering STBs for free to consumers for the first year, the company plans to charge a rental fee thereafter.

In a letter to Comcast dated Dec. 21, Rep. Dingell said: “Your intent to charge consumers as much as an additional $4.20 a month per television set to receive PEG channels is plainly inconsistent with congressional intent that PEG channels be made available at the lowest reasonable rate. I ask that Comcast reconsider this decision.”

Comcast has not relented, saying only that it intends to work with Rep. Dingell on the subject.

Today's headlines:

* FCC encourages the acceleration of the digital transition 

* Comcast, Insight complete division of partnership 

* Concurrent receives NASDAQ deficiency notice 

* Comcast moves PEG channels to digital; Dingell objects 

* Former Time Warner exec Dressler dies 

* Comcast heirs to get Roberts’ pay for 5 years after his death 

* Intel’s Sodhani resigns from Clearwire board 

* Broadband Briefs for 1/02/08
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