For about 40 years it’s been simple. Cable companies paid money to Lafayette Consolidated Government for the property they put towers to run cable lines. Executive Director of AOC, Ed Bowie explains the cable companies were told, “you’ve got to pay rent and in addition to rent you’ve got to give us some other services and those were negotiated at the local level with the cable companies.”
Some of those other services were giving streaming channels to local Community Media outlet AOC. Now, Bowie says he is worried, “I get a little nervous and emotional when I think about our careers going down the toilet.”
He is making plans for the FCC’s new regulations that don’t require cable companies to pay up.
“This is where the crocks of the matter comes down, the FCC is now being led by Verizon lobbyist, a retired lobbyist from Verizon who deemed that’s just too burdensome for the cable companies” Bowie tells NEWS15.
Even so, Bowie says, “AOC is not going away. People will have an outlet something will come out of this. But right now there is a very dark cloud on the horizon.” It’s not going to disappear, but it might dwindle a lot. A new location, less operating hours and the biggest fear, a mic streaming C.D. recordings of messages, and one volunteer to press play.
“The big thing is that they don’t really care there’s nothing we can do but figure out how to get around it.”
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