Our Community Media Access Centers (CMACs) are scattered around the State of Vermont, sustainably funded under cable television regulation so that towns, villages, cities, schools, libraries, nonprofit organizations and residents can improve Vermont’s quality of life.
It’s NOT just about watching TV!
There are dozens of ways you could, and as a matter of fact, should use your Community Media Access Center. Vermont’s CMACs serve not only municipal governments but also their residents. They serve not only school and college administrators but also their students. They serve not only librarians but also their patrons. They serve not only nonprofits but also their clients. They serve not only houses of worship but also their worshippers.
In fact, Vermont’s local Community Media Access Centers serve anyone who lives, works or goes to school with these non-commercial, nonprofit communication tools and services:
- Free video production training at all levels for all ages
- Free use of field video production equipment
- Free use of a studio for live and recorded programs
- Free use of video editing software and hardware
- Staff assistance to help organize and crew your production
- Channels and a website to cablecast and webcast your production
- A video community bulletin board to publicize your events
- Special order copies of programs (graduations, sports games, performances, etc)
- Submit your home-made videos to show on the channel
- Working with nonprofits to develop video content that further their missions
Where is my Community Media Access Center?
CMACs have regional service territories that serve as few as two and as many as 20 municipalities, with borders generally determined by how cable television companies built their service areas beginning back in the 1980s. The easiest way to find whether you’re in one of the 25 CMACs’ service territories is to browse the directory.
I checked the directory and I’m outside a CMAC territory—what can I do?
Vermont has 281 incorporated municipalities: 237 towns, 35 villages and nine cities. If you live in one of the approximately 67 of these that don’t have a CMAC assigned to it, you should browse the directory for the CMAC that’s physically closest to you by road.
Each Access Center has its own policies regarding serving individuals, organizations and institutions outside its service territory, and many help folks like yourself as best they can within their budgets. Until and unless the State expands the funding base of our CMACs beyond cable television revenues, or until and unless companies expand their cable television services into these 67 municipalities, our Access Centers’ staff will do what they can for you.
I don’t take cable, or it doesn’t come down my road—what can I do?
If you’re located within an Access Center’s service territory, even if the cable doesn’t come down your road or you don’t subscribe to cable TV, you’re still invited to take advantage of your CMAC’s free and low-cost media services. In fact, many Access Center managers report that some of their most active community producers don’t have cable TV, and in some cases don’t even own a TV!
If you have broadband Internet access (meaning you can watch video without too much difficulty), all CMACs in Vermont have a website, many have video archives, and some are developing live streaming of their cable channel programming.
But remember that a favorite slogan of Access Centers is “Don’t just watch TV, make TV,” which today means developing content—for cable TV as well as the Internet—that has infinite variety and done for an infinite number of purposes, so long as it doesn’t contain a commercial message and it’s not been done to make commercial profit. (See the FAQs to understand how loosely or tightly some examples of these and other rules and policies may be interpreted.)