Glossary of Terms

Like most professional fields, Community Media Access Centers (CMACs) have their own jargon. But unlike most other nonprofit organizations, our jargon is a unique mix drawn from the disciplines of law, the social sciences, television, video technology, community organizing, education, the Internet and government. An Access Center reaches across all age groups, socio-economic strata, religions, political beliefs, education, sexual orientations, hobbies, nonprofit worlds, and on and on.

Below your will find an alphabetical listing of our most commonly used terms. If you would like more background into the world of PEG Access, AMOs and Community Media Access Centers, see the FAQs and Regulation & History.

NOTE: Terms in all capitalized letters indicate that they can be found within this glossary.

Access channelA channel made available by an OPERATOR that is used to cablecast non-commercial programming created or acquired for public, educational, or governmental purposes pursuant to this Rule. Access channels are sometimes referred to as public, educational, and government channels, or “PEG” channels.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Access Management Organization (AMO) – A nonprofit entity apart from the cable television operator designated to receive PEG access support through the CABLE OPERATOR and contracted to manage public, educational and governmental access channels and facilities for non-commercial purposes.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Activated channel – A channel engineered at the headend of a CABLE SYSTEM for the provision of services generally available to residential subscribers of the cable system, regardless of whether such services actually are provided, including any channel designated for public, educational or governmental use.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Basic cable service – Any service tier that includes the retransmission of local television broadcast signals (may also include other signals).
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

BoardThe Vermont Public Service Board.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Cable company – As defined in 30 V.S.A. § 501, a person, firm, partnership, corporation, association, joint stock association, or company which owns or operates a CABLE SYSTEM in this state, except non-profits systems serving fewer than 100 subscribers.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Cable operator – The operator of a CABLE SYSTEM, also referred to as “operator.”
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Cable service area, or service area – A geographic area within which a CABLE SYSTEM has the right to provide cable service to the public. Such boundaries may include areas into which extension of service is not immediately feasible but may be in the future.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Cable system, or cable television system – A facility meeting the definition in 30 V.S.A. § 501 or 47U.S.C. § 522 and subject to the regulation of the BOARD.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Capacity – Portion of electromagnetic frequency spectrum used for commercial and public purposes.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Certificate of Public Good (CPG) – The “license” issued by the Vermont Public Service Board to utilities and CABLE OPERATORS that impose conditions to the provision of those services.  For cable operators, the statutory term for a CPG is eleven years.

Channel, or cable channel – A portion of the electromagnetic frequency spectrum that is used in a CABLE SYSTEM and which is capable of delivering a television channel as that term is defined by the Federal Communication Commission regulations.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Department – The Vermont Department of Public Service.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Educational access channel – An access channel designated for non-commercial educational purposes.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Governmental access channel – An access channel designated for non-commercial civic purposes.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Headend – The physical location of the collection and transmission of cable television signal to the subscriber network.

High Definition – (See also: STANDARD DEFINITION) A format of television signal described by its maximum ability to resolve 1080 horizontal lines and its aspect ratio of sixteen units horizontal by nine units vertical.

Institutional network, or I-Net – A communication network that is constructed or maintained by the CABLE OPERATOR and that is made available to educational or governmental institutions.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Leased access – Use of the Leased Access Channel.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Leased access channel – A channel, available for a charge, for commercial or non-commercial purposes.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Live origination program – PEG content cablecast from cable company head end or remote origination site while it is taking place.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Local origination – The creation of programming cablecast by the CABLE OPERATOR.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Local presentation – Request by an institution or individual living or working within the cable service area to transmit PEG CONTENT using cable channels or capacity, whether or not that PEG CONTENT was produced using PEG FACILITIES.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Local use – Non-commercial use of PEG channels and capacity by residents of the State of Vermont, including schools and not-for-profit educational institutions, and local and state governments or agencies thereof.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Overbuild – The existence of two or more telecommunication companies providing the same or similar services to the same geographic area.

PEG – Public, educational, governmental.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

PEG AMO service territory – The area for which the AMO has responsibility, and upon whose gross annual revenues the CABLE OPERATOR bases the calculation of that area’s PEG AMO’s annual support.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

PEG content – Any non-commercial voice, video, or information made available by members of the public, educational institutions, local or state government, or an AMO and distributed through PEG channels or CABLE SYSTEM capacity set aside for such purposes.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

PEG facilities – Includes equipment and studio space necessary for community members to produce, post-produce and distribute any PEG CONTENT from the cable company HEADEND and remote origination sites to the system’s cable subscribers.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Public access channel – An access channel designated for non-commercial use by the public on a first come, first served basis.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Remote origination site – A source of PEG CONTENT that is physically some distance from, but configured to transmit signal to, the CABLE COMPANY headend for distribution over the CABLE SYSTEM.
This definition has been drawn verbatim from the Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.100, Cable Television Regulations.

Standard Definition – (See also: HIGH DEFINITION) The older format of television picture characterized by its maximum ability to resolve 480 horizontal lines and its aspect ration of four units horizontal and three units vertical. This format is being replaced by HIGH DEFINITION.