Regulatory Environment

The Community Media Center

Our State’s regional Access Management Organizations are creatures of three regulatory and one contractual environments:

  • Federal Government’s IRS 501(c)(3) Charitable Corporation tax laws
  • State of Vermont’s Non-Profit Corporation law and Open Meeting regulations
  • Vermont Public Service Board Rule 8.400
  • PEG Access Agreement with the Cable Operator

As such, each AMO must annually file an IRS Form 990 and a PEG Access Plan with the State of Vermont and its funding Cable Operator.  Every two years it must file a Biennial Report with Vermont’s Secretary of State.  And each AMO must negotiate a multi-year contract (PEG Access Agreement) with its funding Cable Operator(s) that sets funding levels and responsibilities of each party.

Under State law, all these filings and contractual arrangements are public documents and are accessible on this website and/or upon request from the AMO, the cable operator, the Department of Public Service or the IRS.

The Cable Operator

Cable Television providers have expanded into triple-play telecommunication providers.  Under Federal Law, only telephone and cable television services may be regulated to some extent or another–some mandatory under federal law, some under state law.  Internet-based services, classified as ‘information services’ under federal law, are almost fully exempt from all regulation.  Vermont is one of the few states left that has carved out and maintained a regulatory policy that cable television providers must offer and support PEG Access services directly through qualified nonprofit corporations called Access Management Organizations (AMOs).

The principal regulatory document for cable TV providers is Public Service Board Rule 8.000.  A good third of that document is dedicated to PEG Access beginning at 8.400.

Rule 8.000 requires cable operators to obtain a Certificate of Public Good (CPG), which is awarded after an extensive Docket in which the affected municipalities, PEG access advocates and the general citizenry (represented by the Department of Public Service) are given ample opportunity to testify on their concerns and needs.  Because PEG Access funding is keyed exclusively to the cable television portion of telecommunication company’s earnings, and a significant portion of each cable operator’s CPG deals with PEG Access, these governing documents for all the companies can be read here: