Digital streaming fees could support local access TV

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – So far, 85 legislators have signed onto a bill that would require streaming services to support community access television.

House Bill 43-89 was referred to the Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy on Thursday, getting it one step closer to a full vote in the house and senate.

With this bill, lawmakers want to impose a fee on digital streaming providers equal to 5 percent of the revenue those companies earn in Massachusetts.

But the fees wouldn’t apply to companies that make under $250,000 in annual revenue.

The money collected would be split, 20 percent would go to the state’s general fund, 40 percent would go to cities and towns, and 40 percent for local access cable TV stations.

Representative Paul McMurtry, the bill’s sponsor said consumers are offered alternative streaming methods, so Massachusetts needs to modernize its laws to assure that local media is always supported.

If the bills pass this session, Massachusetts would be the tenth state to implement these regulations.

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