Legislators sign bill that would require digital streaming providers to pay fee

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – More and more people are cutting cable and switching to streaming platforms.

Now there’s a new push by state lawmakers to regulate those devices. 85 legislators have already signed on.

This week those legislators signed onto a bill that would require streaming devices like Netflix and Hulu to support community access television.

The bill would impose a fee on digital streaming providers equal to 5 percent of the revenue those companies earn in Massachusetts. But the fees don’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.

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Paul McMurtry, said consumers are offered alternative streaming methods, so Massachusetts need to modernize its laws to assure that community media centers are supported.

So far, nine states have passed laws to regulate streaming platforms, and with bipartisan support, many people are hoping to see Massachusetts become number ten.

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