With Testimony running 100 – 1 against House Bill 2874 which would freeze Community Television funding on all islands for five years – the House Finance Committee voted unanimously to PASS the bill with amendments. The language of these amendments are not yet available. Significantly, even though the hearing on this measure was not announced until 9:30PM on Friday night for a Monday morning meeting, scores of people showed up to testify passionately in opposition and hundreds more written testimonies like yours were received by the committee also in opposition.
In terms of helping broadband development as it purports to do, this bill does none of that. In fact it does the exact opposite by weakening the PEGs and biting off its nose to spite is face. ( See testimony of Akaku President/CEO Jay April below)
Even though otherwise funded DOE was the intended beneficiary of a totally undefined plan that would steal PEG monies to buy laptops for schools, they didn’t even bother to show up. This is a bill nobody wanted with Hawaii Public Television and DCCA also weighing in against it. Nobody, that is, except for cable giant, Oceanic Time Warner.