Public, education and government channels now available on AT&T U-verse

For the first time since launching in early January, the AT&T U-verse system is now offering Fayetteville Public Schools Television, The Government Channel, and Community Access Television (CAT-TV) to its customers.

Many thought that the service would include those channels from the get-go. Before launching the service, representatives from AT&T told local media outlets that the contract they’d developed was similar to the city’s contract with Cox and that AT&T would host the channels on its lowest U-verse tier.

But when U-verse finally arrived in Fayetteville, customers immediately noticed that there were no PEG channels to be seen. In fact, according to a post by former Telecommunications Board chair Richard Drake, as of the January 8 launch date, “no one from AT&T seems to have even stepped into the PEG Center to talk to them about installing the required equipment so that the channels can be offered on U-verse.”

According to a release issued Friday, the channels are now viewable on the AT&T U-Verse system’s Channel 99.

“It has been a long process to get to this point with many folks involved every step of the way,” said Communication Director Lindsley Smith. “We are excited we have the opportunity to provide still another way to share information and access for the citizens of Fayetteville.”

To view PEG channels, AT&T customers must first tune in to Channel 99 and then follow the menu navigation options.

In some states, concerns are being voiced about the delivery method of providing only one channel for all information about government, education system, community and upcoming events.

Keep Us Connected, an Illinois group committed to protecting the public’s interest in state video franchise law claims that AT&T’s PEG product violates Illinois’ Cable and Video Competition law of 2007 and the California Public Utilities Commission Division of Ratepayer Advocates warns consumers about AT&T’s PEG product via a YouTube video in hopes of advising those who are considering whether to subscribe to the U-verse service.

For questions about the AT&T U-verse implementation, or anything regarding the City of Fayetteville Television Center, The Fayetteville Government Channel, or Community Access Television, contact Fritz Gisler, The City of Fayetteville Television Center Manager, at 444-3434. For questions on how to access government information, contact City Communication Director Lindsley Smith at 575-8303.

[Photo by Jun Seita via Flickr and Creative Commons 2.0.]