Public Access Television
The enactment of the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006 (DIVCA) marked a major change in the regulation of video service providers in California. DIVCA replaced the local franchising process with a State process under the authority of the California Public Utilities Commission. The legislation allowed incumbent cable operators, such as Charter Communications (Charter), to vacate their local cable franchises and begin operating under a State-issued franchise on January 2, 2008.
Another important change from DIVCA was that the local cable provider no longer needed to provide Public Access facilities and support. As a result, public access television in Long Beach was discontinued in 2008.
However, by working together with public access stakeholders, the City enabled the re-launch of public access in Long Beach. In October 2011, the City Council authorized an agreement with the Long Beach Community Action Partnership (LBCAP) to operate Public Access television (PADNET).
Since that time, LBCAP has worked tirelessly to lay the foundation from which to build a modern Public Access television operation. Many milestones have been met, such as building out the technical infrastructure, hiring staff and seating an advisory board, all of which were critical to the official re-launch of Public Access television in the fall of 2012. No City general fund dollars were used to re-establish public access. Long Beach is the only City in Southern California, and one of a few cities State-wide, to bring back public access after the passage of DIVCA.
Building upon this hard work, PADNET unveiled its new, state-of-the-art studio on May 2, 2013. This new facility will give program producers a new studio home from where they can produce their video content.
In addition, in April 2014, PADNET opened a satellite location for its members in the City's Main Library called "The Studio" to produce videos. The Studio serves as a community workspace where people can meet, socialize, innovate and collaborate using technology and resources.
Furthermore, in June 2014, PADNET launched a second satellite location for members at Work Evolution Laboratories (WE Labs). Located in Downtown Long Beach, WE labs is a co-working community, home base for a variety of start-ups, freelancers, and entrepreneurs.