Access Carson City will broadcast state government programming

Work to create Carson City's new community cable access television system is expected to speed up now that a large amount of the funding has come through.

Charter Communications presented a check for $100,000 to the city for the cable operation to pay for new equipment and other necessities.

"That's what'll get us going," said Mike Furlong, general manager of Access Carson City, owned by the Brewery Arts Center. The money will provide "a great opportunity for us to follow through with all the things we wanted to accomplish."

Government programming from the city and state will be the foundation of Access Carson City. Tonight will be the first evening of programming originating from the Nevada Legislature - its opening ceremony will be recorded for broadcast at 6:30 p.m. on channel 26.

Several hours of events occurring in Assembly will be shown nightly after that, also beginning at 6:30 p.m., then repeating once more during the early morning hours.

The Legislative Counsel Bureau will create a daily package of highlights from the assembly, senate and other hearings for use on the channel, Furlong said.

Once fiber optics connect to the legislature, then ACC can begin producing the content originating from there.

This will allow ACC to choose what it broadcasts. An advisory group is helping decide what to offer, and suggestions from viewers about what bills and issues are of most interest "will be very important."

Advice on other programming is also welcome. Other locally produced material is in the works. Part of the money will be used to buy equipment for creating and airing these programs.

More fiber optics are planned between the ACC's headquarters in the basement of the art center's Performance Hall and the Carson City Community Center for local government programming, he said.

The technology will enable live broadcasts from both government buildings once it's installed.

"This will be a huge development for us," Furlong said.

Cable channel 10 will provide public access while channel 26 has city and state programming. An eventual third channel will be the site of Nevada legislative offerings alone, leaving channel 26 as a separate city government site.

The arts center took over community access this past July. Its eventual goal for Legislative programming is to produce it not only for local broadcast, but for cable viewers in Reno and the Las Vegas areas, he added.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.


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