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BUSINESS MONDAY: Spotlight on Refill GB—a mission-based shop with a welcoming vibe (and zero plastic!)

Founded three years ago by Berkshire native Jamie McCormack, this charming Great Barrington retail space helps you make better choices for your health and the planet.

South County cable advisory panel urges Healey to sue FCC over rules changes

The Five Town Cable Cable Advisory Committee voted to send a letter to state Attorney General Maura Healey urging her to take legal action to reverse a decision made last month by the FCC that local access channels say would devastate their funding.

Markey, local cable operators, fear loss of access channels if new FCC rule passes

Those who run the county’s three access channels say the new rules, which would severely impact their revenue streams, would likely put them out of business and deprive the public of valuable programming available nowhere else.

Support radio station WBCR-lp, an essential community-based media resource

In her letter Serene Mastrianni writes: “At WBCR-lp, all voices are heard and everyone has the chance to speak. In fact, if we can successfully move our station to Main Street, then anyone can walk into the studio and be on the air.”

Letter to FCC: Keep viability of public access TV stations

In her letter to the chairman of the FCC, Sheila Irvin of Pittsfield writes: “We would argue that the FCC must rein in the demands of the commercial interests it oversees when those demands conflict with the public good.”

Local access stations at risk from greedy cable companies

In his letter to the editor, Jim Balfanz writes: “[Cable company proposal ] will result in our local access stations like PCTV, CTSBTV, and probably every other one in the entire country to go off the air.”

New rules threaten to put PCTV out of business

"We encourage everyone to take action now to protect PCTV."

FCC is at it again: Proposed changes to benefit big cable, harm local access channels

Those who run the county's three access channels say the new rules, which would severely impact their revenue streams, would likely put them out of business and deprive the public of valuable programming available nowhere else.

Markey, Warren, Neal to file legislation forcing Charter to carry Massachusetts stations

North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard noted the irony that WWLP, the NBC affiliate in Springfield, sent a camera crew to the news conference but coverage of it would not be available to Charter's Berkshire County subscribers.

CONNECTIONS: Spectrum, the cable provider customers love to hate

Since taking over Time Warner in 2014, Spectrum has consistently provided less for more. That double-edged practice requires attention from both legislators and the Five Town Advisory Committee.

Markey, Warren and Neal demand Charter restore Massachusetts channels

"Without these stations, Berkshire County residents lose access to Massachusetts-specific information that matters to them, including Boston sports and news from their state capital, which is not reported on by an Albany station in New York." U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, in a letter to Charter-Spectrum

CONNECTIONS: A wireless tangle in Berkshires’ future

Some are moved to ask: Which would you like more – a tree and patch of grass or a refrigerator that talks to the grocery store? Evidently the big ugly is coming with precious little to prevent it.

Tensions flare as cable panel drops plans for lawsuit against Charter

There was also considerable grumbling about Berkshire County being included in the Albany, New York, television market, resulting in very few stations from Springfield or Boston in the channel line-up and, therefore, a dearth of news coverage concerning Massachusetts.

Repeal of ‘net neutrality’: What are the implications for the Berkshires?

The opinion of Berkshire County experts ranges from skepticism to staunch opposition to the repeal of net neutrality, which is the principle that internet service providers must treat all data on the internet in the same manner and not charge different rates based content or platform.

ORANGE ALERT: The (almost) daily outrage

"There can be no truly open internet without net neutrality. To believe otherwise is to be captive to special interest power brokers." -- Former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps

Amid regional broadband crisis, a tiny town is about to speed up

Mt. Washington is going from almost no Internet and sporadic cell service to faster speeds than even Great Barrington, the nearest large hub town, which is served by cable but not at speeds high enough to support a thriving, 21st-century economy.

Alford to consider townwide broadband Internet accessibility plan

Convinced that Internet access is as essential modern living as electricity, the Alford Broadband Committee is well along the way of determining the process by which the town could build and organize a high-speed Internet infrastructure. Information meeting August 8, at 10 a.m. at Town Hall; vote on project Monday, August 10, at 7 p.m.
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