The BACB is a volunteer organization committed to: resolving cable complaints, inviting cable competition, pursuing legislative enhancements, protecting public rights of way/revenue stream and the development of local public access programming for community expression.
Our Executive Director occupies the only staff position and is responsible for oversight of the franchise agreements, processing of cable complaints, annual report/quarterly financials/budget, monitoring expenditures, consulting on legal and legislative issues, BACB and other municipal meeting preparation and special projects as directed by the Board. Most importantly, the Executive Director is our liaison to the public and our four member communities.
Read our approved strategic plan for the future of the Birmingham Area Cable Board.
Birmingham Area Cable Board 2009 Strategic Plan
BACB Audit Report
View our brochure - "Choosing a TV Provider"
Digital Transition and community outreach: We staffed a booth at the 2008 Birmingham Farmer's Market to share DTV coupon request forms, hook up guides and complaint forms. Indoor antenna issues persist and are discussed at www.dtv.gov.
We worked with all cable providers (Comcast, AT&T and WOW) to streamline the escalation and resolution of subscriber complaints.
We accessed reserved PEG funds (we cannot bond) to replace an old and obsolete truck with an HD vehicle for public access production.
We have transformed our outdated website for accessibility and increased awareness of cable issues.
Through our attorneys, Beier, Howlett, PC, we have participated in telecommunication filings from local to state and federal levels. Current issues include preservation of PEG funding and accessibility for all communities, as well as the implications of the Time Warner/Comcast and AT&T/Direct TV mergers with respect to local communities.
We have partnered with MI NATOA (Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors) to highlight the benefits of local control.
We began broadcasting our Public access (BAPA), Educational (BPS) and Governmental (BAMA) channels on ATT Uverse Ch 99 platform 9/09. There are still some technical challenges as we cannot see our signal at the BCTV studio and await a commercial remedy from ATT.
We participated in a full day Strategic Planning Session 12/09 with Intellitrends, LLC of Clarkston, MI.
In addition to AT&T, we began broadcasting our BAPA, BPS and BAMA channels on WOW channels 18, 15 and 10.
We gave significant educational grants to the Birmingham Public Schools for infrastructure at Seaholm High School and the Board Administrative Center at Groves High School and we continue to support public services in our communities as free drops are no longer covered by the providers.
We conducted a survey of residents in 2010 to receive community input on many different aspects of cable television service. We updated the results via a new survey in 2013, with the top 10 findings as follows:
Summary of PEG Grants
Summary of Municipal Services Grants
- Watching TV via a mobile device has increased from just 4% in 2010 to 17% in 2013.
- WOW is making positive inroads and taking market Comcast market share.
- WOW gets highest provider ratings, then AT&T U-Verse, then Comcast.
- Pricing is still the biggest pain point and motivation for switching providers.
- Switching to Internet only TV is not very popular (yet).
- Even though a large majority (75%) of residents feel that it is important to have local community channels –this is down 10% from 2010.
- Channel surfing continues to be the leading way residents find out about PEG programming.
- Awareness for PEG channels continues to increase, but use/viewership is either holding steady (BAPA) or decreasing (BAMA & Educational).
- Municipal Channel viewing is down more significantly (by 22%) than Public Access Channel viewing (by 9%) compared to eight years ago. The Educational channel continues to be the least watched.
- Similar to 2010, the leading suggestion to the Board is to have more competition.
- Click here to read the entire survey