Vermont is served by 11 cable television companies, including the 2 largest, Comcast and Charter, which together have more than 90 percent of the market. Approximately 65 percent of Vermonters either have cable TV service or cable facilities running by their homes, which means they could subscribe if they chose to do so. The Public Utility Commission maintains a list of cable television companies authorized to operate in Vermont, with contact information.
In Vermont, cable operators are required to support Public, Educational, & Government Access Television (PEG Access). The concept of PEG Access is that cable operators must provide channel capacity, services, facilities, and equipment as partial compensation to communities for their use of public rights-of-way (streets, highways, and other government-owned property). PEG channels are run by the community and provide the equipment, facilities, and opportunity for community members to produce local programming, from covering government and local sporting events to educational shows and entertainment programming.
Cable Service Rules and Regulations
The Public Utility Commission (Commission) sets rules for cable TV companies through proceedings in which the Department of Public Service participates. In Vermont, the Commission acts as the "local franchise authority" for cable television companies, granting a certificate of public good (CPG) to operate in the state that must be renewed every 11 years. Although the Commission has some regulatory authority over cable, federal law limits state and local authority over cable companies, and completely preempts local franchising authorities from regulating rates and programming. Much of cable regulation is reserved to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). For information about cable television regulation, please see PUC Rule 8.000.