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Welcome to Grafton Community Television
Cable Television Oversight Committee


Frequently Asked Questions About Grafton Community Television
Last updated on July 2nd, 2010



1. What is Grafton Community Television and what channels are GCTV on?

Grafton Community Television (also known as GCTV) provides programming on three distinct cable access television channels in the Town of Grafton, MA. Grafton Community Television provides general interest (Public Access) programming, Grafton Government Television broadcasts town government programming, and Grafton Education Access features school programming and high school sports events. On the Charter Communications Cable system, Grafton Community Television can be seen on Channel 191, Grafton Government Television can be seen on Channel 192 and Grafton Education Television can be seen on Channel 194. On the Verizon Cable system, Grafton Community Television can be seen on Channel 34, Grafton Government Television can be seen on Channel 33 and Grafton Education Television can be seen on Channel 32. Weekly schedules for all three of the Grafton Community Television Channels can be found on the Program Schedules page at www.GraftonTV.org or by watching the respective channel's bulletin board.

Grafton Community Television started in 1984 when the cable television system was first licensed in Grafton. Like many public access operations in Massachusetts GCTV has grown and is now responsible for coordinating all types of access television - Public Access, Education Access and Government Access.

Grafton Community Television is essentially a TV studio and a resource center, but unlike commercial broadcast stations, it is not staffed with TV producers, camera operators, and technicians. Grafton Community Television's role is more like a combination school and equipment library where individuals and organizations are trained how to use TV production equipment and learn how to make TV shows, and then are provided the free use of equipment and cable channel time to produce and air their shows.

2. Where is the Grafton Community Television Studio located?

The Grafton Community Television Studio and offices are located at 296 Providence Road (State Route 122A) in South Grafton. GCTV shares a building with Charter Communications which has a business / payment office on the same premises. The GCTV studio's phone number is 508-839-2983. Studio hours are Monday through Thursday from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM and Friday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM .The studio is closed for lunch from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM daily. The studio and offices are closed on weekends.

3. Does Grafton Community Television produce TV shows for all three PEG channels?

Programming for Grafton's Public Access Channel, Grafton Community Television, is routinely provided by Grafton's volunteer Access Producers, who have taken the GCTV Production Course and are authorized to use GCTV equipment and facilities.

Additionally, any Grafton resident, town employee, or local business owner may submit programming for GCTV. Programming must be submitted on an appropriate media format (see FAQ #6) , and a Cablecast Request Form must be signed stipulating that the programming adheres to the Town of Grafton's Public Access rules and guidelines, and that the person who filled out the form will take responsibility if any issues with the program's content arise. For more information on submitting programming to GCTV, please contact the studio at 508-839-2983 or by email at GCTV@GraftonTV.org.

Programming for Grafton's Government and Education Access Channels (Grafton Government Television and Grafton Education Television) is provided subject to the discretion of the Town Government and School Departments respectively. Routinely, the Town Government and School Department request Access staff to tape meetings and events and play them back on GGTV and GETV. Sometimes, a Town Resident or an Access Producer may tape an event, program, or meeting that they feel is appropriate to play on the Government Access Television or Education Access Television channels. If so, they must get approval from the proper representatives of the Town Government or School Department for playback on the channel to be permitted. Occasionally, programming that is produced outside of Grafton is sent in for consideration for playback on the Government or Education Channels. The content of each program is considered and approval from the appropriate body is given before any outside programming is played on GGTV or GETV.

4. Are there any restrictions as to what can air on Grafton Community Television?

Grafton Community Television is a public access TV station, meaning it is an electronic forum for free expression by the residents of Grafton.

Sometimes, viewers tell us "There ought to be a law about what I saw on Grafton Community Television last night!" There is a law- the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and its guarantees that "Congress shall pass no law abridging the freedom of speech..." and Congress has embodied that protection in the laws that control cable television.

Basically, any resident of Grafton is free to say or do anything he or she wants on their own GCTV program, provided that they can assure us that their program does not contain any illegal content. This illegal content is defined, in part, by the cable television access agreements with Charter Communications and Verizon.

Grafton Community Television has agreed to maintain a public forum for the free expression of ideas -- even ideas others might despise! -- as long as GCTV prohibits all of the following types of content in programs:

(i) direct solicitation for funds;

(ii) advertising designed to promote the sale of commercial products or services including advertising by, and on behalf of, candidates for public office;

(iii) a lottery or any advertising or information concerning a lottery; and

(iv) any obscene or indecent material.

Since Grafton Community Television began operations, we have occasionally encountered situations where a citizen is unhappy with the content of a Public Access program.

In response to those complaints, our belief has always been that the answer to programming which you do not approve of is to make programming of your own. We encourage you to consider taking our next Television Production class to learn how to do so. Or, if you are not interested in learning the technical aspects of television production, and would simply like to explore hosting a program of your own to refute the views and actions you were unhappy with in the program in question, we welcome you to contact Grafton's Public Access Coordinator at 508-839-2983, or by email at GCTV@GraftonTV.org, who can try to pair you with an Access Producer to act as your liaison to the studio to help accomplish that goal.

Another option would be to ask current GCTV producers if they would consider having you as a guest on their show to discuss your views on appropriate content for Access Television programs, and the Public Access Coordinator can help you try to accomplish that as well.

Government and Education Access programming are owned by the Town Government and School System respectively and what plays on those channels is completely up to their discretion, provided the programming follows Access guidelines as stipulated by the Cable Licenses.

Grafton Community Television cannot censor programming. However, GCTV does have the right to control cablecast time and frequencies of airing. Grafton Community Television takes copyright infringement seriously and will not air anything that uses other peoples work without their permission -- this includes music, video, pictures, graphics and artwork.

5. How do I submit a program to air on Grafton Community Television?

Programming for GCTV can come from Grafton residents, Town of Grafton employees and Grafton business owners. To request that a program be played on GCTV, a Cablecast Request Form must be signed. These forms are available at the GCTV studios, located at 296 Providence Road, South Grafton, MA 01560. Phone: 508-839-2983. Email: GCTV@GraftonTV.org

6. What video formats will Grafton Community Television accept for playback?

VHS, SVHS, DVD, Mini DV and DV are the most acceptable formats. For other formats please contact the GCTV studios either by phone, 508-839-2983, or email: GCTV@GraftonTV.org .

7. Who can borrow equipment and use the facilities at Grafton Community Television?

Any Grafton resident age 18 or older who has completed the GCTV Television Production Course may borrow equipment. The equipment may only be used in conjunction with a program being created for Grafton Community Television. Grafton Community Television equipment may not be used for personal or commercial use. Grafton Community Television has a written sign out system that facilitates borrowing GCTV equipment.

Grafton residents age 18 and older are welcome to take the GCTV Television Production Course at no charge. The course is held each spring and fall at the GCTV studios at 296 Providence Road in South Grafton. Completion of the course allows you to use GCTV equipment and to make your own programs. For more information about free GCTV Education Opportunities, please click here.

In addition, Grafton Residents ages 12 to 17 may also take the GCTV Television Production Course, provided that they adhere to the guidelines established by the Cable Television Oversight Committee. For more information on Access Television participation for minors, please click here to see the Cable Television Oversight Committee's Under 18 Access Usage Policy.

8. Who can use the Community Bulletin Board? How do I submit notices for the Community Bulletin Board?

Submitting notices to the Grafton Community Television Bulletin Board is easy. There are two options:

Just follow the directions on the form provided on our GCTV website: http://graftontv.org/ currentBulletinBoardFormPrintout.html

OR,

Email your bulletin board announcement to Grafton Community Television at: CommunityBulletinBoard@GraftonTV.org with a tag line - "For the GCTV Bulletin Board"

For any questions about the Grafton Community Television Bulletin Board, call the GCTV offices at 508-839-2983, or send an email to GCTV@GraftonTV.org.

Any town, state or federal agency and any nonprofit organization in the town of Grafton can use the Community Bulletin Board.

Please remember the basic information, Who, What, When, Where and How and please include a contact name and phone number. Announcements submitted by the general public and non-profits (clubs, houses of worship, etc.) will appear on the GCTV Bulletin Board. Notes involving Grafton Schools or events related to education will appear on GETV. Notes from the town or state government will appear on GGTV.

Please remember that the more extraneous information you include in your posting, the more difficult it will be to post on the bulletin board in a concise manner that is easy for everyone to understand. Please be aware of the potential issues and keep your postings brief and to the point.

9. Can I see Grafton Community Television programming outside of Grafton?

Selected programs that have appeared on the three Grafton Community Television channels
can also be found on

1.) GCTV's Video on Demand link http://graftontv.org/current/VoD.html

2.) GCTV's Live Stream link http://graftontv.org/current/LiveStream.html
and,
3.) on the GCTV's YouTube channel. (http://www.youtube.com/user/GraftonCommunityTV)

10. Can I get a copy of a program I watched on Grafton Community Television?

To obtain a copy of a program you have seen on Grafton's Public or Education Access Channels (GCTV or GETV),
please contact the GCTV studios either by phone, 508-839-2983, or by email: GCTV@GraftonTV.org .

Copies of Government Channel (GGTV) programs will be provided under the Town's guidelines for copies of Public Records.
Please contact the Grafton Board of Selectmen's office for more information.

11. What is the role of the Grafton Cable Television Oversight Committee?

The Grafton Cable Television Oversight Committee (GCTOC) is an official, standing town committee appointed by the town's cable license issuing authority, the Grafton Board of Selectmen. The Cable Television Oversight Committee roles are to inform and educate the public about cable television services, assess the cable needs of the community and to communicate and meet with cable company representatives to discuss matters of mutual interest. Also, to report to the Board of Selectmen on company compliance with the licenses, supervise the companies' responses to complaints and respond to citizen's questions regarding the cable systems, keep abreast of community programming issues, oversee the Cable Fund and its use, and deal with other cable related matters.

The Grafton Cable Television Oversight Committee is made up of volunteer members. The Oversight Committee meets on a monthly basis at the Grafton Community Television Studios at 296 Providence Road in South Grafton. Meeting schedules and times can be found on line on the Town of Grafton's web site at: http://grafton-ma.gov/Public_Documents/GraftonMA_Calendar/.

If you have additional questions about cable television, contact the Grafton Cable Television Oversight Committee by writing to the committees c/o:

Grafton Cable Television Oversight Committee Town of Grafton
Memorial Municipal Center
30 Providence Road
Grafton, Massachusetts 01519