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Monday, January 29, 2018
Olelo TV Moving to Siberia?
By News Release @ 8:52 PM :: 5657 Views :: First Amendment, Hawaii State Government


News Release from ‘Ōlelo TV, January, 2018

Spectrum is channel slamming ‘Ōlelo – displacing channels 49, 53, 54, and 55, including Video On Demand channels 50 and 52, into digital Siberia, or high-numbered channels that are hard to find, hard to watch, and far from the main traffic lineup.  Starting February 6, when you turn on your TV to view any of our public, education, and government programs, it won’t be there.  Instead, you’ll find our channels in the 180s.  If you are unable to acquire a special box to connect to your existing TV, your access to the ‘Ōlelo channels will cease to exist completely.

Spectrum’s attempt to silence community media by displacing local programming channels and imposing barriers to access these channels discriminates against community access organizations like ‘Ōlelo and community voices like YOU.  No other local programming channels will be forced to move.  There is no legitimate reason to relocate these channels.  Spectrum can and should leave community access channels where they are – like Hawaiian Telcom, O‘ahu’s other franchised cable operator, who keeps the ‘Ōlelo channels on digital 49, 53, 54, and 55.



  1. Write a letter asking Spectrum NOT to move ‘Ōlelo.  Spectrum (formerly Oceanic Time Warner Cable) is also known as Charter Communications.  CLICK HERE for Spectrum’s e-mail and U.S. mail addresses.
  2. Share your letter. To help ensure that all your voices and concerns are heard, please copy the State of Hawai‘i Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) and ‘Ōlelo Community Media in your e-mail and/or U.S. mail correspondence with Spectrum.  CLICK HERE for our addresses.
  3. Spread the word.  We encourage you to show your support by sharing this image on social media.  Use it as your profile picture.  Tag @spectrum on Twitter and @getspectrum on Instagram in your post.  Invite your friends and family to help out, too.  Let’s rally together to protect our channels!
  • Severe Channel Confusion.  Instead of happening all at once, Spectrum’s channel change will be a piece-meal roll-out, neighborhood by neighborhood, one at a time.  So come February 6, ‘Ōlelo channel 49 may be unchanged for Spectrum subscribers in Kaimukī, but it could be channel 182 for subscribers in Makiki.  Furthermore, Spectrum’s new channel designations are a huge shift from established ‘Ōlelo channels that Hawaiian Telcom, the other franchised cable operator on O‘ahu, continues to carry.
  • Forced Rebranding and Crisis Communications.  Rebranding and thoroughly communicating ‘Ōlelo channel changes by February 6 is unrealistic and impractical.  The creation of new promotional materials, video spots, ads, etc., will be cost and time prohibitive.  In particular, ‘Ōlelo’s long-running Community Producers who continue to provide programming – many of whom are kūpuna – will face tremendous hardships to rebrand their programs to new channel numbers.
  • Spectrum’s Channel Slamming Will Spread to All Hawai‘i Community Access Organizations.  Should ‘Ōlelo channels be forced to relocate, Spectrum’s channel slamming will occur on the neighbor islands, affecting Nā Leo on Hawai‘i County, Akakū on Maui County, and Ho‘ike on Kaua‘i County.


  • Your Right to Communicate is at Risk.  Channel Slamming is not just a community access issue, but a communication rights issue.  Spectrum is trying to strip your access to a vital communication platform that is 100% non-commercial – a rare thing in today’s world.  Come February 6, instead of community voices at the forefront of ‘Ōlelo channels 49, 50, 52, 53, 54, and 55, Spectrum will replace these channel locations with paid programming.
  • Local Community Voices Matter.  Like all other community access organizations, “localism” is a fundamental principle of ‘Ōlelo Community Media, where thousands of hours of local content is being created by our local community media producers on a weekly basis.  Because of Spectrum’s slamming of the ‘Ōlelo channels, all of these shows will be pushed from their current channel locations into inaccessible and unfamiliar ‘wilderness’ locations on short notice, and without consultation from impacted local community media producers.
  • Government Transparency Goes Dark.  ‘Ōlelo is a lifeline for the legislature, government agencies, and public officials, enabling them to communicate timely messages, air public hearings, and capture other government programs to inform and engage civic participation – no other local channel provides this dedicated service.  Being an election year, there is more demand for programs that increase transparency in government.  Spectrum’s slamming of ‘Ōlelo channels into digital Siberia will keep you in the dark about local issues, legislation, and policies that directly impact you and your communities.
  • Media Diversity is Weakened.  The more independent communication outlets a community has, the more diversity of viewpoints presented.  The reverse is just as true.  If we let Spectrum prioritize for-profit programming over ‘Ōlelo channels, community members will no longer have a platform to amplify their voices that are within the same channel playing field as all other local and national cable networks.  Instead, community viewpoints and perspectives will be sidelined and silenced to make way for a corporate controlled media landscape.
  • No Room for Cable Bullies in the Aloha State. The removal of ‘Ōlelo channels from established locations is an example of Spectrum’s track record of cable bullying and discrimination against community media access in localities and states throughout the country.  The negative impact of these changes have been devastating for local community access centers across the nation.  Here are a few examples:
    • For at least 31 of their Wisconsin systems, Charter (known as Spectrum in Hawai‘i) pushed all community access channels from their decades-long locations, channels 1-19, to 982-994. Charter is also charging government buildings and schools a $70.00 monthly fee for cable service, plus a separate cable box fee.
    • In Los Angeles County, California, community access channels are not available to local subscribers because Charter requires the city to pay for transmitting the channels.
    • In Pasadena, California, community access programming is not on Charter’s electronic program guide due to the exorbitant fees quoted by Charter to provide this service.
    • In Rochester, Massachusetts, Charter unilaterally decided to channel slam community access channels despite the local City Council’s denial of Charter’s request to do so.
    • In Montana, the existing local franchise agreement required Charter to provide a free connection to each school. Despite this, Charter informed local school districts that the switch from analog to digital would require new digital converter boxes for every TV, ultimately costing $60,000 to $100,000 a year.

Source: White Paper on “Charter Communications, PEG Access and Other Public Service Obligations”, September 21, 2015, Alliance for Community Media.

Disclaimer: Information related to the availability, distribution, and costs of set-top boxes is based on information received from Charter’s Customer Service Department.


For more information about #NoChannelSlam, call (808) 237-2106 or email ‘Ōlelo’s Community Relations department.  

SA: Moving Olelo channels a bad idea

SA: State orders Spectrum to delay all-digital transition

Big Q: What do you think of Spectrum Cable’s plan to move public-access TV to higher channels, e.g., Olelo on Oahu from 49-54 to 182-187?


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