Frequently Asked Questions

What is WilliNet?

WilliNet is a 501(3)(c) nonprofit, public access tv station broadcasting (technically cablecasting) on Spectrum channels 1302 & 1303 in the municipality of Williamstown, MA.

Our mission is to provide the citizens of Williamstown free access to video technology & training, to show town government proceedings, school committee business, community events and to distribute locally created & sponsored programming. WilliNet serves as an avenue of free speech for the people of Williamstown to communicate, educate, and entertain.

WilliNet is a community media resource offering free instruction in all aspects of video production. Local residents can borrow cameras & equipment the same way the library loans books. Regional non-profit organizations and individuals are encouraged to produce studio programs and share announcements on our community bulletin board.

Volunteers welcome!

Who can check-out/borrow cameras, microphones, receive equipment & editing training, produce studio programs—all for FREE?

All local residents, young or old, experienced or novice.

All local non-profit and cultural institutions, including our schools & library.

Our experienced staff will help get you started.

Come visit our studio at 34 Spring Street (we’re located between Mad Macs & Goodman’s Jewelers, entrance is the glass doors with all the posters, up the stairs). Or email us at: [email protected]

Do I have to be a member?

No. WilliNet is not a membership organization.

Are there any program/show content restrictions?

Only these:

• No commercials or advertising
• No libel or slander
• No obscenity and pornography
• No violation of copyrights, publicity rights, or invasion of privacy
• No violations of FCC regulations
• No violations of any local, state, or federal law

How Many People Watch WilliNet?

We have no way to measure the exact number of TV viewers, but we do know there are approximately 2500 households in Williamstown and there are approximately 2000 TV subscribers. We can’t be sure they all watch WilliNet!

People watch WilliNet programs all over the planet via our website willinet.org! We have no way to measure the exact number of online viewers, however we do know that our MailChimp email newsletters with links to our online programs have been opened in over 30 countries, including Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Russia, Rwanda, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, UK.

How is WilliNet funded?

75% of WilliNet’s funding is provided by a cable access fee collected by Spectrum from their Williamstown cable TV subscribers. Federal law requires cable companies to pay municipalities for their profit-making use of a town’s ‘public rights of way’ to run their cables on poles & in underground conduits within the municipality. Spectrum is contractually obligated to the town of Williamstown to pay up to 5% of its gross cable TV revenue toward the purpose of funding local public, education & government access television. Williamstown has an operating agreement with WilliNet to fulfill that function.

25% of WilliNet’s funding comes from community support:

• YOU via our annual fundraising campaign, (including The WilliNet Challenge)
• Local sponsors & business underwriters
• Local grants, including a Mary and Henry Flynt Grant from the Williamstown Community Chest; the Fund for Williamstown; Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire.

Do my tax dollars support WilliNet?

No. WilliNet is not a Williamstown municipal department. WilliNet is not part of the town budget. There is no budget line item devoted to funding WilliNet.

Who runs WilliNet?

WilliNet is a non-profit 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated in 1994 by a group of committed citizens led by Russ Carpenter who saw WilliNet as an opportunity for the community to engage with itself civically, creatively, culturally. WilliNet is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who meet monthly at the WilliNet studios. A small, dedicated staff oversees the day-to-day operation.

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