CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL
Minutes of Strategic Action Committee Meeting –
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Newtown Municipal Center
A meeting of the Strategic Action Committee of the Cable Advisory Council was held on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at the Newtown Municipal Center, Newtown, Connecticut.
Chairman Gregory Davis called the meeting to order at 7:02pm.
ATTENDEES: Chairman Gregory Davis (Roxbury), Carmella Amodeo (Newtown), Kevin Burns (Newtown), Jim Lang (Trumbull), George Linkletter (Sherman), Mike Muttitt (Monroe) and Bob O’Keefe (Newtown)
The purpose of the Strategic Action Committee is to guide the chairman and to determine roles and responsibilities of the Advisory Council and how to better serve subscribers.
Chairman Gregory Davis provided the committee with an agenda for tonight’s meeting.
PUBLIC INPUT- None
Soundview vs. PURA
Gregory Davis spoke about an email regarding Soundview vs. PURA. Mike Muttitt spoke of a 64 page judgment in favor of PURA stating that Cable Advisory Councils still exist even though Cable Vision switched their charters. It is anticipated that Soundview will appeal this decision.
Chairman Gregory Davis thanked Kevin Burns for all his hard work and contribution to this decision.
Joint Application of a Change of Control
Gregory Davis spoke of PURA Docket 14-01-46 dealing with Interconnection and noted that Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen was named as an Intervener in this docket.
Gregory Davis read a draft letter from the Cable Advisory Council to Nicholas E. Neeley, Acting Executive Secretary, PURA. The summary of this letter is that given that the control of ATT U-Verse is about to change, this docket is the opportunity to rule that interconnection MUST be established between U-Verse and the legacy Cable Company Sponsored Community Access providers in order to allow the change of ownership.
Gregory Davis read a draft letter to Kathleen Quinn Abernathy at Frontier explaining the lack of interconnection between Charter and AT&T suggesting that this interconnection be accomplished before the change of ownership. There was a discussion regarding the tone of the letter and it was decided that it should have a nicer tone. Council members gave suggestions for the letter. Gregory Davis will revise the draft letter. The final letter will be copied to Maggie Wilderotter (Chairman and CEO at Frontier), Daniel McCarthy (President and COO of Frontier), Brigid Smith (AVP, Corporate Communications at Frontier) and Tom Cohan (Director of Government Relations, Charter Communications).
Lowest Cost Basic Service Tier
Gregory Davis spoke of a decision made at the last Cable Advisory Council meeting where the Advisory Council will help Charter Communications promote the availability of the lowest cost Basic Service Tier in the Towns of PURA area 19. The council members spoke of the tone of the letter and the obligation of Charter to promote the lowest basic price. It was noted that basic cable cannot be ordered online and the lowest price was difficult to find on the website. The main objective of this council is to let people know that this is an option. It was noted that customers must demand the lower price and it will not be readily offered to them when they call.
It was decided that a letter from the Advisory Council will be sent to the various First Selectmen and Senior Center Directors asking for their help in promoting the Basic Tier. Chairman Gregory Davis will post this to the website where council members can change to send to their respective First Selectmen and Senior Center Directors.
Gregory Davis spoke of “cord cutting” and MVPD (Multiple Video programming distributors) and noted that many customers will give up cable and use the internet for TV viewing in the near future. There was a discussion of the future of Community Access.
Gregory Davis spoke of streaming media and the conversion to OTT (Over the Top). This refers to the shift from paid TV to television being delivered on the internet. An example of this is Netflix. Gregory Davis spoke of the “cord never generation” and noted that this might enable channel by channel options and flexibility of programming. Mike Muttitt spoke of the cord never generation, the flexibility of programming and subscriber fees. There was a discussion of what needs to be done to continue funding for Community Access and if there is a benefit to providing Community Access online.
The council spoke of the time frame and legislative action. It was noted that 2015 is a budget year and thus 2016 would be the optimal year to concentrate on getting this done. Gregory Davis spoke of getting legislators to support Community Access.
Open Forum- None
Gregory Davis made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:21pm- All in favor
Cable Advisory Council Strategic Action Committee