CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL

P. O. Box 87

Newtown, Connecticut

~ Minutes ~

Minutes of Strategic Action Committee Meeting –

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Newtown Municipal Center

Newtown, CT


A meeting of the Strategic Action Committee of the Cable Advisory Council was held on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at the Newtown Municipal Center, Newtown, Connecticut.

Chairman Gregory Davis called the meeting to order at 7:02pm.


ATTENDEES: Chairman Gregory Davis (Roxbury), Vice Chairman Mike Muttitt (Monroe), Paul Katzmark (Southbury), Bob O’Keefe (Newtown), Stephanie O’Rourke (Kent), Gene Rosen (Newtown) and Kurt Symes (Chairman of the Commission on the Aging- Newtown)


Members introduced themselves.


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 reviewed the packets.


PUBLIC INPUT

Chairman of the Newtown Commission on the Aging Kurt Symes asked questions of the committee regarding the Cable Advisory Council’s role and connection with Charter employees. There was a brief discussion of subscriber fees. Chairman Gregory Davis noted that a report regarding subscriber fees is posted on the CAC’s website at www.cableadvisorycouncil.com


ONGOING BUSINESS

Interconnection Status- Update- Chairman Gregory Davis noted that the Interconnection will be done this week.


Annual Treasury Audit Committee- the Cable Advisory Council bylaws require an audit of the treasury every year. Treasurer Paul Katzmark noted that he will find a CPA to review the CAC books.


Membership outreach Committee- Vice Chairman Mike Muttitt noted that he has put together a spreadsheet to make a mass mailing list in order to reach out to First Selectmen and Boards of Education in various towns in order to increase membership for the Cable Advisory Council.



Legislative Traction Initiatives- This is ongoing.


SAC Mission Pool updates- Chairman Gregory Davis spoke of a list of SAC Mission Pool topics that are divided into five categories. Chairman Davis noted that each time something is crossed off the list, another objective should be added. He also noted that the first priority should be the securing of the future of funding for the Designated Community Access Provicers.


NEW BUSINESS

Correspondence- Chairman Davis spoke of a letter that the Town of Roxbury received from Charter noting that the free service that the Emergency Operations Center and the schools receive will no longer be available as of September 2014. Chairman Davis and Roxbury First Selectman Barbara Henry wrote a letter to PURA on August 1st inquiring about the intent and reason for this. A response was received to the Roxbury First Selectman from Charter Director of Government Affairs Tom Cohan on August 6th noting that the reason for this is that Charter is continuing to invest in our Connecticut network.


Industry News important to Community Access Subscribers

Chairman Davis spoke of Industry News important to Community Access Subscribers. A brief discussion ensued regarding some of this news.



Chairman Report

A Secure Future for Community Access Television

Chairman Gregory Davis spoke of correspondence he has with Ruby O’Neill (wife of State Representative Arthur O’Neill) regarding having Representative O’Neill as the champion to help secure the future of community access television. Mr. Davis spoke of a transition to Over the Top Video Distribution via the internet that will dry up all the funding which supports Community Access Provider Programming and Operations. At this point, the CAC needs to convince Dr. O’Neill that there are enough stakeholders interested in this mission.


Why the Future of Community Access is at Risk

Chairman Gregory Davis spoke of reasons “Why the Future of Community Access is at Risk” and spoke of what went wrong. Mr. Davis noted that this is beneficial for potential members.


Invitation of Strategic Action Committee of the Cable Advisory Council for Area 19

Gregory Davis spoke of an invitation to stakeholders and interested citizens to attend tonight’s meeting regarding the transition to Internet and Over the Top which could cause the funding for Cable TV to dry up. Mr. Davis noted that he extended this invitation to Tom Sholtes at PURA. Chairman Davis noted that he had a telephone conversation with Mr. Sholtes and gave his position on this transition. According to this telephone conversation, Mr. Sholtes believes that the transition will be very slow and there will be plenty of time for the bundled cable package business models to react.


PURA Points of View

Chairman Davis spoke of an email correspondence that he had with Tom Sholtes at PURA. Mr. Davis asked: Is a CT CVFA or CCFA license holder required to collect community access subscriber fees from customers who ONLY subscribe to Internet service? Mr. Sholtes responded: No, internet is unregulated. Mr. Davis responded: Should PURA revisit the DPUC created Advisory Council Seat. Mr. Sholtes responded: PURA doesn’t make legislation.


Electronic communication to Gregory Davis from Kevin Burns

Gregory Davis noted that CAC member Kevin Burns was unable to attend tonight’s meeting but sent an email with two important points that he wanted noted:


Legislative Initiatives

Gregory Davis gave a list of ideas that need legislative help. These are Legislative Initiatives to Preserve the Institution of Community Access. The Strategic Access Committee spoke of these initiatives and how they can be implemented.


Mr. Davis noted that the most important of these initiatives is- “Any CVFA or CCFA license holder will collect a fee from each subscriber exclusively for the support of the designated community access provider in licensed territory. The fee will be annually set by the PURA in the annual community access support review.”


Statewide Video Advisory Council

Gregory Davis noted that the next SVAC meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 20th. The Statewide Advisory Council is made up of representatives from all 24 Regions. Chairman Davis will attend this meeting and will invite the representatives from each of the other 23 Regions to bring their State Representative to the next SVAC meeting. It was decided to invite Arthur O’Neill to the next Cable Advisory Council meeting in September.

Open Forum- None


ADJOURNMENT:

Gregory Davis made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:46pm- All in favor


Cable Advisory Council Strategic Action Committee

08-12-14

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