CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL

lP. O. Box 87

Newtown, Connecticut

·~ Minutes ~

lMinutes of Public Regular Meeting –

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Newtown, CT

 

There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 8, 2011 by Chairman Jim Lang at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.

 

ATTENDEES: Stephanie O’Rourke (Kent), Ray Juskiewicz (New Fairfield), George Fletcher (New Milford), Carmella Amodeo (Newtown), Eugene Rosen (Newtown), Gregory Davis (Roxbury), George Linkletter (Sherman), Jim Lang (Trumbull), Donna Cassidy (Trumbull), Carl Braun (Woodbury).

From Charter: Greg Van Antwerp (Community Access), Tim Noonan (Ops)

 

PUBLIC INPUT:   None

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Three corrections were made to the November 9 minutes; changing “new registrar name for the Cable Advisory Council” to “new registrar for the Cable Advisory Council.”  Changing “There is a statewide video council, who are made up of members of the advisory boards for each town” to “Additionally, there is a statewide video council, comprised of members appointed by the cable advisory council from each CT cable franchise system.”  In addition, the word “games” was incorrectly spelled.  All in favor.

l 
lTREASURER’S REPORT:

Carl Braun gave his report:  total of $21,219.17 between checking account, money market and CD.  Motion to accept, unanimous.

 

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS REPORT.

Tom Cohan was absent from the meeting, but his report was given to Greg.

·There is an increase in the Broadcast TV Surcharge of $1.31, and a reduction in the cost for unreturned equipment.

·The FCC issued an Open Internet Order on December 21, 2010.  The following rules are outlined as follows:

-Transparency-broadband providers must disclose, network manage practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms

-No blocking- may not block lawful content, applications, services or non-harmful devices

-No unreasonable discrimination- fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate when transmitting lawful internet content.  Wireless providers cannot block access to sites or competing applications

-All of the above requirements and prohibitions are subject to reasonable network management practices and applicability varies slightly based on wireline or wireless internet access.

·The Governor is proposing folding the CT DPUC under a new, larger state department of Energy and the Environment.

·Tom attended the Trumbull Access group meeting with the CT DPUC commissioners and staff, along with state legislators who represent Trumbull to discuss financing options for the Channel 17 Educational Access.  Please see the following New Business for a complete discussion.

Greg:

·Greg gave a 2010 year end public access report.  There were 396 edit sessions conducted for a total of 1,184.5 hours.  The studio was signed out 61 times for a total of 135 hours.  There were 74 equipment loans.  In all, there were 278 new programs produced in 2010.

·The winter internship began on January 28 with 18 new members participating.

·Interns are now being interviewed at the start of their internship.  There are now 50 credit hours that are needed in order to receive a certificate.

·There are now commercials promoting Community Access.

 

CORRESPONDENCE:

·Davis brought up the fact that there is a new menu guide for Charter cable customers.  He is now experiencing issues with the pixels.  The sound and the audio are not coinciding with each other.  This seems to be an issue with other council members as well.  Noonan said there are no software or network issues, and suggested the problem could be specific to the home or neighborhood.  He also offered to send someone out to the home in order to correct this issue.  Amodeo asks what the issue is, because so many people are having this problem.  Noonan was not sure, but said he would check into it.

·O’Rourke commented that the guide is running slower than the previous guide (before the switchover).

·Cassidy commented that the dvr recording time was easier to change in the previous system.

·Lang wanted to remind council members that when someone has an issue, to email Noonan and he will respond quickly.

 

OLD BUSINESS: 

·The newspaper article was dismissed because Joe Hurley was no longer a council member.

·At the last meeting, Van Antwerp was asked to get contact information for members to put on Community Access television.  The council members did not want their names or contact information on Community Access.  Amodeo made a motion to put something on Community Access saying there is a Charter Cable Advisory Council, and to people may contact their local first selectman to find their town representative.  All approved.  Van Atwerp was asked to put this on community access, and the council will review it at the next meeting.

 

NEW BUSINESS:  

·The Trumbull Access group held two meetings with the CT DPUC commissioners and staff, along with state legislators who represent Trumbull, to discuss financing options for Channel 17.  Tom Cohan, Charter’s Government Affairs Liaison attended the second meeting.  It was noted that the Channel 17 Educational Access is very valuable, and Lang said staff would be expanded to provide for production and editing of recordings, because townspeople would like captions and editing on the educational channel.

·Amodeo asked that if Charter helped to fund educational channels, then would money for this funding be added onto each customer’s bill.  She asked if AT&T and Dish customers would have to pay for this as well.

·Cassidy moved; “Whereas Charter Communication is required by franchise agreement to offer an educational channel in each town served and whereas an educational channel provides unique local programming which enhances the value of the Charter product now therefore Charter Communications should assist in funding operational costs of the educational channel.  The advisory council requests that Charter provide a proposed plan for providing such funding exclusive of Charter funding at the May 2011 meeting.”  Davis seconded.

·Cohen was absent, but gave a written statement that the Trumbull committee will seek the opinion for the Advisory Council members whether channel 21 funding should be reduced in order to provide funding for the educational channels.  Lang said that the Trumbull motion did not suggest reduced funding for Channel 21.  The council agreed that because Cohan was not present at this meeting, he could not defend his statements.

·Linkletter moved to amend the motion, seconded by Juskiewicz, to exclude current channel 21 funding for public access funding from Charter’s response.  The amendment passed: 5 approved, 3 opposed, 1 abstained.

·A vote was called.  The main motion failed: 7 opposed, 1 approved (Cassidy), 1 abstained. 

 

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting was unanimously adjourned at: 9:15 PM.  Respectfully submitted by:  Tiffany Wolfe, Recording Secretary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEXT MEETING: May 10, 2011 at Charter Communications offices in Newtown at 7:00 PM. 

PLEASE CONTACT JIM LANG IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND AT: 203-377-1747 or email jim@imaginationworks.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

·~ 2011 Meeting Dates ~

Tuesday, January 11, 2011- cancelled

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011