CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL

P. O. Box 87

Newtown, Connecticut

~ Minutes ~

Minutes of Public Regular Meeting –

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Newtown, CT

 

There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 13, 2012 by Chairman Jim Lang at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.

 

ATTENDEES:  Chairman Jim Lang (Trumbull) Carl Braun (Woodbury), Donna Cassidy (Trumbull), Ray Juskiewicz (New Fairfield), Bob Bell (New Fairfield), Gregory Davis (Roxbury), Jonathan Gibney (Brookfield), Eugene Rosen (Newtown), George Fletcher (New Milford), George Linkletter (Sherman), Tom Joyner (Sherman)   From Charter: Tom Cohan (Director of Government Relations), Greg Van Antwerp (Public Access), and Heidi Vandenbrouch (Public Relations)

 

PUBLIC INPUT:   Chairman Lang introduced John Annick, Chairman of the Advisory Council for Trumbull who spoke of the Alliance for Community Media which is a national organization devoted to PEG.  Mr. Annick will forward some information regarding this organization to the secretary for distribution to the rest of the board.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Donna Cassidy made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 10, 2012 meeting as presented.  Tom Joyner seconded the motion.  Vote: 10-0-0 (Motion approved)

 

TREASURER’S REPORT:

Treasurer Carl Braun reported that Checking account current balance is $3,106.88. The Money Market balance is $6,157.31.  The 12-month CD balance is $13,437.00 with total assets equaling $22,700.99

 

Ray Juskiewicz made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report as presented.  Donna Cassidy seconded the motion.  Vote: 10-0-0 (Motion approved)

(Treasurer’s report attached to the minutes of this meeting)

 

COMMUNICATIONS- Chairman Jim Lang noted that John Bell has resigned from the board and thanked him for his service.

 

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS REPORT:

Donna Cassidy spoke of the speed of her internet at her home.  She noted that she was paying for high speed internet but her modem did not support this speed.  Her concern was that there may be customers that are paying for high speed but may not have the modem to support it and thus paying for services that they are not receiving.  Tom Cohan from Charter will check into this further.

Gene Rosen noted that he received an e-mail from a subscriber that has been trying to get Charter installed since August.  Tom Cohan noted he will ask Tim Noonan to follow up with this.

 

Stephanie O’Rourke spoke of a subscriber in her neighborhood having problems with their internet that was told that the whole cable would need to be replaced.  Once the cable was dug up outside it was noted that it was fixed inside.  Chairman Lang noted that the contractor should have checked before digging up the ground.

 

Donna Cassidy noted that she has heard from a lot of subscribers that they have noticed a nice change when calling and customer service has improved.

 

Update on outage map for Charter

It was suggested at a prior meeting that Charter put an outage map on their website similar to that of CL&P to keep subscribers informed during an outage.  Tom Cohan noted that this has been passed on to customer care and will let the council know if there is any update on this.

 

Details of January Internship;

Greg Van Antwerp noted that there are nine new interns in the program.  The interns are encouraged to produce their own production.  Three mobile truck productions were done recently.  There will be another internship in May and applications are available online via the website.  Mr. Van Antwerp passed out the 2011 Annual Report for review.

 

Customer Experience Transformation

Heidi Vandenbrouch spoke of the Customer Experience Transformation and noted that they have received excellent feedback regarding this program and customer service has improved greatly.  On March 12th Charter launched “All In Customer Guarantee” which is an extension of the Customer Experience Transformation. 

 

OLD BUSINESS: 

Discussion of recent storm outages and Charter compliance

Tom Cohan noted that Charter complied with Section 20 with regard to storm outages.  Subscribers were required to call to inform how long they were out and will receive a refund.  Customers are notified about this policy on their bill.

 

Progress on Charter providing PEG channels to AT&T UVerse

Tom Cohan noted that Charter is waiting for AT&T to provide communications lines in order to get this started.  Chairman Lang asked about Charter taking a more proactive role in this.  There was a discussion of sending a letter to PURA from CAC.  Jim Lang explained that DPUC did not want the communities to have competing government, public access and educational channels on different providers and that it would be better if they had a common signal.  DPUC required AT&T and the Cable companies to work it out among themselves. 

 

Gregory Davis made a motion that the Cable Television Advisory Council for Charter Communications of Western Connecticut requests a report from the company concerning the lack of interconnection of the Designated Community Access Provider program channel with certified competitive video service providers.  Gene Rosen seconded the motion.  Vote: 10-0-0 (Motion approved)

There was a lengthy discussion regarding the reason of the lack of interconnection. 

Gregory Davis made a motion that after careful consideration, the Charter Cable Advisory Council submit the following letter to the open docket 12-01-08 for the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Annual Community Access Support review, in response to the issues raised in the draft letter composed by Chairman Lang.  George Linkletter seconded the motion. (Gregory Davis read the letter into the record)

Tom Joyner made a motion to amend the previous motion to strike the reference to specific source of revenue from the letter proposed by Gregory Davis.  Donna Cassidy seconded the motion.

Vote to amend motion: 9-1-0 (Motion approved- Gregory Davis opposed)

Vote on letter as amended: 7-1-2 (Motion approved- Tom Joyner opposed, Bob Bell and Jonathan Gibney abstained)

Chairman Jim Lang withdrew his letter in lieu of Gregory Davis’ letter.

George Linkletter made a motion that the council send the same letter that is sent to Charter be sent to AT&T.  Gregory Davis seconded the motion.  Vote: 10-0-0 (Motion approved)

Recommendations of Technical enhancements from Tom Joyner

It was decided that this will be tabled until the next regular meeting.

 

NEW BUSINESS:  

Ray Juskiewicz made a motion to extend the term of Gregory Davis to the Statewide Video Advisory Council from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014.  Donna Cassidy seconded the motion.  Vote: 10-0-0 (Motion approved)

 

Chairman Lang noted that the council by-laws state that the officer terms begin July 1st and thus the vote for officers needs to be redone.

 

Gregory Davis made a motion to restore calendar synchronization with PURA recommendation by nominating council positions at the May 2012 meeting with an election to be held at the July 2012 meeting.  Donna Cassisdy seconded the motion. 

Vote: 10-0-0 (Motion approved)

 

Charter Advisory Council Grant

Treasurer Carl Braun made a motion that the council offer a grant of $2,000 each to five public, parochial and private schools for video programming equipment of supplies.  Ray Juskiewicz seconded the motion. 

 

Tom Joyner made a motion to amend the previous motion to strike private and parochial schools.  Donna Cassidy seconded the motion.

 

There was a discussion of whether or not private and parochial should be included in this proposal.  It was decided that the council will look into this further and discuss at the next meeting.  The motions were withdrawn.

 

Discussion of government channels

There was a discussion of whether Charter should make available a local government channel.  There was a discussion of the feasibility of this.

 

Gregory Davis made a motion to that the council open a docket for a PURA decision on local government channel connection and channel space allocation should be considered when time slot availability proves to be insufficient on currently available Education and Community Access channels.  Donna Cassidy seconded the motion.  Vote: 9-0-1 (Motion approved- Ray Juskiewicz abstained)

 

Carl Braun asked for an update on this for the next meeting.

 

P.O. Box

Chairman Jim Lang spoke of the P.O. Box and noted that mail doesn’t get picked up very often and some of the mail is time critical.  Mr. Lang suggested that mail be routed to his home address instead of the P.O. Box.

 

Gregory Davis made a motion that the Cable Advisory Council has a PO Box routing of official communications, established for over a decade of multiple council chairman administrations, and should remain the institution of official Council Correspondence.  Tom Joyner seconded the motion.  Vote: 10-0-0 (Motion approved)

 

It was decided that Greg Van Antwerp from Charter and his staff will check the P.O. Box on a regular basis and forward mail to Chairman Lang.  Mr. Lang thanked Charter for offering to do this.

 

By-laws

Chairman Jim Lang suggested that the council hold a special meeting to go over necessary business.  It was decided that the business can wait until the next regularly scheduled meeting on May 8th.

 

Gregory Davis noted that there should be a review of the bylaws.  This review needs to be done at a special meeting.

 

Gregory Davis made a motion to that the council hold a special meeting concurrently with the next regular meeting scheduled for May 8th for the purpose of amending the bylaws.  Gene Rosen seconded the motion.  Vote: 10-0-0

 

Chairman Lang appointed Gregory Davis, Carl Braun, Stephanie O’Rourke and Donna Cassidy to the by-laws committee.

 

ADJOURNMENT:

Ray Juskiewicz made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:22pm- Vote 10-0-0 (Motion approved)

 

 

ATTACHMENT:

 

Main Motion as passed 13 March 2012 by Charter NW Cable Advisory Council for submission to CT PURA:

 

Charter Communications CT -Western Cable Advisory Council Motion

 

For Submission to CT PURA Open Docket 12-01-08

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Annual Community Access Support Review

 

The Cable Television Advisory Council for Charter Communications of Western Connecticut endorses the original intent and spirit of the CGS 16-331a which requires PEG Subscriber Fee Collection to support the operations and mission of the Designated Community Access Provider.

 

SUPPORTING ARGUMENTS:

 

THE  CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL HAS AN IMPORTANT DUTY TO PROMOTE AND PROTECT THE MISSION OF THE DESIGNATED COMMUNITY ACCESS PROVIDER.

 

    REF: CT General Statutes16-331a Community access programming and operations. Subsections (b) & (j).

 

THE DESIGNATED  COMMUNITY ACCESS PROVIDER SERVICES ALL TOWNS IN A MULTI-TOWN FRANCHISE AREA

 

    REF: CT General Statutes16-331a Community access programming and operations. Subsection (d)

 

SUBSCRIBER FEES ARE SPECIFICALLY ALLOCATED TO THE OPERATION OF THE DESIGNATED  COMMUNITY ACCESS PROVIDER

 

    REF: CT General Statutes16-331a Community access programming and operations. Subsection (k)

 

SUBSCRIBER FEES COLLECTED BY STATEWIDE VIDEO PROVIDERS ARE ALSO SPECIFICALLY ALLOCATED TO THE OPERATION OF THE DESIGNATED  COMMUNITY ACCESS PROVIDER

 

    REF: CT General Statutes16-331a Community access programming and operations. Subsection (m)

 

A Legal Procedure exists to Challenge or become the Designated Community Access Provider.

 

    REF: CT General Statutes16-331a Community access programming and operations. Subsection (c)

 

 

Charter Communications Cable Advisory Council Concluding Opinion

 

The Designated Community Access Provider is funded entirely by Subscriber Fees collected by Cable Franchise Certificate Holders and Video Provider Certificate Holders.

 

Educational channel program production is properly managed by its respective Board of Education.

 

Government channel program production is properly managed by its respective government entity.