CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL
Minutes of Public Regular Meeting –
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 10, 2011 by Chairman Jim Lang at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.
ATTENDEES: George Fletcher (New Milford), Gregory Davis (Roxbury), Jim Lang (Trumbull), Carl Braun (Woodbury)
From Charter: Tom Cohan (Gov’t Relations), Greg Van Antwerp (Community Access), Heidi Vandenbrouch (Public Relations)
PUBLIC INPUT: None
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Lang made a motion to accept the March 8, 2011 minutes as presented. All in favor.
Carl Braun gave his report: total of $20,981.74 between checking account, money market and CD. Motion to accept with one correction; the interest on the Money Market account was estimated. Fletcher approved, seconded by Davis, unanimous.
CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS REPORT.
Charter’s 2010 Annual Report for Western CT was filed with the CT DPUC at the end of April and is available to view on line at www.charter.com.
The Connecticut Legislature has been in session, which will conclude on June 8th. Some of the topics include licensing of cable technicians and contractors, telephone and VoIP deregulation and annual review of video providers by the DPUC.
The DPUC issued a draft report on March 14 indicating the per customer annual payments to support Community Access is going up from $7.19 to $7.30 for 2011. This draft report also requires that AT&T begin paying fees in the same amount as each cable provider in the areas it serves, which is collected and escrowed until there is an interconnect agreement with the community access provider, however, the DPUC is still debating reversing this decision. In this draft, AT&T would pay these funds to local Advisory Councils and will decide how to distribute such funds for community access use, except the funds cannot be used for employees’ salaries. These funds are to be paid by AT&T by June 30th. The Advisory Council will be required to file annual reports by January 31 on how these funds were distributed in the prior calendar year. Once there is an agreement in place, the AT&T funds will be paid directly to the community access provider, which in this case would be Charter.
Heidi explained that Charter is now offering a Cloud Drive, which will back up all music, photos, videos, and document files. The cost of this is $5.00 if the customer has high speed internet, or $10.00 for slower speed internet.
There were 59 edit sessions conducted for a total of 161 hours; the studio was signed out 17 times for a total of 26 hours; there were 16 field equipment loans, and in all 53 new shows were produced.
The current internship began on January 27 with an orientation session. The next internship will begin on June 2.
There were 5 truck shoots for the month of April, which is an increase because there were only 12 truck shoots in total for last year.
David said that there is a new customer to Charter who moved to Southbury, and was upset that he can’t see any Red Sox games, which are not broadcast on NESN. Tom commented that there is a high expense to carry certain games which are out of the NESN network.
Fletcher also reiterated the fact that there are still blackouts, sound issues, and pixel problems on some cable channels. When he speaks to a customer service representative from Charter about this, they suggest unplugging the cable box to reboot it, but does not solve the issue. Davis said that he had just e-mailed Tim Noonan this morning about this issue, and will wait for a response. He continues to think that because of the new software that Charter has upgraded to, the old cable boxes aren’t compatible.
Lang read a letter sent by Mitch Chester from Woodbury. He wrote that on February 17, he received a call from a Charter Communications sales person asking to sign up for a 24 month program enhancing his television, phone, and internet access without additional costs. However, the next billing cycle reflected a change in price for phone service; from $19.99 per month to $36.76 per month. He also noted that his internet speed was reduced. He spoke to 2 different customer service representatives to help “undo” the new arrangement, and as of the date of the letter, Mitch has not noticed a difference. He is very unhappy with Charter, and says he will shop around for new service providers.
Davis attended the statewide video board meeting last month to try to find out what 5 other entities are receiving funding from AT&T. There are 24 cable advisory committees in Connecticut, and AT&T has been collecting the funds, which might be redistributed back to each council for community access. Davis said that the government relations director for AT&T did not want to state what 5 other entities are receiving funding from them.
The meeting was unanimously adjourned at: 8:17 PM. Respectfully submitted by: Tiffany Wolfe, Recording Secretary.
NEXT MEETING: July 12, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
~ 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
Cable Advisory Council
Regular Meeting Minutes, Tuesday, May 10, 2011 Page