CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL

P. O. Box 87

Newtown, Connecticut

~ Minutes ~

Minutes of Public Regular Meeting –

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Newtown, CT


There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:02 p.m., Tuesday, May 14, 2013 by Chairman Gregory Davis at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.


ATTENDEES: Chairman Gregory Davis (Roxbury), Carmella Amodeo (Newtown), Douglas Branson (Kent), Carl Braun (Woodbury), Ken Cornet (Washington), George Fletcher (New Milford), Jonathan Gibney (Brookfield), Ray Juskiewicz (New Fairfield), Karen Kirk (Southbury), Jim Lang (Trumbull), Stephanie O’Rourke (Kent), Gene Rosen (Newtown), Bernie Scheidt (Southbury-Alternate for Paul Katzmark) and Ken Swain (Bridgewater)


From Charter: Greg Van Antwerp (Public Access), and Heidi Vandenbrouch (Public Relations)


ROLL CALL: Chairman Gregory Davis called the meeting to order at 7:02pm. Council members introduced themselves. The board went over the packets with meeting documents.


PUBLIC INPUT: None


SERVICE PROVIDER REPORTS:

Heidi Vandenbrouck: Public Relations and Communications Manager Heidi Vandenbrouck spoke of the Operations report and what was happening at Charter as well as, Digital Migration. CBS on Demand was launched and it is hopeful that caller ID on TV will be available by the end of the year.


Greg Van Antwerp:

TREASURER’S REPORT:

Treasurer Carl Braun read the following Treasurer’s report. The checking account balance is $4,925.66, the money market account balance is $6,160.90 and the 12 month CD has a balance of $13,518.12 for a total of assets at $24,604.68.


George Fletcher made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report as presented. Bernie Scheidt seconded the motion.

Vote: All in favor

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


OLD BUSINESS

March meeting minutes- Jim Lang made a motion to approve the minutes of the March 12, 2013 council meeting with the amendment that in the approval of the January 8, 2013 meeting, it should be noted that Stephanie O’Rourke was present. Bernie Scheidt seconded the motion.

Vote: All in favor


April Strategic Action Committee meeting- The council went over the SAC minutes from April 9, 2013.


Statewide Video Advisory Council minutes- Chairman Davis included the minutes from the February 27, 2013 Statewide Video Advisory Council meeting as information.


COUNCIL CHAIRMAN REPORT

PEGPETIA Grant Applications review

Chairman Davis spoke of the PEGPETIA Grant which can be used to purchase technology equipment to create programming for Education, Governmental and Community programming. Chairman Davis noted that entities can apply for a grant up to four times a year for new equipment and encouraged council members to talk to their schools and towns regarding this. Ray Juskiewicz explained the process for this application. Jim Lang noted that Trumbull Assistant Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gary Cialfi has offered to help organizations with the paperwork for this grant if desired.


Chairman Davis noted that Region 12 School District recently received a PEGPETIA grant in the amount of $127,270.00.


Statewide Video Advisory Council Meeting Report- April 24, 2013

Chairman Davis spoke of the Statewide Video Advisory Council held on April 24th and specifically spoke of Interconnection. Mr. Davis noted that Kinson Perry (AT&T Representative), Ed Pizzella (Chair of the SVAC Legislative committee) and Stephen Simonin (Chair of the Technology committee) did not attend the meeting or submit any reports. Copies of the minutes from the February 2013 SVAC meeting were provided to the council in the document pack.


Chairman Davis noted that the Western Government Access Channel representative Don Salzman has resigned from the SVAC and has been replaced by Jim Cameron, Program Director for TV79, Darien Government Access. Mr. Davis noted that a discussion with Mr. Cameron revealed that TV79 declined to interconnect with AT&T because of specific issues with the AT&T interconnect contract terms and conditions.


Interconnect Status Report

Chairman Davis noted that he did receive a report from Kinson Perry regarding Interconnection and noted that Mr. Perry reported that interconnection is already in place for Monroe, New Fairfield and Trumbull and completed channel surveys are received from New Milford, Brookfield and Region 12. A survey needs to be done for Newtown, Woodbury and Sherman. U-verse in not offered in Barkhamsted, Colebrook, Harwinton or New Hartford. Mr. Davis noted that the annual subscriber fee collected by Charter Communications and AT&T for the operational support of the Designated Community Access Provider in PURA map area 19 is $7.65.


Mr. Davis spoke of the Annual Community Access Support Review Final Decision issued May 1, 2013 and spoke of an exception to the final decision filed by the Cable Advisory Council noting that active members are being denied their right to view programming for which they have paid for from their Designated Community Access Provider and submits that PURA should investigate this denial and order the interconnection.


Review of prior Cable Advisory Council Actions to promote interconnection

Chairman Davis spoke of motions filed by the Cable Advisory Council to provide interconnections:

  1. CWAC Motion-R19CAC-12-11-13-M2 Access Interconnect

  2. CWAC Motion-R19CAC-12-09-11-M4 Access Interconnect

  3. November 5, 2012-PURA Response to Cable Advisory Council Motion.

Chairman Davis has provided a summary of the Interconnection process to date:

  1. The Authority agrees that citizens of Connecticut that have selected AT&T are being denied their right to view the designated Community Access provider programming for which they have paid.

  2. The Authority agrees that lack of interconnection directly comprises the duties as specified in the CT General Statutes for AT&T customers and that this is a legitimate legal issue.

  3. The Authority notes that they are on standby to be the facilitator of the interconnect negotiation and encourages interconnection.


NEW BUSINESS

CAP Interconnect

Chairman Davis spoke of the possibility of the Council sending a letter to Dr. Andrew House of PURA requesting assistance with an interconnect agreement between Charter and AT&T.


Jim Lang made a motion to send a letter to Charter Communication recommending that they ask PURA for help in the Interconnection negotiations. Carl Braun seconded the motion.

Vote: All in favor


Annual CAP Report Filing

Chairman Davis spoke of the possibility of sending a letter to Charter regarding the CAP report filing which reminds Charter that the CAP report must be filed no later than February 15, 2014 and a document number should be included on the page. Jim Lang suggested that Charter follow-up with PURA to make sure that the report is received.


Ken Cornet made a motion that the Cable Advisory Council send a letter to Charter regarding the CAP report filing. George Fletcher seconded the motion.

Vote: All in favor- except Carmella Amodeo and Ray Juskiewicz who abstained


Recognize Charter for support of CTV-21/CTV-13

Chairman Davis spoke of an analysis that he did that concludes that Charter Communications continues to be a very strong, active, and substantial supporter of Community Access Provider Operations and he would like the Council to acknowledge that.


Jim Lang made a motion that the Cable Advisory Council recognizes and commends Charter Communications for their continued commitment to excellent support for Community Vision 21 and CTV13, the designated community access providers in PURA area 19. Bernie Scheidt seconded the motion.

Vote: All in favor


Legislative Traction

Chairman Davis spoke of a motion previously made by the council to recommend that the Telecommunications Modernization Act include more modern subscriber choices and specifically suggested a Sports Heavy package, a Sports Free package or an A’La Carter program option beyond the basic tier for cable customers. This motion was submitted to the Energy & Technology subcommittee of the CT Legislature and also distributed via email to all House Representatives for PURA area R19 towns and the SVAC legislative committee.


The results were that the Energy & Technology committee entered the document as Public Hearing Testimony but took no action to link the motion to HB6402 and passed the bill onward with a Joint Favorable report to the Legislative Commissioners office. There were no responses from any House Representatives and no action from the SVAC legislative committee.


Nominations-Elections of Council Officers and appointments

Chairman Davis spoke of the nominations of officers for the term beginning July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.


Ray Juskiewicz made a motion to approve the following slate of officers. Ken Cornet seconded the motion.

Vote: All in favor

Appointments


Strategic Action- Executive Committee meeting

The next SAC meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 11th at 7:00pm at the Newtown Municipal Center.


Council Investigation Project

Chairman Davis asked the members of the Advisory Committee to review for the next meeting- “What is basic cable and what does it cost customers”? This will be discussed at the next Council meeting in July.


OPEN FORUM

George Fletcher asked about the possibility of recording the Advisory Council meetings. Public Relations Manager Heidi Vandenbrouch will look into this.


Jim Lang suggested asking a technical person from Charter to attend a future meeting.


At the March Advisory Council meeting, Tom Cohan spoke of the possibility of changing the Cable Advisory Council schedule to have quarterly meetings (4 a year) instead of the scheduled six. The council noted that they will take this under advisement at the next meeting. Since this was not discussed at the May meeting, it was noted that this will be discussed at the next meeting in July.


ADJOURNMENT

Ray Juskiewicz made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:47pm.

Vote: All in favor


Cable Advisory Council Regular Meeting Minutes, Tuesday, May 14, 2013

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