CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL

P. O. Box 87

Newtown, Connecticut

~ Minutes ~

Minutes of Public Regular Meeting –

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Newtown, CT

 

There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:04 p.m., Tuesday, May 13, 2014 by Chairman Gregory Davis at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.

 

ATTENDEES:  Chairman Gregory Davis (Roxbury), Douglas Branson (Kent), Kevin Burns (Newtown), Ray Juskiewicz (New Fairfield), Paul Katzmark (Southbury), Lindsay Kelkres (Southbury), George Linkletter (Sherman), Mike Muttitt (Monroe), and Stephanie O’Rourke (Kent)

 

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

 

ROLL CALL: Chairman Gregory Davis reviewed the packets for tonight’s meeting. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT:  None

 

SERVICE PROVIDER REPORTS:

Heidi Vandenbrouch announced that Tom Cohan is out of town and unable to attend this meeting.

 

Heidi Vandenbrouch- (Public Relations)

·         Heidi Vandenbrouch announced that beginning May 16th Charter customers will have the capability to receive the fastest WiFi experience.

·         Charter will be adding 53 Spanish channels in June. Of these, 18 will be in High Definition.

·         The All-digital launching will be done in Newtown in September.  Boxes will be required for all TV’s.  Existing boxes will stay but new TV’s will need a box.  Letters notifying customers will be sent 30 days out.  Boxes can be picked up at Charter or shipped directly to their house at no charge.  Self install of boxes is free.  The charge to have a technician come to the house to install is $29.99.  A DVR is needed for every TV as Charter does not have multi-room DVR. 

 

Greg Van Antwerp- (Public Access) spoke of the following:

·         Greg Van Antwerp provided the council with the most recent Newsletter from May/June 2014.

·         AT&T will do a site survey next week. 

·         A community training class will start on June 5th.  To date, 13 participants have signed up.  There are still spots available.

·         Studio 21 “Local Artist Showcase” is performing tonight.

·         A Mobile Truck Shoot will be held on May 13th at the Madison Middle School chorus concert. 

 

 

 

OLD BUSINESS

March Cable Advisory Meeting Minutes and April Strategic Action Committee Meeting

Ray Juskiewicz made a motion to accept the minutes from the March 11, 2014 Cable Advisory meeting as presented.  George Linkletter seconded the motion. 

Vote: All in favor

 

Ray Juskiewicz made a motion to accept the minutes from the April 8, 2014 Strategic Action Committee meeting as presented.  George Linkletter seconded the motion. 

Vote: All in favor

 

Email from Thomas Sholtes (PURA)- Interconnection

Gregory Davis spoke of an email that the Cable Advisory Council received from Thomas Sholtes on May 2, 2014 from PURA noting that an agreement between AT&T/Charter should be filed with the Authority soon.  Mr. Sholtes noted that all the Cable Advisory Council efforts have finally paid off. 

 

Another email from Mr. Sholtes was received on May 7, 2014 noting that AT&T will connect with Charter within 90 days.  Mr. Sholtes referenced a letter from AT&T to Nicholas E. Neeley at PURA regarding the agreement that establishes the terms and conditions for the interconnection.  A footnote to this letter noted that the Area 19 Cable Advisory Council filed a letter in Docket No. 14-01-46 and noted that the contract should address the Cable Advisory Council concern.

 

Basic Tier Promotion

Gregory Davis spoke of a form letter sent to the members of the CAC giving language that can be sent to respective Mayors and First Selectmen and Senior Center Directors.  Mr. Davis encouraged council members to send letters in their respective towns promoting the Basic Service Tier.

 

Mr. Davis noted that Newtown is interested in the Basic Tier promotion.  Gregory Davis will send a letter with his signature to the Newtown First Selectman and Senior Center.  Gregory Davis will send letters on behalf of towns that don’t have representatives on the Charter Cable Advisory Council. 

 

TREASURER’S REPORT

Paul Katzmark presented the following Treasurer’s Report:

Income Statement: January 2014- March 2014

Income

Amount

       Charter Contribution

$0.00

       Interest- 12 months CD 0.3%

$0.00

       Interest-Money Market 0.05%

$0.00

Total Income

$0.00

Expenses

Amount

      Travel

$505.00

      Supplies

$468.52

      Secretarial Services

$875.00

      Other Expenses

$158.00

Total Expenses

$2006.52

Net Revenue

 

       Contribution to Charter Cable Equity

($2006.52)

Treasurer’s Report (con’t)

Balance Sheet January 2014-May 2014

 

Assets

 

Biz Checking: Peoples Bank 12-31-13

$     249.41

Money Market (0.05%) Peoples Bank 12-31-13

$  6,162.97

12 month 0.3% CD Peoples Bank 12-31-13

$13,555.73

Total Assets

$19,968.11

 

 

Liabilities

 

None

$         0.00

Total Liabilities

$         0.00

 

 

Statement of Operations

 

January 1, 2014 Cable Advisory Council Equity

$ 22,434.63

Council Operations- Net change to equity

($  2,006.52)

Petty Cash

$       460.00

March 2014 Cable Advisory Council Equity

$  20,428.11

 

Mike Muttitt made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report as presented.  George Linkletter seconded the motion.  Vote: All in favor

 

COUNCIL CHAIRMAN REPORT

Charter-Comcast Exchange of CT areas of 10 & 19 CCFA Licenses.

Chairman Gregory Davis spoke of the possibility of Charter planning to transfer Cable-Internet VoIP services in CT franchise areas 10 and 19.

 

George Linkletter made a motion to send a letter to Director of Government Relations for Charter Tom Cohan asking him if Charter plans to transfer Cable-Internet-VoIP services in CT franchise areas 10 & 19.  Mike Muttitt seconded the motion- All in favor

 

Heidi Vandenbrouch spoke briefly of the Time Warner merger.

 

NEW BUSINESS

Request for PURA to investigate Comcast Takeover

Gregory Davis spoke of the possible Comcast-Charter-Spinco National Cable Consolidateion deal and suggested sending a letter to PURA asking them to investigate.

 

Stephanie O’Rourke made a motion to send a letter to PURA with a copy to Tom Cohan at Charter and Merja Lehtinen of the Statewide Video Advisory Council asking the following:

If the Federal Government gives a green light to the Comcast-Charter-Spinco National Cable Consolidation deal, the CT Cable Advisory Council-Charter Western, believes that a Comcast takeover of the Charter Community Access Television Activities in its franchise areas within the State of Connecticut is NOT in the public interest.  The Council hereby requests that PURA open a docket to investigate if Comcast intends a takeover of the Charter Franchise in CCFA areas 10 & 19. 

Mike Muttitt seconded the motion- All in favor

 

Future Vision for Community Access

Gregory Davis spoke of Cable TV in the news and referenced several articles.  He spoke of an article regarding that the future of cable TV looks bright but the rising cost is a big problem.  He also spoke of an article by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler regarding the best path forward to protect the open internet.  An article by Senator Al Franken noted that he was not in favor of the Comcast-Time Warner cable deal.  All of these articles are available on the CAC website. 

 

Chairman Davis further spoke of “must carry” rules and noted that this is often but incorrectly blamed for the high costs.  There was a discussion of the desire to have Al la carte pricing and programming for customers. 

 

Chairman Davis spoke of an article called “TV as We Know it” by Deborah McAdams noting the future of cable TV.  Another article by Deborah McAdams “On Aereo: Wordplay vs. Science” speaks of the Aereo controversy.  The CAC briefly discussed the concept of Aereo. 

 

Understanding the Backbone of the INTERNET and OTT

Gregory Davis spoke of the concept of Net neutrality, Internet and Over the Top and explained the difference via Wikipedia.  Mr. Davis gave his editorial “How Big can Big Fish get?” and spoke of net neutrality.

 

Sound View vs. PURA

Chairman Davis noted that Connecticut Superior Court ruled in favor of PURA in the case of Sound View vs. PURA and spoke of how this decision will affect the Big Picture.  The CAC discussed sending a letter to Michael Nelson and Greg Van Antwerp at Charter to ask for their understanding of the vision of the future of community access.

 

Kevin Burns made a motion to a letter to Greg Van Antwerp and Mike Nelson at Charter asking their understanding of the vision of the future of community access.  George Linkletter seconded the motion- All in favor

 

Legislative Repairs Initiative

Gregory Davis spoke of key points regarding the secure future for Community Access television and spoke of his desire to send this list to Tom Cohan at Charter for his opinion. 

 

George Linkletter made a motion to send a letter to Tom Cohan asking for his advice regarding the list of proposed legislative initiatives suggested by the advisory council and asking if it helps to promote a secure future for community access television.  Douglas Branson seconded the motion-All in favor

 

Council Officer Nominations- July 2014 election

Chairman Gregory Davis noted that he would accept the nomination for another term as chairman and that he appointed Carmella Amodeo to head the nominating committee.  Anyone interested in running for an office in July 2014 should contact Carmella.

 

OPEN FORUM

Mike Muttitt spoke of net neutrality. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

Gregory Davis made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:48pm.  George Linkletter seconded the motion.

Vote: All in favor