CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL
P. O. Box 87
~ Minutes ~
Minutes of Public Regular Meeting –
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
There was a regular
meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:13 p.m., Tuesday,
September 12, 2006 by Secretary, Kate Donahue (Chair, Carmella Amodeo joined
the meeting in progress) at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown,
Carmella Amodeo (Newtown),
Carl DeVoe (New Milford), George Linkletter (Sherman), Carl Braun
(Woodbury), Kate Donahue (Trumbull), Jim Lang (Trumbull), Jill Hamilton
From Charter: Len Romano
(marketing), John Palinkas (community access), Greg Van Antwerp (community
access), Brian Downes (operations), Georgia Griffith (regional operations).
No Public present.
Minutes approved (Motion by
Linkletter, second by DeVoe; unanimous).
Jill Zaloski presented the
treasurer’s report. A motion was made by DeVoe and seconded by Linkletter
to approve; unanimous.
Georgia Griffith, V.P.,
General Manager addressed the Council.
- She shared with the
group the great year Charter is having so far.
- They are starting to
see satellite customers come back to cable.
- Telephony is coming on
- Have had a “perfect
storm” of technical problems align themselves to cause some major system
problems. Starting with the June thunderstorm (that just continued all
summer), add to that the consolidation of the call center and there was
an overload. Whole Northeast team pulled together to help get the
system through this. Feel they have turned the corner.
- Nice footnote to
Charter closing the call center here: Comcast and Cablevision are
helping to hire the employees that Charter couldn’t absorb back into the
Len Romano reported next:
- Romano has been
promoted to a divisional role. There will be a new person in his role
- Romano reported
upcoming channel lineup changes: Bravo and ESPN2
- Romano took some
additional input from the Council on their annual subscriber survey.
Including concern about the billstuffer being the only outreach method
and some rewording of Q12. There was also additional discussion of how
the results will be used. Georgia shared that Charter will be
instituting random customer callouts, probably on a quarterly basis.
- Romano reported that
some subscribers are paying incorrect rates (based on old promotions,
packages that don’t exist any more,etc.) and that letters will be going
out to correct those situations.
- The Hallmark Channel
move to a digital channel was raised again by Jim Lang. We last
discussed that we oppposed the move because we considered it to be a
reduction in service and voted to write to letter to Georgia Griffith
and the DPUC. Subsequently, Charter responded that digital tier prices
are comparable to basic so the letter was nixed. Jim is bringing the
issue back to the table because the cost of getting the service on
more than one television will result in additional cost. Jim still
feels we need to go on record opposing the move. Motion made, passed
3-2-1. Jim will write. Georgia provided the insight that by 2009
all cable companies will be forced to go all digital by the FCC.
Broadcasters will be forced to use their HDTV bandwidth or lose it. Len
pointed out that the satellite providers are already all digital.
Georgia then shared that Charter is looking at offering simultaneous
transmission of some channels in both analog and digital formats.
- The future of digital
discussion raised yet another issue: the conversion of the local
educational access channel (Channel 17) to digital and who should bear
those costs. Jim pitched Charter on helping to fund the upgrade of
equipment for all the Channel 17s.
Greg Van Antwerp/John
- Greg shared his
newsletter, the public access report and letters to local
- John asked for input
as he starts to develop the Capital Budget request for 2007
- Brian asked for help
recruiting technicians – they would really like to bring in people from
the communities they serve. Can we post jobs in the local high
schools? Brian will send the job description to Kate for distribution
to the Council.
- Brian is the point
person Council members should use to resolve any customer issues.
email@example.com or 304-4061
Motion made to take Old
Business out of order by Carl DeVoe, seconded by Linkletter, unanimous.
Letter and application
presented. Some changes made, Jim and Carl to resolve. Final approval will
be via email. Charter will help with the judging since Council members from
communities that submit grant applications cannot participate. A discussion
occurred regarding how much the grants should be for. A motion was made by
Amodeo, seconded by Braun, uanimous, to make the maximum grant $2000.
Video Festival: Jill
Hamilton reported. Since there have been quite a few entries from college
students, she is recommending moving to the divisions: High School, College
and Adult. Three prize levels. Deadline will be after February vacation;
award ceremony in April. She will need help getting info to local papers.
She will send posters and press release to Council members.
Officer election: Need to
reelect Jill Hamilton at the next meeting.
Review of mailmag items.
No new business was brought
to the attention of the Council.
The meeting was unanimously adjourned at: 9:15 PM.
Respectfully submitted by: Kate Donahue, Secretary.