For Charter Communications NW CT Area 19
PO BOX 87, Newtown CT 06470
A SECURE FUTURE FOR COMMUNITY ACCESS
Chairman Report by Gregory G. Davis, 12 November 2013
A detailed study of the Public Act 08-159, AN ACT CONCERNING THIRD-PARTY NONPROFIT COMMUNITY ACCESS PROVIDERS AND COMMUNITY ANTENNA TELEVISION COMPANIES. The act was adopted in 2008, and codified in the CT general Statues Chapter 289 Sections 16-331ff & 16-331gg.
To the question of advisory council legitimacy, PA08-159 can be summarized as follows:
1. Every designated community access provider has an advisory council married to it with duties and functions as specified by CT Law. If the Designated Community Access Provider legally exists, an advisory council also exists to serve it and the community of access producers.
2. The lack of a legislatively delegated funding source for an advisory council in the event that an access region does not have an active CCFA license, does not, in any way, delete/cancel/remove/ or dissolve the legally delegated functions and duties of the advisory council.
A Detailed Summary Review of PA 08-159 and what it accomplishes by GGDavis:
Section 1 (a) Specifically targets the designated community access provider in Region 2 and reassigns its Educational and Government access provider operations to town / municipal / educational entities upon their request, whether Sound View Community Media agrees or not.
Section 1(b) Further provides Sound View Community Media the incentive to officially agree to reassign Educational and Government access provider operations within 3 days of official request, or have their own designated access provider status terminated in 180 days, followed by a re-application process, open to all suiters, to become the new designated community access provider.
Section 2(a) Requires the incumbent cable company - Cablevision - in Region 2, to divert $100,000 of the community access subscriber fees which it collects to the Cable advisory council for Region2 to be used for the support of Government and Educational access provider operations.
Section 2 (b) The cable advisory council is required to distribute all of the funds to the government and educational access producers, according to grant policies established by the advisory council.
Section 2 (c) The cable advisory council will annually account for the funds and guarantee that all of the funds were used specifically for the government and educational access provider operations.
The Sticky Wickets in PA 08-159 which are now contested issues:
Section 1: Is uniquely targeted at Soundview Community Media in Bridgeport to strip them of their designated access provider status for government and educational access operations. This clause will be fought based upon first amendment rights, and will be contested all the way to the CT Supreme Court by Soundview.
Section 2: The access subscriber fee collection and redistribution section has troublesome, but interesting issues.
The definition of the Region 2 Video Services provider is only linked to its legacy issue of the CPCN license (Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity) to operate a limited monopoly franchise. The required sunset cancellation of the CPCN and conversion to the CCFA or CVFA under PA 07-253 was only recognized in this act for the CCFA. Cablevision decided to opt against the new CCFA license and selected the CVFA license instead. There is no provision in the PA 07-253 to say they cannot, and Section 2 of PA 08-159 fails to include the CVFA class of video services provider.
Since Cablevision replaced the CPCN license by selection of the CVFA license, Section 2 (a) no longer applies. Only a CPCN or CCFA license holder must distribute $100k of collected subscriber fees to the advisory council.
Cablevision, as a CVFA license holder, and must only comply with the unique requirements of the license class. A CVFA license holder is NOT required to fund the operations of the Region 2 cable advisory council. A CVFA license holder is NOT required to provide any support to the designated community access provider beyond the collection of community access subscriber fees which are turned over to the designated community access provider.
The annual distribution of $100,000 as specified by the act in Region 2 is a fixed dollar amount, with no annual review or provision for adjustment by PURA to meet future changes in costs.
16-331gg (PA 08-159 Sec. 2 (a,b,c)) Summarily guarantees the existence and purpose of the Region 2 advisory council by restoring duties of administrative qualification, distribution, and reporting for this $100,000 portion of the subscriber community access subscriber fees.
Gregory G. Davis, KB1YHW
Chairman, R19 Charter Western Advisory Council