Month

April 2021

1
Apr
2021

March 3, 2021 Minutes

CTAC Meeting Minutes   March 3, 2021 – ZOOM TELECONFERENCE
  (due to virus pandemic)

Attending members:

Peaches Quinn – (New Haven) – Acting Chair
George Alexander – (Hamden) – Treasurer
Yvonne Manning-Jones  – (New Haven) – Advisor
Laurel Colemen (Hamden) Advisor
Tom Costa (New Haven Library System)
Johnes Ruta – (New Haven) – Acting Secretary

Sharon Codeane – Comcast Represntative
Joe Schofield         – CTV Represntative – not in attendence.

  1. Call to order 6:04pm.   Teleconference members on Zoom.

    2.     New member greeting: Tom Costa representing New Haven Public Library System,
    Adult Services Center. background in Military Communications; IT Educational instructor;
    Radio station experience. Government Document Librarian. Resides on Temple Street.
    Council members introduce selves to new member.

    3.     COMCAST Sharon Codeanne – Comcast Representative – is in attendance.
    a
    . To help connect low-income families to the Internet, Comcast has committed to launching
    more than 1,000 WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” in community centers nationwide. Comcast
    will provide free WiFi in these facilities to help students get online, participate in distance
    learning, and do their schoolwork

    b. LEAP is now an active Lift Zone and we are also working with the Boys & Girls Club of New Haven, Youth Continuum, New Haven Housing Services and the Urban League of
    Southern CT.

    c. Last month, Comcast increased the speed of our Internet Essentials service for the sixth
    time in 10 years – to 50/5 (without changing the price).

    d.   Programming Updates:
    a. Effective March 9, 2021, NBA in SD format will no longer be available as part of the NBA League Pass HD Pay-Per-View. NBA in HD format will continue to be available
    on Channel 1218 as part of NBA League Pass HD Pay-Per-View.

    b. Effective April 13, 2021, Cartoon Network will move to the Digital Preferred package.

    e. The $2,000 annual support check was mailed to George Alexander; confirmed receipt
    on 12/21/20.

    f. George asks Sharon about Gov. Lamont’s announcement that all areas and households
    in CT have cable service extended to their locations. Sharon explains that there are some
    rural areas in CT not yet served in their service area.

    g. Peaches asks Sharon about the anticipated arrival of 5G WiFi in our district area?
    Sharon replies that there is not yet a time frame for this system ugrade.

    h. George asks Sharon question about turnaround time on DVR replacement.

    i. Johnes asks Sharon where to find Comcast Financial Reports. She directs information
    to the Comcast website page on Investor Relations. Johnes asks about the justification
    for the second rate increase since 2020, $10 January 2020, $10 more in February 2021.
    Sharon argues about other cable competitors in CT, Johnes asks if competition is an issue
    why not lower rates? Sharon argues Comcast’s increasing operational costs.

    j. Peaches asks Sharon for info on criteria in identifying “older adults” eligibility for
    Internet Essentials.

    k. Tom asks Sharon for clarification on zones for Lift Zones initiative. Sharon emphasizes
    implementation for zones for virtual school sessions.

    (After her presentation, Sharon Codeanne signs off from the meeting.)

    4.     February CTAC Minutes.
    Peaches requests distribution of February Minutes, previously sent as Draft to Peaches.
    Johnes emails Final Minutes for February and December Minutes to all members.

    5.     CTV Report     Joe Schofield – Executive Director CTV – not in attendence.
    No report; no one has heard from Joe Schofiled. Laurel needs an update regarding the
    PSA that was video taped before the pandemic shutdown, No update received from CTV.

    6.     Treasurer’s Report  – George Alexander
    George states current CTAC account balance is $5,547.32, including $2,000 check just
    received from Comcast.   Received a bill for Post Office Box charge, just paid, is $332.
    Peaches makes Motion to accept the Treasury Report. Johnes seconds the Motion, Carried.

    7. . Old Business

    a.   CTAC Facebook page: Yvonne states there have been no changes. She has been perusing
    other Advisory councils; she saw one ADA offering plug-in for computer screen access
    for individuals with disabilities. Peaches notes that community constituents would need
    Spanish or other languages for screen texts.

    b. Laurel’s report on PSA: “has not heard anything” from CTV where PSA was recorded in             February 2020. There is no update on work on PSA, as schools are not in regular session.

  2. George talks about a major redesign of the CTAC website cableadvisory.org
    George specifies that the design is all done, and has added links for the legislating for
    internet for all, but needs more input about what we at CTAC are doing.

    8. New Business

           a. Peaches brings up CTAC continuing legislative activity on internet for all and
    net neutrality.   Concerns regarding complaints on new data usage caps being proposed
    by Comcast. These additional surcharges have been delayed for one year by CT AG Tong.
    Legislative Aide Jason Knight communicated with Peaches regarding H.B.6157
    Gov. Lamont has proposed a corresponding Bill 4, but Peaches notes that the language
    of this Bill is “more weighted on the side of Internet Security.”   Peaches indicates that
    the CTAC sub-committee of herself, George, Yvonne, and Johnes will address the issues in
    H.B. 5157 in order to get them included in Bill 4.   Laurel Coleman expresses her concern
    for rate increases. Peaches notes that emails to the legislature have little effect, and instead
    recommends multiple telephone calls to State Senators and Representative to join efforts
    to implement rate controls in CT.   Peaces also notes that in the northwest corner of CT, the
    preponderance of internet traffic of Wall Street connections is gobbling up resources
    on cable towers.

    b.  Peaches recounts her participation in the Statewide Cable Advisory Council meeting in
    February, where the main issue addressed was a plan to save the northwest corner of the
    state, which would be “Fiber to Home.” Peaches states that the time spent at this Statewide        meeting going through the Agenda was 22 minutes! When her question was waiting on
    “raise-hand” on that Zoom meeting, regarding Legislative issues, was ignored by the Chair          Person. Peaches says that the other Connecticut Cable Advisory Councils, such as Waterbury,
    Hartford, Bridgeport, should be represented but were not. This Statewide Chairperson
    recommended all the advisory councils raise money for lobbyists for causes that they
    wish to promote.

7:32 pm, Johnes makes Motion to Adjourn. Yvonne seconds. Agreed.

Next CTAC Meeting: Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 6:00pm, via Zoom.

March 3rd Meeting Minutes respectfully submitted by Johnes Ruta, (New Haven) Acting Secretary.

1
Apr
2021

February 3, 2021 Minutes

CTAC Meeting Minutes   February 3, 2021 – ZOOM TELECONFERENCE
  (due to virus pandemic)

Attending members:

Peaches Quinn – (New Haven) – Acting Chair
George Alexander – (Hamden) – Treasurer
Yvonne Manning-Jones  – (New Haven) – Advisor
Laurel Colemen (Hamden) Advisor
Anthony Cardo   (Hamden) Advisor
Johnes Ruta – (New Haven) – Acting Secretary

Sharon Codeane – Comcast Represntative – not in attendence.
Joe Schofield         – CTV Represntative – not in attendence.

  1. Call to order 6:02pm.   Teleconference members on Zoom.2.   Meeting Minutes December 2, 2020, (most previous CTAC meeting.) Peaches requests that
    all members read December Minutes, and submit requested changed by Friday , February 12th.

    3.     Treasurer’s Report – George Alexander

    George will submit Treasurer’s Report updates as soon as possible.

    4.     CTV Report     Joe Schofield – Executive Director CTV – not in attendence.
    No report; no one has heard from Joe Schofiled.

    5.     COMCAST       Sharon Codeanne – Comcast Representative – not in attendance.
    CTAC members stipulate that Comcast needs regular representation and attendance
    at CTAC meetings.

    Johnes states that the situation with Comcast rates and announced data caps

    6. . Old Business

    a. Laurel’s report on PSA: “has not heard anything” so no update on work on PSA,
    as schools are not in regular session.

    b. Anthony’s report on Community Awards: he has sent out many email inquiries only one
    response – from House of Heroes – which turned down the request: “not in our mission profile.” Peaches notes that there are presently no groups are assembling or responding
    on these on this program.

    c. CTAC Facebook page: Yvonne states there have been no changes. She has been perusing
    other Advisory councils; she saw one ADA offering plug-in for computer screen access
    for individuals with disabilities. Peaches notes that community constituents would need
    Spanish or other languages for screen texts.

    7. New Business.

    Peaches brings up subject of where on the internet to find the registry of Proposed Bills
    in the Connecticut Legislature, directs each Zoom meeting participant to open the internet
    to the CGA for the CT General Assembly:   CGA.ct.gov – then find the icon for the
    Energy & Technology Committee – where CT Senator Gary Winfield is the Chairperson.
    Next find the icon on this screen for BILL RECORD BOOK. Here, the prefic PSB
    represents “Proposed Senate Bill,” and PHB represents “Proposed House Bill.”

    On this list we find PHB-6156 : A Proposed House Bill “To Prevent a Cumulative
    Internet Usage Data Cap.” The purpose of this proposed law would be to disallow
    internet cable franchises from charging extra rates when a limited amount of internet                                                                                                                                                                  connectivity.

    At 7:03 pm, CT Senator Gary Winfield (D-New Haven) joins the Zoom call as invited earlier.
    He gives an update of the progress of legislation to regulate cable company imposition of data
    usage caps: PHB-6156, in initial drafts, is one of the Bills before the Communications
    Committee.

    Peaches Quinn, speaking for the CTAC Council asks what we can do to effect more influence
    in the CT Legislature ? Sen. Winfield gives an email address to lobby: 10sdem@gmail.com
    to be sent to individual legislators with a focus on leadership members:

    Writings for Public Testimony, from citizens, and in-person visits to the State Capitol
    (present in-person limit is 3 minutes) and in written form.
    1. contact committee members
    2. provide specifics on how to interface with public
    3. articulate issues
    4. ask for action in State Legislature
    5. put together a coalition.

George will contact Cable Statewide Advisory members   and put pressure on members
and continue outreach to other Cable Advisory councils in Connecticut.

Cable companies to be stated in legislative action:
Optimum,   Frontier, Spectrum, Cablevision,   Comcast (Hartford, Middletown, Danbury,
New Haven, Groton.

Peaches Quinn reiterates our call to have the internet be declared a Public Utility, so that
P.U.R.A. can assume responsibility as the Internet Regulator.

Peaches requests an additional Zoom meeting this Friday, February 5 to continue work on
tis issue. Peaches makes a Motion to engage an advocacy on behalf of internet and prohibition     against cable companies imposition of additional charges of internet usage, especially during
Covid-19 Pandemic.   Johnes seconds this Motion. Carried my CTAC membership vote.
Peaches makes a second Motion to meet outside of regular Council schedule. Johnes seconds
this Motion. Carried by Council agreement.
George Alexander makes Motion to reach out to Statewide Advisory to ask if they want to
partner with our efforts ?   Anthony Cardo seconds this Motion. Agreed.

7:32 pm, Johnes makes Motion to Adjourn. Yvonne seconds. Agreed.

ADDENDUM     Secondary CTAC Meeting on Friday February 5th.

Peaches Quinn’s contact at PURA is Rosalind Gunn.   Peaches is seeking documentation
for Comcast’s Business Model – She has not found this documentation.

Statement of Goals – What to accomplish for any advocacy for legislation:
*   gather community strength
*   outreach
*   Legislative Bills

– PSB-4 AAC on Data Privacy

Themes

* Data Usage Fee – CTAC – CT Attorney Generat Tong has made executive action
to cable franchises to hold-off Internet Data-Caps imposition for one year.
*   Regulation of video rates

*   Net Neutrality on state and national level – all CTAC members are agreed on need for this
policy.

* Internet as a Public Utility – all CTAC members are agreed on need for this policy.
PHB-6157: introduced by Rep. Matt Blumenthal – contact his aide and determine who
are his legislative allies. We will document case – why this is a good thing?
Rep. Matt Blumenthal 860-240-8585 (son of US Senator) – determine status of this Bill:
how many other reps are associated? What is their priority of this Bill.
Are they looking for advocates ? Take “temperature” of Bill among other legislators,
in public support.

Joint CT Senate/CT House Communications Committee. Co-Sponsor – Rep. Michael
A. Winkler (56th District).   Will Senator Winfield become a Co-Sponsor ?

Next CTAC Meeting: Wednesday, March 3rd, 6:00pm, Zoom.

February 3rd and February 5th Meeting Minutes respectfully submitted by Johnes Ruta, (New Haven)
Acting Chair.

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