Category

CTAC Minutes

11
May
2008

May 5, 2008 Minutes

MINUTES of CTAC of Hamden, New Haven, and West Haven – May 5, 2008

Present:
George Alexander (Treasurer H)
Stuart Arotsky (Chair WH)
Al May (H)
Jennifer Sacco (H)
Tad Weinstein (Vice chair WH)
Joyce Listro (BOE NH)
Sharon Codeanne, Comcast
Joe Schofield, CTV

1. Meeting called to order 6:05 p.m.

2. Report from Comcast:  Sharon Codeanne

3. Report from CTV: Joe Schofield

  • Ongoing issue of not having channel 23.  It was a government channel and has been “unusually dark” since February.  Comcast says problem is on CTV’s end.  They called their own engineer, but the problem disappeared before he came.
  • Comcast says they installed an audio line at Hill House School
  • CTV will broadcast Yale graduation.
  • Quinnipiac has not yet broadcast a graduation.  (Update: Jen Sacco contacted John Morgan in public relations at QU; he says they send a tape of the graduation to CTV every year.)
  • AT&T sent $6500 for yearly fees to CTV without an accounting of how many subscribers they have, but this year, sent 3 checks for $8.32 to pay for public access.
  • AT&T wants to withhold public access funds until they have interconnection with public access.
  • Comcast does not necessarily think it is fair that AT&T be interconnected or that  Comcast would be kept out of the conversation between CTV and AT&T.
  • CTV board still insists there not be a connection to AT&T until there is undiminished broadcast.
  • Al asked about broadcasting of CSPAN2 on CTV.  CTV picks it up as a courtesy to subscribers on the first two tiers.

4. Issue of AT&T statewide council  (to meet 2x a year)

  • Should we send a representative or not?
  • Does this give legitimacy to a council we had no say in creating?
  • Joe Schofield suggested we contact other community councils for their perspective.
  • Al May moved we do not respond to AT&T and instead contact other councils.  No second.
  • Stu Arotsky—do we want to appoint a person to the AT&T council?
  • George moves and Al seconds that we write back, ask for bylaws and minutes, and we will consider appointment after.  Motion carried.
  • Al moves, and Joyce seconds that we contact the 22 local councils for information and thoughts about AT&T’s statewide advisory council.  Motion carried.  Al will write the email.

5. Council considered the Sunday night 10:00 p.m. CTV programming Peaches had emailed about previously with concerns about its content.

  • Joe said CTV would look into it and could move the program to 12:00 p.m.

6. Sharon said Comcast has applied for a certificate instead of a franchise agreement, and now basic cable rate will not be regulated except under federal law, and now that there is “competition” in the area with AT&T, Comcast can raise the rate.

  • Jen was concerned that if the basic rate increases, so might the rate for everyone who has “basic plus” levels of service.
  • The deadline to comment on this issue with the DPUC is May 21st, 2008.   George moved and Joyce seconded that Stu write a letter on behalf of our council about docket# 08-04-02.  Motion carried.

7. Meeting adjourned, 7:08 p.m.

11
Mar
2008

March 5, 2008 Minutes

MINUTES of CTAC of Hamden, New Haven, and West Haven – March 5, 2008

Present:
George Alexander (Treasurer H)
Stuart Arotsky (Chair WH)
Jennifer Sacco (H)
Tad Weinstein (Vice chair WH)
Suzanne Lee (New Haven)
John ________, Comcast
Walter ______, CTV

1. Meeting called to order 6:00 p.m.

2. Problems of deregulation discussed:

  • Discussed at alliance of public access centers around our area
  • No information about return lines
  • Public access “sold out” for sake of competition in the state of CT
  • Public can’t know what is being broadcast on PEG channels ahead of time.
  • Rep. Fontana’s bill will have connection paid for by the telephone corporation.

George Alexander: in Michigan, Comcast is doing the same thing with PEG channels

Rep. from Comcast: said PEG channels were moved to digital, but still on the basic tier.  AT&T is moving PEG to on-demand system.

Stuart recommends a letter to the DPUC about this issue.  Do we want to sign on to Stu’s letter and send out on all of our behalfs?  Agreed that we would vote on that online.

It was noted that we must update our own email books, or, send emails to one another through the website.

3. Report from Comcast:  

  • This Sunday, Comcast is sponsoring New Haven’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.
  • Shalom tv is on-demand, under “entertainment” in on-demand
  • There are more high-def channels, a 2nd call center, and an online payment feature 

4. Report from Walter of CTV:

  • CTV’s board elected not to join up to AT&T.  AT&T wanted CTV to pay for a T1 line.
  • They might be amenable so long as they get a channel home, and not on-demand location

John of Comcast: 
There are broadcast issues of local H.S. basketball games.  They are looking to get women’s and girls’ sports.  They will be getting some women’s sports from Q30 at Quinnipiac University.

There is no video out line from a particular venue where CTV wanted to broadcast a Wilbur Cross game.

The West Haven chambers are being wired for taping city council meetings.

5. George Alexander submitted our budget.

  • Tad asked if we could have this in an interest-bearing account.
  • George said we’d then have to file a tax return.
  • The issue of reimbursement for travel to attend regional meetings was discussed.  If a State council is created, perhaps there is money to reimburse mileage from our area to the statewide meeting.
  • George moved that we reimburse for mileage, and that on an annual basis based on attendance, members should be reimbursed for mileage at the federal rate.
  • Tad was not fully for reimbursement because currently attending our meetings is a tax write-off. 
  • Motion was seconded by Tad, though modified to only reimburse for out of town meetings, not those occurring in Hamden, W.H., or N.H.
  • Motion carried.
  • George moved we approve budget, seconded by Jen.
  • Suzanne asked if we could be more creative about our community outreach?

For 2007, we need to gather all our minutes and summarize them to file a report for the DPUC.  Tad will forward DPUC form to Stu to finish end of year report for 2007.

Meeting adjourned 7:07 p.m.

11
Feb
2008

February 4, 2008 Minutes

MINUTES of CTAC of Hamden, New Haven, and West Haven – February 4, 2009    

Stu Arotsky WH
George Alexander H
Gabriel Michael NH
Jennifer Sacco H
Tad Weinstein WH 
Sharon Codeanne Comcast

6:08 p.m. meeting called to order.

Old business: Tad is pulling together our annual report for 2008 to the DPUC.  
Mail: Alliance for community media sent us a welcoming packet (again).  Gabriel is considering joining the listserv to monitor their updates.  They have a national conference in Portland Oregon.

New business: motion to donate $300 to the Alliance for Community media passed (in addition to our $100 membership fee).

George made motion to approve new 2009 budget, which has same line items as last year, except for the new allocation to the Alliance for Community media, which is a $300 donation on top of our $100 membership fees. Jen seconded, approved.

Tad has suggested that we make a grant available again to the towns for a school cable-related project again.   Stu has suggested we announce to the towns a new program of this sort so they may apply.  George suggests we email the school superintendants of the towns to solicit applications.  George will email our old grant regulations from the last time this was done for us to look over.  George proposes we temporarily allocate $1500-2000 per town.

Stu is concerned that CTV is in violation of the rules because they are not submitting a budget to us, etc.  

Digital transition is still set for February 17th, though there is the possibility it could still be moved to June.

Jen raised the issue of working to petition to move public access back to regularly accessible channels and viewing quality.  Perhaps we need to convince CTV to join AT&T (even on channel 99) so that we could have standing to file complaints with the DPUC.  As our current area has no representation on AT&T, we don’t appear to have standing.  Unless, those of us who are AT&T customers were to write complaints to AT&T that PEG channels are not available, though AT&T would plausibly put that back on CTV.  We could still complain to AT&T about the low quality presentation of public access originating from other towns.  

Minutes from last month’s meeting approved.  Motion to adjourn 6:57 p.m.

21
Jan
2008

January 2, 2008 Minutes

MINUTES of CTAC of Hamden, New Haven, and West Haven – January 2, 2008

Present:
George Alexander (Treasurer H)
Mark Anderson (NH)
Stuart Arotsky (Chair WH)
Jennifer Sacco (H)
Tad Weinstein (Vice chair WH)
Peaches Quinn (NH)

Sharon Codeanne, Comcast
Joseph Schofield, CTV

1. Meeting called to order.

2. Report from Comcast, Sharon Codeanne

  • Digital converter coupons
  • Converter can be rented from Comcast
  • New state law passed in June, effective Oct. 1, 2007
    • In order to level playing field between cable operators and AT&T, cable operator can apply for certificates to supplant their current franchise agreements.  This was granted for New Haven December 18, 2007. 
    • The advisory council will still be funded, and a statewide advisory council will be created.  
    • Certificates still mandate access and programming.  AT&T will have to report to statewide advisory commission.
    • This means for our customers that there will no longer be a needs assessment process, through which the needs of the community have been ascertained in the past.
    • The support for CTV stays the same.
    • AT&T has to fund PEG at same level as incumbent cable provider, on a per customer basis.
    • Satellite companies still will not pay a fee.
    • Setup costs for CTV not addressed by new legislation.
    • AT&T will have statewide advisory council, but not local.  We will represent AT&T customers on a local basis, but will not have an AT&T representative.
  • Mark Anderson proposed we contact State reps. and senators asking them to address these issues.  One bulleted group letter was suggested, which could be supported by individual letters from each of us as individual citizens.
  • Motion was made by Mark, seconded by Peaches, no further discussion, carried unanimously.

Stu suggested we craft a letter of discussion points, including our view that there still should be a needs assessment, and the issue of the lack of return lines should be included.

George moved we correspond and vote by email; Mark seconded, no further discussion, motion carried unanimously.

AT&T not required to provide a basic service, but they do.  What about must carries?

George asked that our website be added to the Comcast bills.

Peaches would like to include an FAQ page on our website explaining Comcast’s billing and pricing.

Sharon will ask for an electronic version of the “Service, installation, and equipment prices” flyer so that we can include it on our website easily.  Otherwise, Jen or Tad can scan the paper version for inclusion on the site (though this may require including a link to Adobe).

Report from CTV: Joe Schofield

  • Does not believe loss of franchise agreement will affect CTV negatively.
  • Concerned AT&T provision of CTV will be very hard to find if not accessed strictly by flipping through the channels, and may be a reduced picture if it has to be viewed using Windows Media Player.
  • CTV stands to lose surfing capability on AT&T, if all PEG channels are lumped onto one channel.
  • Organization of access centers may ask us to register complaint with AT&T.

With lack of franchise, CTV would have had to wait until 2011 to apply for increased funding.  Joe would like CTV to be able to raise the rates slightly.

Stuart will work up a letter from our council about CTV.

Group members signed up for months to attend CTV board meetings on our behalf.

George has been publicizing our website; contacted Hamden government for a link from the town’s site; also wrote to Hamden newspapers to announce our openings.  Stu volunteered to do same in West Haven for link from the town’s site, and Tad volunteered to announce the openings in the newspaper in West Haven.  Peaches said she would bring it to New Haven.

Joe Schofield will link our site from CTV’s.

We will ask Ed to write another bulletin announcement about our site for CTV.

The minutes section on our site and the news section on our site will be updated by George.

Meeting adjourned.

20
Nov
2007

November 7, 2007 Minutes

MINUTES of CTAC of Hamden, New Haven, and West Haven – November 7, 2007

Meeting called to order at 6:10 P.M. Quorum in attendance; Tad Weinstein (Vice-Chair WH), Jennifer Sacco (H), Peaches Quinn (NH), Joyce Listro (BOE NH), Mark Anderson (NH), George Alexander (Treas. H), E.J. Maher (NH).

A motion was made by E.J./George to contribute $300.00 to the Alliance for Community Media. Last year we contributed $200.00 and the minimum for membership is $100.00. Discussion on the service provided by the alliance followed and the motion was passed unanimously (largely because the alliance is in the midst of legal proceedings to protect public access).

A line by line review of ideas from July followed:

I. E.J. announced a schedule conflict in attending CTV BOD meetings on a regular basis. 

A. It was decided that members of the CAC would rotate attendance to CTV BOD meetings.

  1. Tad will check with Joe Schofield to ensure that this arrangement is acceptable and make a sign-up sheet for the council to be distributed via email.

II. E.J. was nominated to the position of council secretary and accepted with the expectation that the council would nominate a substitute to take notes in his absence.

III. Filling any vacancies on the council was discussed.

A. West Haven

  1. 2 Open, 1 BOE
    1. Tad to submit letter to the editor

B. Hamden

  1. 1 Open, 1 BOE
    1. George to take further action

C. New Haven

  1. 1 Library
    1. Mark to visit library.

IV.  Creating a template for reports from CTV and Comcast to be presented to the Council was discussed. It was suggested that the council be provided with agendas from both prior to the scheduled meeting.

A. CTV

  1. Current member/contact list of CTV BOD
  2. BOD meeting minutes to be submitted within 1 month of BOD approval/acceptance
  3. Quarterly financial report
  4. Open/ongoing issues with DPUC, Comcast, etc.

B. Comcast

  1. Programming/Line-Up changes
  2. Price changes
  3. Outages
  4. New technology/products
  5. # of households served/market distribution
  6. Infrastructure
  7. Survey?!
  8. Follow-up on previously discussed issues

V. The council discussed internal action items.

A. Examine Comcast Franchise agreement

  1. George to bring actual copy
  2. Council to split up agreement to define:
    1. DPUC/FCC role
    2. Fair competition
    3. Comcast’s obligations under the agreement

B. Importance of making the council accessible to the public

  1. Post bulletin on CTV
    1. E.J. to draft community bulletin board submission to be approved via email
  2. Develop website
    1. George to do preliminary investigation into cost
  3. Airing meetings live on CTV
    1. Further discussion tabled until council is operating in a manner which we unanimously feel is acceptable for broadcast
    2. Target for broadcast loosely set for 1st qtr. 2008
  4. Meeting Adjourned 7:30 P.M.
WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann