NEWTOWN AREA TELECOMMUNICATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF AUGUST 2, 2006

 

Members Present: James Manahan, Chairman; James Bowe, Member; Barbara Jankowski, Member; Robert Hafner, Member; Harry Stevens, Member and Jerry Schenkman, Liaison Representing Newtown Township; Patrick Foster, Vice-Chairman and Don Smith, Liaison Representing Newtown Borough.

Also present w ere Brian Jeter, Director of Government & Community Relations and Robin Holts, Regional Director of Government Affairs representing Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. ; Scott Harp, former member and Township resident.

Call to Order

Chairman James Manahan called the meeting to order at 7:34 P.M.

MINUTES OF JUNE 7, 2006:

James Bowe moved to approve the minutes of June 7, 2006. The motion was seconded by Robert Hafner and passed unanimously.

Mr. Schenkman arrived after the approval of the minutes.

NEW BUSINESS:

Revised Township Website

James Manahan updated the Committee members with regards to the Township launching a revised website. He advised that the Committee members have been invited to preview the website on August 3, 2006 at 1 P.M. or August 9, 2006 at 1 P.M.

Harry Stevens advised that he would be attending the preview of the website.

OLD BUSINESS:

Verizon Franchise Agreement

The Committee members received paperwork with regards to the Township and the Verizon Franchise Agreement and agreed to discuss the matter in Executive Session.

COMCAST UPDATE:

Brian Jeter advised the Committee members with regards to complaints received due to the channel line-up changes.

The Committee members discussed the recent storms and how Comcast has been effected.

The Committee members discussed the interference to channels causing breakup.

The Committee members discussed the new channel line-up. Brian Jeter provided the members with a copy of the new channel line-up and advised on how Comcast notified customers.

Harry Stevens questioned when the analog channels would go away. Brian Jeter advised that per the FCC the analog channels would be removed in 2009.

Brian Jeter advised the Committee members with regards to the high speed internet service offered by Comcast. He discussed increased speeds when needed.

Brian Jeter updated the Committee members with regards to Comcast’s triple play offer. He advised that the offer is $33.00 a month per service for one (1) year for new customers only. He also advised that offers are available for existing customers.

Brian Jeter commented with regards to the Township/Borough and the Verizon Franchise Agreement.

Brian Jeter advised the Committee members with regards to bills in the Senate and the House regarding franchise agreements. He also commented with regards to State or Federal Franchise Agreements.

The Committee members discussed renewing the Franchise Agreement between Comcast and the Borough/Township.

Brian Jeter advised the Committee members with regards to programming on Channel 99.

Robert Hafner questioned Comcast’s new technology. Brian Jeter advised with regards to the new technology (equipment) available.

OTHER BUSINESS/MEMBER COMMENTS:

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting adjourned at 8:07 P.M.

Once the meeting adjourned the Committee members met in Executive Session to discuss the Verizon Franchise Agreement.

The next meeting is scheduled for September 6, 2006. The meeting will begin at 7:30 P.M., in the Newtown Borough Fire Station located at 14 Liberty Street, Newtown.

Mr. Auchinleck informed the Board that attorneys for the applicant have requested a continuance while plans are being revised.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

Christy Holley, Recording Secretary