NEWTOWN AREA TELECOMMUNICATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 6, 2006

 

Members Present: James Manahan, Chairman; Barbara Jankowski, Member; Robert Hafner, Member; and Jerry Schenkman, Liaison Representing Newtown Township; and Don Smith, Liaison Representing Newtown Borough. Not present were James Bowe, Member and Harry Stevens, Member Representing Newtown Township and Patrick Foster, Vice-Chairman Representing Newtown Borough.

No representatives from Comcast or Verizon attended the meeting.

Call to Order

Chairman James Manahan called the meeting to order at 7:40 P.M.

MINUTES OF AUGUST 2, 2006:

The approval of minutes from the meeting on August 2, 2006 has been postponed due to the lack of a quorum.

NEW BUSINESS:

OLD BUSINESS:

Verizon Franchise Agreement

The Committee members discussed the Verizon Franchise Agreement.

Jerry Schenkman updated the members on the Township’s status regarding a Franchise Agreement with Verizon. He advised that the Township has completed negotiations and have reviewed the final draft of the proposed document and that the Board of Supervisors are planning to pass the ordinance that turns the amendment into an ordinance on the September 27, 2006 meeting. He advised that Verizon representatives are planning to attend the September 27, 2006 meeting and are expecting to offer services to the community by January 2007.

Don Smith updated the members on the Borough’s status regarding a Franchise Agreement with Verizon. He advised that the Borough Council expect to adopt at the October meeting.

Jerry Schenkman and James Manahan requested the Committee members to attend the meeting on September 27, 2006.

The Committee members discussed the term of the Franchise Agreement with the Township. Jerry Schenkman advised the agreement would be for twelve (12) years.

Verizon Discussions

The Committee members discussed the number of Comcast customers that may switch to Verizon.

Barbara Jankowski commented on past discussions where Verizon suggested that they would try to get some of the Comcast channels. Jerry Schenkman advised that as of today Verizon has not been successful in gaining the ability to broadcast any of Comcast’s exclusive programming.

The Committee members discussed the local sports organizations currently owned by Comcast and suggested that Verizon attempt to get the New York teams or minor league teams.

The Committee members discussed Verizon’s fiber optic and Internet services.

The Committee members discussed having a Verizon representative attend the Committee’s monthly meetings. Barbara Jankowski advised the Committee on discussions she has had with Dan Reavey regarding having a representative attend the monthly meetings.

COMCAST UPDATE:

Jerry Schenkman updated the Committee members on correspondence that the Township has received from Comcast regarding the renewal of the Comcast Franchise Agreement.

The Committee members discussed the possible items wanted to be included in the new Comcast Franchise Agreement and agreed to discuss further.

OTHER BUSINESS/MEMBER COMMENTS:

The Committee members discussed telecommunications in other countries.

The Committee members discussed the possibility of a third competitor using the electric lines.

The Committee members discussed Donald Trump using the power line system in his Manhattan buildings in New York.

The Committee members discussed having a representative from Comcast and Verizon attending the monthly meetings and giving their updates in each other’s presence.

James Manahan discussed a past meeting where Suburban Cable and RCN were giving updates in each other’s presence.

The Committee members discussed the Borough broadcasting information on a public access channel.

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting adjourned at 8:05 P.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for October 4, 2006. The meeting will begin at 7:30 P.M., in the Newtown Borough Fire Station located at 14 Liberty Street, Newtown.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

Christy Holley, Recording Secretary