NEWTOWN AREA TELECOMMUNICATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF January 3, 2007

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

Also present was Brian Jeter representing Comcast Cable Communications, Inc.

No representative from Verizon attended the meeting.

Call to Order

Chairman James Manahan called the meeting to order at 7:32 P.M.

MINUTES OF December 6, 2006:

James Bowe moved to approve the minutes of December 6, 2006. The motion was seconded by Patrick Foster and passed unanimously (4-0).

RE-ORGANIZATION OF THE COMMITTEE:

James Manahan made a motion to nominate James Bowe for Chairman. The motion was seconded by Patrick Foster and passed unanimously (4-0).

James Manahan made a motion to nominate Patrick Foster for Vice-Chairman. The motion was seconded by James Bowe and passed unanimously (4-0).

James Manahan made a motion to nominate Patrick Foster for Treasurer. The motion was seconded by James Bowe and passed unanimously (4-0).

NEW BUSINESS:

CGI Communications, Inc.

Jerry Schenkman updated the Committee members on his discussions with a representative from CGI Communications, Inc. He gave a description on what CGI Communications, Inc. does. He discussed their interest in producing a municipal video at no charge to the Township. He advised that the Township would need to choose a topic and commented on prior discussions with regards to producing an educational piece to inform the public on the need for the proposed Municipal Complex expansion. He commented with regards to how streaming video works.

James Bowe questioned if CGI Communications, Inc. would be interested in producing two videos, one for the Township and one for the Borough. Jerry Schenkman advised the Committee members that he did not have discussions with regards to producing a video for the Borough, but he did not think it would be a problem and he would approach CGI Communications, Inc. to discuss the second video.

James Manahan advised that he was in favor of the idea.

Don Smith questioned how streaming video works. Jerry Schenkman advised the Committee members on how the video would be viewed by the public.

James Bowe advised he was in favor of the idea.

Jerry Schenkman advised the Committee members that he would update the Board of Supervisors on the Committee’s discussion and recommendation to the Board of Supervisors at the January 17, 2007 Work Session.

The Committee members discussed the possibilities of what the Borough’s video would be about.

Jerry Schenkman discussed having a teleconference with CGI Communications, Inc. and invited the Committee members to attend. He advised that he would update the Committee members once he had a date.

TelVue

Jerry Schenkman advised the Committee members on discussions with a representative from TelVue. He advised that they’re a company who provides content for government access channels. He discussed the possibility of having the cost funded by sponsorship.

Jerry Schenkman advised the Committee members that TelVue would be making a presentation of their service to the Township at the Martindale House on Tuesday, January 09, 2007 at 10:00 A.M. He invited the Committee members to attend.

Patrick Foster advised that he would attend the meeting on Tuesday, January 09, 2007.

Brian Jeter advised the Committee members that Warminster Township uses TelVue, he also gave his thoughts on their service.

The Committee members discussed other local communities who are using TelVue.

James Bowe commented with regards to the Committee having discussions regarding TelVue’s service in past years.

The Committee members discussed how the sponsoring works and the companies located in Newtown.

James Manahan advised that he is in favor of the idea.

Middle Bucks Institute of Technology

The Committee members discussed contacting the Middle Bucks Institute of Technology with regards to producing video content for the Township.

Brian Jeter advised the Committee members on the school’s media program and equipment. He also advised that the school has worked with Comcast in the past to produce video content. He suggested that the Committee contact the school to discuss the production of a video. He advised the Committee members that he would forward his contact information to James Bowe.

The Committee discussed the possible involvement from local students who attend Middle Bucks Institute of Technology.

OLD BUSINESS:

Newtown Chamber Orchestra

The Committee members discussed the Newtown Chamber Orchestra’s audio performance.

James Manahan advised the Committee members that the Board of Supervisors need to finalize the request.

Jerry Schenkman updated the Committee members on what information he knew regarding the matter.

The Committee members suggested that the matter be discussed at the next Board of Supervisors Meeting.

Candidate Debates

The Committee members discussed producing a Candidate Debate and the need to start the process now.

The Committee members discussed the video produced by the Northampton Business and Professional Association.

James Manahan advised that he needs to forward the video to another member.

Patrick Foster advised that he did not have access to a VCR and would need to view the material via DVD.

James Bowe requested the video be returned to him and he would copy it to a DVD, then forward the copy to another member.

COMCAST UPDATE:

Brian Jeter advised the Committee members that the FCC is making changes to the Cable Act. He discussed the changes to the order.

Brian Jeter discussed the Borough and the Township adopting a Resolution opposing Statewide Franchising.

Brian Jeter advised that he would forward copies of draft resolutions to Don Smith for the Borough’s review.

Brian Jeter suggested for the Committee members to review the web site keepitlocalpa.com.

Brian Jeter advised that Comcast would be offering a three-product bundle to customers depending on the video service purchased. He advised that the customer would be requested to sign a one or two year contract.

The Committee members thanked Brian Jeter for the update.

OTHER BUSINESS/MEMBER COMMENTS:

The Committee members discussed video on-demand and streaming video of the Township’s public meetings.

The Committee members discussed transferring the Township’s prior video recordings to video on-demand and streaming video.

The Committee members discussed the use of the Township’s media equipment only being accessed by Video Gold employees.

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting adjourned at 8:17 P.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for February 7, 2007. 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