NEWTOWN AREA TELECOMMUNICATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF DECEMBER 5, 2007
Members Present: Harry Stevens, Chairman; James Bowe, Member; and Jerry Schenkman, Liaison Representing Newtown Township; Patrick Foster, Vice-Chairman/Treasurer Representing Newtown Borough. Not present were James Manahan, Member; Barbara Jankowski, Member and Robert Hafner, Member Representing Newtown Township and Don Smith, Liaison Representing Newtown Township.
Also present were Brian Jeter representing Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. and Stephanie Beavers representing Verizon.
CALL TO ORDER:
Chairman Harry Stevens called the meeting to order at 7:36 P.M.
The Committee could not meet officially due to the lack of a quorum.
MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 7, 2007:
The approval of the minutes from November 7, 2007 has been postponed due to the lack of a quorum.
Brian Jeter updated the Committee members with regards to the price increase that will take effect in January 2008.
Brian Jeter provided the Committee members with a copy of the new channel lineup.
Brian Jeter advised the Committee members with regards to Comcast’s stock.
Brian Jeter updated the Committee members with regards to Channel 99 and the audio quality.
Brian Jeter requested the Committee members to advise him if there is a problem with any of the channels.
Harry Stevens questioned how long it would take to activate a public access channel once formally requested. Brian Jeter advised that it would take approximately six (6) months to activate a public access channel and what is involved with the setup.
The Committee members discussed having debates on a public access channel.
The Committee members discussed the Comcast Franchise Agreement with regards to public access channels.
The Committee members discussed the status of the Comcast Franchise negotiations.
The Committee members thanked Brian Jeter for his time.
Stephanie Beavers advised the Committee members with regards to the deployment of the PEG Channels.
Jerry Schenkman commented that he keeps losing his On Demand service. Stephanie Beavers advised him that he should report the problem.
Stephanie Beavers advised the Committee members that the interactive program guide would change to an interactive media guide in January 2008.
Stephanie Beavers advised the Committee members that there are three (3) households in Southeast Pennsylvania that have received an extreme FiOS makeover. A thirty (30) minute show will air on Fox 29 in December; she provided a copy of the programming schedule. (The Recording Secretary will email the members a copy of the schedule.)
Stephanie Beavers advised the Committee members on the promotions that Verizon is offering to the triple and double play customers.
James Bowe commented on the FiOS service focusing primarily on residential installations and questioned if that would expand to business installs. Stephanie Beavers advised that Verizon expects to roll out the service to some businesses in the first quarter of 2008.
James Bowe commented with regards to high speed internet for businesses. Stephanie Beavers advised that the FiOS data is available today.
James Bowe commented on businesses in the Newtown Business Commons wanting high speed internet. Stephanie Beavers advised him to send her an email regarding the matter and she would research it.
The Committee members discussed the Newtown Business Commons with regards to FiOS fiber.
Harry Stevens commented on Verizon placing all of their customer services/Verizon Wireless offices under one roof. Stephanie Beavers advised that she has no information at this time, but she will look into the matter.
The Committee members discussed the Verizon office located on State Street.
Harry Stevens questioned the programming guide with regards to local programming. Stephanie Beavers advised with regards to what is seen on the TV screen, that Verizon is updating the channel lineup and that customers can go online to view the channel lineup for their area.
Harry Stevens commented on posting the channel lineup to the Township’s web site. Stephanie Beavers advised that she does not see the channel locations changing.
Harry Stevens questioned what is going to happen as far as the channel lineup in February 2009, with regards to analog channels. Stephanie Beavers advised that Verizon would be converting the analog to digital prior to the FCC date.
Harry Stevens questioned if Verizon would be converting the digital back to analog for customers who have analog televisions. Stephanie Beavers advised that she is not prepared to answer that question at this time, she advised on what information she has and that she should know more next year.
Harry Stevens discussed the Verizon Wireless unbundling notice with regards to equipment use. He questioned if the offer would extend to the FiOS TV service. Stephanie Beavers advised she has not heard anything with regards to the FiOS TV service.
The Committee members thanked Stephanie Beavers for her time.
OTHER BUSINESS/MEMBER COMMENTS:
The Committee members discussed the length of their terms. The Recording Secretary advised that James Bowe’s term expires at the end of 2007, Harry Stevens’ term expires at the end of 2008 and all other members’ terms expire at the end of 2009.
The meeting adjourned at 8:31 P.M.
The next meeting is scheduled for February 6, 2008. The meeting will begin at 7:30 P.M., in the Newtown Borough Fire Station located at 14 Liberty Street, Newtown.
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary