NEWTOWN AREA TELECOMMUNICATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF FEBRUARY 6, 2008
Members Present: Harry Stevens, Chairman; James Manahan, Member; and Barbara Jankowski, Member Representing Newtown Township; Patrick Foster, Vice Chairman and Gerard O’Malley, Liaison Representing Newtown Borough. Not present were Jerry Schenkman, Liaison and Robert Hafner, Member Liaison Representing Newtown Township.
Also present was Stephanie Beavers representing Verizon and Borough resident John Leonard.
No representative from Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. attended the meeting.
CALL TO ORDER:
Chairman Stevens called the meeting to order at 7:36 P.M.
Stephanie Beavers updated the members with regards to Verizon’s annual notice to subscribers; a copy was sent to John Boyle and Marcia Scull; the packet included the channel lineup and the subscriber notice. Subscribers should have received the notice in early January.
Stephanie Beavers advised on the price increase that takes effect after February 15, 2008; the increase will only effect new customers who sign up after February 15, 2008. She advised that she does not anticipate any other price increases this year.
Barbara Jankowski commented on Verizon’s customers who have the triple play deal. Stephanie Beavers discussed bundle customers and their lock in.
Stephanie Beavers advised the members on the popularity of the free television offer.
Stephanie Beavers advised that after January 10 th any new subscribers would be signed up as all digital; no analog service; this is in preparation of the FCC requirement next year. She advised that Verizon would be converting the analog service in June/July; she discussed notification to the customers.
Harry Stevens discussed Comcast’s intention to down convert; he explained how it will work and questioned if Verizon would be doing the same. He discussed televisions with picture in picture capabilities, analog signals and the possibility of Comcast having an advantage. Stephanie Beavers advised that it is Verizon’s intent to go all digital.
Harry Stevens commented on Verizon’s conversion to the new menu; he discussed the response time for menus to load. Stephanie Beavers advised that Verizon is aware of the problem and that software upgrades would be happening over time. She discussed Verizon’s Philadelphia video hub office being the last to receive the interrupted media guide.
Harry Stevens discussed the changes between the new and old programming guide.
Christy Holley advised the members that she is a new FiOS television customer and on the problems she is experiencing. Stephanie Beavers suggested that she call for service.
The Committee members discussed buffering, signal delays and satellite feeds. Stephanie Beavers explained how the satellite feed works at Verizon.
Harry Stevens commented on Verizon having a place for customers to go for service (example: box exchange). Stephanie Beavers advised that box exchanges are handle through UPS; she advised on locations for walk-in questions and assistance.
The Committee members thanked Stephanie Beavers for her time.
Stephanie Beavers advised the members that the next meeting she would be attending would be in April.
RE-ORGANIZATION OF THE COMMITTEE:
Harry Stevens advised the members that Gerard O’Malley is the new liaison for the Borough and Jerry Schenkman will continue as liaison for the Township.
The Committee members discussed the Township’s vacant position. The members discussed Mayur Shah’s attendance at a prior meeting and a suggested was made to contact him to see if he would still be interested in joining the Committee.
Harry Stevens advised that the Township is forming a Technology Committee.
James Manahan made a motion to nominate Harry Stevens for Chairman. The motion was seconded by Barbara Jankowski and passed unanimously (4-0).
James Manahan made a motion to nominate Patrick Foster for Vice-Chairman. The motion was seconded by Barbara Jankowski and passed unanimously (4-0).
James Manahan made a motion to nominate Patrick Foster for Treasurer. The motion was seconded by Barbara Jankowski and passed unanimously (4-0).
MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 7, 2007:
Patrick Foster made a motion to approve the minutes of November 7, 2007. The motion was seconded by James Manahan and passed unanimously (4-0).
MINUTES OF DECEMBER 5, 2007:
Patrick Foster moved to approve the minutes of December 5, 2007. The motion was seconded by Harry Stevens and passed unanimously with two members abstaining (2-0-2).
OTHER BUSINESS/MEMBER COMMENTS:
The members introduced themselves to Gerard O’Malley the new Borough liaison.
The members discussed past recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.
The members were provided correspondence from Ralph Douglas, Bucks County Peg Channel Access Corporation dated January 18, 2008.
Gerard O’Malley updated the members with regards to the Borough looking to fill the vacant position on the Committee; he advised that John Leonard could be a possible candidate.
The meeting adjourned at 8:54 P.M.
The next meeting is scheduled for March 5, 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