NEWTOWN AREA TELECOMMUNICATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF JUNE 4, 2008

 

Members Present: Harry Stevens, Chairman; Barbara Jankowski, Member; James Manahan, Member; and Robert Hafner, Member Representing Newtown Township; John Leonard, Member and Gerard O’Malley, Liaison Representing Newtown Borough. Not present were Jerry Schenkman, Liaison Representing Newtown Township and Patrick Foster, Vice Chairman/Treasurer Representing Newtown Borough.

Also present was Brian Jeter representing Comcast.

No representative from Verizon attended the meeting.

CALL TO ORDER:

Chairman Stevens called the meeting to order at 7:38 P.M.

MINUTES OF MAY 7, 2008:

Barbara Jankowski made a motion to approve the minutes of May 7, 2008. The motion was seconded by James Manahan and passed unanimously (4-0).

COMCAST REPORT:

John Leonard reported that he is a Comcast customer and on his testing of Comcast’s SAP and DVS programming. He advised that he has no cable boxes. His results were as follows:

PBS – second audio played music

CBS – no second audio

NICK – second audio gave instructions for using SAP

TCM – normal audio unchanged

The members updated Brian Jeter with regards to Michael Malloy’s situation.

Brian Jeter updated the members on the research he has done with regards to SAP and DVS programming. He advised that Comcast does not block any programming being sent from the providers and that once he has more information he would update the members.

Harry Stevens advised that WGBH (out of Boston, Massachusetts) started DVS.

Brian Jeter reported that Motorola has advised Comcast that they do not block any signals from providers.

Robert Hafner arrived.

Brian Jeter advised with regards to Comcast down converting.

Brian Jeter updated the members with regards to the DTV kit sent out to municipalities. Gerard O’Malley advised that the information was in the members’ May packet.

Brian Jeter reported with regards to Comcast’s HD and Video On Demand Channels.

Brian Jeter reported that Comcast is offering four (4) or eight (8) line bundles to businesses.

Brian Jeter reported with regards to Wide Area Network (WAN) being used by Souderton School District.

Brian Jeter updated the members with regards to Verizon carrying CN8. He advised that the decision to carry the channel is Verizon’s.

Harry Stevens commented with regards to the FCC and cable boxes. Brian Jeter reported on Comcast fighting with the FCC with regards to waiving set top boxes, he advised that he would provide the members with more information.

Brian Jeter advised that both the Township and Borough Franchise Agreements have been signed. He reported on discussions with Marcia Scull and Joe Czajkowski.

Brian Jeter advised that Comcast is working on the Township’s audio problem on Channel 99. He reported that Comcast does not adjust the audio.

The members discussed Comcast making their employees aware of DVS programming.

Brian Jeter advised that he would update the members when he has more information with regards to DVS.

The members thanked Brian Jeter for his time.

VERIZON REPORT:

Discuss the results of the Committee’s testing of Verizon’s SAP and DVS programming

The members discussed the results of Harry Stevens’s test and the email received from Stephanie Beavers.

OLD BUSINESS:

Public Access Channel

The members agreed to postpone the discussions with regards to Public Access Channels.

NEW BUSINESS:

Discuss article regarding set top boxes submitted to the Committee from former member Walter Iwaskiw

The members discussed the article received from Walter Iwaskiw.

OTHER BUSINESS/MEMBER COMMENTS:

The members discussed the audio problems on some of the Township/Borough’s PEG channels. Harry Stevens reported that the Verizon audio problem has been resolved and that the Comcast problem is still being researched.

The members discussed the Borough broadcasting their Council meetings.

James Manahan suggested that information be posted to the Borough and Township web sites and government channels with regards to the February 2009 FCC requirements.

The members discussed universal set top boxes.

The members discussed television cable cards.

The members discussed the set top boxes and televisions being compatible.

Harry Stevens reported on the TV Converter Box Coupon Program. He brought in the coupon and a set top box he purchased for the members to view. He reported on his online research and his testing of the converter box.

The members discussed the high definition channels that are being broadcast.

Barbara Jankowski and Gerard O’Malley advised that they would not be at the meeting on July 2, 2008.

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting adjourned at 8:49 P.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for July 2, 2008. The meeting will begin at 7:30 P.M., in the Newtown Fire Station located at Newtown Municipal Complex.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

Christy Holley, Recording Secretary