NEWTOWN AREA TELECOMMUNICATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF JULY 2, 2008

 

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

Also present were Stephanie Beavers and John Strasser representing Verizon and Borough resident Michael Molloy.

No representative from Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. attended the meeting.

CALL TO ORDER:

Chairman Harry Stevens called the meeting to order at 7:35 P.M.

MINUTES OF JUNE 4, 2008:

James Manahan made a motion to approve the minutes of June 4, 2008. The motion was seconded by Robert Hafner and passed unanimously (4-0).

VERIZON REPORT:

Stephanie Beavers updated the Committee with regards to the digital conversion and the software upgrade that recently took place in this area.

Status of Descriptive Video Service Issues

Stephanie Beavers advised the Committee on the issues that Verizon is having with regards to the SAP and DVS. She advised that Verizon has been in communication with Mr. Molloy and that they are still researching his problem.

The members discussed SAP and DVS with regards to national and local programming feeds.

The members discussed Michael Molloy’s situation with regards to DVS.

The members discussed the use and cost of QAM tuners. Stephanie Beavers advised that use of a QAM tuner will limit the FiOS programming.

The members discussed what content providers are supplying on their SAP.

Stephanie Beavers advised that Verizon is still working on the DVS issue and that she will keep the Committee updated.

Harry Stevens suggested possible alternatives to help with Michael Molloy’s situation.

John Leonard advised that he is a Comcast customer and on his testing of DVS.

The members discussed if the problem is with the signal or the set top box.

Harry Stevens advised that according to the national specifications for secondary audio programming there can be more than one SAP channel.

Robert Hafner requested that at the September meeting Verizon provide the Committee with a time frame for having the problem resolved.

John Leonard suggested contacting Jeff Jim to see if he could help explain why SAP/DVS works sometimes.

Robert Hafner suggested Michael Molloy purchase a QAM tuner and install an A/B switch and requested him to advise the Committee if that works. Harry Stevens suggested that Michael Molloy hold off on purchasing a QAM tuner and advised on the test he will conduct once he receives his DCT 700 from Verizon.

The members discussed the complementary DCT 700 that Verizon is providing to existing customers.

The members discussed the prior test conducted by Harry Stevens.

The members discussed the possibility of Verizon looking into developing a screen reader.

Robert Hafner commented with regards to volume control on commercials and FCC regulations. Stephanie Beavers advised that Verizon does not control the volume of programming received; however there is some control of volume with regards to the PEG channels. Harry Stevens advised on what information he had with regards to volume control and FCC regulations.

Harry Stevens questioned if Stephanie Beavers or John Strasser’s email addresses have changed, he advised that he received a message noting their addresses being invalided. Stephanie Beavers advised that their email addresses have not changed.

The members thanked Stephanie Beavers and John Strasser for their time.

The members thanked Michael Molloy for his input on the SAP/DVS discussions.

The members discussed Verizon services with regards to regulated and non-regulated.

The members discussed the possibility of Verizon selling their copper lines to another provider in the future.

James Manahan suggested that Harry Stevens send Stephanie Beavers an email in a few weeks to check on the progress of the DVS issue.

COMCAST REPORT:

The Committee members discussed the memorandum received from Brian Jeter dated June 13, 2008 with regards to channel repositioning.

Harry Stevens commented with regards to PCN being relocated and possible issues with the Franchise Agreement.

OLD BUSINESS:

Public Access Channel

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

NEW BUSINESS:

Discuss listing the various cable and satellite providers on the Township and Borough websites.

Harry Stevens advised on a request to list provider information on the website.

The members discussed the possibility of the Township and Borough listing the various cable and satellite providers on their websites and agreed it was a good idea.

OTHER BUSINESS/MEMBER COMMENTS:

The members discussed Comcast and Verizon with regards to corporate values.

Harry Stevens advised the members on his June presentation to the Supervisors.

The Committee members discussed the September meeting date. Harry Stevens advised that he would contact the members with regards to their attendance at the September meeting.

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting adjourned at 9:18 P.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for September 3, 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