NEWTOWN AREA TELECOMMUNICATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF OCTOBER 1, 2008

 

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

Also present were Brian Jeter representing Comcast Cable Communications, Inc., Stephanie Beavers and John Strasser representing Verizon.

CALL TO ORDER:

Chairman Harry Stevens called the meeting to order at 7:34 P.M.

COMCAST REPORT:

Brian Jeter reported on the channel realignment and the addition of HD channels the will take effect in mid October. He advised that some of the HD channels would require a digital box.

Brian Jeter reported on the County having a community bulletin board that runs on Channel 96. He advised that Comcast controls the channel, federal law requires this channel and that time may be purchased. Currently the channel is available under the basic tier, but it would transition to the digital tier and a digital box will be required.

Harry Stevens commented with regards to airing the debates on the community bulletin board. Brian Jeter advised that he would provide Harry Stevens with the rates and a sample contract.

Brian Jeter reported on the pedestal issue between Comcast and Lower Makefield Township.

Harry Stevens reported that he was contacted by a Township resident with regards to removing the pedestals within the Township and Borough.

Brian Jeter provided the members with a handout regarding DVS. He reported that if the broadcaster/programmer is providing the service that Comcast passes it through to their customers.

The members discussed Mr. Malloy’s situation and agreed that a test of Comcast’s equipment needs to be conducted.

Brian Jeter advised that if a customer is having a problem, he would like to know about it.

Brian Jeter addressed the complaint with regards to the Big Ten Network. He discussed the programming contract that Comcast has with the Big Ten Network. He advised that in September 2009 Comcast could change the tier that the Big Ten Network is on if they choose to.

Brian Jeter advised the members on the free On-Demand content that is available.

John Leonard questioned how customers who do not have a box would be effected by the digital conversion in February 2009. Brian Jeter advised that customers should not be effected for at least two (2) to three (3) years’ post February 2009.

Gerard O’Malley questioned if Comcast has been contacted by the Borough with regards to the installation of an internet connection for the Police Department. Brian Jeter reported that he has not been contact and advised that the Borough should write him a letter with their request.

The members thanked Brian Jeter for his time.

VERIZON REPORT:

Stephanie Beavers advised the Verizon is still working on resolving the problem with regards to SAP and DVS.

Stephanie Beavers advised that Verizon has completed the channel realignment.

Stephanie Beavers advised on the addition of new channels; she provided the members a copy of the channel lineup.

Stephanie Beavers provided two (2) “welcome packets” – one (1) for the Township and one (1) for the Borough.

Harry Stevens reported on his use of the DCT 700.

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

OLD BUSINESS:

Candidate Debates

Gerard O’Malley reported that Borough Council would be willing to broadcast the debates on their PEG Channel as long as there is no cost to the Borough. A DVD would need to be provided to the Borough.

NEW BUSINESS:

OTHER BUSINESS/MEMBER COMMENTS:

The members discussed Comcast and Verizon being prepared for an onslaught of new customers in February 2009 due to the digital conversion.

Brian Jeter advised that he could no longer attend the meetings on the first Wednesday of the month.

The members discussed Comcast and Verizon’s attendance at the monthly meeting. A suggestion was made to have the representatives alternate their monthly attendance, but that a written report would be required when the representative was not attending the meeting. The members agreed to have Comcast and Verizon alternate their attendance monthly.

The members discussed changing the meeting night to the first Tuesday of the month starting in January 2009. The Recording Secretary advised that she would contact Patrick Foster to check the availability of meeting at the Borough or Township Fire Hall.

Ms. Jankowski made a motion to change the meeting night to the first Tuesday of the month starting in January 2009. The motion was seconded by James Manahan and passed unanimously (4-0).

MINUTES OF SEPTEMBER 3, 2008:

James Manahan made a motion to approve the minutes of September 3, 2008. The motion was seconded by Barbara Jankowski and passed unanimously (4-0).

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting adjourned at 8:46 P.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for November 5, 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