NEWTOWN AREA TELECOMMUNICATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF MARCH 3, 2009

 

Members Present: James Manahan, Member and Robert Hafner, Member Representing Newtown Township: Patrick Foster, Vice-Chairman/Treasurer and John Leonard, Member Representing Newtown Borough. Not present was Barbara Jankowski, Member Representing Newtown Township. No Liaison from the Borough or Township was present.

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

CALL TO ORDER:

James Manahan called the meeting to order at 7:59 P.M.

RE-ORGANIZATION OF THE COMMITTEE:

Robert Hafner made a motion to nominate James Manahan for Chairman. The motion was seconded by John Leonard and passed unanimously (3-0).

James Manahan made a motion to nominate John Leonard for Vice-Chairman. The motion was seconded by Robert Hafner and passed unanimously (3-0).

James Manahan made a motion to nominate John Leonard for Treasurer. The motion was seconded by Robert Hafner and passed unanimously (3-0).

MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 5, 2008:

Robert Hafner made a motion to approve the minutes of November 5, 2008. The motion was seconded by John Leonard and passed unanimously (3-0).

COMCAST REPORT:

Brian Jeter updated the members on new equipment that Comcast is offering to limited and expanded basic customers (correspondence from Comcast dated January 20, 2009 regarding this matter was included in the member’s packets). Comcast will provide one digital set top box and up to two digital adapters at no additional charge, if additional equipment is needed there will be a charge. Equipment remains the property of Comcast. He explained how the equipment works and its benefits customers.

Brian Jeter updated the members with regards to Congress postponing the digital conversion from February 17, 2009 until June 12, 2009. He commented that 25% of broadcasters nationwide have already migrated and are carrying dual signals.

VERIZON REPORT:

Stephanie Beavers updated the members with regards to the FiOS TV packages being offered by Verizon - the Essentials and Extreme HD. The members were provided information regarding this matter in their packets.

Stephanie Beavers advised that Verizon sent out their annual notices in December 2008.

John Leonard asked if there were any updated with regards to the Descriptive Video Service. Stephanie Beavers advised that she currently has no update, but that Verizon does pass on any information as received from providers. Brian Jeter advised that Comcast also passes on any information as received from providers.

John Leonard asked if Comcast or Verizon is looking into set top boxes that use less power. He advised that his set top boxes use the same amount of power if they are on or off and that they are not DVR boxes. Brian Jeter and Stephanie Beavers advised that they would look into the matter and report back to the Committee.

The members thanked both Brian Jeter and Stephanie Beavers for their time and apologized for starting the meeting late.

OLD BUSINESS:

NEW BUSINESS:

Discuss converting this Committee from a standing committee to an ad hoc committee

The members discussed converting the NATAC from a standing committee to an ad hoc committee. The members discussed the Technology Committee. A suggestion was made for the two committees to merge. The members discussed getting input from the Liaisons as to what the Committee’s function should be. James Manahan advised that he would contact Supervisor Schenkman and Supervisors Gallagher to discuss the matter. John Leonard advised that the Borough does not currently have a Technology Committee and that he was trying to attend the Township’s Technology Committee’s meetings. The members discussed the need for the Borough to have representation and Comcast and Verizon continuing to make presentations to keep the community updated. John Leonard advised that he would contact Gerard O’Malley to discuss the matter.

Discuss next meeting date

The members agreed to meet on April 7, 2009 at 7:30 P.M. at the Newtown Borough Fire Hall located at 14 Liberty Street.

Patrick Foster arrived. The meeting was recapped.

OTHER BUSINESS/MEMBER COMMENTS:

The members complimented Patrick Foster on the renovations done to the Fire Hall.

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting adjourned at 8:34 P.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for April 7, 2009. The meeting will begin at 7:30 P.M., in the Newtown Borough Fire Hall located at 14 Liberty Street.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

Christy Holley, Recording Secretary