NEWTOWN AREA TELECOMMUNICATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF JUNE 2, 2009
Members Present: James Manahan, Chairman; Barbara Jankowski, Member; Robert Hafner, Member and Jerry Schenkman, Liaison Representing Newtown Township; John Leonard, Vice-Chairman/Treasure; Patrick Foster, Member and Gerard O’Malley, Liaison Representing Newtown Borough.
Also present were Brian Jeter representing Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. and John Strasser representing Verizon.
CALL TO ORDER:
Chairman James Manahan called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.
MINUTES OF APRIL 7, 2009:
Barbara Jankowski made a motion to approve the minutes of April 7, 2009. The motion was seconded by John Leonard and passed unanimously (5-0).
Brian Jeter updated the members with regards to the NFL Network; he advised that it would be available on the Sports Tier. He reported that short clips/highlights of the game would be available for viewing and on “Red Zone” which also offers short clips of the game. The channel should be available prior to August 31, 2009.
Brian Jeter update the members with regards to Comcast having a joint agreement with the public broadcasters and that now the public broadcast stations have a choice to elect not to have must carry, which would allow for more stations. Customers would need a digital box to get secondary PBS stations.
Brian Jeter commented with regards to June 12, 2009 being the DTV transition. He reported that Comcast is prepared and has teams available to assist customers with problems.
Brian Jeter reported on various Comcast offers with regards to service.
James Manahan questioned how many residents are still using antennas. Brian Jeter reported that in Bucks County approximately 10% of the residents are still using antennas.
James Manahan suggested that information regarding June 12, 2009 and the DTV transition be posted on the Township and Borough websites.
The Committee discussed how residents who do not have a cable or satellite provider will be effected by the DTV transition and the equipment they would need to receive the new signal.
Brain Jeter reported that Comcast is working with the Township Engineer with regards to the Stoopville Road Project.
Brian Jeter reported on the correspondence sent to the Borough and Township with regards to the facilities that have courtesy services receiving free digital boxes.
John Leonard commented with regards to the internet service for the Police Station. Brian Jeter advised that he needs to discuss that matter with Gerard O’Malley.
The members thanked Brian Jeter for his time.
John Strasser advised on the correspondence that Verizon has sent to the Borough and Township with regards to the Franchise Agreements. He advised on Verizon’s new process for reporting issues.
(Gerard O’Malley arrived.)
James Manahan question programming with regards to the Yankee Baseball Channel and not being able to watch the games. John Strasser advised that the games might be being blacked out.
The members thanked John Strasser for his time.
OTHER BUSINESS/MEMBER COMMENTS:
Robert Hafner commented on the video quality of the Township Supervisors’ meetings being re-broadcast. The members discussed various issues with regards to the broadcasts of the Supervisors’ meetings. Jerry Schenkman advised that he would discuss the Committee’s concerns with the Township Manager.
Jerry Schenkman questioned when the Committee last made a presentation to the Supervisors; he suggested that the Committee give a report. James Manahan advised that he would contact the Township to have the Committee put on the agenda.
The members updated Robert Hafner on their past discussions with regards to the possibility of this Committee and the Technology Committee becoming one and agreed that it was best to keep the two committees separate.
The Recording Secretary reported that the Township Manager’s Administrative Assistant advised her that a resident is interested in joining the Committee.
The members discussed the breakdown for the Committee members; it was believed that the Committee consists of five members from the Township and two members from the Borough. Jerry Schenkman advised that he would make an announcement at the next BOS meeting with regards to the Committee looking for members. James Manahan advised that he would also mention that the Committee is looking for members in his report to the Supervisors.
The meeting adjourned at 7:29 P.M.
The next meeting is scheduled for October 6, 2009. The meeting will begin at 7:00 P.M., in the Newtown Borough Fire Hall located at 14 Liberty Street.
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary