January 2, 2008 Minutes

MINUTES of CTAC of Hamden, New Haven, and West Haven – January 2, 2008

George Alexander (Treasurer H)
Mark Anderson (NH)
Stuart Arotsky (Chair WH)
Jennifer Sacco (H)
Tad Weinstein (Vice chair WH)
Peaches Quinn (NH)

Sharon Codeanne, Comcast
Joseph Schofield, CTV

1. Meeting called to order.

2. Report from Comcast, Sharon Codeanne

  • Digital converter coupons
  • Converter can be rented from Comcast
  • New state law passed in June, effective Oct. 1, 2007
    • In order to level playing field between cable operators and AT&T, cable operator can apply for certificates to supplant their current franchise agreements.  This was granted for New Haven December 18, 2007. 
    • The advisory council will still be funded, and a statewide advisory council will be created.  
    • Certificates still mandate access and programming.  AT&T will have to report to statewide advisory commission.
    • This means for our customers that there will no longer be a needs assessment process, through which the needs of the community have been ascertained in the past.
    • The support for CTV stays the same.
    • AT&T has to fund PEG at same level as incumbent cable provider, on a per customer basis.
    • Satellite companies still will not pay a fee.
    • Setup costs for CTV not addressed by new legislation.
    • AT&T will have statewide advisory council, but not local.  We will represent AT&T customers on a local basis, but will not have an AT&T representative.
  • Mark Anderson proposed we contact State reps. and senators asking them to address these issues.  One bulleted group letter was suggested, which could be supported by individual letters from each of us as individual citizens.
  • Motion was made by Mark, seconded by Peaches, no further discussion, carried unanimously.

Stu suggested we craft a letter of discussion points, including our view that there still should be a needs assessment, and the issue of the lack of return lines should be included.

George moved we correspond and vote by email; Mark seconded, no further discussion, motion carried unanimously.

AT&T not required to provide a basic service, but they do.  What about must carries?

George asked that our website be added to the Comcast bills.

Peaches would like to include an FAQ page on our website explaining Comcast’s billing and pricing.

Sharon will ask for an electronic version of the “Service, installation, and equipment prices” flyer so that we can include it on our website easily.  Otherwise, Jen or Tad can scan the paper version for inclusion on the site (though this may require including a link to Adobe).

Report from CTV: Joe Schofield

  • Does not believe loss of franchise agreement will affect CTV negatively.
  • Concerned AT&T provision of CTV will be very hard to find if not accessed strictly by flipping through the channels, and may be a reduced picture if it has to be viewed using Windows Media Player.
  • CTV stands to lose surfing capability on AT&T, if all PEG channels are lumped onto one channel.
  • Organization of access centers may ask us to register complaint with AT&T.

With lack of franchise, CTV would have had to wait until 2011 to apply for increased funding.  Joe would like CTV to be able to raise the rates slightly.

Stuart will work up a letter from our council about CTV.

Group members signed up for months to attend CTV board meetings on our behalf.

George has been publicizing our website; contacted Hamden government for a link from the town’s site; also wrote to Hamden newspapers to announce our openings.  Stu volunteered to do same in West Haven for link from the town’s site, and Tad volunteered to announce the openings in the newspaper in West Haven.  Peaches said she would bring it to New Haven.

Joe Schofield will link our site from CTV’s.

We will ask Ed to write another bulletin announcement about our site for CTV.

The minutes section on our site and the news section on our site will be updated by George.

Meeting adjourned.


Town works to bring local access TV to AT&T’s new service

Greenwich Post: Town works to bring local access TV to AT&T’s new service
Jan 11, 2008

AT&T has begun to install their television service in portions of Riverside and Old Greenwich. At this time, AT&T’s “U-Verse” service does not carry Greenwich’s government access channel. 

However, Channel 79 has already begun the process to have government access carried on AT&T’s U-Verse service in the near future. As this is a new service in Connecticut, Greenwich will most likely be the first government access channel to be carried.

Channel 79 will continue to keep the RTM and the public informed on the progress of this project.

© Copyright 2008 by Hersam Acorn Newspapers