March 3, 2021 Minutes

CTAC Meeting Minutes   March 3, 2021 – ZOOM TELECONFERENCE
  (due to virus pandemic)

Attending members:

Peaches Quinn – (New Haven) – Acting Chair
George Alexander – (Hamden) – Treasurer
Yvonne Manning-Jones  – (New Haven) – Advisor
Laurel Colemen (Hamden) Advisor
Tom Costa (New Haven Library System)
Johnes Ruta – (New Haven) – Acting Secretary

Sharon Codeane – Comcast Represntative
Joe Schofield         – CTV Represntative – not in attendence.

  1. Call to order 6:04pm.   Teleconference members on Zoom.

    2.     New member greeting: Tom Costa representing New Haven Public Library System,
    Adult Services Center. background in Military Communications; IT Educational instructor;
    Radio station experience. Government Document Librarian. Resides on Temple Street.
    Council members introduce selves to new member.

    3.     COMCAST Sharon Codeanne – Comcast Representative – is in attendance.
    . To help connect low-income families to the Internet, Comcast has committed to launching
    more than 1,000 WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” in community centers nationwide. Comcast
    will provide free WiFi in these facilities to help students get online, participate in distance
    learning, and do their schoolwork

    b. LEAP is now an active Lift Zone and we are also working with the Boys & Girls Club of New Haven, Youth Continuum, New Haven Housing Services and the Urban League of
    Southern CT.

    c. Last month, Comcast increased the speed of our Internet Essentials service for the sixth
    time in 10 years – to 50/5 (without changing the price).

    d.   Programming Updates:
    a. Effective March 9, 2021, NBA in SD format will no longer be available as part of the NBA League Pass HD Pay-Per-View. NBA in HD format will continue to be available
    on Channel 1218 as part of NBA League Pass HD Pay-Per-View.

    b. Effective April 13, 2021, Cartoon Network will move to the Digital Preferred package.

    e. The $2,000 annual support check was mailed to George Alexander; confirmed receipt
    on 12/21/20.

    f. George asks Sharon about Gov. Lamont’s announcement that all areas and households
    in CT have cable service extended to their locations. Sharon explains that there are some
    rural areas in CT not yet served in their service area.

    g. Peaches asks Sharon about the anticipated arrival of 5G WiFi in our district area?
    Sharon replies that there is not yet a time frame for this system ugrade.

    h. George asks Sharon question about turnaround time on DVR replacement.

    i. Johnes asks Sharon where to find Comcast Financial Reports. She directs information
    to the Comcast website page on Investor Relations. Johnes asks about the justification
    for the second rate increase since 2020, $10 January 2020, $10 more in February 2021.
    Sharon argues about other cable competitors in CT, Johnes asks if competition is an issue
    why not lower rates? Sharon argues Comcast’s increasing operational costs.

    j. Peaches asks Sharon for info on criteria in identifying “older adults” eligibility for
    Internet Essentials.

    k. Tom asks Sharon for clarification on zones for Lift Zones initiative. Sharon emphasizes
    implementation for zones for virtual school sessions.

    (After her presentation, Sharon Codeanne signs off from the meeting.)

    4.     February CTAC Minutes.
    Peaches requests distribution of February Minutes, previously sent as Draft to Peaches.
    Johnes emails Final Minutes for February and December Minutes to all members.

    5.     CTV Report     Joe Schofield – Executive Director CTV – not in attendence.
    No report; no one has heard from Joe Schofiled. Laurel needs an update regarding the
    PSA that was video taped before the pandemic shutdown, No update received from CTV.

    6.     Treasurer’s Report  – George Alexander
    George states current CTAC account balance is $5,547.32, including $2,000 check just
    received from Comcast.   Received a bill for Post Office Box charge, just paid, is $332.
    Peaches makes Motion to accept the Treasury Report. Johnes seconds the Motion, Carried.

    7. . Old Business

    a.   CTAC Facebook page: Yvonne states there have been no changes. She has been perusing
    other Advisory councils; she saw one ADA offering plug-in for computer screen access
    for individuals with disabilities. Peaches notes that community constituents would need
    Spanish or other languages for screen texts.

    b. Laurel’s report on PSA: “has not heard anything” from CTV where PSA was recorded in             February 2020. There is no update on work on PSA, as schools are not in regular session.

  2. George talks about a major redesign of the CTAC website cableadvisory.org
    George specifies that the design is all done, and has added links for the legislating for
    internet for all, but needs more input about what we at CTAC are doing.

    8. New Business

           a. Peaches brings up CTAC continuing legislative activity on internet for all and
    net neutrality.   Concerns regarding complaints on new data usage caps being proposed
    by Comcast. These additional surcharges have been delayed for one year by CT AG Tong.
    Legislative Aide Jason Knight communicated with Peaches regarding H.B.6157
    Gov. Lamont has proposed a corresponding Bill 4, but Peaches notes that the language
    of this Bill is “more weighted on the side of Internet Security.”   Peaches indicates that
    the CTAC sub-committee of herself, George, Yvonne, and Johnes will address the issues in
    H.B. 5157 in order to get them included in Bill 4.   Laurel Coleman expresses her concern
    for rate increases. Peaches notes that emails to the legislature have little effect, and instead
    recommends multiple telephone calls to State Senators and Representative to join efforts
    to implement rate controls in CT.   Peaces also notes that in the northwest corner of CT, the
    preponderance of internet traffic of Wall Street connections is gobbling up resources
    on cable towers.

    b.  Peaches recounts her participation in the Statewide Cable Advisory Council meeting in
    February, where the main issue addressed was a plan to save the northwest corner of the
    state, which would be “Fiber to Home.” Peaches states that the time spent at this Statewide        meeting going through the Agenda was 22 minutes! When her question was waiting on
    “raise-hand” on that Zoom meeting, regarding Legislative issues, was ignored by the Chair          Person. Peaches says that the other Connecticut Cable Advisory Councils, such as Waterbury,
    Hartford, Bridgeport, should be represented but were not. This Statewide Chairperson
    recommended all the advisory councils raise money for lobbyists for causes that they
    wish to promote.

7:32 pm, Johnes makes Motion to Adjourn. Yvonne seconds. Agreed.

Next CTAC Meeting: Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 6:00pm, via Zoom.

March 3rd Meeting Minutes respectfully submitted by Johnes Ruta, (New Haven) Acting Secretary.