P. O. Box 87

Newtown, Connecticut

~ Minutes ~

Minutes of Public Regular Meeting –

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Newtown, CT


There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:04 p.m., Tuesday, November 11, 2014 by Chairman Gregory Davis at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.


ATTENDEES:  Chairman Gregory Davis (Roxbury), Carmella Amodeo (Newtown), Jon Bernon (Woodbury), Douglas Branson (Kent), Kevin Burns (Newtown), Donna Cassidy (Trumbull), Paul Katzmark (Southbury), Jim Lang (Trumbull), Stephanie O’Rourke (Kent) and Gene Rosen (Newtown), Chuck Rubano (New Milford)


From Charter: Greg Van Antwerp (Public Access) and Heidi Vandenbrouch (Public Relations)


Guests: Steven and Mary Schinke


ROLL CALL: Members of the council introduced themselves and Chairman Gregory Davis reviewed the packets for tonight’s meeting. 


PUBLIC INPUT:  Guests Steven and Mary Schinke from Roxbury approached the council asking for support in receiving high speed internet in their home.  Since the Schinkes work from home, high speed internet is crucial for their businesses.  Charter is unable to provide this due to the high installation costs to their home.  The Schinkes have offered to pay this installation cost.  Jim Lang suggested that the Schinkes try Frontier Communications.


There was a brief discussion of whether or not Charter’s policy should be changed. This will be discussed further at the January meeting.


Donna Cassidy made a motion to ask Charter Cable to reconsider the connection request of the homeowners Steven and Mary Schinke.  Seconded- Vote: All in favor



Heidi Vandenbrouch announced that Tom Cohan is unable to attend this meeting.


Heidi Vandenbrouch- (Public Relations) reported on the following:

·        Charter went to all digital on September 9th and 16th.  There are over 200 HD Channels. 

·        There was a question about MSG & MSG Plus.  Heidi will look into this for the next meeting.

·        Chairman Gregory Davis commended Charter on a smooth transition. 

·        Jim Lang asked if it is possible to have a technical person attend meeting in case of questions.

·        Jim Lang thanked Charter for previous free service for the town and schools and inquired as to why this policy has changed and a charge now applies.


Greg Van Antwerp- (Public Access) spoke of the following:

·         Studio 21 for local musicians.

·        Live election results were reported from Charter by West Conn students.

·        There will be an Open House on Tuesday, Nov. 25th at the CTV studio. 

·        Three mobile shoots were done in the past 2 months. 



Gregory Davis made a motion to accept the Treasury report as presented-Vote: All in favor



September Cable Advisory Meeting Minutes and October Strategic Action Committee Meeting

Paul Katzmark made a motion to accept the minutes from the September 2014 Cable Advisory meeting and the October 2014 Strategic Action Committee meeting as presented.  Seconded.  Vote: All in favor


Basic Service Tier Promotion

Gregory Davis noted that the Basic Cable service price for Charter is $36.95 plus the price of the cable box; however this information is not available on their website.  Charter is required by law to provide this basic service but not required to promote it or advertise it.  There was a discussion of ways to promote basic cable and it was suggested that CAC members talk to constituents. Information regarding this can be found on the CAC website. 



Chairman Davis spoke of the price increase protest letters from multiple subscribers,  due to Charter’s all-digital service that now requires a cable box for every television.  Charter adds a mandatory rental fee for each one onto the bill. He spoke of alternatives.



·        Chairman Davis spoke of Cable news from September 2014 to early November 2014. 

·        Chairman Davis spoke of a draft motion that he proposed to the Statewide Video Advisory Council and spoke of the importance of Community Access Television.


Jim Lang made a motion to have the CAC draft a letter to PURA to please review the language of CGS 16-331a(k) to confirm that community access provider support fees are to be collected for all subscribers.  Seconded. – Tabled

There was a discussion of the effectiveness of this letter and it was decided to table this motion to the next meeting.


·        Gregory Davis spoke of Community Access Providers

Jim Lang made a motion to send the following to the chairman of CT Energy& Technology Committee “We the members of the Area 19 Cable Advisory Council request the committee to create legislation to stabilize funding of the CT Institution of Community Access Television by language clarification to CGS 16-331a(k).   The department shall establish the amount that the company or organization responsible for community access operations shall receive for such operations from subscribers to any services of multichannel video programming distributors holding a valid license as issued by the PURA.”  Seconded- Vote: All in favor





Gregory Davis made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:58pm.  Seconded.

Vote: All in favor