www.CableAdvisoryCouncil.com

For Charter Communications NW CT Area 19

PO BOX 87, Newtown CT 06470

Email Chairman@CableAdvisoryCouncil.com

CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL SPECIAL REPORT

By 2014-2015 Chairman, Gregory G. Davis KB1YHW


13 November 2014 R19CLR-14-11-13-1-SOCAP


Greetings Council Members, Friends, and Colleagues


Thank you for reading this special report from the area 19 Cable Advisory Council meeting held 11 November 2014.


Please join us on a mission to Save Our Community Access Providers. Help prevent the unthinkable consequences of financial collapse for our precious institution of community access television. We extend our invitation to all 23 Cable Advisory Councils, Designated Community Access Providers, the Statewide Video Advisory Council, and the citizens of Connecticut who benefit from this fundamental guarantee of our 1st Amendment rights.


By unanimous decision on 11 November 2014, Cable Advisory Council - Area 19 voted that a legislative initiative to SAVE OUR COMMUNITY ACCESS PROVIDERS (SOCAP) is necessary. This is surely a critical statewide issue for all designated community access providers. The decision is attached to this message, and posted here:

http://cableadvisorycouncil.com/motions/R19CWAC-14-11-11-1-M3-SOCAP.htm


The cable advisory councils of Connecticut all share the same PRIME DIRECTIVE :

To promote and protect a secure future for meaningful Community Access television programming created by community based groups of producers.  CGS 16-331a (b)


The short story as to what is what is going on: Cord cutting is claiming 1000's of converts weekly across the nation.  A market driven a’ la’ Carte’ transition to ‘over-the-top” (OTT) video is underway. As OTT video delivery on the internet takes market share from bundled pay TV packages, the Connecticut institution of community access TV suffers a direct loss of operating funds collected from subscriber fees. The sole funding source for the designated community access providers is now in danger of collapse.


The loss of funding for community access providers occurs because companies holding CT MVPD business licenses are not collecting access fees from subscribers who “Cut the Cord”, i.e. abandon the bundled video package in favor of less expensive “a la carte” video programming delivered “Over-The-Top” on the internet. Multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD’s) have been allowed to invent a subclass of subscribers that is exempt from the collection of community access subscriber fees. This action is neither supported, nor denied in the existing Connecticut law.






www.CableAdvisoryCouncil.com

For Charter Communications NW CT Area 19

PO BOX 87, Newtown CT 06470

Email Chairman@CableAdvisoryCouncil.com

CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL SPECIAL REPORT

By 2014-2015 Chairman, Gregory G. Davis KB1YHW



The existing law must be clarified and reinforced.


The original intent of the law requiring multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD’s) to collect community access fees from all subscribers must be reinforced to include all subscribers to any services of a company granted the MVPD license. A simple clarification in the existing law will save the Institution of Community Access TV from certain destruction.

There will be strong, but misinformed opposition from those who lack a clear understanding of the MVPD Business License structure in the state of Connecticut. The "internet tax" argument will be energetic, but simply does not apply.


There are only two active kinds of MVPD license in CT, the CVFA & CCFA. The subscriber fee collection is a condition of the LICENSE.    Other examples of fees and taxes the MVPD operators pay as a condition of holding the license include:  PEGPETIA, Gross Profits Taxes, Community Video Competition Fund, to name just a few.... None of these are considered to be "Internet taxes".


Actions moving forward: A council letter directly requesting PURA intervention has been filed. A denial from PURA is likely on the argument of legal impotence to regulate. A legislative initiative to fix this single issue in the 2015 session of the CT General Assembly is the only choice in lieu of direct order from PURA. Come January 2015, we may ask your participation to address your legislative representatives, asking them to support a bill to SAVE OUR COMMUNITY ACCESS PROVIDERS (SOCAP).


We will request the E&T Committee to draft a bill that will stabilize funding for the CT Institution of Community Access Television by language clarification to CGS 16-331a(k)


Our SOCAP bill must originate with the Energy & Technology Committee. Elected representatives are reserved the privilege to submit concept language to committee.


Our SOCAP language proposal is NOT the final definitive bill. What must be clear is the concept. E&T committee receives legislator requests that are submitted in "concept" form.







www.CableAdvisoryCouncil.com

For Charter Communications NW CT Area 19

PO BOX 87, Newtown CT 06470

Email Chairman@CableAdvisoryCouncil.com

CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL SPECIAL REPORT

By 2014-2015 Chairman, Gregory G. Davis KB1YHW



The E&T committee will send the sponsored concept language to the Legislative Commissioner's Office (LCO).


The bipartisan folks at the LCO then draft the actual language of the bill, and affix the Raised Bill #  & LCO #, then refer the bill back to the E&T committee.


After the raised bill is sent back at E&T, it can get a schedule for a public hearing. After public hearings, the raised bill is sent to the general assembly. If the bill receives a “joint favorable” recommendation by the E&T committee, the raised bill then has a chance.


Here are the odds:

While there are usually 4000 raised bills sent to the general assembly per session; Only 600 or so are passed into law.


Watch the www.CableAdvisoryCouncil.org web site for actual correspondence formatting.

The R19CLR14-11-25-V2-SOCAP PURA letter and the R19CWAC-14-11-11-SOCAP Decision follow in this message. Printable files are attached along with the distribution list for this message.


Sincerely,








Gregory G. Davis, KB1YHW

www.GGDavis.com Photographic Arts

Audio Engineering Services, LLC,  www.AES-CT.com

General Class Federal Amateur Radio License

2014 President, Northville Amateur Radio Association - NA1RA

Chairman, Charter Western Cable Advisory Council

Member, Statewide Video Advisory Council

203-510-4817 Mobile,  860-355-4122 Office

57 Squire Road, Roxbury CT 06783





www.CableAdvisoryCouncil.com

For Charter Communications NW CT Area 19

PO BOX 87, Newtown CT 06470

Email Chairman@CableAdvisoryCouncil.com


CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL CHAIRMAN’S LETTER

R19CLR-14-11-25-V2-SOCAP


25 November 2014


Via First Class Mail and Electronic Filing

Nicholas E. Neeley Acting Executive Secretary (860) 827-1553

PURA.ExecutiveSecretary@ct.gov 

Executive Secretary, Public Utilities Regulatory Authority

10 Franklin Square New Britain CT 06051

 

Re: Save Our Community Access Providers


The MVPD license holders in CT are NOT collecting community access fees from subscribers who cancel the “Basic Cable TV package”, in favor of internet only with video programming delivered Over-The-Top (OTT).


This dramatic shift in the subscriber choices, away from bundled programming packages in favour of a’la’carte, is profound and significant.  The transition to “Internet only” with OTT video can easily exceed 30% over the next 36 months, with dire consequences to Connecticut’s Institution of Community Access Television.   Community Access Provider Operating budgets will be slashed by over 30%.  This is VERY WRONG.  


The interpretation of CGS 16-331a(k) by the MVPD’s, which allows them to invent separate classifications of “exempt subscribers”, is not supported - nor is it denied.


This letter formally requests PURA to clarify and order that MPVD license holders in CT are required to collect fees to support the designated community access provider operations from all subscribers as per CGS 16-331a(k). MVPD invented classifications of subscribers exempt from community access fees must be denied.


Respectfully Submitted,




Gregory G. Davis, KB1YHW

Chairman, Cable Advisory Council, CWAC R19


Attachments:

Council Decision: R19CWAC-14-11-11-M3-SOCAP





www.CableAdvisoryCouncil.com

For Charter Communications NW CT Area 19

PO BOX 87, Newtown CT 06470

Email Chairman@CableAdvisoryCouncil.com

DECISION


11 November 2014 R19CWAC-14-11-11-M3-SOCAP


Connecticut Legislators

Legislative Building, Hartford CT


Re: SAVE OUR COMMUNITY ACCESS PROVIDERS

CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL DECISION


Greetings Senator Duff and Representative Reed, E&T Committee Co-Chairmen


We the members of the Area 19 Cable Advisory Council request the Energy & Technology Committee to draft a bill that will stabilize funding for the CT Institution of Community Access Television by language clarification to CGS 16-331a(k) in the 2015 CGA legislative session.

CGS 16-331a (As written)

(k) The department shall establish the amount that the company or organization responsible for community access operations shall receive for such operations from subscribers and from multichannel video programming distributors.


(Proposed draft revision)

(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.


The sole funding source for designated community access providers is collapsing.

Community access funding is directly reduced by MVPD companies deciding not to collect fees from subscribers “Cutting the Cord”, i.e. abandoning the bundled video package in favor of less expensive “Over-The-Top” video services with “a la carte” video programming. Multichannel video programming distributors have been allowed to limit their collection of community access subscriber fees to the rapidly declining pool of bundled video programming package subscribers.


The existing law must be clarified and reinforced.

The original intent of the law requiring multichannel video programming distributors to collect community access fees from all subscribers must be reinforced to include all subscribers to any services of a company granted the MVPD license. A simple clarification in the existing law will save the Institution of Community Access TV from certain destruction.


Yours truly,

Gregory G. Davis, KB1YHW

Chairman, Area 19 Cable Advisory Council