Old Lyme Area Cable Advisory Council
January 25, 2017
369 West Road, Salem
Present: Chair Peter Sielman (Salem), Brian Bowes (Lyme), Pam Munro (Salem BOE), Russ Gomes(Old Lyme; State Advisory Council rep); Comcast representative John Bairos, Public Access Coordinator Lynn Perry; Cathy Frank (Old Lyme) arrived after meeting had begun
Absent: Gary Mezzi (East Haddam BOE), Michael Gilroy (East Haddam, Public Libraries Rep), Ernest Malavesi (East Haddam)
Call to Order~
Chairman Peter Sielman called the meeting to order at 7:30pm.
Approval of Minutes
Motion made by Pam Munro, seconded by Russ Gomes, to approve the minutes of the October 2016 meeting. Motion passed.
Treasurer Brian Bowes reported bank balances of $16,985.25 (money market) and $50.82 (checking). One check was issued since the last meeting: $26.95 to the Town of Old Lyme for public access equipment reimbursement for the Lymes Senior Center.
The following 2017 Meeting Locations were set: April 26, 2017 Location: Public Access Studio on Halls Road in Old Lyme; July 26, 2017 Location: Lyme; October 25, 2017 Location: Salem
Request for $2,000 grant from Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library
A public access grant program for public libraries in Advisory Council towns was discussed and approved at the previous meeting. Members decided the grant will be reimburseable up to $2,000 with receipts submitted to Treasurer for reimbursement. Recipients will be required to schedule public access programming by the end of 2017. A draft grant award letter was discussed and edited. Final letter is part of the minutes. Secretary Cathy Frank will notify the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library. A motion to approve the program terms was made by Russ Gomes, seconded by Peter Sielman. Motion passed.
Statewide Video Council Report
Russ Gomes reported that a Statewide Council meeting will take place next week. In December, the Statewide Council formed sub-committees to pursue different issues. Russ is chairing an administrative sub-committee investigating ways to encourage cable provider competition as a way of combating rate increases.
Members pointed out that competition is already present in many cable areas from other types of providers (e.g. phone company, satellite companies). Brian noted that many businesses have tried and failed to build cable systems, adding that the expense is prohibitive. He used SNET as an example. Pam added that there are currently no legal prohibitions to businesses interested in competing but it is not financially feasible. John Bairos pointed out that cable doesn’t work the same way as electricity, so the model used to foster electrical company competition will not work for cable providers.
Russ said next week’s Statewide meeting will include a Powerpoint presentation about the topic.
John Bairos reported that eligibility for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program has been expanded to include people living in HUD-funded housing. Residents should call Comcast to inquire about individual eligibility.
Comcast now has partnerships with Western Union and 711 stores for bill payments, with UPS stores to return equipment, and with Amazon for some services. Netflix is now available to customers through the X1 box.
Comcast continues to develop different pricing levels for customers and more ways to access cable channels (e.g. through mobile devices).
Public Access Report
Lynn Perry~will schedule a Public Access Studio Open House to coincide with the April 26 Advisory Council meeting. She said new connecting cables have been installed in the studio.
The Lymes’ Senior Center has contacted Lynn about scheduling recordings of their programs on the public access channel.
Salem Historical Society videos
Pam Munro is trying to obtain tapes of programs about historic farms in Salem. She is working with the new president of the SHS whom she said seems very interested in editing the tapes for public access airing.
Scholarship application 2017
Pam Munro said 2017 applications will be submitted to Gary Mezzi per the application.
Award letters to students will be revised to state that students are required to participate in an interview at the Public Access studio. Cathy suggested sending a copy of the letter to the Guidance Dept. so the school(s) will know the requirements and can pass on to the students
if needed. Discussion of the scholarships and interviews will be included on the April 2017 agenda.
Motion made by Brian Bowes to adjourn at 8:45pm.
OLD LYME Area cable Advisory Council
30 January 2017
Director, Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library
2 Library Lane
Old Lyme, CT 06371
On January 25, 2017, the Old Lyme Area Cable Advisory Council voted to award up to $2,000 to the OLPGN Library. The grant funding has been authorized to subsidize capital and equipment costs related to producing public access programming.
This is a reimbursable grant program. Grant recipients must submit receipts to the Old Lyme Area Cable Advisory Council, and must schedule public access programming to air on our local Public Access Channel by the end of 2017.
The grant is contingent on compliance with the above.
Receipts should be submitted electronically to the Old Lyme Area Cable Advisory Council Treasurer, Brian Bowes (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Public access programming can be scheduled with Comcast Public Access Coordinator Lynn Perry (860 434 0643).
Secretary, Old Lyme Area Cable Advisory Council
860 434 1605, ext. 210