Minutes Archive

Minutes of the HACTAC Meeting of October 15, 2014

Attendance: See Above

Excused Absence: See Above

Absent: See Above

Guest: See Above

The meeting was called to order at 7:03 pm

Note: All attachments referenced in these minutes are available either on mentioned e-mail addresses or at your public library; or questions to the DPUC may be addressed to peter.pescosolido@po.state.ct.us.


A motion was made by Bill Stephenson and second by David Raney to accept the June minutes as accepted. Motion passed. One Abstention (Penny Leto) as she was absent in June.

*Note there were no September Minutes as the meeting was cancelled due to lack of quorum.

Treasurer's Report:

See Attached. A motion was made by Alan Budkofsky second by Bill Stephenson to accept the June Treasurer's report subject to audit and with one $1 correction. Motion passed.

Town Reports:


Alan Budkofsky reported:
*Bloomfield is working to update Video on Demand for streaming programming, it enables downloading programing to smart phones, IPads & so forth.
*Howard is working on Political programs, this week is Congressman Larson.
*There is a town proposal to build a 4 story building with about 500 apartments. The program was taped & received 500 on demands after the program.
*Working on programming for emergency preparedness with Town Manager.
*Satellite finally up to grade at cost of $20,000. Town has had it over 10 yrs.
*Working with West Hartford on Cloud Programming.

East Hartford:

Irene Cone reported:
*The Republicans have done a couple of programs.
*A teacher at the High School has a video club. Has High School news which he does every week.
*They cover HS sports
*All the Council, P&Z, Board of Ed & Inland Wetlands are covered live.
*They have a lot of new equipment & are learning how to use them.
*TV cameras are on the wall in the chambers so they can be broadcast live & don't have to be staffed.
*Always looking/need for volunteers. Easier to get them when they could do camera.

Chair interrupted reports to have everyone introduce themselves as there were new members present.


Jeff Stewart reported:
*Started 13 week cycle a couple of weeks ago. There are 15 new shows 1 which is a cooking show.
*Working with 2 interns from The Pathway.
*Getting ready to do a program with Hartford Historical Society.
*Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has invited them to apply for an Organization Assessment Strategic Grant. They have not had an updated Strategic Plan for 5 or 6 years so looking forward to getting that accomplished.
*The Alliance for Media Regional Conference was in New Hampshire. The Executive Director attended it as well as the national one held in June in Philadelphia.
*Busy filming the Rock Cats stadium.


Ferg Jansen & Dick Ostop reported:
*Eno Hall where Simsbury Access & the Senior Center are located is supposed to have major renovations coming up, which could mean Simsbury Access may be kicked out. This would not be a bad thing however as the location of the Access TV is so small at its present location.
*They have a new President of the Board & are filming every Commission meeting in town, Economic Development, All land use Commissions, Board of Ed etc. They are trying to get more money from Board of Ed. They use to give them $5,000 a yr. & then went down to $1000, now up to $2000.
*They did the Sept. Fest.

*In reference to Eno Hall, Dick had an update. The Simsbury Public Building Committee is looking very seriously into moving the Senior Center out of the building all together. SATV would take over the whole bottom floor & Probate would move back to Eno. With the Senior Center gone there would also then be plenty of parking.

West Hartford:

Janice & Steve Barshay reported:
*They are having their big fundraiser coming up on Friday at Rockledge with cocktails, desert, music & silent auction with donated items. A lot of the items come from around town business. Tickets are $50-$100.
*New lights in studio.
*Dick asked the Barshay's to please pass along HACTAC members well wishes to their station manager whose husband recently suffered congestive heart failure.


Bill Stephenson & David Raney
*Jenny did attend the Alliance for Community Media Conference.
*The Ollies program & production pulled in over 300 attendees. The High School catered. It was held in one of the Church's Halls. All the winners got trophies for programming & production. Got to see some of the TV shows & clips. There will be another one coming up in the spring.
*Replacing tiles in the studio so it had to be closed for a while.


John Bairos reported:
*On occasion customers send their Comcast payment to the Cable Advisory Council despite the fact Comcast updated their bills to specifically state not to send it to Cable Advisory Council. At the bottom of the bill it also has Comcast's address listed.
*Since HACTAC last met, beginning in August Comcast has launched several channels & moved many HD channels at no cost to customers. Starting back in Aug with the SEC Network which is another sports program. It is the South East conference which is made up of collegiate colleges in the south. This is on Digital Preferred, HD & Standard Def at no charge to the customer.
*In early Sept they moved several HD channels from Digital Starter to the Basic Tier. Same day they moved & added several HD Channels to the Family Tier. For the Family Tier a customer must subscribe to Limited Basic & then they can get Family Tier which is Disney, Discovery & so forth for an extra $14. Customers are paying for what they do want vs what they don't want. Comcast can't always provide ala-cart programing but they do have some niche type of offerings.
*Race car fans have NASCAR races.
*In the past Comcast had a partnership with Western Union where customers could go & pay their bills there. Recently they began a partnership with UPS where customers can now pick up self-install kits or return Comcast equipment to UPS.
*Back in September Comcast consolidated the Bloomfield & Plainfield Customer Service Centers. They opened a new & expanded Service Center in West Hartford on New Britain Ave. at the former Block Buster Video store. They are moving many of the Xfinity industrial type store settings to make them more retail oriented. These stores have living environments where a customer can experience the many products Xfinity has to offer. It has 15 sales associates to assist customers. Expanded to hours also include Sunday. The store has kiosks so if a customer just wants to pay a bill they can do so there.
*Comcast has re-launched for the 4th year, The Internet Essentials Program with the City of Hartford. COH partnered with Comcast sending out fliers to all Hartford students. This is a Comcast initiative which provides internet service for $9.95 a month to students' who're eligible to receive free or reduced school lunches. Comcast also has either lap top or desk top computers available for reduced cost to the students. Nationwide over 300,000 families have been connected to the internet. So it benefits the students & the families in their homes.
*Through US Chamber of Congress partnership, Comcast has a program called Hire Our Hero's. Comcast has hired 3,000 returning vets.
*Comcast is supporting C-span's student CAM 2015 Student Documentary Competition. This is for students in grades 6-12, with $100K in prizes. This year's theme is called "The Three Branches & You". Students have to create a 5-7 min. documentary including c-span coverage telling a "story that demonstrates how a policy, law, or action by either the executive, legislative or judicial branch has affected you or your community." The deadline is January 20, 2015. Visit studentscam.org for rules & details.

A question was asked if Comcast had any plans to bring in the WE channel that has old programing? John reported at end of meeting WE could be found on1308 Digital start up.

NOTE:All complete reports appear in the DPUC reports available on-line from the DPUC. See below for e-mail address.

Committee Reports:

A T & T (Now Frontier)

Statewide Advisory Council:

Carole has resigned so there is an opening for someone to replace her on the Statewide Advisory Council. AT&T is represented by the state wide council. If anyone is interested in sitting on that Council please let Dick know. They meet once every other month in the state & dinner/refreshments are usually provided.

Penny asked what was going to happen now that AT&T was getting out of the TV/Internet business & Frontier is going to be the new provider. John said PURA just approved the transfer of assets from AT&T to Frontier. AT&T is now just a cell phone company.

(*Lenworth Walker said he would be interested taking Carole's place after the meeting was adjourned so it needs to go on next months agenda)

PSA Video Contest. Penny & Dick explained the contest to new members briefly but Penny will be getting a copy of all the draft information out to everyone for next month so some decisions can be made to update/revise the information for 2015 contest.

Legislative Committee Report:


Public Relations Committee Report:


Nominating Committee:


Chairman's Report: Most memos concerning the DPUC are available on the web-site for the DPUC (www.state.ct.us/dpuc/database/htm)

See Attached.

Dick was approached by TelVue to do a 45 minute presentation explaining broadcasting, encoding, streaming, archiving HD/IPTV, broadcast automation and workflow, web streaming solutions to K-12 higher ed and govt stations. No one has to sign up with TelVue this is strictly informational to better understand the Cloud system. This would be held at the Simsbury Library. Bloomfield, Windsor & West Hartford are already working together on Cloud programming.

A motion was made by Alan Budkofsky second by David Raney to have an informational presentation by a representative of TelVue at next month's HACTAC meeting in Simsbury on Cloud programming for the stations. The motion passed.

HACTAC members are asked to invite their stations, town reps, board members etc. anyone they think might be interested to the presentation. In addition please let Dick know about a week before how many people may be coming so the library can be set up properly & adequate refreshments can be provided.

HACTAC e-mail address: HACTAC@yahoo.com


There was one that Dick had from last month but will send it to John since he didn't have it with him tonight.

Old Business:

Cloud presentation for next month.

New Business:

Alan asked if it would be possible to solicit town officials to authorize the town/city legal notices that are presently placed in newspapers to be done by the Access TV stations. Now legal notices have to be in print. It would take an act of legislator to change it so it could be done by Access TV. It could be a way for the stations to make some additional money as a provider.

A question was raised if it would even be legal/permissible to have the stations run the legal notices & receive payment. John suggested it might be something to run by our attorneys. He thought there might be a way. This idea of changing the legal notice venue has been rejected in the past so it may be an up hill battle.

A motion was made by Jeff Stewart second by David Raney to have at the January Holiday Party/Meeting at the Simsbury Inn once again. The motion passed.

A question arose that if our local access stations are filming a presentation, concert, play etc. for later programming or on a live feed, could this potentially have copy right ramifications for the station? Should the stations look at getting their own insurance or is it covered under Comcast?

John felt that usually the ultimate obligation for copy right or other trade mark issues is with the producer. For instance if a school was putting on a play, the school needs permission to do the play & anyone filming it would need permission as well. This pertains only to copy right material. Most schools go through one purveyor to get copy right permission & it is very precise that it is for specific performances only. Technically local access channels could be on shaky ground filming such an event & then airing it. The stations should be advised to be sure they are covered to rebroadcast these kinds of events. Evidently several Massachusetts stations hare buying ASCAP & BMI Music Licenses, but those particular ones wouldn't cover theatrical performances.

Jeff pointed out that the Media for Community Alliance has a lot of information & may have the answer right there. Email them & ask them for an answer. Each stations should have their own insurance & it should be spelled out in their by-laws.

REVISED Schedule 2014-2015:

Sept. 17, 2014 Hartford
October 15, 2014 East Hartford -Town Hall basement 740 Main Street
November 19, 2014 Simsbury –Simsbury Library on Hopmedow Street
December No Meeting
January 21, 2015 Simsbury - Holiday Meeting Simsbury Inn
February 18, 2015 West Hartford -Town Hall 50 South Main St
March 18, 2015 Windsor- LP Wilson Community Center 599 Mantianuck Ave
April 15, 2015 Hartford -Veeder Place 20-28 Sargeant St
May 20, 2015 Bloomfield -330 Park St
June 17, 2015 Comcast - Berlin


As there was no additional information to be brought before the Board, a motion was made by Alan Budkofsky and second by Ferg Jansen to adjourn the meeting. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:05 pm.

Next Meeting and Location:

The next meeting will be on November 19, 2014 at 7PM at the Simsbury Public Library not Eno Hall.