Cable Advisory: MCAC Minutes
mik - Mon, Jan 17, 2005, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 1/11/05 with Comcast
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting on 1/11/05

Present: John Reynolds, Mike Naughton, Chris Sawyer-Lau├žanno, Steve Fitzgibbons (Comcast) and Peter Mones (Comcast)
Absent: Roy Rosenblatt, Sam Gilford

Chair, John Reynolds, called the meeting to order at 7:08 p.m.

The purpose of this meeting was for MCAC to meet with Comcast reps. Items on the agenda were:

1. Status of Tech School
2. Status of Town Hall and Police Department Uplinks
3. Clarification on other requested uplinks
4. Clarification of Dry Hill Road cable hook-up feasibility
5. Cable map request

Steve Fitzgibbons opened the meeting by providing a brief overview of recent Comcast activities and initiatives relative to previous requests. He noted that the High School auditorium was completely finished for both up and down links. He also stated that he had received a request from the High School representative, Marty Espinola for an estimate to also provide an uplink from the football field.

1. Status of Tech School

In response to a question from John about the Tech School, Steve noted that he not received any response from the town about the Comcast Aug 25, 2004 estimate of $39,717.50 for hooking up the Tech School for live cablecasting.

John asked whether the cooper cable presently installed was suitable for use.

Pete responded that it could not be used because any uplink for cablecasting had to be linked directly to the Hub (in Crocker Studio). The distance prevented copper from being used.

John asked why the copper feed from the Tech School could simply be linked into the head end in the Industrial Park. Pete responded that an uplink required the signal to be transmitted directly to the Crocker Hub.

This led Mike to question why the Hub was in Crocker.

Steve responded that it had been located there because that was where the studio was located. He stated, however, that in other towns such as Warren, Palmer and Buckland the hub was situated in the Town Hall.

Mike asked whether the hub would have to me moved if for some reason Crocker Studio was no longer used for local access.

Steve responded that it would definitely have to be relocated if this were to happen, and suggested that Town Hall was probably the best location.

Mike asked who was going to pay for the Tech School installation. Steve noted that Comcast, as per the contract signed with the Town, had given the Town a sum approximate to this amount for this purpose.

Mike asked where the money was.

John responded that it was in an account held by Town Hall.

Mike wondered whether this figure was still realistic since it involved trenching and it might be possible to pull cable through the existing conduit. Steve said hed get back to the MCAC on the matter after hed investigated it further.

Mikes next question was whether Montague ought to bear all of the cost for the Tech School or whether it should be divided among all the towns represented at the school. Chris noted that only Montague residents (and students at the Tech School) would be able to view the cablecasts, so it seemed logical that Montague should bear the cost. Chris also noted that Comcast had allocated the money to Montague, not to the Tech School so it wasnt really a cost for the Town. Steve noted that it could be a good PR move on Montagues part, as well.

Mike said he could see this argument but wondered whether it might be feasible to attempt to draw in businesses in the Industrial Park to help offset expenses, particularly if the line had to be trenched to the head enda distance of over 2000 feet.

Steve thought this was a viable possibility.

Pete said it would likely interest businesses more if what was going in was passive coax that could be used for internet. All agreed that this was a point worth pursuing.

2. Status of Town Hall and Police Department Uplinks

The next question from John was about the status of proposed uplinks in Town Hall. Steve said that Comcast had completed an estimate for wiring both the upstairs meeting room and the Police Department and presented the committee with a copy of the estimate. The total, for both uplinked sites was $320. All members present indicated how pleased they were by this figure. MCAC will urge the Select Board and Town Administrator to act on this immediately.

3. Clarification on other requested uplinks

John asked next about the other requested uplinks, most notably the Discovery Center. Pete stated that The Discovery Center was already up and down linked. John said he had no idea that it was already set. Chris and John will attempt to discover the outlets on Thursday, the 13th of January and determine whether modulators were also in place.

4. Clarification of Dry Hill Road cable hook-up feasibility

Steve reiterated that because there were only 18.5 houses over a one-mile stretch of Dry Hill Road, it was not feasible to provide cable service to this road. Once 20 houses were present within the one-mile stretch, then, of course, Comcast would install cable.

Chris asked about the feasibility of Comcast simply running a line up the road and allowing residents who were farther away from the road to pay for bringing cable from the road to their homes. Steve responded that their estimate was $34,362 for running a cable up the road, and therefore the residents would have to wait until their were more houses.

4. Cable map request

In response to Johns request for a Cable Map, Steve said he would arrange to have one sent to the MCAC.

The meeting adjourned at 8:17 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Sawyer-Lau├žanno
Recording Secretary