Thursday, October 15, 2009

Minutes of September 2009 meeting of Fayetteville Telecommunication Board

Telecommunications Board Meeting Minutes
September 17, 2009

Aubrey Shepherd called the meeting to order.

In attendance were Shepherd, Mayes, Hilton, Cusanelli, Russell and Tennant.

Russell made a motion to approve the August minutes, Tennant seconded and the minutes were approved.

Mayes moved to strike agenda item number 12 from the agenda concerning the internet committee. Hilton noted that agenda items 10 and 14 were the same and agenda item 14 was removed from the agenda. Mayes moved to accept the agenda striking 12 and 14, Tennant seconded the motion and the agenda passed.

UATV Contract

Hilton noted that the quarterly report from UATV is due in October. Mayes asked for a report from staff on the UATV contract at the October meeting. Hilton asked if there was a clear path to notify UATV concerning the quarterly report, Shepherd stated that it was his (Shepherd’s) responsibility to call the sponsor, Mr. Foley, and that he would make the call.

AT&T U-Verse/ COX Discussion

Gisler stated that the implementation was progressing and the end of October is the goal to have the implementation completed.
Cusanelli questioned what was going to happen to citizens who were expecting to be able to receive U-Verse on Dish Network now that AT&T has divested itself of Dish Network. Gisler stated that was an issue for Lindsley Smith and AT&T. Cusanelli also stated that U-Verse was supposed to be competition for Cox Cable. Smith stated that she was interested in being involved with the negotiations and would like to help but that she did not know the goals of the committee. Mayes suggested that Smith review the franchise agreements with Cox and with AT&T. Cusanelli suggested that Smith review the initial meeting tape involving Cathy Foracker and Edward Drilling of AT&T Arkansas.
Hilton moved to make a formal request to have an AT&T representative come and report to the board, Cusaneli seconded and the motion passed.
Mayes stated that AT&T had agreed to provide a fourth channel to Fayetteville Public Schools and that FHS was in the same state of implementation as the PEG Center.
A discussion was had on a needs and interest study and on the letter being presented to the City Council concerning entering into a needs and interest study leading to COX franchise negotiations. Shepherd asked for a motion of support to continue the action of the board. Russell made the motion, Cusanelli and Mayes seconded the motion and the motion passed.


Sky Blaylock gave a report on the upcoming fundraising events for the month of October.

Colleen Pancake spoke representing the Community Access Television board and made a request to have a joint board meeting once the Telecom Board Orientation session had been held.


Shepherd asked Government Channel Manager about a meeting room for the upcoming subcommittee meeting on the CAT Contract. Gisler stated he was still working on a room and would notify the members of the board.


Fritz Gisler gave the report. Gisler stated the quarterly report would be due in October.
Gisler gave a brief report on the informational programs being produced. Gisler reported on a COX Communications upgrade, replacing the transport connectivity from the PEG Center to the COX Communications system and going to a fully digital system.
A report was made on the changes in the facility concerning internet workstations for the public which has expanded from one to two and moving a staff person to the old internet workstation room. The move opens a space for a work bench.
Shepherd questioned Gisler about using volunteers for productions. Gisler reported that there was a production that was taped by CAT staff which is airing on the government channel. Gisler stated that according to labor law that he cannot pursue volunteers but that if a volunteer produced a program and it met technical production values that it would be scheduled to be shown.
Gisler informed the board about the proposed upgrade of room 219 which was going before the City Council for their approval.


Ms. Smith reported back to the board concerning the Telecom Boards recommendation letter going to the City Council, and that the letter would be presented at the agenda session on September 29.



Mr. Gisler reported that there had been compliments to him about the programming and the information that is being presented.


Hilton suggested that the policy committee meeting be set for after the CAT Contract meetings. Shepherd stated he would like to wait until after the CAT Contract is finished.


Hilton asked for available meeting dates. Mayes stated he thought it would be set up by email. Hilton stated he had sent out emails and received no response. Mayes asked if Hilton would send out an email again. Hilton stated he would resend. Gisler extended and invitation to members to come to the PEG center for a tour.


Mayes requested that city staff give an update on the scope of and progress of the cities WI-FI Internet pilot project.


Shepherd asked for a motion to adjourn. Hilton made the motion, Cusaneli seconded and the motion passed.

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