The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cable Advisory Committee to tackle Comcast contract

The ten-year contract with Comcast, Carlisle’s current cable provider, ends in the fall of 2010, and on March 30 Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie told the three members of the newly reconstitutued Cable Advisory Committee, “Now is the time to begin deliberations and negotiations.” The Selectmen have also asked the committee to solicit community comment on the current service and desires for the future.

Introductions were made: Michael Tattersall operates a software company that has provided some service to cable companies in the past, and has participated in similar negotiations in Boston. Justin Romeo grew up in Carlisle, had some experience as a producer for public access television, and recently returned to Carlisle. Bill Tice is a Selectman and is on the board of directors for CCTV (Concord-Carlisle Public Access Television). Tice was elected chair.

Topics discussed included current technology and possible competition for services provided by Comcast – television, telephone, Internet access. Given the rapid changes in communication technology – FIOS (fiber optics to curbside and copper to the house), area-wide WiFi (wireless Internet access), SSFT (small form factor technology – small antennas on utility poles) – there was evident reluctance to undertake a long-term contract with any company without a clear understanding of the company’s plans for the future.

The committee asked McKenzie to contact Comcast and determine if a representative could attend its next meeting to “make a presentation and give us information on Comcast’s plans.” Of interest are upgrades of service, extension of service within the town, and any “perks” that could accrue to the Town. At this time Carlisle receives a per-subscriber fee from Comcast that is passed on to CCTV for educational television and television coverage from Town Hall.

The public can direct comments to the committee by attending one of its meetings or by going to the website, selecting “Contact us” and selecting “General Comments to the Town.” The committee also would like one or two additional members. Anyone interested should contact either McKenzie or Barnett at the Town Hall.

The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 13, at the Town Hall. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito