Purpose: The purpose of the Cable Advisory Committee is to provide advice and assistance to the Select Board in monitoring compliance with the Cable Television License Agreement and other aspects of cable television service in Buckland including the local access channels.
Appointed by the Buckland Select Board, the Buckland Cable Advisory Committee has been selected to work with the Shelburne Technology and Cable Committee in a joint negotiation with Comcast regarding the upcoming renewal of Comcast's contract to provide TV services to the residents of Buckland and Shelburne.
The Cable Television Advisory Committee was first created in the 1980s when the Select Board first issued a cable television franchise agreement. In the past 20 years, the cable television industry has changed significantly, most notably in the area of rate regulation. Under federal law, local licensing authorities no longer regulate cable television rates and fees. Nevertheless, it is important that a group exist to receive and review citizen complaints and concerns about cable television service, and to communicate with the cable provider, the State regulators, other entities involved in cable service, and the local access channels.
Duties and Responsibilities
- To review and be familiar with the broad terms of the cable licensing agreement between the Select Board and the franchisee;
- To advise the Select Board during the negotiations for successor licensing agreements and to help insure compliance with renewal requirements;
- To receive and evaluate citizen complaints, concerns, and suggestions concerning cable service, compliance with the agreement, and other aspects of cable service;
- To evaluate the performance of the public, educational, and governmental (PEG) access provider, for community access television services;
- To meet with the Select Board from time to time and to advise the Board on matters concerning service, compliance, the regulatory climate, and other matters of relevance to cable subscribers;
- To submit an annual report of activities to be included in the Annual Town Report.
- To conduct an annual public hearing to review the performance of the PEG Access provider;
- To perform such other duties related to cable service as the Selectmen may from time to time request;
- To continue to investigate and to advise the Select Board on new technologies.
The Cable Television Advisory Committee is responsible for conducting its activities in compliance with all relevant State and local laws and regulations, including but not limited to, the Open Meeting Law, the Public Records Law and the Conflict of Interest Law.