Community TV on Sunapee Agenda March 9

The possibilities for having PEG access–public, education and government programs shown on local cable television in Sunapee will be back before town selectmen on Monday, March 9. Ron Verblauw, Sunapee, will report on information he’s gathered about PEG access since being re-appointed to the town’s Electronic Communication Committee on January 26. Last month, Verblauw returned to serve on the committee.

At the January selectmen’s meeting, Town Manager Donna Nashawaty and the selectmen discussed the possibilities and challenges of implementing PEG access in Sunapee. Former ECC member Doug Munro, Sunapee, also spoke to the issue. Munro researched the possibilities for the town in 2006. Verblauw said Munro is expected to attend March 9.

Regarding other IT and electronic communication issues, Munro in 2004 assisted the town in adopting a comprehensive charter or mission for the ECC. The duties of the committee going forward and the status of the 2004 charter may also come up.

In 2007, Munro, then an ECC member, expected the board of selectmen would endorse a town warrant article seeking $10,000 for the start-up costs for community cable television. That did not happen, and voters defeated the article in March.

The ECC’s work to date, according to Town Manager Donna Nashawaty, has involved the contract renewal with Comcast, the local cable provider. The town finalized the negotiations in 2008. It included setting aside cable TV channel 8 for Sunapee PEG access. However, the Sunapee channel sits idle with no content.

A Comcast spokesperson recently said: “Comcast is committed to ensuring that channel space for community access programming is available to our customers.  Currently, the town of Sunapee receives government access programming from neighboring Newport on Channel 10. Customers in Sunapee with an interest and commitment in making meaningful public access programming available, can work with their Select Board, which is the local franchising authority, to deliver programming on the public access channel, which is available for such use.”

In Sunapee, Comcast currently services about 1200 households, according to the town manager.

Richard Haines, Sunapee, is also on the town’s Electronics Communication Committee.

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