Below is an excerpt from the Public Service Board document that requires Comcast to provide one internet connection per school, library, and municipal office. Paragraph 22 is the pertinent one. It does not appear to put any strings on the school regarding this connection.
This document was sent to me by John Cotter, one of the attorney's with the Public Service Department.
Vermont Department of Education
17. Holdco shall designate one or more AMOs as provided in Rule 8.400. Holdco shall provide levels and types of financial, operational, and technical support to those AMOs that are fair and reasonable. This condition shall not preclude Holdco from designating the same or additional AMOs than has a competitive operator in any area, nor preclude Holdco from offering different or additional public access content to its cable subscribers.
18. Holdco shall file with the Board and Department copies of all PEG-access contracts with AMOs, and any amendments thereto, within 30 days of execution.
19. Holdco must work with the relevant AMO prior to any PEG-access-channel reassignment and shall pay the access entity's reasonable costs of such reassignment. Holdco shall not reassign a PEG access channel without advance warning and consultation with the AMO.
20. Holdco must provide a statewide PEG access channel, and this commitment may be met through the provision of interconnection bandwidth rather than as a viewable channel. At a minimum, this Network shall enable digital file sharing between AMOs and the ability for AMOs to distribute programs to Holdco subscribers in its Vermont territories. Details of this provision should be determined through negotiation or a later proceeding. Negotiations should be open to all PEG AMOs wishing to take part. Holdco shall provide the statewide network once the details for operation of the network have been decided. Holdco shall offer to interconnect, directly or indirectly, with the Vermont cable systems operated pursuant to Certificates of Public Good to exchange PEG-access programming among the companies' systems. Said interconnection shall be subject to the parties reaching acceptable commercial terms concerning ownership and apportioning the cost of any facilities necessary to interconnect Holdco's and other cable companies' networks. If the cable operators cannot reach an interconnection agreement within 120 days, Holdco shall submit all unresolved issues to the Board for resolution.
21. If the Board has designated an entity to act as a statewide PEG AMO, Holdco shall upon request of the AMO provide as minimum support for the statewide PEG network the capability of transmitting signals from the statewide network to any PEG forward channel and transmitting to the statewide network signals originating on any PEG reverse channel on the cable system. Such a request by the AMO for statewide PEG-network capability is to be made at least one year prior to activation of the statewide channel on a Holdco system. Additionally, Holdco is not obligated to pay for statewide PEG-programming content in addition to its PEG-access obligations.
22. Holdco shall provide fiber-optic or coaxial-cable drops, capable of two-way service and remote origination service, upon request, to every school, library, and PEG-access studio, and to at least one municipal building in every municipality in which it is obligated to provide cable service, upon request of the school, library, PEG entity or municipality. Holdco may provide the two-way service through a drop that is separate from any drop used to provide cable-television service or high-speed Internet access service to that entity. Holdco shall provide and activate each requested drop within 6 months of receiving a request from the respective school, library, AMO, or municipality, provided, however, that Holdco is able to obtain all necessary approvals and permits pursuant to Rule 3.700. This condition does not require Holdco to provide drops to buildings that are neither passed by nor located within 500 feet of cable plant unless an entity is willing to reimburse Holdco for the incremental cost of the non-standard installation. Holdco shall provide basic cable service at each coaxial drop and shall provide standard installation at no charge. Upon request, Holdco shall provide an entity described in this paragraph with a non-standard installation, provided the entity pays the difference in cost between the standard and non-standard installation.
23. At a minimum, Holdco must provide the following PEG access outreach:
(1) fund semi-annual, quarter-page advertising in local newspapers promoting PEG access programming and functions and assist AMOs in placing their channel programming in a local newspaper's television listing grid where such a listing is feasible;
(2) provide on-screen advertising and promotion of the PEG access channel programming and facilities; provide at least 1 gigabyte GB of space on the Company's [cable-modem-service] server for each PEG access channel for purposes including, but not limited to, posting program listings, information about scheduling the use of the studio production facilities, post-production editing facilities, training, and scheduling time slots for airing programs on the public access channels; and links to local PEG access web sites related to programs on the channel; and
(3) allow PEG access groups to access Holdco's electronic programming guide and pay the fee so that the groups can have their schedules listed on that channel.
Holdco shall respond to reasonable requests by AMOs to communicate with Holdco's subscribers. Any direct costs incurred by the Company due to such communications that are over and above those normally incurred by the Company shall be borne by the requesting AMO.
24. Holdco and each AMO shall reevaluate the digital equipment needs or other PEG access related cable system improvements at least twice during the term of this Certificate. Holdco shall provide additional capital funding for each such re-evaluation or upgrade based upon the criteria of Rule 8.405. If an agreement cannot be reached, the Board will exercise its authority under 30 V.S.A. § 509(a) or Rule 8.405(e) and open an investigation to consider the necessity and amount of the interim upgrade payments.
25. Holdco shall provide AMOs the ability to originate as many simultaneous live PEG programs on any part of its system as there are forward PEG channels on that part of the system. Holdco shall not be obligated to originate any quantity of simultaneous, system-wide broadcasts that exceeds the number of forward PEG channels activated in that part of the system with the smallest quantity of activated forward PEG channels.
26. Holdco shall create and maintain a plan for reasonable public access in accordance with Rule 8.401 and Rule 8.419. The Company shall keep a current PEG Access Report on file with the Board.
27. Board Rule 8.400 shall apply to Holdco, to any AMO with which Holdco may designate and contract, and to any organizations that seek Holdco's designation as an AMO. Holdco shall comply with Rule 8.400 as may be amended from time to time. Total operating funding within each system served by one or more AMOs shall not exceed 5% of the Company's annual gross revenues earned in that system. Unpaid balances owed by the Company shall earn interest at the legal rate (see 9 V.S.A. § 41a), commencing the day after the due date. Unless otherwise negotiated, Holdco will further assume Adelphia's existing PEG access agreements. Holdco shall file with the Board and Department copies of all PEG-access contracts with AMOs, and any amendments thereto, within 30 days of execution.
28. Holdco shall maintain PEG Policies and Procedures that ensure adequate and prompt resolution of technical and administrative matters that arise between Holdco and the AMO. Until and unless revised by Holdco in collaboration with its designated AMOs, Holdco will adopt Adelphia's PEG Policies and Procedures which include:
(1) identification of the types of matters that have arisen in the past between the AMOs and Adelphia and which are likely to arise in the future, and the urgency demanded by the respective matters;
(2) designation of an appropriate system-level or state-level Company liaison for each type of matter, on a system-by-system basis when necessary;
(3) delineation of the responsibilities and authority of the designated Company liaison, including how that individual will be trained to handle the individual's role and time frames for response;
(4) a mechanism for escalation of matters which have not been satisfactorily resolved by the liaison; and
(5) a periodic review process for the AMOs and Holdco to jointly review the effectiveness of the procedures at least semi-annually.
29. At least annually, a Holdco representative shall meet with each AMO's governing board. The Holdco representative must have sufficient authority to be able to make binding promises on behalf of the Company.
30. At least annually, Holdco shall request to meet with the statewide advisory board constituted under Paragraph 7. Holdco shall, on an annual basis, inform every municipality, school, library and AMO in every system subject to this Certificate of the opportunity to have two-way capable drops placed at the locations described in Paragraph 20 and offer to meet to: (1) determine each entity's need for two-way capable drops; (2) in the case of municipalities, discuss the location(s) of such drop feed points within each municipality; and (3) negotiate the specific arrangements necessary for installation and maintenance of such drops. If requested by the qualifying entity, at least one two-way capable drop shall be installed at that entity's premises as soon as practicable, but not more than 6 months after receiving a request from the respective school, library, AMO or municipality, provided, however, that Holdco is able to obtain all necessary approvals and permits pursuant to Rule 3.700. Holdco's obligation to install a two-way capable drop in response to a request from an eligible entity shall be ongoing. Holdco shall submit with its Annual Report to the Board and the Department a status report of the installation of two-way capable drops, including the status of negotiations with the municipalities, schools, libraries and AMOs with respect to such installation.
31. Upon request of an AMO, Holdco shall provide the AMO an in-house ability to control upstream signals from each remote origination site within the AMO's service territory.
32. Holdco shall provide 1 GigaByte of internet storage space to each designated AMO.
From: Romond, Bill
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2007 3:16 PM
To: Cotter, John
Subject: FW: Adelphia - Comcast
Hi John -
The question has arisen again... what responsibility does Comcast have to provide a cable connection to schools? My understanding was that they must provide one free connection... bring it to the school, but once inside the responsibility is on the school to make the connection. The question that seems to come up all the time is: What can schools do with that connection? Are they restricted to connect only one computer or may they use the connection as they see fit?
You can check out the latest conversation below, and I appreciate any guidance you can give on this matter.
Thanks very much....
Educational Technology Coordinator
Vermont Department of Education
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501
[log in to unmask]
From: School Information Technology Discussion [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Paul Monette
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2007 10:40 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Adelphia - Comcast
Good point. The presentation to the Newport City Council, which I also happen to be a member of, just indicated that they would continue to provide free cable/internet to schools, libraries and towns. Probably this is a question for the PSB/State.
From: School Information Technology Discussion on behalf of Paul Wood
Sent: Fri 6/29/2007 9:52 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Adelphia - Comcast
Until when? Is it written in stone anywhere?
IT Coordinator, RNESU
[log in to unmask]
P. 802-247-5757 x17
Quoting Paul Monette <[log in to unmask]>:
> It is my understanding that they will continue to provide free
> cable/internet for schools and towns.
> Paul L. Monette
> Newport City Elementary School
> 166 Sias Avenue
> Newport, VT 05855
> Tel: 802-334-2455 Ext. 334
> Fax: 802-334-0161
> From: School Information Technology Discussion on behalf of Paul Wood
> Sent: Fri 6/29/2007 9:38 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Adelphia - Comcast
> Hello to the many dynamic minds of the listserv.
> We have Comcast at many of our locations provided for free, because my
> understanding is that what used to be Adelphia is a monopoly.
> If there is this big initiative to bring more and cheap bandwidth to
> Vermont how will this affect my schools? If Comcast/Adelphia isn't a
> monopoly then they wouldn't have to provide free Internet, thus
> increasing each local budget by $1,000 - $1,500.
> What are your thoughts?
> Paul Wood
> IT Coordinator, RNESU
> http://rnesu.org <http://rnesu.org/> <http://rnesu.org/>
> [log in to unmask]
> P. 802-247-5757 x17
> F. 802-247-5548