GROTON -- At a meeting of the Cable Advisory Committee last Monday night, members were optimistic that a new contract with cable television provider Charter Communications will be concluded as soon as next month.
"The negotiations are going well," reported committee Chairman David Melpignano. "We hope to have this done by Sept. 15."
Among the town's two cable television providers, Charter is expected to agree to a new 10-year contract, the same length as its current agreement with the town.
"We want to thank Charter for the 25 years it has been in Groton and for the work they do and the service they provide us," said Melpignano.
Between Charter and fellow cable provider Verizon, the two companies serve an estimated 4,000 households in town with the total split roughly in half.
According to station manager Robert Coleman, Verizon signed its own 15-year contract with the town about three years ago.
Coleman said that few changes are expected to be made in what Charter currently provides the town including support of the cable studio and public access stations, but they likely will agree to an upgrade feed to improve signals and expand the number of places in town where a live feed can be had for the broadcast of local events.
Places such as Legion Hall that has been newly renovated with a resulting increase in its being used for public meetings.
"What results from the new contract will be something that serves the citizens of
Charter's current 10-year contract is due to expire in October.
Also at last Monday night's meeting of the Cable Advisory Committee, members were informed about the station's latest attempts to expand participation and get the word out about the services it offers.
Besides a pending upgrade of the station's website, Coleman presented members with new, space-age pens that not only write but act as tiny flashlights as well.
The pens, he said, would be handed out free from the station's booth at the upcoming Grotonfest celebration.
Anyone signing up to be "friends" on the station's Facebook account will receive one of the pens to take home.
Finally, Coleman briefed committee members on his own activities attending classes and conferences aimed at keeping him informed of the latest advances in cable station technology and communications.
Among the classes and seminars attended by Coleman were web development success for community media; digital transition: solving signal distribution problems within government and school buildings; "creative programming on a dime"; extending the access mission; "ask a lawyer"; and small-station success.