from John Dlugosz
Charter will connect up to the town hall of any/all the towns they serve–but there is a cost. Several years ago they did a presentation to Woodstock on this, but the town choose not to pursue funding a connection back to Charter. Depending on a number of technical considerations, the cost can be as high as 15k, or even more. This would not include cameras, switchers, etc–or the folks to run them. In other words, the signal (picture, audio, character generation) would have to be created (live), then passed into the box from charter (located at one location in town hall), which would then convert it and send it down the fiber back to the head end in Windham, then back out to cable subscribers on Channel 13 in Woodstock. Towns have taken a variety of approaches to this–Mansfield has purchased a high quality remote studio with 3 cameras, switching, etc. Other towns, a single camcorder connects up to the system. Woodstock can request an estimate of the cost for this connection–there would be no charge for such an estimate. Note that this would be to the town hall–not the Middle School where BOE meetings typically occur. Also–as the high school for the town, WA has their own channel, CH 17. They could theoretically broadcast from there–either live or recorded–but if live, presumably events would need to take place there.
There is, potentially, grant funding available to support the sort of build-out necessary as described above. The PEGPETIA Grants (Public, Educational and Governmental Programing and Education Technology Investment Account) are available (see: http://tinyurl.com/cpapdoj which opens to a word file) via the Department of Public Utility Control. I’ve been told it can take quite a while to process proposals for this funding, and that the state typically raids these funds to make up budget shortfalls elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry »