Seattle, WA Creating the Task Force on Telecommunications Innovation

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Seattle, WA, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 6/28/04

Vote: Unanimous

Source File: Click here


Resolution Number: 30684
A RESOLUTION creating the Task Force on Telecommunications Innovation to explore and report on the feasibility of using municipal resources in a network that is available to the public using broadband technologies, broadband over power lines, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, and other wireless applications, end-user fiber build out, and other telecommunications technologies.

WHEREAS, the City of Seattle and the entire Puget Sound region are world-renowned as leading technology centers and incubators for technological innovation; and

WHEREAS, the City Council is committed to maintaining and expanding the City's position as a world leader in technology, to expanding the variety and lowering the cost of services provided to its citizens, to providing all communities in the City with greater access to technology, and to providing and using, when appropriate, the most advanced technologies available; and

WHEREAS, equal access for all citizens to media, Internet, and other digital technologies is critical to bridging the "digital divide," reconnecting citizens to government and community, invigorating public discourse and private enterprise, and promoting greater civic engagement, participation, and transparency in government; and

WHEREAS, the City Council believes that technological innovations and expanded access to services can be major catalysts for economic development within the City, and have the potential to bolster the City's economy, spur the growth of private businesses and generate revenue for the City; and

WHEREAS, the City and surrounding area are home to world-class technology experts in both the public and private sector, whose vision and vast experiences are substantial resources upon which the City Council would like to draw, and whose collaborative efforts would likely have a major impact on technological advancements in the City; and

WHEREAS, the City Council has been considering offering various types of new technology and services to citizens through a number of different business models, and is interested in moving forward in that endeavor in order to further the goals set forth in these recitals;


Section 1. The Seattle City Council establishes the Task Force on Telecommunications Innovation ("Task Force") to assist the City Council in examining and evaluating the feasibility of and options for providing broadband technology and advanced telecommunications and information services in the City in order to further the goals set forth in this Resolution. The composition, purpose, and scope of work of the Task Force are described below.

A. Composition. The Task Force shall be composed of the City's Chief Technology Officer ("CTO") or his designee(s), at least one member of the Citizens' Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board ("CTTAB"), and the following types of members who shall be appointed by the Utilities and Technology Committee ("Committee") in its discretion:

1. Members of the business, technology, and telecommunication communities;
2. Persons with a background in community technology;
3. Persons with expertise in technology and telecommunications law and regulation;
4. Citizens with an interest in technology, telecommunications, and the delivery of services to residents and businesses in Seattle; and
5. Such other members as the Committee determines.

B. Purpose. The purpose of the Task Force is to explore the feasibility of using municipal resources in a network that is available to the public and allows public data access and transmission, and to make recommendations to the Committee about which technologies the City should pursue, if any.

C. Scope of Work. The Task Force shall:

1. Explore and evaluate broadband technologies, broadband over power lines, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, and other wireless applications, end-user fiber build out, and other telecommunications technologies that provide public Internet and data access and transmission, and explore and evaluate the types of advanced telecommunications and information services such technologies would enable the City to use and/or offer to its citizens;
2. Explore various business models by which the City could use and/or offer these technologies and services, such as public/private partnerships, contract or lease arrangements, and other models, and examine what role(s) the City might play in such models;
3. Consider these and any related questions that might assist the Task Force in fulfilling its purpose:
a. Is it possible to create a network using municipal resources that is available to the public and that offers public data access and transmission and advanced telecommunications and information services? What City resources might be utilized?
b. What technologies/applications would best achieve the goal of creating such a network ("preferred alternatives")?
c. What is the fiscal viability of the preferred alternative(s)?
d. What are the direct benefits of providing this service through the preferred alternative(s)? What might be some of the indirect benefits or consequences?
e. Could such a network be revenue generating?
f. What are alternative sources to fund the network? If City funds were needed, what funding source(s) would be used? Would new funding source(s) be created?
g. Does the Task Force think proposed City capital expenditures would be a wise investment? (Would the network be too expensive? Or a bargain?)
h. What are the risks of creating such a network? Would it be a low risk project? A high risk project?
i. What role would the City play in such a network: owner, lessor, partner with private business, etc.?
j. To what extent could the network further the goals discussed above, including expanding the choice and lowering the costs of services provided to citizens, promoting economic development, enhancing access to and public participation in government, generating revenue, promoting technological innovation, and bolstering the City's position as a world leader in technology?
k. Should the City pursue a small pilot program first?
4. Invite a wide array of experts and persons knowledgeable in the issues to be studied by the Task Force to inform its discussions and evaluation, including but not limited to Department of Information Technology ("DoIT") staff, representatives of Tacoma's Click Network, and various technology vendors and service providers;
5. Prepare a preliminary report, to be authored with the assistance of the CTO or his designee(s), reflecting the preliminary conclusions of the Task Force on the questions identified in subsection 3 above, in a format of the Task Force's choosing that contains the following elements and any other elements that the Task Force believes warrant further consideration:
a. An analysis of the financial and technological feasibility of the services and technologies examined, and a list of other services and technologies that were not considered;
b. Possible business models, including capital costs, funding sources (including grants if available), and possible opportunities for revenue generation;
c. Estimated time frames and implementation schedules for deploying the services and technologies examined;
d. Any federal and/or state regulatory or legal parameters affecting the services and technologies the City might offer, or the business models the City could use, including specific constraints, unresolved regulatory or legal issues, and other pertinent regulatory legal issues;
e. Physical and/or electronic security concerns, and proposals for addressing those concerns;
f. A list of options and specific recommendations for technologies, services, and/or business models that would best serve the goals set forth in the recitals of this Resolution (including possible pilot programs), and that the Task Force recommends that the City pursue;
g. Requirements for minimum capabilities that the network should possess at launch, 5 years after launch, and 10 years after launch; and
h. The data, research materials, and resources used to compile the report.
6. Submit the final version of the preliminary report to the Committee no later than October 15, 2004.

Section 2. In serving on the Task Force, the CTO or his designee(s) shall:

A. Assist in drafting the report of the Task Force as described in Section 1 of this Resolution;

B. Recommend prospective Task Force members to the Committee in consultation with the Executive; and

C. Make available to Task Force members any maps, charts, diagrams, or similar materials showing the City's existing fiber and network infrastructure; any studies, investigations, evaluations, reports, findings, surveys, consultant reports, business or vendor materials or proposals, and/or other information that DoIT has concerning broadband technologies, broadband over power lines, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, and other wireless applications, end-user fiber build out, other telecommunications technologies that provide public Internet access, and/or any similar technologies, related services, and/or Internet network development.

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