ARLINGTON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ADVISORY COMMISSION
8:00 pm, Wednesday, July 25, 2012
1st Floor Conference Room Azalea-103
Courthouse Plaza (2100 Clarendon Blvd.)
Chair: Joe Pelto
Vice Chair: Frank Jazzo
Members Not Present:
Jenny Shu Ho
Jack Belcher, CIO
Rob Billingsley, Cable Administrator
Members of the Public: Mary Fantuccio (for AIM)
Cable Company Representative: Marie Schuler, Comcast
1. Meeting called to order by Joe Pelton, ITAC Chair
8:00 pm; Quorum Present
2. Public Comment
3. Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting and Agenda:
Minutes of May 23, 2012 meeting (there was no June 2012 meeting), as well as the July 25, 2012 Agenda were approved by general consensus.
4. Administrative Issues:
- Anita Nolen has been appointed to the ITAC.
- The Minutes and Agendas of the ITAC are now published in the ITAC webpages on the ArlingtonVA.us Website, as well as the annual calendar of meetings.
- The Chair mentioned Riverside, CA had won the Intelligent Communities competition.
- Rob Farr provided an update on ArlingtonTV (formerly Arlington Virginia Network – AVN). The Commission was shown the changed website for Arlingtonva.tv, and how the “high visibility” and most recent news presented on the landing page for the site. The site has been nominated by the National Association for Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) as one of the best three sites in the country for government access TV stations (along with St. Louis, MO and San Diego, CA). NATOA has also nominated ArlingtonTV for overall excellence in TV Programming within its budget range of $400,000 to $1M, along with Austin, TX and Coon Rapids, MN. The final awards decision will be at the end of September 2012. Mr. Farr also mentioned that new servers will allow viewing Board Sessions from mobile devices.
5. Legislative Updates:
Vice Chair, Frank Jazzo, provided the following information:
- The FCC has initiated a Notice of Inquiry to explore the use of emergency aerial communications to enable quick restoration of communications for first responders, officials and the public after a major disaster strikes.
- The FCC voted to sunset in December its cable “viewability” rule, whereby cable systems were required to deliver dual analog and digital feeds of must-carry broadcast TV stations.
- The White House issued an Executive Order to implement a “dig once” policy for broadband deployment during the construction of federal highways.
- The FCC proposed rules to facilitate the use of the 4.9 GHz band for public safety broadband communications.
- Verizon has launched “FiOS Quantum” internet service with a top residential speed of 300 mbps for a monthly fee of $209.99. Slower speed service will be available at lower priced tiers.
- The FCC is seeking comment on a petition which requests clarification that remote access to VPNs can be funded under the Schools and Libraries E-rate program.
- The FCC approved the transmittal of a report to FirstNet with the recommended minimum technical requirements for interoperability of FirstNet.
- The FCC adopted a Consent Decree whereby Comcast will agree to continue offer for an additional year a reasonably priced stand-alone broadband option to consumers who do not subscribe to cable services. This is in connection with one of the merger conditions for approval of the Comcast-NBCU merger.
- The FCC is seeking comment on the June 29 “Derecho” storm-related 911 outages, including in Northern Virginia. The Chair recommended that Jack Belcher, CIO, and Jack Brown, Director of the Office of Emergency Management provide the Chair with information about the effects of the loss of access to 911 for input to the FCC.
- The White House has launched an Executive Committee on National Security and Emergency Preparedness as a forum on communications issues of importance to national security.
- The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) has issued a report which recommends spectrum sharing with commercial users in federal bands as a means of increasing available spectrum for wireless broadband.
6. Cable Administrator Report
Comcast Franchise Renewal –Informal negotiations are continuing where the County and Comcast are presenting their priority concerns to each other.
County Outreach Initiative –
- There will be a new set of two hour focus groups occurring on October 2-4, 2012 to discuss Arlington’s broadband future with “thought leaders” from within the County as well as others who have leadership roles in community broadband issues.
- The meetings will be located within Arlington where conference rooms are available.
- The County is also seeking participation by ITAC and EPAC members, as well as their recommendations for others to participate, in these meetings.
Impact of “Derecho” on Cable Utilities –
- The recent storm damage of June 29, 2012 brought down many Comcast and Verizon cable TV lines.
- While no work may proceed to correct downed cable TV lines on any given pole until Dominion has made its corrections, there is clearly a need to improve County to company communications on how to coordinate efforts. The Cable Administrator and the Government Affairs Manager have begun discussions regarding setting up a “protocol” for correcting damage after significant storms like the Derecho.
7. Verizon Updates and Issues
Verizon Question on Copper DSL removals
As Verizon builds out the FiOS network, they often remove the copper-based NID, or the copper drop, or segments to the nearest pole when they install fiber to the ONT. Linc Janus of Verizon’s Contract Compliance division conveyed a letter to explain the policy. Michael A. McRae, Associate General Counsel at the Arlington corporate office for Verizon, explained that if there are specific situations, then Verizon will address them. In addition, the letter states, “Verizon complies with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations concerning telecommunications competition.” The Chair feels the letter was not responsive, and would like to communicate that to the Board. The Chair will draft a letter for that purpose.
Verizon Connection to County Buildings and School Sites
Due to the storms, as well as the Verizon contact, Linc Janus being away on vacation during the last month, there has been no progress on this. There are currently 14 County Buildings connected, and 10 School buildings connected to FiOS.
Verizon Service to Multi-Dwelling Units
The County is awaiting a report from Linc Janus of Verizon describing the status of these.
8. Briefing on ConnectArlington Status and Telecommunications Master Plan
- Jack Belcher mentioned that Assistant Superintendent for APS, Salah Khelfoui has left for a position as a School Supervisor in Massachusetts.
- Jack Belcher reported the County Board has approved pole attachment agreements with Verizon and Dominion for carrying the “last mile” of cable to County Buildings and Arlington Schools.
9. November Bond Issue re ConnectArlington
- The approved Capital Investment Plan recognized the significant needs for technology over the long term, such as the last mile “stages” for ConnectArlington, and the need for a bond referendum to support expenditures. The group briefly discussed the proposed
10. Joint Resolution of ITAC and EPAC
- The ITAC discussed the Joint Resolution that had been proposed to the Emergency Preparedness Advisory Commission earlier that evening (July 25, 2012) at their monthly meeting, and Member Larry Mayer moved to approve the resolution (seconded by Frank Jazzo) as amended with comments from the EPAC, concerning SCADA, etc. The vote was unanimously in favor of the resolution.
11. Update on “Yammer” Social Media and Its Possible Use by ITAC members (Billingsley)
- The Cable Administrator presented information about the use of Yammer as a social media approach, in a Facebook-like manner, to share ideas and focus on specific areas of interest.
- The communication medium is not “simultaneous” and thus may be used by public bodies without infringing on open meetings requirements.
- Examples of Yammer pages were shown.
- The team that developed Yammer with over 5 Million business users, is now part of Microsoft.
- Yammer sites are created using corporate domains, but may not created under a general mail domain name such as yahoo.com, Verizon.net, etc.
There is no advertising on Yammer sites.
- The Chair proposed the group begin trying out Yammer on their own, and not under the County license, and Jack Belcher, CIO, recommended his staff assist in setting up the ITAC Yammer site.
12. New Arlington IT Systems Initiative (Mr. Pelton/Mr. Reeder)
- The Chair mentioned that he had circulated a brief description to all the ITAC members of how to accomplish an “IT Futures” initiative. The Chair is scheduling a meeting with Jennifer Ives of the Arlington Economic Development agency to discuss who should see the draft, and help to further the goals of the initiative.
- The initiative will take the form of several papers (number to be determined) focusing on various areas.
13. Adjournment: 9:00 pm