ARLINGTON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ADVISORY COMMISSION
7:30 pm, Wednesday, August 22, 2012
1st Floor Conference Room Azalea-103
Courthouse Plaza (2100 Clarendon Blvd.)
Chair: Joe Pelton
Vice Chair: Frank Jazzo
Members Not Present:
Jack Belcher, CIO
Rob Billingsley, Cable Administrator
Members of the Public: Steven Flick
Cable Company Representative: Marie Schuler, Comcast
1. Meeting called to order by Joe Pelton, ITAC Chair
7:30 pm; Quorum Present
2. Public Comment
Mr. Steven Flick, an Arlington resident, recounted his recent experiences with a problem and difficulties dealing with the cable TV provider, Comcast. Specifically, in trying to resolve technical problems, he had multiple unsuccessful attempts to resolve problems over a six-month period with Comcast. He also mentioned that even with assistance from Cheryl Johnson who works for the Cable Administration office, Comcast was still fairly unresponsive. The Chair recommended the Cable Administration continue to assist Mr. Flick in resolving problems, and gain a better understanding of why Comcast was not more communicative with Mr. Flick.
3. Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting and Agenda:
Minutes of July 25, 2012 meeting as well as the August 22, 2012 Agenda were approved by general consensus.
4. Administrative Issues:
- Mike Green is leaving 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 reminded the ITAC members that meetings will always occur on the last Wednesday evening of the month, except during the holiday season in November and December.
- The Chair has drafted a letter to Board Member Jay Fisette concerning the issues with Verizon concerning the policy of removing copper cable that provides regular telephone and DSL Internet access services when FiOS is installed at a residence. The letter also informs much less responsive than was previously the case when Verizon provided a dedicated attendee to ITAC monthly meetings. The Chair wishes to go on record with the ITAC’s objection to the Verizon policy concerning copper cable removal, and the lack of Verizon presence in monthly meetings, and will copy the appropriate Verizon representative. A motion was made by Member Larry Mayer, seconded by Vice Chair Frank Jazzo, for the ITAC to approve this action.
- The Chair also drafted a “filing” for the Federal Communications Commission in response to the solicitation for comment by the FCC about the loss of 911 Services in Arlington County during the recent storm conditions on June 29, 2012. A motion was made by Member Larry Mayer, seconded by Vice Chair Frank Jazzo, for the ITAC to approve both correspondences, and authorize the Chair to send the filing the FCC, on ITAC Letterhead.
- The Chair’s letter and filing had been circulated to the commission prior to the meeting for review.
5. Legislative Updates
Vice Chair, Frank Jazzo, provided the following information:
- Sources reported that the FCC has approved the Verizon Wireless/SpectrumCo. Broadband spectrum transaction with conditions agreed to by the DOJ and FCC, which reportedly include a condition that Verizon may not jointly market video services of cable companies, including Comcast, in areas where it provides FiOS service.
- The FCC issued an Enforcement Advisory reminding private land mobile licensees and equipment manufacturers of the January 1, 2013, deadline for transitioning to narrowband (i.e., 12.5 kHz or narrower channels) in the 150-174 MHz and 421-470 MHz bands.
- FCC PSHS Bureau Chief reported that the FCC could release a text-to-911 order in September or October. Indications are that this authority would be permissive and not mandatory, at least at first.
- The FCC’s Broadband Progress Report found significant progress in the deployment and adoption of broadband, but still found 19 million Americans (6% of the population) lacked access to fixed broadband service.
- FirstNet’s board of directors was named and longtime telecom executive Samuel Ginn was named first Chairman.
- FCC Chairman, Connect2Compete, and Redemtech announced a new nationwide computer donation and recycling drive.
- The FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to facilitate the cable industry’s transition from analog to digital by modernizing the cable signal leakage rules, ensuring good quality signals for digital cable customers and enabling cable systems to more efficiently use their systems.
- Verizon determined that the failure of one of two backup generators at its central offices in Arlington and Fairfax counties caused the 911 failures during the June derecho storm.
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 –
- As mentioned in previous meetings, 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.
- Several members indicated their interest, and Member Larry Mayer recommended Martha Moore as a possible participant.
7. Verizon Updates and Issues
Verizon Connection to County Buildings and School Sites
- Rob Billingsley, Cable Administrator provided an update on the provision of “free drops” to County Buildings and School Sites. There are six locations that will be added in the next month. A total of 24 buildings presently have connections.
Verizon Service to Multi-Dwelling Units
- The County received a report from Linc Janus of Verizon describing the status of these. The results are not significantly different from one month to the next, and the Cable Administrator suggested reporting be made on a quarterly basis. The Commission agreed to the new schedule
8. Briefing on ConnectArlington Status and Telecommunications Master Plan
- CIO, Jack Belcher, mentioned that the request for proposals (RFP) to complete Stage I of ConnectArlington – about half the school and County sites — has been issued. Work should be completed within a year.
- The CIO also reported the County has begun Phase II of the Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) has begun and is expected to be completed by March 2013.
- A new Assistant Superintendent for Information Services in Schools has been appointed – Raj Adusumilli – and has been serving as the manager of developing the schools ERP system.
- The Chair indicated that it would be good if Mr. Adusumilli could attend the next ITAC meeting to discuss his vision and plans for technology with the Schools. The Chair requested the Cable Television Administrator to assist with making these arrangements.
9. November Bond Issue re ConnectArlington and Joint Resolution by ITAC/EPAC
- A joint resolution between ITAC and EPAC has been agreed upon. The Chair indicated his interest in developing letters to editors in local papers about the upcoming bond issue and the joint resolution.
10. New Arlington IT Systems Initiative and Draft White Paper on IT & Economic Development
- Member Frank Reeder has made comments on the Draft White Paper. It would be good to share the paper with the County and School Boards.
- The Chair suggested that Arlington Independent Media could produce a short video about the strategic perspective in the White Paper. The Chair indicated that he would initiate a paper on Public Security and solicited volunteers to help work on this initiative.
11. Adjournment: 8:45 pm