ARLINGTON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ADVISORY COMMISSION
8:00 pm, Wednesday, November 14, 2012
1st Floor Conference Room Azalea-103
(Moved to Rm 600)
Courthouse Plaza (2100 Clarendon Blvd.)
Members Not Present:
Mary Crannell Martha Moore
Jenny Shu Ho
Rob Billingsley, Cable Administrator
Jack Belcher, CIO
Members of the Public: None
Cable Company Representatives:
Linc Janus, Verizon (by telephone)
1. Meeting called to order by Frank Jazzo, ITAC Vice Chair
7:30 pm; Quorum Present
2. Public Comment
3. Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting and Agenda: Minutes of October, 2012 meeting were not available as of the time of the meeting. These will be provided to ITAC and consideration for approval will be postponed to the November meeting. as well as the November 2012 Agenda was approved by general consensus. [October minutes were emailed to ITAC November 15, 2012.]
4. Administrative Issues:
• While the ITAC is at full membership, there are several candidates who have indicated interest for any appointments pending.
• The next and last meeting of ITAC for 2012 will occur in Room 311 of the Courthouse Plaza building on December 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm.
• Regarding the PLACE initiative (Public Leadership and Community Engagement), there was a meeting on November 8, 2012 and Mary Hynes and the support consultant have indicated there is an International Association for Public Participation whose consultant is helping in the effort. The Chair will try to circulate a copy of the presentation.
• The Chair is still hopeful that a joint commission between the ITAC and one representing the interests of Arlington Public Schools could be re-established, and will discuss with the CIO and Cable Administrator. The joint group would only meet every six months or so.
• The Minutes and Agendas of the ITAC are now up to date on the ITAC webpages on the ArlingtonVA.us Website, as well as the annual calendar of meetings. In answer to a previous question from ITAC Members from the previous meeting, the latest e-Government Plan is up on the website.
• Member Mayer and the Chair briefly mentioned that the Civic Federation had a meeting on November 13, 2012 where representatives from Dominion and Verizon, as well as Jack Brown, County Director of the Office of Emergency Management made presentations and answered questions from the delegates about storm preparation and response. Issues discussed at that meeting included better emergency response to storm damage and Verizon FiOS customer battery backup issues. Verizon indicated that batteries deteriorate over time after the one year warranty expires, but the customer is expected to replace batteries. The Chair stated discussion also included copper wire options after FiOS has been installed and that there was wide dissatisfaction at the meeting with the responses given by Verizon.
5. Legislative Updates:
Vice Chair, Frank Jazzo, provided the following information:
• In light of the November elections, it is anticipated that FCC Chairman Genachowski will step down upon the confirmation of his Democratic successor. Likely successors have been reported to include the two current Democratic Commissioners, Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel, current NTIA Administrator, Larry Strickling, and former NCTA and CTIA head, Tom Wheeler. There were no significant changes in the Congressional leadership overseeing the FCC.
• The FCC is seeking comment on the legal and statutory framework for Next Generation 9-1-1 Services, pursuant to the “Next Generation 9-1-1 Advancement Act of 2012”. Comments are due December 13, 2012, with Reply Comments due January 14, 2013.
• Comments were filed at NTIA regarding the network architecture of the proposed FirstNet. DOD said that the FirstNet board should look closely at the foreign ownership of any carriers who work with the new network. The FBI-Law Enforcement Executive Development Association questioned whether local law enforcement officials will be willing to subscribe to FirstNet once it is eventually up and running. There is ongoing skepticism within the local law enforcement community that a federal program implemented by a single board in Washington, D.C. will incorporate the diverse needs of 4 million first responders.
6. New Outreach Initiative for Oct. 2-5, 2012 (Mr. Billingsley)
• A summary meeting inviting previous focus group attendees was held at 10 am in the Central Library in Arlington in the Auditorium on October 25, 2012 to review major findings and seek any additional input. The attendees were from the previous meetings earlier in October to hear what transpired in all of the earlier meetings, and to present additional input.
7. Cable Administrator’s Report (Mr. Billingsley)
• The County continues to work with Comcast on the renewal of the Comcast franchise agreement. There is some progress but is largely exploratory with exchanges of information about networks and uses.
• The Cable Administrator provided a report of cable service complaints that came to the Cable Administration Office, comparing quarterly statistics for both Verizon and Comcast with charts describing any trends by type of complaint for the July-September quarters between 2009 and 2012. The most complaints received among all the years for both companies were in the areas of construction and equipment maintenance and repair. Problems with Customer Service representatives were relatively low for both companies. While patterns were similar between the two companies the number of problems were fewer for Verizon, probably due to Verizon having fewer customers in the County.
• The Chair requested that there be a presentation of the amounts of complaints that the companies have received directly.
• Linc Janus reported that the next milestone for FiOS buildout, per the franchise agreement, is June 30, 2013. At that time, Verizon is required to have built out to “significant numbers” of residential areas. The Cable Administrator is working with Verizon on several newly available Arlington sites for free video TV drops.
• Mr. Janus indicated that the recent Hurricane Sandy has had significant impact on Verizon’s construction resources as they try to restore infrastructure in the New York and New Jersey areas.
• The Chair noted again ITAC dissatisfaction with the lack of in person monthly representation by Verizon.
8. Briefing on ConnectArlington Status and Telecommunications Master Plan
• The CIO, Jack Belcher, stated the bond referendum for technology was approved at the November 6 election, and the resources will be used to fund Stage 1 of ConnectArlington (last mile connections to 50 County and School buildings). Stage 1 is planned to be completed by the Fall of 2013. Funds cannot be applied to Stage 2 (approximately another 43 planned locations) until Phase III of the Intelligent Traffic System (backbone fiber for the remainder of the County) is designed, and funding for that Phase is determined. Portions of the Public Safety Ring fiber interconnecting microwave antenna sites are also included in Stage 1. A question was asked by Mr. Reeder if all the funds that the County needed to provide have been provided. The correct answer is, no. There still remains a second Bond Referendum that will provide for the additional redundancy for the network. That Bond Referendum is scheduled for submission to the community for approval in 2014.
9. New Arlington IT Systems Initiative and Draft White Paper on IT & Economic Development
• Member Frank Reeder and the Chair discussed two draft white papers on IT Security and Economic Development in terms of content and process for publishing the papers. Member Reeder proposed that a deadline for comments from other ITAC members be set. There is a need for much more work on the IT Security/Public Safety paper than the Economic Development paper. Member Ken Cohn volunteered to work on that paper.
• Member Reeder stated Education and Health would be the subjects of the next two papers, and the need for someone from ITAC to provide time to work on these papers. Member Phil Caughran volunteered to work on the Education paper, but the Health paper still needs a subject matter volunteer.
• The Chair also discussed possible public relations efforts to communicate the content of the papers and what the County is doing in the respective subject areas of the papers.
• The Chair has also discussed his concerns about Verizon’s lack of local representation in the County and at the ITAC meetings, as well as lack of communications on several issues. He also discussed a draft ITAC resolution concerning the issues with Jay Fisette. One objective of the communication will be to have a meeting between the County and Verizon about the issues.
10. ITAC Annual Report
• The Chair has drafted text for an annual report of Commission activities and requested that DTS also provide a summary of accomplishments as an attachment to the report which will be given to the County Board. Comments on the circulated draft were requested of all members prior to the December meeting of the ITAC.
• The Annual Report for 2011 is available on the County website for ITAC.
11. Issues regarding Verizon in Arlington
• After Linc Janus hung up on the teleconference call, the ITAC decided to discuss recent concerns in several areas regarding Verizon, and the potential for drafting a resolution to the Board with those concerns. The Chair recommended that the resolution not address the issue of Verizon removing copper wiring after fiber connections have been installed to a residence.
• Members Frank Reeder, Joseph Pelton and Mary Crannell developed a draft resolution for ITAC regarding recent issues with Verizon which will go to the County Board with copies to the President of Verizon in Virginia, and the County Manager. The ITAC feels there needs to be a statement regarding failure of 911 during the Derecho storm.
• The Cable Administrator gave a copy of the Metropolitan Council of Governments report on the failures of Verizon in providing 911 services to provide detailed knowledge of the incident for consideration when ITAC is able to meet with Verizon to get their response. Cable Administrator will put a link to the document on the ITAC website.
• Member Mayer reiterated the value of having local representation of a cable company in Arlington, and attending the ITAC meetings, as Comcast now does. He said as much to the Verizon representative at the Civic Federation meeting on the 13th of November.
• The Commission unanimously agreed to send the amended resolution to Verizon. The cover letter and the final resolution are attached to these minutes.
12. Adjournment: 9:30 pm