Arlington Information Technology Advisory Commission (ITAC)
Chair: Joseph Pelton
Vice-Chair: Frank Jazzo
Jenny Shu Ho
Members Not Present:
Jack Belcher, CIO
Rob Billingsley, Cable Administrator
Matt Smith, APS
Cable Company Representatives:
Donna Selden, Verizon
Marie Schuler, Comcast
Members of the Public:
- Meeting called to order by Joseph Pelton, ITAC Chair
7:30 p.m.; Quorum (Ten of Eleven Members) Present. Meeting Agenda adopted.
- Public Comment
None. Tyler Carlin introduced himself as interested in participating on the ITAC.
- Approval of Minutes from Previous Meeting and Agenda
Minutes of June 2013 meeting approved.
- Administrative and Other Issues
- The Commission is currently two members below a full Commission. The Chair will follow up with the County Board Office to determine status of recent applicants.
- Schedule of meetings was reviewed with specific comment on the November meeting and avoiding the Thanksgiving holiday week.
- The Chair has been talking with staff concerning the County Community Energy Plan about the nature and position of advisors to the Plan, and the Chair will likely be appointed to represent the County Civic Federation on that body. There was a demonstration of LED street lights at the Arlington Art Center with as many as 100 in attendance. The demonstration successfully showed how lighting could be managed to shield lighting from residential side of the street to be less intrusive, as well as other “dimming down” of illumination.
- The Cable Administrator reminded the ITAC that the County is still working on changing web software and streamlining text. Draft standards for commission web pages is still under development. Cable Administrator will circulate a draft of the commission template for members to use as a guide to what information needs to be on the ITAC webpages.
- Legislative Updates: Because of his absence, Vice Chair, Frank Jazzo, provided the following information for ITAC’s June meeting via email to the Chair and the Cable Administrator:
- Senate Commerce Committee held confirmation hearing for FCC Chairman nominee Tom Wheeler and has voted to approve his nomination. Mike O’Rielly has been nominated for the Republican vacancy on the FCC. No confirmation vote by the full Senate has been set for either candidate.
- Senator McCain has introduced legislation to require a la carte channel pricing by MVPDs. Estimates are that ESPN could cost $30/mo. in such a scenario.
- Estimates are that there will be a net reduction of 250,000 pay TV households by the end of 2013, which represents a first ever actual reduction due to “cord-cutting”.
- FCC has asked Verizon for more information in connection with its plans to replace the copper facilities destroyed by Superstorm Sandy on Fire Island , NY, with wireless services. The requests for discontinuance of service will not be automatically granted.
- Verizon is rolling out FiOS Quantum service with speeds up to 500 megabits per second
- FCC launches modernization of E-rate program to deliver students and teachers access to high-capacity broadband nationwide.
- CTIA filed for reconsideration of the requirement that carriers provide automatic bounce-back messages where text-to-911 is not available.
- Legislative Issues for the next Virginia Legislative Session
The Chair requested input from ITAC members at the previous meeting for any ideas to put forward to the board for the Board to advocate in the next Virginia Legislative Session. No new initiatives were volunteered.
- Cable Administrator’s Report (Mr. Billingsley)
- The Cable Administrator noted that negotiations with Comcast continue and that no public hearing by the ITAC is expected to be needed in the short term. There currently is an extension of the original expiration date for the Comcast franchise that goes to December 31, 2013, as approved by both Comcast and the County Board.
- The Cable Administrator also made a presentation, as previously requested by the ITAC, of the progress of Verizon in making FiOS available to Multiple Dwelling Units (MDUs), such as condominiums and apartment buildings. More than half of the condo buildings in the County have Verizon FiOS available to residents, while another eighth are in negotiations with Verizon, and another eighth have not responded to multiple attempts by Verizon to notify potential buildings of FiOS availability. However, only a little less than a quarter of the apartment buildings have FiOS installed to the premises, and almost a third have not responded to multiple attempts to contact by Verizon. The remainder of the buildings are in various stages of developing the installation of FiOS.
- The Chair requested an update on MDUs, County Sites, and School Sites by the end of the current year. Other members requested more details on overall development, and the Cable Administrator stated he would try to work with the Verizon representatives to achieve that.
- Member Martha Moore reported that Red Top Cab has some difficulties in obtaining information about FiOS connections at potential commercial sites under consideration as a new location for their business. Red Top previously had to link with a residential line to have their current connectivity. Red Top is concerned about finding a C-2 zoned property that has FiOS access. In accordance with the Verizon focusing on residential service over commercial service. Donna Selden of Verizon at the meeting said if she has an address she can check on availability. VZ cannot provide information on percentage of C-2 properties.
- The Chair then requested the Cable Administrator provide by the next meeting a report on availability of FiOS to commercial properties from Verizon and Arlington Economic Development.
- ConnectArlington Status and Telecommunications Master Plan
- The Cable Administrator provided details about ConnectArlington’s first stage of 50 sites that are in various stages of completion. Some sites cannot be completed until the “backbone fiber” from the first two phases of the Intelligent Traffic System construction.
- The CIO, Jack Belcher, described the variety of technical and procedural impediments that have to be addressed before some of the sites can be completed.
- The Chair asked if the project is on schedule, and the CIO reported that there is a two month delay in ITS cabling in Crystal City, and some easement issues with a site outside of the County at Seven Corners. A report that will address this and many other issues is being developed for presentation to ITAC.
- Status of Joint Working Group on IT Services with the Schools
Matt Smith of APS reported that the committee does not meet during the Summer months, but Since the authors of these white papers were not present, no update was available. The first committee meeting of the school year will be September 18, 2013.
- Resolution of Support for In-Building Wireless (IBW) in Arlington
- The CIO presented details of In Building Wireless and the history of its development in Arlington starting in 2004. The Fire Chief approached him expressing concern about the lack of penetration of 800 MHz signal into newer buildings with LEED standard construction methods intended for energy efficiency.
- The new Arlington Mill Community Center building now includes a radio repeater system of a distributed antenna system that enables such radio communication in a modern LEED certified building. The presentation included a short video demonstration showing radio communications with and without the IBW. Without the IBW turned on, there was no radio communications within several locations in the building.
- The County is communicating with developers in the County to gain support for installing IBW in new buildings.
- One suggestion was to have a “medallion” mounted on the side of a building that shows when IBW has been installed.
- Matt Smith stated that all new school construction will have the County’s model of IBW.
- The ITAC decided to forestall the resolution until the next monthly meeting while a subcommittee develops a resolution from the ITAC to the County Board, and a game plan for communicating the importance of IBW to the residents.
- Planning for ITAC Session in September—Information Exchange with Dublin, Ohio
- The Chair discussed the ideas behind having an information exchange meeting with Dublin, Ohio who won the Intelligent Community Award this year, and who has developed broadband infrastructure as a community network. Objectives of the information exchange would be to find out how they organized IT for economic development, how they manage public private partnerships, what authority was needed to place contracts for the development, and how their schools are using the network.
- Member Caughran recommended such an exchange take place at the September meeting of ITAC. The Chair will work with County staff on setting that up.
- New Arlington IT Systems Initiative – Draft White Papers
Since the authors of these white papers were not present, no update was available. The Chair reported that the Members Caughran and Jazzo attended a meeting with APS advisory group representatives who all agreed the joint group should continue meeting.
- Adjournment: 9:15 pm