Minutes: October 8 CTTAB meeting

Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB)

Meeting Minutes for October 8, 2013

The meeting was held in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 27th floor.

1.    Welcome, agenda & minutes approval
2.    Public comments
3.    The State of the Art and Evolution of Cable Television and Broadband Technology – Dr. Andrew Afflerbach, Ph.D., CEO and Director of Engineering CTC Technology and Energy
4.    Low Power FM – Sabrina Roach, Brown Paper Tickets
5.    Engagement with CTTAB and Website update
6.    Process and Outreach for Selection of new CTTAB members
7.    Get Online for Health Campaign – Vicky Yuki, Stacey Wedlake
8.    SDOT Directors Rule and Locating Telecommunications Cabinets
9.    Revisions to CTTAB section of Seattle Municipal Code – David Keyes
10.    Next meeting agenda:  Cable community needs discussion
11.    Committee assignments

Comments can be provided to David.Keyes@seattle.gov for distribution to the Board
or posted via Twitter including a mention of @CTTAB or the #CTTAB hashtag.


CTTAB Members: Nourisha Wells, Rob Dolin, Stacey Wedlake, Ben Krokower, Phillip Duggan, Daniel Hoang, Beryl Fernandes, Dana Lewis (via phone)

Public: Chris Jaramillo (King County), Karen Perry, Stephen Kent, Colleen McDevitt (YMCA/Puget SoundOff), Margie Nicosia, Andrew Afflerbach (CTC Technology and Energy), Viet Nguyen (Frause), Dorene Corwell (STAR Center), Ken Meyer,  Dan Stiefel, Steven Kent, Armando Stettner (Gigabit Squared), Chuck Lare.

Staff:  David Keyes, Sabra Schneider, Vicky Yuki, Alice Lawson, John Giamberso, Tony Perez

1.     Welcome, the meeting was called to order.

  • Everyone introduced themselves.
  • Review, amendments, and approval of this meeting’s agenda

Item 8, presentation was moved up to be after public comment. Item 10, which was a repeat of Item 6, was deleted. Agenda as ameded was approved.

  • Review, corrections/amendments, and approval of previous meeting’s minutes

Correction so that minutes said Minutes draft instead of Agenda draft.  Minutes were adopted.

2. Public comments:  Ken Meyer spoke. He participates in a University of Washington group and was asked to do a presentation on CTTAB. As he was thinking about what to present, he had suggestions for improving the information about and visibility of the board’s work. He would like to suggest the web site has a bios of members and a better description of the projects going on. He also suggested that Seattle Channel do an Inside/Out or other feature about the work of CTTAB.


3. The State of the Art and Evolution of Cable Television and Broadband Technology – Dr. Andrew Afflerbach, Ph.D., CEO and Director of Engineering CTC Technology and Energy

See video of this presentation for full details on presentation and discussion.

Accompanying Powerpoint:

Download (PPTX, 1002KB)


Tony Perez, Cable Communications Office: The purpose of Andrew presenting to CTTAB is to look out a few years at how infrastructure and capabilities will change, so that CTTAB members can use that to help the City consider how the franchise could best benefit city government and our citizens

Executive summary of report:

Download (PDF, 287KB)

The executive summary will get sent out to the public notice also.

CTC started as watchdog on the deployment of cable and has done hundreds of system tests and analysis over the years. They worked in fiber and public safety and a number of BTOP projects. This is based on knowledge they have directly from work with providers, engineers, and other related industry experts.

It’s speculative to go out more than 5 or 10 years.

His presentation is focused on the 5-10 year frame, the core of what the infrastructure is and is likely to be, then video production, especially Public, Educational and Governmental (PEG) Access operations.

Cable systems are critical because they put in place the infrastructure for tv and broadband.

Because most, including Seattle, are hybrid fiber/coax systems, they have significant limitations relative to fully fiber networks.

Cable industry does not have a plan to migrate everything to fiber; rather the approach is an incremental approach to keep where they upgrade electronics, software etc to where the industry feels it needs to be, but that means the infrastructure itself becomes limited in what you can do.

He will also cover what the evolution of production technology will hold for PEG and what the franchise may want to include to make this an ongoing operation.

Topics presented included:

  • Limitations of Cable coax
  • Evolution of Underlying infrastructure
  • IP Convergence
  • Voice over Data
  • Evolution of infrastructure to IP
  • Timeline
  • Use of cable system
  • Cable’s role in a broadband universe
  • Neutrality and Cable
  • Integration of wireless
  • Evolution of video production
  • Challenge in many franchsies is the cost and need for trained staff
  • New approaches to local programming
    • HDTV, Video on Demand , Hi bandwidth  program origination points, Social media/ interactivity integration, app based delivery of schedule, Why we need PEG if we have YouTube, Communications between producers,
    • What happens with cable will impact wireless and vice versa

This was followed by a question and answer session.


There was a motion to extend the meeting until 8:30.  The motion was unanimously approved

4.     Low Power FM – Sabrina Roach, Brown Paper Tickets Doer: 

We are celebrating the opening day of the application period for LPFM with the Seattle/Puget Sound area applicants on Oct 15th.  There are about 10 applicants that we know of in the Seattle area.  These include:

·         D.A.S.H Center for the Arts (Tacoma)
·         Earth On-the-Air Independent Media (University District)
·         Fulcrum Community Communications (Neighborhoods North of the Cut)
·         Hollow Earth Radio (Central District)
·         OneAmerica (SeaTac)
·         Pike Place Market (Downtown Seattle)
·         Rainy Dawg Radio (University District)
·         Sand Point Arts & Cultural Exchange (Magnuson Park)
·         Seattle University Radio (Central District)
·         SouthEast Effective Development's Rainier Valley Radio (Rainier Valley)
·         Sustainable Bainbridge (Bainbridge)
·         UWave Radio at University of Washington at Bothell (Bothell)
·         Voice of Vashon (Vashon)

The licenses are competitive, but Sabrina is trying to encourage collaboration.

The City Department of Information Technology (David Keyes) is helping support the license applicants, as well Seattle Channel, Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, Office of Arts and Culture, Department of Neighborhoods, as well as 4Culture at the County.

It’s a great opportunity for infrastructure. She is encouraging them to be multi-media hubs.

Would like to work with CTTAB to help identify funding and resource opportunities.

Beryl: Are you working with the schools?

Some of them are working with schools.

Beryl: What is the cost?  Application is free, but the engineering and attorneys have cost. The stations will cost $10-30,000 to build out.  Some are building into plans hiring staff members, Hoolow Earth Radio runs all with volunteers.

Beryl: Are there alternatives to building separate infrastructure? Is there any way to share or centralize costs? She would be interested in talking more w/Sabrina about this.
Timeline: It will take FCC 6 months – year to grant the licenses, then stations will have another 18 months to build out. Sabrina feels the $20-30,000 it will cost some of these groups will be within reach.

Ben will send out the info on the event.

5.     Engagement with CTTAB and Website update – Nourisha Wells, David Keyes, Ben Krokower

David shared that we’ve been working on getting the CTTAB web site ready, it will be in the City;s new content management system (CMS). This will be the first Board and Commission site in new CMS, The site also has a blog. Dana, Ben and Nourisha have been helping with design.

Ken asked earlier about Board bios on the site. David showed these on the new site. Members have also shared some of their social media contacts.

The What We Do section has a page for each committee and links with basic info on who’s on committee, when they meet, and also contains posting from the committee’s blog page.

On the Meetings page there is also the agenda and minutes and podcast linked there. When minutes and agendas are posted on the blog and tagged, they will show up on the the meeting section of the web page as well.Site provides users with the ability to subscribe.

Goal is to move business process so members can post directly for their committees. Each CTTAB member will have a log-in that David will send. On the blog there is an embedded viewer, so that you can post related documents into the blog, so others can

Question was asked about video:  Seattle Channel embedded video can be posted; others can be linked. Not initially doing comments, but Board members can allow comments for input on particular topics or posts where seeking comment.

Contact us has multiple ways to contact the board.  As the Public Engagement Committee comes back with participation recommendations, the site could be modified.

Regarding Stacey question about tagging: there are a set of starting tags, but could also free tag to bring in

David: Beth Somerfiedl from web team

Daniel: can we send note of appreciation?

By next meeting the minutes will be done through the blog.

Resource section has links to materials. Let us know what you’d like to see.

Also see Policy and Positions page.  SDOT letter that CTTAB sent is posted there.


6.     Process and Outreach for Selection of new CTTAB members 
David handed out sheet explaining the criteria that is used to select board members. Board has been great, with a mix of techie, non-techie and a range of skills. Who we have on the Board changes somewhat depending on what the Board needs, what the mix is on it and the Mayor and Council’s priorities. For instance, a few years ago we had the Public Access TV reassessment. Meeting City Race and Social Justice goals has been important.

Download (DOCX, 18KB)

The last few times we’ve had a great group apply.. Only 10 members, so that’s one reason why we also have other volunteers able to serve on committees. For CTTAB positions, we have done the interviews with a panel that included Council and Mayor office staff, as well as DoIT and CTTAB.

Beryl: Do we do outreach to those who get grants and others.

David: Yes we do promote to them.  Yes we’ve had some. Last time had a potential member who was a grantee, but they wanted to apply again so couldn’t appoint the person.

Beryl: Seems we don’t have a grantee on the Board.

David pointed out that Phillip represented a group that had received a Boost civic engagement grant.

Phillip: Mentioned that he’s had a lot of involvement with the other city grant programs too.

Beryl:  She doesn’t understand what the Get Engaged program is and how it operates.

David explained the history of the Get Engaged program and that it’s a leadership development program that puts young adults on 1 year positions on city boards. The City contracts with the YMCA to run this program.

Beryl visited with them.

Phillip: Everyone that’s a Get Engaged member meets together and the Y has programs for them.

Beryl met interesting youth there and would like to see them be part of our committees.

Daniel: Given some of the technical nature of our speaker today, would like the Board to consider someone more technical for the Board.

Daniel: Reminder to fill out Rob’s survey
Ben – Considers himself to be technical and some others are as well. There’s a need to learn more about each other’s skills and also what are we lacking?
Beryl – Our bios answer some of this. Would like to use what info we already have.

David: The survey looks at the specific criteria for the board.

Beryl: Would like to look at what are the larger issues that the city is going to be dealing with rather than the survey

Stacey:  How she got to the Board: She applied for Get Engaged, didn’t get it, but then there was follow-up from staff.  The Committee blurb and name can seem like it’s only for technical people. Youth and others may not perceive themselves as Board members. Language is important to say that it’s not just for computer programmers.

Beryl: Good point. She has similar experience. Need to keep finding ways to communicate with people to reach them.

Stacey – Can just have an interest in policy generally and that can be very relevant to CTTAB work.

Beryl – What’s tech anyways? We’re not dealing hardware and software issue that DoIT has IT staff for; the board is working with issues that have citywide implications.

David: there aren’t hard dates for recruitment right now. Current open position is a Mayoral appointee. We were waiting to see what the timing would be for code revisions

Beryl: What’s difference between Mayor and Council appointees.

David: All appointees get approved by Council but Mayor has the choice to select about half plus the public access,

Broad vs targeted marketing: Having CTTAB members engaged is really helpful. We have a couple quotes from members, but want to encourage others to share a statement we can post to help marketing. We’ll be having a gathering of tech matching fund grantees.  That would be a great forum to promote joining CTTAB.

Brian: The Department of Neighborhoods PACE Academy (People’s Academy for Community Engagement would be a great place to recruit. Brian explained the program.
7.     Get Online for Health Campaign – Vicky Yuki, Stacey Wedlake

See the Handout (pdf)
Stacey: Launching on October 15thSeattle.gov/getonline will be posted with some good health web sites and tips on how to evaluate health websites. In the past this was a week or a day. Now it is a longer campaign that will have info about where you can get public access and options for low income residents to get computers and the Internet at home. Every few months there will be a new topic. Next quarter will be jobs or education. Vicky has been doing some fantastic work with this. The library will be using the material in their classes. Have posters and leaflets coming out. Will be providing the info for digital literacy about the topic and assessing web sites.

Need CTTAB to help promote the campaign. Nourisha is helping with the marketing plan and social media that CTTAB can help push out. Also let us know when you encounter the marketing materials.

They are looking for ideas from CTTAB and residents on the upcoming jobs and education topics.

Vicky Yuki:  There will be a 10/15 launch, but looking at it as a continual launch. So after the first launch there will be additional materials, webinars, other materials out to keep interest.

Library interested in using this material for training.

Beryl: It’s a lot of work.

Stacey: Thanks to Vicky

Vicky reiterated that she’d like

David: What materials would Board members like to have to hand out?

Beryl: Business card size items to hand out.

Stacey: We have a leaflet size piece.

Vicky: there are not too many sites with good translated health info. Want to be cautious about this. Medline Plus has some good materials. Again, being careful. Intent is not to be the health portal, but to promote that it’s one good reason to get online more.

Dorene: translating the tech literacy/ web use tips would be helpful.
Vicky – has volunteers that are willing to translate. Challenge is that the language may not be featured on the web site.

Ben: thanks for the great work on this.

8. SDOT Directors Rule and Locating Telecommunications Cabinets (CenturyLink)– Daniel: Received a letter back from the Mayor. (Note: These letters to SDOT and the Mayor’s reply are posted on the CTTAB Policy and Positions page)  In short, they are still working on the balance of public right of way and the look and feel of the neighborhood vs getting increased broadband deployed. SDOT and Mayor will be moving proposed revised rules forward for legislation and public comment.

Early 2014 timeline. They are currently waiting for the proposed legislation. It does not address a proposed pilot program.

9.     Revisions to CTTAB section of Seattle Municipal Code – David Keyes

We are revising the charter. Staff is asking for comment, agreement on any changes you want to suggest, and endorsement from the Board. See the proposed revisions.

This draft has been endorsed by Erin Devoto, the DoIT Director. This will go to Council next year, but we’re not sure of exact timing.  The reasons for revising and choices made in the draft are:

  • The Cable Code needed updating in time for refranchising. CTTAB was part of the Cable Code because it was originally the cable advisory board. We had interest from Council in making the CTTAB charter distinct from this. The revisions are likely to be two separate ordinances, one for cable and one for CTTAB.
  • It’s an opportunity to update the language. For instance, it doesn’t currently mention broadband.
  • Need to simplify name. We propose calling it SeaTAB, Seattle Technology Advisory Board. The existing name and acronym is too long for marketing the Board and this would keep the sound of the short name.
  • The word “citizens” is taken out to conform with city policy on race and social justice since not all residents are citizens.
  • We discussed adding the word community into the board name, but other City boards with community members do not include the word in their name. From some discussions with staff and board members about this, we felt the inclusiveness goals of the board composition would be addressed in practice by how we market the board and what our web site, recruiting material and other content and practice are. Leaving the word out also addresses potential confusion that the scope is limited to community technology applications and keeps the name shorter.
  • We’ve replaced the scope term from telecommunications and technology with the term ICT, Information and Communications Technology, which better describes the scope of the board and would be consistent with international terminology. It eliminates confusion about the Board’s role in other technology, such as solar.
  • The list of example topics (“such as…”) covered has been simplified so that it can evolve. The web site, committees and work plans describe what current priorities of the Board are.
  • There is a small change that clarifies at what point filling in unexpired terms counts against the 2 term limit.
  • Eligibility is clarified to be more specific about those who live and work in the city
  • Research was added to reflect what the Board actually does.
  • We clarified that the Board can bring items to the attention of the City, rather than just issues referred to the board. This reflects what has been practice and historically supported by both the Council & Mayor.


Beryl:  It would be good to have community in the title since so much of what we’ve done has been community based.

David: If you look at other Boards and Commissions, many of them are very focused on community, but do not include this in their name.

Beryl offered to compile and share the suggestions. Send comments to her, then they could go through.

Ben: During application period, consider having alternates or substitutes to fill out positions on a temporary basis, so we could maintain a full board without having to go through the long process of board appointment.

Brian: Great idea to be able to have alternates, but he questioned whether it could be done for one board or would have to be done across the city boards.

Dorene: Not aware of other boards doing this, but thinks it would be fine for CTTAB to ask for it, especially since board gets dozens of applicants for few positions, we have volunteers and tech is such a large piece of the economy.

Beryl agreed that we should make that proposal.
Beryl still has question about Get Engaged and how many members came from that.

Stacey: She wasn’t accepted as a Get Engaged member, but was subsequently encouraged to apply for a regular position and joined the Board that way.

Beryl: The issue is, if we’re trying to get more youth who aren’t normally engaged, maybe we should reach out further to get underrepresented youth to become engaged.

Phillip: YMCA has been very effective because they have staff doing outreach to youth, engagement and training.  He applied for a normal position before applying for Get Engaged; that was second path for him.

David: We also need age diversity and other diversity on board.

Stacey: Age cap on Get Engaged is 30, so that would only be a path to be introduced to the board for some.

David: We have a couple months for the Board to work on this and he would encourage them to also get input from other community members, especially the meeting attendees and committee volunteers who have been participating in CTTAB.

Send comments to Beryl, who will consolidate the suggestions.


10. Next meeting agenda:

  1. David: We will have a 90 minute discussion on community needs for cable franchise, led by a woman from the CTC consultants that are working with the cable office.
    Beryl: How much of this will be applicable to the Seattle Channel? The mandate could be applicable to the franchise goals.

David suggested Beryl talk to John Giamberso about this and he will also be at November meeting with hope that the Board will vote on the Seattle Channel mandate.

11. Committee assignment(s) for Phillip:  He’s going to be co-chair of Digital Inclusion and join the Public Engagement committee.

Moved and approved to adjourn at 8:30 pm