Minutes: January 14, 2014 CTTAB meeting

January 14th meeting minutes

This meeting was held:
January 14th, 2014, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Seattle Municipal Tower: 700 – Fifth Avenue (at Columbia St)
Room 2750 (27th floor)


CTTAB Members: Dana Lewis, Stacey Wedlake, Nourisha Wells, Brian Hsi, Ben Krokower, Phillip Duggan, Beryl Fernandes, Rob Dolin (by phone: Rob and Brian)

Public: Nancy Sherman, Dorene Cornwell (STAR Center), Mira Latoszek (UPTUN), Viet Nguyen (UPTUN), Dan Stiefel

Staff:  Sabra Schneider, David Keyes

1.   Voting allowance for members with expired terms
Dana moved and Stacey seconded a motion that Ben and Beryl continue and have voting rights until the council or mayor makes a decision on member vacancies.   Motion approved.

2.   Agenda approval and discussion of minutes:  The agenda was approved and the December minutes were approved with an amendment to revise Nancy Sherman’s affiliation and bio description.

3.   Public Comment:

Viet Nguyen with UPTUN: Thanks for convening again. There have been a lot of stories about the failure of Gigabit Squared. He encouraged the Board to weigh in on next steps. What the Board did last year with CenturyLink has even more weight with the Gigabit Squared announcement. His understanding is that the CenturyLink cabinet manufacturer has approved adding decorative wraps to the cabinet. The SDOT rule changes to enable telecommunication cabinets and more broadband options are important to the marketplace.

Beryl: are you making these recommendations on design and deployment to the Seattle Planning and Design Commission?

Stacey: In Tony Perez’s Cable Office update, there is a firm mentioned on this issue that has been hired by SDOT. She believes it is EnviroIssues.  See Cable Office Report

Brian: They have a follow-up meeting with SDOT and the consultant later this week.

Viet: Please bring to that meeting that we are asking them to speed up the revised rules as fast as possible.

Beryl: It’s a point well taken in light of the Gigabit Squared failure; it places extra emphasis.

Nancy Sherman: Could you talk about the plans to bring broadband to low income communities, particularly to central and downtown Seattle. Some buildings in some parts will pick up public wifi now.

Ben: We’re encouraging growing access in as many ways as we can. With dark fiber, we had a chance to emphasize the need to address low income community needs.

Phillip: We’ve also promoted the other ways to get lower income access, such as the Comcast Internet Essentials program.

Nancy: Wave does not offer a discount. Some have gone to the CenturyLink. She is aware of FreedomPop and others [MobileCitizen/Interconnection] that uses Clear. She’s not sure that the reception in parts of downtown is reliable. Couldn’t Wave also offer a low-income discount?

Brian will bring this back to the Cable and Broadband Committee

Beryl: It’s helpful to have this kind of direct feedback.

Beryl made a motion that CTTAB write a letter to Wave. This was discussed and a vote postponed until later in the meeting after the discussion of the code revisions, in order to allow Beryl to have the specific language for the motion, which was introduced as follows:

Beryl made the following motion: “In response to a citizen’s request, I move that CTTAB write a letter to Wave saying that a citizen approached this board and asked if Wave could provide the same rate for low income residents similar to the same rate that is provided by Comcast.”
This motion was approved.

Nancy: Wave is losing customers to Century Link.

Stacey: the low income programs from CenturyLink and Comcast were done through the FCC as part of their national mergers or buyouts.

Phillip: He proposed amendment that CTTAB asks WAVE is they would have a low income rate comparable to Comcast and that CTTAB investigate a process for it to show up in the franchise agreement.

Brian: The Committee will start researching. Do we want as a Board to craft a motion for every work item?

Stacey: We should get back to the person, Nancy in this case, about our follow-up.


Ben read the statement from the current legislative code about CTTAB’s mission.

There was discussion of the current language.
Beryl would like as much of the business as possible to occur in the meetings rather than in committees, so that it is as transparent as possible.

Brian: Is a committee not public?

Beryl: It’s not recorded
Nourisha: they are public and notes are supposed to be blogged
Brian: Meetings are public but we could improve transparency by posting more info from the committee work.
Phillip: Full meetings need to be used for coordination. If we used the full meeting for full items and discussion, then we would only get the work done of one committee.
Ben: Would like the full meetings to be as efficient as possible with items brought after discussion in committee.
Beryl: Agreed with Ben on that. Getting minutes asap is important.
Ben: Maybe we could also restate at end of meeting what key action items need immediate follow-up.
Beryl agreed
Beryl: you get to assign items to committees.
Ben agreed to note to the key action items in the meeting.


Dana presented a proposed schedule for input and development of workplans. (See the proposed schedule.)
This would allow the City (Mayor, Council , etc) to present in Feb and then have time to get additional input between February and March, in order to develop the workplan in March.

Beryl: Waiting until mid-year would allow longer input time.
Dana: This would enable us to take input and then focus on a workplan and moving ahead.
Sabra: Committees may change.
Beryl: Consider the timing so that it can also feed into the City budget cycle.

Dana: motion to adopt the proposed timetable.  Motion approved.


Brian introduced a letter to the Mayor and Council concerning broadband in Seattle post-Gigabit Squared and made a motion to send this to the Mayor.

Download (DOCX, 163KB)

BREAK: taken to review the letter and network.

Continued Discussion:

Dan: Can we change the wording to lay out the City options of leasing the fiber or private provider partner?

Brian: Point 3 in the recommendations in the letter asks for updating the earlier studies. This would include considering a municipal utility and other options.

There was discussion of strengthening the letter language to be overt about revisiting the study and looking at all options.
Brian described that revisiting the studies would encompass looking at municipal utility and other options.

Viet: there may be two options: a white knight like Google, or a municipal utility. A third option may be changes in city policies that would increase fiber deployment.

Beryl: that may need to be done anyways.

Dorene: One goal that was in Gigabit Squared proposal that should be preserved is increased access to some neighborhoods and getting service to low income households.

Stacey: The letter affirms the need to keep pushing forward.
Stacey seconds the motion
Amendment proposed to send the letter to all Council members. Motion by Phillip, second my Dana

The motion to send the letter was approved.

7.      CTTAB Recruitment

David reviewed status: they are awaiting direction on filling the vacancies and recruiting from the Council and Mayor.

Staff has provided the Mayor’s Office with information about the process.

Beryl: Would like us to look at diversity of viewpoints in the recruiting and filling of positions.
When the Mayor and Councilmember Harrell come to talk us at the retreat/February meeting, we will have a better sense of work being asked of us and expertise needed.

8.      Code Revisions:

Ben: This is a continuation of discussion of proposed revisions from the last meeting. Ben reviewed what was voted on in the last meeting.

Beryl asked for opening the Get Engaged program to other youth.

There was discussion of the Get Engaged program.
Concerns were raised by Beryl about the diversity of YMCA and Get Engaged.
In the discussion, Stacey and David clarified that the Get Engaged program is a City program and the City contracts with the Y to manage it; recruitment is broader than the Y and any youth can apply.

Beryl recommended that CTTAB draw on a broader, more diverse group of youth leadership programs in Seattle to oversee the selection of youth for the Board. Instead of relying solely on the YMCA’s Get Engaged Program to oversee the selection of youth, she suggested also including the broad array of excellent Seattle youth leadership programs serving underrepresented youth who do not have and are eager for opportunities to engage in City decision making. DoIT staff clarified that the Get Engaged young adult position is established in the Seattle Municipal Code and the program is managed by the YMCA under an agreement with the City.  Any young adult may apply and the final choice of who fills the Get Engaged position is made by the Mayor with Council approval as it would be for any Mayoral CTTAB appointee. There was also opposition voiced by several CTTAB board members who disagreed there was a need for opening up the City contract to include other youth leadership programs to manage the process of selecting youth for the City’s boards and commissions.

Dan: When there are a limited numbers of appointments, whoever runs these programs and who gets these slots has a great degree of power.

9.      Community Technology Report: David Keyes

The 2014 Technology Matching Fund application cycle has launched. There are workshops planned for Jan 30th and Feb 4th. Deadline for applications is March 12. He encouraged CTTAB members to attend and participate in the workshops.  David reviewed the outreach plan. See the Technology Matching Fund guidelines and application information at Seattle.gov/tech/tmf

There was a suggestion to add to the application a question about How did you hear about TMF – add to webgrants application.

Web site: The seattle.gov/tech Community Technology Program website has been redesigned and put into content management. Thanks to Vicky Yuki for leading this and the work of the web team.

IT Indicators: We are getting close to completing the write-up of the community surveying. Expect that this will be ready to present in the next month.

  1. Race and Social Justice Workshop & Race Exhibit
    Ben: he will work on the next step, an action plan for CTTAB

    Phillip and Stacey commented on the quality and value of visiting the exhibit and having the workshops.
  2. 11.  Beryl’s earlier motion to contact WAVE about low income discounts was improved (See motion above)

Phillip asked that the work go on in committee.

Meeting was adjourned.

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.