March 11 meeting minutes

March 11th meeting minutes.  Topics covered include: Public Comment, Chief Technology Officer Report, the public survey for Comcast cable refranchising, a presentation on Net Neutrality and the FCC, committee selections, questions of providers regarding low-income Internet services.

These resources were also mentioned in the meeting:

[We have also posted a video of the presentation on Net Neutrality by Tony Perez (see slides below or download the 5 slides)]

This meeting was held:
March 11th, 2014, 6–8 PM, Seattle Municipal Tower: 700 – Fifth Avenue


CTTAB Members: Dana Lewis, Nourisha Wells, Brian Hsi, Ben Krokower, Phillip Duggan, Beryl Fernandes, Rob Dolin, Daniel Hoang

Public: Viet Nguyen (UPTUN), Mary Taylor (CenturyLink), Cary Lynn Johnson (Isomedia), Michael Spindler, Ken Meyer, Margie Nicosia, Dan Stiefel, Dorene Cornwell (STAR Center), Ryan Thurston (IBM)

Staff:  Department of Information Technology: Sabra Schneider, David Keyes, Tony Perez

1. Welcome -Agenda approved, Introductions of all attendees

2. Public Comment

Ken Meyer:  He had suggested streaming the video of these meetings.  He wants a response, even if it can’t be done. This is an opportunity to do a prototype that would make all meetings more accessible to the public. It could help traffic problems. It costs money to attend meetings downtown. It used to be that all Council meetings are broadcast live and replayed in the evenings. These have been substituted with other fancy programs in the evening.

Ben: Initial response –We did an initial test pilot on streaming, but it needed some additional work to be successful.

Beryl: Suggested that this is a priority.

Ken: would like to see this room wired for meetings covereage.

Sabra: She recalled that the streaming was discussed in the public engagement committee last year.

Rob: We tried a couple times, and then also have done some dial-in phone conferencing for meetings.

Brian: Engagement strategy should include arranging it far enough ahead with lead time and promotion.

Phillip: Consistency will help. Suggested that if we set something up, that we try it for at least 6 months.

Dana: People need to understand that participants need to be notified. We’ve had limited engagement in person. Would look at a strategy, with a period to evaluate and then decide how to move on.

Erin: It does need to be scalable. We have 50-60 Boards and Commissions, and not all meet downtown. There are some wonderful ideas here and she’s trying to lift up DoIT to have more conferencing capability. Merits discussion and a plan. If we do it for one, we have to do it for all.

Beryl: We might want to see what other Boards and Commissions are doing. Maybe someone is already doing what we want to do.

Ben: We can talk about where this goes in our workplan.

Dorene: Thanks to Ken for bringing this up again. Maybe we need to find the most Luddite board and partner with them.

Ken: The phone is something, but I would be very unpopular at home if I kept the phone tied up for a whole meeting.

Dorene: For long meetings, it helps to see people.

3. Minutes approval:  Jan and Feb

January minutes:

David had available a document with the proposed changes in minutes containing Beryl’s amendment and David’s subsequent proposed change. See the handout.

There was:consideration of:

1) Beryl’s proposed amendment. Ben read this amendment.

2)      Modifications of Beryl’s proposed amendment. David suggested some changes.

At Ben’s request, Rob suggested a process order for amendment consideration

There was a motion by Beryl to approve the original minutes.

Rob seconded

Dana moved to include David’s comments and add the discussion from Feb minutes.

There was unanimous approval of amendment, of

February minutes: See February minutes

Dana moved to embed a link to the January minutes in the February minutes. Rob seconded.

Nourisha moved to approve February minutes, Rob seconded.

There was unanimous approval of the February minutes.

Tracking decisions

Ben said that it was challenging for him as Chair to keep track of actions and decisions during the meeting and that Nourisha had agreed to help do this.

Rob recommended using an IRC channel and Meetbot. This would allow people to add their notes to create the minutes.

5. Chief Technology Officer Report – Erin Devoto

There was an article in Seattle Business Journal about WAVE.

Erin and Tony Perez met today with CenturyLink about their IPTV offering: Prism. Hopefully they will pilot in Bellevue.

Mayor’s Office: Cable code revisions will be coming forward, and then the Technology Matching Fund grants legislation.

Comcast has asked that we promote their Internet Essentials service. Seattle was named a “Gold Medal” city for efforts to sign up families with school lunch eligible children up for the Internet Essentials service.

A new design was launched for our data portal, 

The Chief Information Security Office (CISO) is working with other departments on cyber-insurance issues. This is related to our PCI compliance. We were a level 2 merchant. Late in the fall, Wells Fargo determined we are level 1 merchant, due to the transactions from parking machines, which are using a 3rd party vendor . This will be a lot of work to meet the compliance requirements.

Dan Stiefl mentioned that he works in this area and explained what PCI is.   You have to stay in compliance on taking security precautions; you have to do regular audits to confirm compliance.

The Seattle Channel had a premier of its Honor Totem program.

The Seattle Channel Community Stories documentary Honor Totem tells the story of the John T. Williams Memorial Totem Pole, an ambitious community art project which rose from the fatal police shooting of Williams, a First Nations woodcarver.

Technology Matching Fund grants: Tomorrow is the deadline for community applications.

Civic Cocktail was taped in front of live audience. Council members have been featured in recent shows.

Ask the Mayor will be broadcast live on March 25th from the City Hall Bertha Knight Landes room.

We have targets to push out Office 365.  We are holding on Exchange until the Department of Finance and Administration services completes some additional work.

We are putting Microsoft Lync in sooner. This allows instant messaging and video conferencing.

Daniel Hoang: Could the Board use Lync?

Erin: Possibly

Brian Hsi: Was there Council action recently on privacy or drones?

Erin: Not sure, but maybe you are referring to state level recent discussion and legislation on privacy.

Michael Spindler: The State Senate passed that legislation today.  it says that a Municipality department cannot on their own deploy a drone without the authority of the city.

Brian: Wasn’t sure what implications were.

Ben: There was also just a vote by Council to accept federal security funds.

Beryl: There was the letter a couple months ago to Council about broadband. She heard Erin on KUOW. What’s the status?

Erin: DoIT is working with the Mayor’s office on what they want to do. They are likely to come up with short, mid and long term strategy. Upton has been in contact with them. CenturyLink has been working with the City on revisions to the SDOT Director’s Rule.

Erin is starting to work with Parks Department on how they can stand up wifi in the Park and community centers.

Brian: He heard about a pilot at Seattle Center with wifi, possible white space.

Erin: Seattle Center is looking at how to stand up wifi for the public across the campus. They are still exploring the options.

6. Comcast cable refranchising: public survey – Tony Perez, Office of Cable Communications

Tony:  There is a public survey that’s been posted. It was put out in Brainstorm. There’s been about 2000 that have already gone to the survey.

They will be following this up with a statistically valid survey. Will be using some of the online survey results to inform the phone survey.  And they will be doing other community meetings.

The franchise can be denied if it does not meet the needs and interests of communities, taking cost into account.  There is a formal and informal process: we

The results from the needs assessment become even more important if we go to formal franchising renewal.

Rob was at the civic hackathon:  They put together a survey about service needs. Could this be used?

Tony: Probably not directly, but it could help inform us.

Erin: Maybe it could be used for information on willingness to pay.

Tony: He got some data from Will Saunders at the state about upload/download speeds and challenges.

Ben: There is an FCC app for mobile that measures speed. [See FCC site for info about this and app downloading]

Brian: FCC is looking for comments on privacy, with a deadline later this month.

David: Handed out Comcast Internet Essentials flyer

Ken: Why is Comcast asking you to promote them? They only did that because the governemtn made them.

Erin: She just mentioned them as one option. We also promote other options.

Phillip and Nourisha commented on the importance of promoting low-cost Internet options.

Brian: We’re asking about WAVE and CenturyLink too. The more we can be aware of and promote options, the better for the community.

7. Workplan & Committees

Ben: Our last meeting was to hear about Mayor and Council priorities, this meeting is to set committees to move ahead on a workplan and the work. We’ll start with a wide discussion and then hone in on committee structure and members.

Committees proposed by leadership, coming from the last meeting:

1)      Broadband

2)      Public engagement

3)      Digital inclusion

4)      E-gov (incl policy and privacy)

Also suggest standing committees and ad hoc/project committees, such as Get Online.

Ben read in the two comments from the blog post about committees.

Phillip suggested that we post the links to these programs.

Phillip will post a response with the links [Note: The City Community Technology Program web site with info on low cost Internet and computers is at }

Daniel: Thanks to Dana, Ben, Nourisha for coming up with an analysis and draft.  Broadband committee scope may be too big, so may want to split it to Cable Committee and Broadband.

Brian: Heard that there is an effort to get another City committee or board up on privacy.

Phillip: we should reach out to them.

Beryl: Wondering what broadband encompasses. May want to look more broadly, or comprehensively, to be pursued with other efforts.

Brian: Broadband has a lot of definitions. How do we package it to encompass what we want to include. Easy to get bogged down in the initial problems, rather than what we want to solve with this: such as economic development, education.

Daniel: Suggests we look more narrowly to something more specific, like Fiber.

Brian: It’s not enuf to have access. How do we think about it from a regional perspective , to look at the needs of the many. Maybe it also is not just Seattle, because we live regionally. For instance what do we do so it’s not Seattle

Beryl: Doesn’t see any other entity addressing access comprehensively.  The cable survey will add to info on what needs we have. We could play a valuable role.

Erin: She encourages trying not to reinvent the wheel. There was the commission report saying focus on fiber to the home. It is complicated.  Does the City have the political will, the debt finaincing and what are the different cost points for that…or does the City want to focus on supporting the provate sector. CTTAB could spend a lot of time; unless you can really focus, you’ll spend a lot of time.

Ben: It is such an immense problem.  Other than beating up on the City that our internet is terrible, we are trying to give some political push to move forward. It is a struggle to find a way to do constructive partnerships.

There isn’t a group doing a holistic approach.

Erin: Uptun is working on action, CenturyLink is. CTTAB needs to find out how to best move it’s core competency and how to keep it manageable.

Brian: that’s why he sees it less as pushing for specific solution, but instead being the convener of different interests, pockets and communities.

Erin: It may be helpful for CTTAB to help articulate exactly what the problem is that we’re trying to solve with a broadband strategy.

Brian: I don’t think there is agreement. He personally agrees fiber is the solution. But maybe other solutions are there.

Daniel: Is there a fiber to the premises group?

Erin: Not sure.  Uptun may have a position or be working on this in addition to the CentuyLink deployment.

More competitive pricing and faster service:  What fast Internet is changes.  Mobile device needs are changing too.

Phillip: Yes,  the number with home internet is changing. People are using phones, so the problem may also be changing.

Beryl: Fiber financing is such a huge issue, but meanwhile would hate to see these people shunted aside who need affiordable Internet while longer issues are dealt with.

Michael:  24% subscription rate to justify the business model. There are some contants. There is also increasing speed available on wifi.   There are more options (eg repeaters, sharing installation cost of a drop). It’s not as expensive as when initial study was done. Cost of last mile may be easier to mitigate now.

Ben: Having this discussion in the wider context is helpful.

Brian: How do we scale the Technology Matching Fund budget is also a question that came up?

Dana: there was request to look at that.

Mary: Think wholistically about what providers are doing.

Brian: I agree. These meetings, the last Monday of each month, are open to the public.

David: In the workplan, consider doing public forums with panelist as part of the committee work.

Ben: Requested broadband committee to decide how cable franchising fits in or if that needs to be a separate committee.

Beryl: suggested having a Policy Committee, then having a set of topics under it.

Phillip: That may be hard to organize, to have a subcommittee on policy.

Beryl: She was thinking of having policy committee bring

Phillip: He meant that it would be better to have people focus on the topic for committees. Easier than having people

Dana: E-gov could be an ad-hoc committee, coming together when there are specific issues that are going to be coming up.

Beryl: could be data, security, privacy.

Dana:  Last year with PEOMPS, there was not enough people stepping forward to move specific projects forward.

Brian: could pull others into this. There are other people interested. Start small.

Dana: Who wants to lead this?
Ben: eg reaching out to privacy groups.

Sabra: Code for Seattle has been doing some really interesting projects; they are interested in partnering on a National Day of Civic Hacking here. Seth Vincent is great.  Maybe Open Data is part of E-gov.

Brian: He is happy to support this, but can’t lead it.

Beryl: How are of most use to Mayor and Council. They want feedback on the major policy issues. This is where we can be of most value. Staff does projects.

Dana: Council and Mayor were asking for advice on specific topics and for public forums.

Nourisha: Public engagement was a big thing.

Dana: Unless there’s an existing body of work, we should have it be ad hoc or come back later to it.

Ben agreed. We can also take timely action to address something is it comes up at the City.

Dana: Move to make e-gov policy as ad hoc. Move to make Broadband, Get Online, and public engagement as standing committees.

Daniel seconded.

Beryl would like to see Digital Inclusion run through all the committees.

Nourisha agree that it should be an underlying consideration in all work.

Brian agrees. He recalls that there were 3 strategic goals, but there wasn’t clear ownership and accountability.

TMF and Get Online are now ad-hocs.

MOTION: Proposed Broadband, Public engagement, and Get Online as the standing committees. with Digital Digital inclusion and public participation should be considered in all committees as applied to their work.

TMF and Egov, Policy would be ad-hoc.

Specific question would go to board, which would decide to put it in existing committee, set up a new group or respond as full Board.

David: How about the Indicators marketing; could that be an ad-hoc committee.

Brian: He is still very interested in participating in this.

Sabra: There is a lot interest in it from the public.

Nourisha: This is definitely a public engagement issue.

Ben: asked whether staff felt this looked like a workable structure, given what they may bring us.

Sabra: The timing of action and consideration could be a challenge. For example, the National Day of Civic Hacking is in May.  We could use email and online tools to get quicker turnaround and input.

David: The Board needs to continue to consider the open meetings laws to make sure items and decisions are addressed properly.

The Board voted to approve the motion.

Committee chairs and assignments:

Following the presentation below on Net Neutrality, people signed up for these committees:

The asterisks denote who will be the initial conveners (and in some cases who are the chairs of the current committees) Goal is to have at least two per committee.

Committees will draft workplan at the the next meeting. Ben will distribute the template that Rob created last year, but committees can decide what structure works best for them to present their work.

Standing Committees: Broadband, Public Engagement and Get Online.  Ad Hoc Committees: Indicators, Technology Matching Fund, Privacy, and EGov.  The initial members are posted on the committee announcement blog post [Note: this may be updated as members and volunteers join or past volunteers confirm they wish to continue].

8. Net Neutrality & the FCC

Tony Perez presented information about the impact of the recent Verizon case court decision on Internet services and consumers. (See slides below)

There was a very good, and humorous discussion of this on Stephen Colbert’s show: See Stephen Colbert video on impact of Net Neutrality court decision

Tony covered these topics:

1) What’s at Stake?

2) Key definitions

2) Presentation of key dates and events.

3) What’s next

There was a short discussion after Tony’s presentation.

Download (PPTX, 72KB)

Items tabled to next meeting:

  • Responsibilities of committee chairs and process for getting materials posted.
  • CTTAB Agenda Items and Motions guidelines

Members and volunteers signed up for committees and the meeting was adjourned.