Minutes of the December 2013 Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board
December 10th, 2013, 6-8 PM
Seattle Municipal Tower: 700 – Fifth Avenue
Room 1756 (17th floor)
Public: Andrew Baehr, Nancy Sherman, Dorene Cornwell, Margie Nicosia
Secretary note: Nancy Sherman and Margie Nicosia provided introductions during the election agenda item:
- Nancy Sherman: Former Computer Programmer/Analyst, Tech Support, and Trainer. Community advocate. Wants to get wifi for web, TV, and VoIP for a low-income (SHA) building served by Wave (TV & cell service is not good there.)
- Margie Nicosia: She is a community member who has been attending meetings and is on the Cable and Broadband Committee
CTTAB Members: Nourisha Wells, Rob Dolin, Stacey Wedlake, Ben Krokower, Phillip Duggan, Daniel Hoang, Beryl Fernandes, Dana Lewis, Brian Hsi
Staff: Erin Devoto, David Keyes, Sabra Schneider, John Giamberso, Tony Perez
- Welcome & Introductions of all attendees
- Agenda approval: Agenda moved and approved with switch of Erin up first and agreement to allot 15 minutes to code revisions
Brian noted that he needs to leave by 7:30 and requested and voting items to come before that.
3. Public Comment: Dorene requested holding comment until later during topical areas.
4. Approval of Minutes: November and October minutes were approved.
5. Report from Erin Devoto, Chief Technology Officer:
Gigabit Squared and fiber broadband: Erin Devoto reported on Gigabit Squared. The project is on hold as they are having problems with financing. There was an article in Geekwire with an interview with the Mayor. He encouraged looking at options, including some public financing model.
Other parties have been interested in fiber leasing. There were 10 that had contacted the City previously.
CondoInternet, now owned by Wave, is one that is currently expanding, though focus is on smaller footprint and multi-family buildings.
Phillip: Does their proposed pricing come up as a barrier to investors. Perhaps an increase in pricing would increase investors?
Erin: Having a source of guaranteed revenue stream was likely a factor in not getting investors, more than the specific pricing scheme announced..
Erin hasn’t met with the Mayor or heard anything from Council, so not sure what’s next.
Brian: What’s the impact on Zayo?
Erin: Not sure; they’ve tried to reach them to find out. Maybe other operators would have an opportunity to talk to them.
Brian: Does this impact CenturyLink rollout of cabinets?
Erin: Maybe it would help, but the offering is different. We support anything that will bring more broadband.
Brian: CondoInternet seems to focus on Ballard. What’s the spread of the other interested parties?
Erin, They cover a variety of areas, but some are very limited and overall it looks like it will spotty, not broad areas. Erin referenced a couple projects.
Mayor McGinn suggested City needs to revisit with the idea that the City build a municipal utility or other options. There is a firm working with the failed Utopia deployment; the consortium there suggested a potential utility tax with a guaranteed revenue stream there as a mechanism to pay back the cost.
Brian: Crowdfiber, to crowdsource funding may be interesting to look at, but probably it wouldn’t raise enough capital.
Rob: Who do we talk to about the ongoing Gigabit Squared and fiber leasing?
Erin: Her, and Mark Schmidt, who is the fiber project manager.
6. Cable Office Update – Tony Perez
Cable report was sent out. A couple members have taken the survey.
Refranchising: Preference in subcommittee was for people to take the survey anonymously and then report back on the results, then work to arrive at a consensus on CTTAB positions on
Finished draft of online survey; plan is to have online early in 2014.
Comcast fee: Comcast: will add $1.50 fee for tv retransmission consent fee. Wave is already charging for this. Cable office working with them. Detail in audio recording.
Effective Competition challenge/petition has come up in Spokane and some areas. This lets them charge different prices in different neighborhoods and to remove PEG from basic tier. Protected as long as we have less than 15% satellite subscribers, which our IT Indicators report confirms.
Comcast offering some A La Carte service options without the sports channels and allows you to get HBO a la carte. Sports is about 50% of cable bill, whether you watch or not.
CenturyLink cabinets: SDOT, Cable Office have met with CenturyLink, presenting other engineering options. SDOT will come back to them in January with potential new rules. Under some circumstances, boxes can be undergrounded. They did a pilot in Magnolia. But cost is a significant issue. They are looking at options for pole mounted devices; this eliminates need for big cabinet and you can provide about 100MB service. Not sure if Century Link has the money to do this. There are 10Gigabit shared among about 48 ports. When they will switch to VOIP is a factor.
Timeline: Erin talked to SDOT. They think they’re still on track, but do need some more input from CenturyLink..
FCC Rules on proposed colocation of antennas. There are some issues with the rules (eg antenna placement would be permitted outright). They will be talking to FCC.
Met with FCC regarding IP transition (from voice service to all IP). This is being pushed by AT&T to get them out of the copper wire infrastructure. There are trials being planned. Abandoning copper (Title 2 regulations) would also impact other services such as ATM machines. When all cable service is IP, what happens
Funding PEG Channel Capital Costs – Capp Act introduced in the Senate: This would allow us to collect up to 3% for Public, Education and Government Access operating. Tammy Baldwin (WI) and Ed Markey (MA) are the sponsors. The 3% wouldn’t include any revenue derived from IP services.
Brian: Is the budget office looking at alternative ways of providing revenue to the City with the transition to more video over Internet and cable subscriber drop.
Tony: This is likely to be more of an issue going into 2015.
Sabra: Budget office has seen the projects, though we will have a new budget director next year.
Ben: What companies are subject to cable franchise fee?
Tony: Cable operator delivering cable services over a cable system. Cable could be fiber as well. It’s a closed transmission path, being delivered from the headend to the user, vs a Netflix, that’s going to a distribution network…that’s not fully managed content.
Beryl: The Cable Office report format was very useful.
7. Committee Accomplishments – Committee Chairs
PEOMPS (Public Engagement, Outreach, Mentorship and Partnerships) (Dana Lewis, Chair)
- Updating the CTTAB websire
- Converted to a blog, wioth search finadable minutes
- Providing advice on how more members of the public can engage with committees
- Advised the Puget SoundOff.org/YMCA youth civic engagement project on marketing strategy
Digital Inclusion Committee (Stacey Wedlake, Chair)
- 24 TMF projects received $320,000 to deliver technology access and literacy projects. Thanks to current and former CTTAB members and volunteers who helped on this.
- Get Online campaign launch focusing on education about relevant content and tips. Started with Health and Jobs will be next.
- 3500 or so visits to the GetOnline city website since October.
- 11,500 flyers distributed
E-gov Committee (Ben Krokower, Chair)
- Participated in National Day of Civic Hacking
- Plan to be more active next year.
Broadband and Cable (Brian Hsi, Chair)
- Pushed ball forward on CenturyLink broadband deployment and Directors Rule about cabinets. CTTAB held discussions and briefing
- Started the process for cable refranchising.
Seattle Channel (Beryl Fernandes, Chair)
- Reviewed mandate and approved. This will provide guidance over the next few years.
- Marketing plan was contributed to as well.
- Provided feedback on the Seattle Channel program diversity report
- Held discussion of Seattle Channel compared to other similar government channels
- Supported the residential survey and focus groups (Information Technology Indicators project). CTTAB members helped with survey questions and running focus groups.
- Expanded participation in CTTAB to a much broader set of participants at full meetings and via committees. There was a great amount of volunteering from residents.
- Encouraged use of LinkedIn for posting of city jobs.
- Volunteers assisted with the National League of Cities Digital Inclusion mobile tour to local computer labs.
8. Election of Board Officers
Motion to set a 60 second time limit for speeches in the event of multiple candidates was approved.
Nominations for Chair: Beryl nominated Brian, Ben nominated himself, Daniel nominate Rob, Beryl nominated Daniel
Brian and Ben agreed that they would be willing to serve. Others declined the nomination.
Brian and Ben both spoke about their passion for the board’s work, experience and reasons for running.
Board agreed to take two follow-up questions.
Beryl asked first follow-up question: What’s in your position on parties with and for the board?
Brian, then Ben responded about the value of gatherings, usefulness for networking internally and externally, and need to do this within the public meetings requirements.
Dana: Do you have the time commitment to do the work, including the prep and managing committees?.
Brian: yes. He travels for work, but has pared down his other commitments to be able to do this.
Initial vote was a tie: 4 for Ben, 4 for Brian, 1 abstention
Discussion of potential rotating chair: The preference was to have clear responsibility and so it was decided to not have rotating chairs.
2nd Ballot: Ben – 5, Brian 4. Ben Krokower was elected as the new Chair.
Vice Chair election:
Nominations: Dana nominated Brian, Stacey nominated Dana
Both agreed to serve if elected.
Brian deferred to Dana since he spoke earlier.
Dana expressed the honor and interest in serving.
Stacey: What’s your position on parties?
Dana and Brian supported parties and gatherings, with recognition of open meeting laws, as a way to broaden and reinforce participation.
Rob passed gavel to Ben
Rob made a motion to create a third assisting officer position with duties and title to be defined.
Nourisha offered amendment to add a third position of 2nd Vice Chair.
Accepted by Rob.
Motion was approved unanimously. The Board voted unanimously to create a 2nd Vice Chair position.
Dana: request to open the opportunity for other nominations. There were no additional nominations.
Dana elected Dana 5, Brian 4. Dana Lewis was elected to be the 1st Vice Chair.
Gavel back to Rob
Nominations of 2nd vice chair:
Dana nominated Brian
Daniel nominated Nourisha
Brian turned down the position. Nourisha agreed to serve.
Nourisha Wells was elected as the 2nd Vice Chair..
2014 CTTAB officers: Ben Krokower, Chair, Dana Lewis as 1st Vice-Chair, Nourisha Wells as 2nd Vice Chair.
Rob: there will be plenty of other unpaid opportunities to service the community and residents.
9. Code Revisions – Beryl Fernandes and/or David Keyes
See proposed revisions. Comments received by Ben, Stacey, and Daniel along with Beryl’s comments.
Beryl distributed a handout of comments. She saw three areas of changes and discussion:
- Staff support and secretary
There was discussion of the name. The proposal is to change to Seattle Technology Advisory Board (SeaTAB).
Beryl shared her comments about this. She opposes dropping citizens term and replacing with a close term such as community.
Dana supports change to SeaTAB and dropping telecommunications. That wants a simple
Rob: Agrees with Beryl to keep letter C with reference to Community in the title to note we are community voice. Supports keeping third letter rather than switching to airport.
Brian: Community is more inclusive than Citizen. Likewise geography is less narrow. We live, work and play in a broader area and implications of decisions have a larger context. Suggest just dropping one T to make it simpler. (Technology Advisory Board).
Beryl: To John Giamberso – Does dropping telecommunications from title impact Seattle Channel or Cable Office work?
John: Technology is a broad enough term.
Dana: does having Community in the name really drive how it’s perceived, or is it more how we structure activities.
Phillip: Does having community in the name help focus the work of the board, reminding them of community focus?
There was some discussion on timing of when the code revisions will come to Council. David said the hope was for the 1st quarter in conjunction with the cable code revisions, but this will need to go through Mayor and Council, so staff is not sure. It will not come by January’s meeting.
Advisory Vote on Title:
1) Does Board recommend keeping the letter C as Community (CTAB) vs calling it SeaTAB: Vote was CTAB: 5, SeaTAB: 4
2) Two T’s vs one (Does the Board recommend dropping the word Telecommunications and using only Technology in the title?) : Vote was: Use 1 T for Technology: Unanimous.
3) Motion by Beryl that the letter C stands for Community: Motion approved unanimously.
Section 2 Discussion: Youth position and involvement:
Discussion of youth positions and Get Engaged
Beryl: want to see youth drawn to the Board from a variety of organizations. Concerned that the Get Engaged position is too narrow.
Phillip: Impression that Get Engaged puts a position on many Boards
Stacey: Clarified that Get Engaged is just running the application process, recruiting from across the City and taking the work off the city, just managing the process, but these people are interviewed like any others.
Dana: Making recruitment and marketing may be more effective in addressing the larger goal than just a youth position. The cohort that she saw in Get Engaged was very diverse, from socioeconomic, cultural, disability.
Make recommendations about types of candidates we’d like to see and how they can participate in the program, or how we can get people participating in the b
Phillip: Focus on the open positions and recruiting who we need to fill in, given our goals. Get Engaged value is in connection among all boards.
Beryl: Connection among boards is important. How do we get more diversity in the candidates for Get Engaged.
How do we get more diverse candidates in the submission of applications we get?
Phillip: Meant on our own openings. Doesn’t think Get Engaged is doing much differently than we are.
Nourisha – She learned of CTTAB recruitment when someone from the Mayor’s office sent her an announcement. There are plenty of diverse organizations in the city of Seattle that service diverse people and ages. It’s a matter of our recruitment strategy.
Dana saw a Facebook. Look at the Get Engaged tactics, see what we can learn, and inform their practices and ours.
Beryl: We don’t have that many openings.
Stacey: How does the process work? Do Get Engagement members automatically get appointed to full terms.
David: No, there is not an assumption that Get Engaged members become Board members. They go through the application and selection process like others.
Rob with other members reviewed some of the past Get Engaged members and whether they served regular terms. Of 5, 3 were men, two women, 3 people of color and two Caucasians.
Dana – There are multiple ways to look at diversity, for instance also including age and disability.
Beryl and Rob, who mentioned his color blindness, agreed.
Motion made by Beryl, with amendments and clarification from Dana, Stacey and Rob):
Ask Get Engaged to submit as diverse a slate of candidates as possible, that CTTAB members and staff make as conscious an effort as possible to encourage as diverse participation as possible, where diversity is defined in the broadest sense.
Daniel: Are we sending a message that this is not happening today?
Stacey: This brings up broader question of how to promote CTTAB as an inclusive place to participate and what are more specific actionable items that we should take. This will have an impact on our applicants.
Stacey: Motion to table to January
Dana: (At 1:45:17 in the podcast) Seconded the motion to table with additional commentary. We started to look at two ways to increase participation this year: How do people engage with the Board and how do they engage in the meetings. Not sure that we identified any specific barriers to participation, other than lack of interest. So as we look at this, we should ask: Are there distinct barriers that have been identified, should we be identifying barriers and hearing from people about barriers, and bringing that into the discussion, as well as thinking about diversity as a goal.
Motion to table item 2 to January.
Beryl noted this is a much broader issue than the code. She will work with Stacey to bring something back to Board..
ITEM 3: (1:47:20)
Beryl: This is regarding minutes. Code says that staff is to be the secretary. She proposes that original language be kept rather than changing it.
Daniel: Could we strike written and just use the podcast as the minutes?
Stacey: The blog will be much more accessible to the public. She had someone approach her who found it via a web search. This would not have been found by podcast.
Phillip: Minutes are much easier to scan.
Dorene: What are the legal requirements: There is some advantage to written summaries.
Discussion or whether CTTAB or staff would have to do minutes in new proposed code.
David: Current code says a designee of the executive shall serve as secretary. The proposed change says that the board will be staffed by employee of Department of Information Technology or designee.
Beryl: Referenced in her document that requirement for DoIT to provide minutes is from existing Municipal Code.
Ben: Don’t have language in front of us, but this does affirm that staff, whoever that is, is responsible for minutes. Consider tabling to January.
[David Keyes, Editor Note – The specific language about DoIT staff providing the minutes to CTTAB is in Section 4.5 of the CTTAB Rules of Procedure, Revised April 2010.]
Beryl: This is part of operational issues and is online.
[David Keyes, Editor Note: CTTAB section of Municipal Code and CTTAB Rules are linked at www.seattle.gov/cttab/what-we-do]
Motion to table the discussion of secretary to the Board language to January by Ben, supportive statement by Beryl, Second by Stacey.
Motion to table item 3 on secretary language approved.
Motion to table hiatus discussion to January by Stacey, second by Ben.
Motion to table hiatus discussion approved.
Phillip: There are interim appointment and voting rights that revolve around continuous board operations.
Motion to table discussion of interim appointments and voting rights by Phil
Second by Nourisha
Motion approved to table discussion of interim appointments and voting rights
Beryl suggestion for January: difference between taking a vote and what we do by consensus. There are guidelines in the current Rules of Procedure about when votes are taken and we should have discussion about this.
Dana: motion to have discussion of basic operating rules in January.
Ben: We’ll put it on the agenda.
Beryl: request that members send issues they want discussed to Ben.
Discussion of operating rules for Jan.
BREAK / Networking – Board decided to skip the break and to extend the meeting another 15 minutes.
11. Recruiting Timeline – David Keyes, DoIT
A first draft of a recruiting announcement was distributed (See below).
Recruiting is on hold given change in Mayor. DoIT will wait for guidance from Mayor Murray to make sure the priorities in the description are and recruiting are aligned with his priorities.
Dana: Wants to review and clarify the language on how we position how people participate on the board and in committees to ensure that people know they are encouraged to participate.
Beryl To Phillip: Could we bring some of the Get Engaged participants here?
Phillip: We’ve talked about sharing. Some have limited time, but will
Dana: Think of other organizations you can reach out through. Let’s talk in January about this.
David: We fund a variety of organizations through the Technology Matching Fund and can outreach to them.
12. Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) Workshop Details – Ben Krokower
Ben: RSJI workshop and is coming up Thursday at Pacific Science Center exhibit. Some CTTAB members and City staff to attend. Our facilitator is Vivian Sharples.
David: Those going to exhibit, but not on Thursday, see him for tickets. Also he needs parking permits completed and is updating the CTTAB roster demographics.
13. Gavel pass. Rob officially passed the CTTAB gavel to Ben as the new chair.
14. Public Comment on recruitment and participation: Nancy Sherman: She asked how many members are under 30 and how many over 50? She wants to remind the Board diversity in age is important. Those over 50 tend to not be engaged very much and have lower tech knowledge. Also those with disabilities are important. Many who living in public housing, where she is, are over 50 and are under a certain income – they may not be very engaged in technology and need to be. She encouraged CTTAB to reach out to them.
Dana: February is when we have our retreat and opportunities for people to give guidance so she would like to encourage Nancy to help invite people to join us.
Phillip: This is the youngest board that he’s ever participated with.
David: Thanks to board members and volunteers for their work this year.
Dana: Thanks to DoIT staff
8:13: Meeting adjourned.
DRAFT RECRUITMENT RELEASE
City seeking volunteers for technology advisory board
The City of Seattle is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join the Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB). The ten-member Board and its committees help guide city strategies and investments in technology and telecommunications. Applications are being accepted through January 13th, 2014. The issues addressed by CTTAB include broadband deployment and adoption, mobile and web based services for Seattle.gov, social media, open data, online public engagement, the Seattle Channel, cable tv franchise agreements, Technology Matching Fund grants and efforts to close the digital divide.
Quote: Eg: “We are eager to work with the diverse people who drive technology innovation and inclusion in our region”
There are opportunities to serve on the Board or to participate in project committees. The City strongly values broad experience and diverse participation. More information about the Citizens’ Technology and Telecommunications Advisory Board is available at http://www.seattle.gov/cttab. Please apply by sending your resume and a letter of interest to CommunityTechnology@seattle.gov.
The City of Seattle is committed to promoting diversity in the city’s boards and commissions. Women, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, young persons, senior citizens, persons of color, and immigrants are encouraged to apply. You must be a City of Seattle resident or work in Seattle.
Additional information about CTTAB appointments:
- Service to the board expected to begin February 11, 2014
- This is a two-year appointment, potentially renewable for one additional term
- Time commitment (5-10 hours per month, depending upon activity)
- Applicant must attend monthly meetings (Meetings are held the evening of the second Tuesday of each month)
- Applicant must participate in at least one CTTAB committee
- Applicant must either reside or work in Seattle
- Applicant must not be employed by the City of Seattle
- Applicant must not serve on more than one City of Seattle board or commission
For information on the Citizens’ Technology and Telecommunications Advisory Board, visit www.seattle.gov/cttab or call David Keyes at (206) 386-9759.
- Former Computer Programmer/Analyst, Tech Support, and Trainer. Community advocate. Wants to get wifi for web, TV, and VoIP for a low-income (SHA) building served by Wave (TV & cell service is not good there.)