Agendas & Minutes
SPECIAL MEETING OF THE
CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
Wednesday, May 29, 2002
Kim Bogen, Acting President
J. Michael Myatt
Helen Danina, Commission Secretary
Lewis Loeven III, Executive Director
DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION SERVICES (DTIS)
1. Call to Order and Roll Call
The meeting was called to order by Acting President Bogen at 5:35 P.M. and roll was called by the Commission Secretary.
Present: Acting President Kim Bogen
Commissioner E. David Ellington
Commissioner Jan Masaoka
Commissioner J. Michael Myatt
Commissioner Michael Rouan
2. Approval of the April 22, 2002 Minutes
Commissioner Masaoka made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Ellington, to approve the minutes as amended of April 22, 2002, page 10, next to last paragraph under "General Public Testimony" should read as follows:
Commissioner Masaoka stated that the contract approval process needs to go forward in a fair and timely manner: the issues that were raised during "General Public Testimony" were management matters that can be resolved at the contractor’s discretion; those issues need not be addressed before the contact is awarded; speedy finalization of the contract is important.
Commissioner Masaoka made a motion, seconded by Commission Ellington, to approve the minutes of April 22, 2002 as amended. The Commission moved to adopt the amended minutes with five ayes [Bogen, Ellington, Masaoka, Myatt, Rouan], none opposed.
3. Approval of the April 30, 2002 Minutes
Commissioner Ellington made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Myatt, to approve the minutes of April 30, 2002 as drafted. The Commission moved to adopt the minutes with five ayes [Bogen, Ellington, Masaoka, Myatt, Rouan], none opposed.
The descriptions of the communications received by the Commission are listed at the end of the agenda.
Public testimony - none; Commissioners’ comments - none.
5. Director’s Report
Executive Director Loeven stated that at the Special Meeting of April 30, 2002 a variety of topics of interest to the Commission were discussed. Executive Director Loeven is committed to report on these topics as well as raise new issues. Although the Telecommunications Plan is to be reviewed every two years, the Commission felt it would be appropriate to check the Plan now in preparation for future planning. A comprehensive research is not budgeted in the coming fiscal year and therefore only recommendations can be accomplished.
Proposal to reassess the state of telecommunications in San Francisco
The Executive Director sought direction from the Commission on this subject, offered some options and requested that the Commission work together with the Department to define their desired outcomes. Once defined participants in this endeavor could possibly include local exchange carriers, cable operators, wireless providers, and the public; they would be invited to attend a panel discussion or workshop with the Commission. A workshop could also be arranged between DTIS staff and industry representative to present a report to the Commission.
Minority owned business enterprise/women owned business enterprise (MBE/WBE)
The Executive Director intends to provide opportunities to the MBE/WBE community. Work has begun on a strategy to improve outreach data collection and build an internal expenditure database. DTIS hopes to join Judith Blackwell, City Purchaser, to develop outreach to the community. The Executive Director will personally review all procurement actions. Further, the strategy and vision of DTIS is to build an outreach plan. Chief Administrator Officer Chris Vein, is identifying and creating strategies for outreach by tracking successes, by improving internal outreach procedures, and by providing timely and detailed information to managers, HRC vendor lists, and DTIS vendors lists.
Telecommunications Plan review and implementation
Brian Roberts, senior regulatory analyst at DTIS, reported that the goals and initiatives in the Telecommunications Plan are divided into four categories: (1) ongoing activities, (2) cable franchise enforcement and renewal, (3) advocacy, (4) Enterprise IT (EIT), and (5) deferred. Each of the categories has a different implication for the implementation plan.
1. Ongoing Activities
The following initiatives are consistent with the City’s Telecommunications Plan. In many cases - such as electronic government - these initiatives are fairly developed. These are projects for which implementation plans can be created with limited effort within the next quarter.
These initiatives include:
· Facilitating entry by telecommunications providers;
· Developing e-gov infrastructure;
· Adopting rules and procedures to use and operate PEG, such as the new public access grant;
· Adopting street furniture policy.
2. Cable Franchise Enforcement and Renewal
As the Department and Commission prepare for renewal at the beginning of 2003, the implementation plan will emerge as a plan for the renewal process. This should be prepared in the 4th quarter of 2002. The following initiatives and policies will:
· Identify future cable related community needs and review of cable operator performance as part of renewal;
· Support efforts for low income consumers;
· Ensure that facilities meet relevant codes and electrical standards;
· Promote access;
· Implement customer service standards.
Opportunities for advocacy depend on the schedules of federal and state legislative and regulatory bodies. A general strategy for advocacy can be developed within the next two months so that the City can intervene as opportunities arise.
The Telecommunications Plan initiatives are contingent on the creation of a central, enterprise IT department responsible for managing telecommunications infrastructure and resources. They include:
· Consolidation of telecommunications management;
· Design, implementation, and maintenance of a converged voice, video, and data network.
The projects that the City may not be able to do in 2002 are intended to:.
· Provide public access points;
· Inventory fiber resources;
· PEG operates, develops and implements presentation standards and increases use of emerging technologies.
Board of Supervisors Hearing
1. AT&T/Comcast Merger Update
Brian Wilson, Policy Analysis at DTIS gave the following report:
· On May 7, 2002, the Board of Supervisors (BOS) had a follow-up hearing regarding the January 18, 2002 meeting of the Public Utilities and Deregulation Committee. Supervisors Gonzalez, McGoldrick expressed interest in the performance of AT&T Broadband and the proposed transfer of the franchise from AT&T Broadband to AT&T Comcast.
· The Supervisors were updated on the transfer from AT&T to Comcast: 1) that AT&T has not applied for a transfer of the franchise, and 2) that AT&T has provided a "complimentary copy" of their FCC Form 394 application to the City.
· DTIS has reviewed the transfer, franchise audit, and notices to AT&T regarding their compliance with the franchise.
· Assistant City Attorney Julia Friedlander updated the BOS on the timeline for transfer approval. She presented recent law cases affecting the transfer process including Charter v Santa Cruz and the City of Thousand Oakes v Aldelphia.
· Ms. Friedlander stated that the City Attorney’s office takes the position that AT&T, as a result of its proposed merger, is required under Section 6 of their franchise to apply for approval from the BOS.
· The BOS Legislative Analyst presented a study concerning benefits and outcomes of recent franchise renewals and case studies of the municipally-owned cable television systems of Alameda, CA and Tacoma, WA.
· AT&T Vice President of Government Affairs/Franchising, Rick Witherington, addressed the company’s position of not applying for approval of a transfer and its understanding of Section 6, the status of the franchise grantee - Television Signal Corporation (TSC), the company’s compliance with the City’s EBO policy, customer service practices, and presented charts outlining their proposed corporate structure after the merger including staffing of TSC.
· The committee heard testimony from public interest groups, media activists, Access San Francisco, CTC, and the public. Topics included customer service, senior discounts, PEG channels and support, need for more scrutiny of the cable provider and the franchise, suggestions regarding new franchise requirements.
2. Government Service Center 311
Heidi Sieck, Policy Analyst at DTIS gave the following report:
· 311 is a toll free number available to local governments to use for non-emergency services.
· Both the Mayor and Supervisor Gavin Newsom are advocating for 311 in San Francisco. Supervisor Newson called for a second hearing in April to review the status of 311 in the City.
· Thera Bradshaw, Director of the Emergency Communications Department (ECD) explained that the proposal for a Government Service Center would house a 311 Call Center as well as provide a physical back-up to the 911 Combined Emergency Communications Center at Turk Street. The proposal also includes a Comprehensive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) initiative. The proposal was completed and presented to city department heads in March.
· At the April hearing, Director Bradshaw presented an overview of the proposal as well as provided written copies to the Supervisors and the public. Heidi Sieck of DTIS presented further information about CRM and the expertise available at DTIS. She also reiterated the need for an ongoing partnership between ECD and DTIS.
The next steps of the project are:
1) Secure Phase I funding for a project manager and business analysis ($300,000 to $500,000);
2) Set up a 311 Task Force to oversee and further develop the project.
Commissioner Myatt asked when the state of telecommunications in San Francisco was last assessed. Deputy Director Brady indicated that it was done in 1999 in support of the Telecommunications Plan. Commissioner Ellington asked whether a policy should be instituted in which the Telecommunications Plan will be reviewed every two or three years. Commissioner Masaoka replied that when the Plan was adopted, the Commissioners explicitly stated that the Plan would be reviewed annually; therefore a modest reassessment of telecommunications would naturally follow. Commissioner Masaoka made the following points: the assessment of the state of telecommunications has been interpreted too narrowly; the state of telecommunications industry in San Francisco regarding the economic contributions to the City by the industry is of particular interest. It is also important to work with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and Community Development, City institutions, as well as the private institutions and think tanks.
Commissioner Ellington asked Deputy Director Brady whether she could report on the private sector activities relating to the reassessment of the state of telecommunications. Deputy Director Brady said yes.
Commissioner Myatt asked whether it was the Commission’s or DTIS’s roles to develop the Telecommunications Plan for San Francisco. Commissioner Ellington indicated that it is the Commission’s responsibility to develop, create, and provide direction for the Telecommunications Plan with input from the Mayor’s Office, BOS, and DTIS staff. Commissioner Masaoka replied that it was the Commission’s responsibility to provide the vision. Commissioner Ellington indicated that central to the Plan is the Enterprise IT strategy to centralize IT for the City. He also commented that the key points in the Director’s report are in accord with the goals discussed in the Telecommunications Plan with the addition of public safety concerns in response to the September 11 event. Executive Director Loeven stated that EIT is a goal in the Telecommunications Plan. In addition, he envisioned a participatory role for the diverse community that the City serves, and will continue to oversee cable issues, including providing good service to the citizens.
Acting President Bogen agreed that the role of this Commission is to help facilitate building and communicating the vision of telecommunications in the City and County of San Francisco. By reassessing the state of telecommunications in the broadest possible way, the Commission can develop a vision that the Department and City can embrace. Acting President Bogen will appoint a Commissioner to work with the Department to track and to develop the scope of the reassessment. Commissioner Myatt indicated that the reassessment process should contain the overall state of telecommunications and also the state of telecommunications in San Francisco.
Commissioner Myatt asked whether disabled veterans were included in the MBE/WBE project as is the case on the federal level under Federal Law 106-50. Executive Director Loeven assured the Commission that diverse community encompasses all groups of people. Commissioner Masaoka suggested that the department not only list outreach groups in the database, but should work with other groups such as, micro enterprise incubators, business incubators, women’s business incubators, and minority business incubators. Further, the Commissioners might also have other connections that might be helpful to the Department for outreach purposes.
Commissioner Masaoka commented that in some areas in California 311 is being outsourced, which should be considered during discussions of the 311 proposal.
During public testimony, Steve Zelter, Vice Chair, Producers and Programmers Network, expressed concerns about the running of the cable television franchise agreement in San Francisco with AT&T. He stated that AT&T is requiring the residents of San Francisco to subscribe to digital cable at a rate increase in order to be able to view HBO. He also stated that Comcast is being sued in the Midwest for spying on its web users. His organization is in favor of public ownership of cable franchise because they do not believe that private ownership will benefit the residents of San Francisco because of their financial problems and interest in increasing their profits. For example, fifty percent of the residents of Korea have high speed broadband access because the initiative was taken by the government.
6. Deputy Director’s Policy Report
Deputy Director Denise Brady said she will address last week’s developments which are not on her report. There were some important telecommunications court decisions issued by the Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals regarding competitive telecommunications issues and mandates of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The subject matter of these decisions include pricing of Unbundled Network Elements (UNEs), market definition and nationwide availability of UNEs, and line sharing for competitive DSL services. More details will be provided at next month’s Commission meeting.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed a multi million dollar fine on AT&T wireless for violations of its Phase II enhanced "911" rules. AT&T has not met the requirements of Phase II and further did not submit a report explaining why they were having difficulties meeting it, and the FCC used them as an example by proposing a 2.2 million dollar fine. There are several other companies that also have not met that deadline but they did provide reports to the FCC.
Thera Bradshaw, Executive Director of ECD presented her report on "San Francisco Consolidated 911 Public Safety Communications" at the April 22,2002 Telecommunications Commission meeting. The Commission passed a resolution urging the wireless carriers in San Francisco to comply with Phase I and Phase II requirements.
There was no public testimony on this item.
7. New Business
a) Proclamation for Ernie Jackson
Acting President Bogen asked Commissioners Ellington and Masaoka to present the following proclamation to Ernie Jackson:
WHEREAS, Ernest Jackson served with distinction as a member of the Telecommunications Commission since its inception in 1997 and elected President in July 2000 before stepping down in January 2002; and
WHEREAS, under Commissioner Jackson’s leadership, the Telecommunications Commission successfully completed the Telecommunications Plan which was adopted by the Board of Supervisors and on February 8, 2002, the Mayor signed resolution 68-02 adopting the City’s Telecommunications Plan; and
WHEREAS, Commissioner Jackson supported the enforcement of the AT&T cable franchise, especially customer service standards, the open non-discriminatory access to broadband and Internet service, the long sought transfer of the Public Access Cable TV channel to the City’s designated non-profit, the San Francisco Community Television Corporation, the approval of the RCN Cable TV Franchise providing competitive cable TV, local and long distance voice and high speed Internet services to the San Francisco residential market; and the City’s Y2K Project Management Plan, and
WHEREAS, Commissioner Jackson has dedicated himself to the citizens of the City and County of San Francisco to ensure that they have a voice in the rapidly changing telecommunications industry and has shown great commitment to make sure that those changes will benefit the citizens of this City in the most positive way possible; and
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that I, Willie L. Brown, Jr., Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco, commend Ernest Jackson and thank him for his outstanding contributions to our City and its residents, and wish him a happy, prosperous and rewarding future, and do hereby proclaim May 29, 2002 as Ernest Jackson Day In San Francisco!
There was no public testimony.
b) Status of Application Process for Public Access Providers
Brian Wilson stated that a published request for grant application for public access application was received during the first quarter, and the review process was begun. The review panel included: Commissioners Kim Bogen and Michael Rouan, Laura Cirivello, Executive Director of the Santa Rosa Community Media Center, Ross Braver, resident of San Francisco and video coordinator of the City of San Jose, and Brian Wilson, DTIS. The application review has been completed; the panel will tour the facility of San Francisco Community Television Corporation (SFCTC) on June 7, 2002 and will meet with the Executive Director Zane Blaney, members of the Board of Directors, and staff for an interview and discussion regarding their application.
Commission Masaoka asked whether the budget discussion for public access was part of this negotiation. Brian Wilson said that the budget for the grant proposal is tied to the budget process for the City. Commission Masaoka wanted to know whether additional funds were available for public access. Mr. Wilson suggested that available funds will be reviewed. Funding requires the approval of the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors. He also mention that the timeline for the grant proposal is on track; it is anticipated that the Board of Supervisors will approve this process in August, and steps have been taken for interim funding so that the public access can continue to operate.
During public testimony, Kozmi Torii, Secretary, Producers and Programmers Network of San Francisco made three points. One, the board of directors of CTC are self-appointed and that producers are not represented on the board. Since the grant money is coming from the City, it is her opinion that there should be an elected board of directors. Two, priority of the programs should be given to San Francisco producers; at the present time no distinction is made between programs produced in San Francisco and programs produced elsewhere. She felt the lottery system does not guarantee the same time slot for their programs, which causes them to lose viewers. Three, CTC is now closed two days a week because of the budget; she claims there is mismanagement.
Steve Zelter, Vice Chair, Producers and Programmers Network of San Francisco made the following points: no other public access station is closed two days a week; the other public access stations in Northern California, who have a smaller budget, manage to stay open seven days a week; it is the right of residents in San Francisco to use the facilities since a significant amount of money has been sent to build this new facility; there should be an elected board of directors; there should be an elimination of the lottery system which has created an adversarial situation where the producers and programmers are angry and unhappy.
Commissioner Masaoka asked whether the previous speaker was suggesting that the Commission not continue forward and complete the negotiations with SFCTC for this contract. The speaker responded that the Commissioners should state that they will not tolerate the situation that currently exists.
Zane Blaney, Executive Director, SFCTC stated that SFCTC always had producers on its board of directors, which is part of the mandate in their bylaws . Presently no distinction is made between programs produced in San Francisco and programs produced elsewhere by a San Francisco resident. There are limitations on the hours of operations on the facility which is determined by the budget level. SFCTC has not refused to engage volunteers or interns in the facility and will be expanding this in the future. Many of the issues that have come up will be discussed through the review of the request for grant proposal process.
Commissioner Masaoka wanted to know the reasons for instituting the lottery system. Mr. Blaney said that in 1993 applications expired after 28 weeks on the channel and the applicant would go to the end of the line if there was a wait list. Unfortunately, the rule was not enforced evenly. For example, Mr. Zelter had the same time slot for nearly twenty years, Thursday nights at 8:00 o’clock. There is a huge demand for public access in San Francisco. It was necessary for new and existing producers to share the resource and primetime slots. In January, 2002, the old policy was instituted. When an application expires the producers must pick from a hat a number to determine who would pick first from the available time slots. A review and a survey of this has been distributed for response.
Commissioner Masaoka thought this was a good solution for many of the producers that have not had a chance to be on the air. The system would allow greater democracy of access to the channel for all producers.
c) Government Access - CityWatch Update
Marco Bruno, Citizen’s Services Manager introduced Priscilla Watts, Channel Manager of CityWatch, by stating that CityWatch is part of a broader family that includes the internet and the web, and it is only by combining these resources that the citizen’s of San Francisco are better served.
Priscilla Watts gave a Powerpoint presentation and a short video of the services provided by CityWatch. Please see attached hardcopy.
The next meeting of the Telecommunications Commission is a Regular Meeting to be held on July 22, 2002, City Hall, room 400, 5:30 p.m.
The attached "Pending Topics List" was amended as per Commissioner Masaoka’s request.
Public testimony - none.
9. General Public Testimony
Commissioner Masaoka stated that this was her last meeting because her term ends next month and she will not be able to attend the June 24th meeting. She has been on the Commission since its inception in 1997. Commissioner Masaoka said she learned an enormous amount and provided some parting remarks and recommendations to the Department and Commission. She also thanked all the Commission secretaries, including Helen Danina, former Commissioner Jackson and Commissioner Ellington.
Acting President Bogen adjourned the meeting at 7:45 p.m.
Helen C. Danina