DOCUMENTS ARE LISTED IN
CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER BELOW. THE MOST RECENT DOCUMENTS ARE AT THE TOP OF THE
Joint Comments Filed by the League
of California Cities, the League of Oregon Cities and SCAN NATOA,
Inc. in FCC proceeding involving small cells in historic districts
Amicus Curiae Brief filed by League of
California Cities, California State Association of Counties, and
SCAN NATOA in T-Mobile West v.
City & County of San Francisco
(litigation involving interpretation of Public Utilities Code §
Point Presentations from Wireless Shot Clock
Trevor Lottes, President, Kapstone
Planning, and Stephen Higa,
Principal Planner, City of Irvine
Omar Masry, Wireless Planner, City & County of San Francisco
Robert (“Tripp”) May III, Shareholder,
Telecom Law Firm
SCAN NATOA comments filed with the FCC on the TWC/Charter
AB 57 Delegation Letter 071315
Curiae Brief filed by League of California Cities, California State Association
of Counties, League of Oregon Cities, and SCAN NATOA in Montgomery County v.
United States (litigation involving FCC's Section 6409(a) Report & Order issued
in October 2014)
Power Point Presentations from the
Telecom 101 Session
Pasadena, CA -- January
Local Regulation of Wireless
Steven L. Flower, Richards, Watson & Gershon
Christy Marie Lopez, Aleshire & Wynder
FCC Regulations on Wireless Infrastructure
Robert (“Tripp”) May III, Telecom Law Firm
Current Legal Issues Affecting the
Gail A. Karish, Best, Best & Krieger
FCC Report and Order in rulemaking addressing wireless facilities siting
policies, including clarifying the implementation of (1) Section 6409(a) of the
Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act of 2012; and (2) the FCC’s 2009
Declaratory Ruling adopting a “shot clock” for wireless facility applications
posted October 22, 2014
Comments Filed by SCAN NATOA with the FCC re Applications of Comcast, Time
Warner, et al
posted October 7, 2014
California Local Governments File Reply Comments in the FCC's Wireless NPRM
posted March 6, 2014
Joint Comments Filed by the League of California Cities,
the California State Association of Counties and
SCAN NATOA Regarding the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
posted February 3, 2014
FCC Notice of Proposed TIS Rule Making - Expanded Content
posted August 6, 2013
Brief filed by League of California Cities, California State Association of
Counties, and SCAN NATOA in Pacific Bell v. City of Livermore (litigation
involving interpretation of Public Utilities Code § 7901)
posted May 9, 2013
Sample/Form Letter of
Opposition to AB 185
by Christy M. Lopez
AB 162 Action Alert by Jonathan Kramer
Letter to Assemblymember
Regarding AB 162 (Broadband Expansion Act)
Documents and court
docket for City of Arlington v. FCC Supreme Court case
documents, including Petition for Writ of Certiorari
NATOA has asked for SCAN's support in educating the FCC about the
value of PEG Programming. Your participation is encouraged
PEG Comment Template
Electronic Filing Instructions
PowerPoint Presentations -- SCAN Annual Conference
Long Beach, CA - June
Partner, Best, Best & Krieger LLP
Executive Director, NATOA
CAP ACT Handouts from
SCAN Chapter Meeting of January 19, 2012 and February 23, 2012
· SCAN's comments in FCC
proceeding involving Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule ("OTARD") challenge
against City of Philadelphia
Nevada Attorney General
regarding accessibility of PEG channels through
SCAN's comments in support of the motion for
extension of time
In the Matter of
Acceleration of Broadband Deployment Expanding the Reach and Reducing the
Cost of Broadband Deployment by Improving Policies Regarding Public Rights
of Way and Wireless Facilities Siting before the
Federal Communications Commission
SCAN Notice of Inquiry
(NOI) Filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
In the Matter of Acceleration of Broadband Deployment Expanding the Reach and
Reducing the Cost of Broadband Deployment by Improving Policies Regarding Public
Rights of Way and Wireless Facilities Siting
.pdf files of the presentations
held on March 10, 2011 in Pasadena
Wireless Facility Siting presentation -- Javan Rad
Wireless Facility Siting presentation -- Scott Longhurst
Informational Video (youtube.com)
Application for Rehearing by the League of California Cities, CSAC, and SCAN NATOA
re: CPUC Environmental Review of Wireless Facilities
the Public Utilities Commission of the State of California
COMMENTS OF SCAN NATOA, INC.
RESPONSE TO PROPOSED DECISION OF COMMISSIONER BOHN
10/20/10) SPECIFYING REVIEW PROCEDURES
PURSUANT TO CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT
Presentations - Social Networking
Santa Monica, CA - October 28, 2010
Chief Administrative Officer Dept. Of Telecommunications and Information
Services – City of San Francisco
Gee, CityTV Manager - City of Santa
Assistant City Attorney – City of Pasadena
– CEO, Tripepi Smith & Associates – Technology and Government Relations
Letter to State Representatives
involvement in DIVCA Hearings
Conference Social Networking Links
Karen L. Neuman
St. Ledger-Roty, Neuman & Olson LLP
Power Point Presentation
LEGAL ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENT
USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
City of San Francisco
City of Reno
Power Point Presentation
HOW TO COMMUNICATE VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
other links for Kristy Fifelski
Below is a generic public service announcement of the American Heart
Association for CPR, that features NATOA member (and former officer) Carol
Mathewson. It is not specific to Tacoma, and is available for use anywhere. If
anyone is interested in using this PSA, please contact Jeff Lueders in Tacoma
and he will get you a broadcast quality DVD. Jeff’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
It would be great if this PSA got widespread visibility.
Triathalon CPR PSA
BILLBOARD PAGES -
WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH
Preliminary State Superior Court
injunction issued in California prevents Charter from moving channels in the
City of Glendale
RFP for Production Services
City of Westlake
Tom Long's Powerpoint
from the Conference Session on New
Distribution Channels: Legal and Policy Issues
Social Networking and Government
Social Networking Helpful links for setting up your YouTube, Twitter and
Powerpoint from Rich Bartlebaugh of SGTV on
setting up a YouTube presence:
Randi Zuckerberg of Facebook:
For step-by-step instructions and best practices for setting up a public
Examples of what influential people and celebrities are doing on their Facebook
Best practices for nonprofits on setting up a social media presence
information from Smith Long of the Center for Governmental Studies:
links on social networking
Social Networking Tips For Local News Stations
Optimizing your YouTube uploads
YouTube tips for nonprofits
Pentagon Looks to
Twitter, Facebook not ready for Government 2.0?http://www.digitalcommunitiesblogs.com/CCIO/2009/03/twitter-facebook-not-ready-for.php
Twitter tools on the rise
Twitter first off the mark with Hudson
plane crash coverage
Quitters Outnumber Hitters
Who Tweets in Government
City of Torrance State and City Video
Video System Maintenance
Comments filed by SCAN with the FCC opposing the CTIA's petition that the FCC
intercede in cell siting
Mission Statements and Policy Guidelines
AT&T Petition For Limited Waiver
City of Calabasas DIVCA Ordinance
Simi Valley DIVCA Ordinance
City of Concord DIVCA Ordinance
Foster City DIVCA Ordinance
Foster City Telecommunications Policy
Foster City Staff Report on DIVCA Ordinance
City of Richmond DIVCA Ordinance
City of Oceanside - DIVCA Ordinance
FEMA Disaster Assistance Flyers for those affected by the fires
Role of the CPUC in DIVCA
Video Franchising & Broadband Deployment
California Public Utilities Commission
October 10, 2007
The Division of Ratepayer Advocates
AT&T/Walnut Creek Final Settlement Agreement
Handouts from the
SCAN NATOA Conference 5/24/07
2987 Customer Service References
AB2987 Customer Service Requirements Power Point
AB 2987 Section 5860
AB 2987 Handout
Consumer Protection Under AB 2987
Customer Service Standards Power Point - Joe Van Eaton
Letter to Time Warner from the City of Los
NAB Exhibits Only Pass
on Legislative Issues
Talking Points For
Mayors at USCM
Ex Parte Talking Points
Letter to FCC Regarding Video Franchising
More Mayors' Information
Summary of Congressional Telecom Bills to
Keep Your Eye On!
Adelstein Dissent on FCC
AT&T vs. Walnut Creek
The FCC (courtesy of
the Democratic Commissioners) is seeking comment on potential conditions to the
at&t/BellSouth merger. Anyone interested should use the electronic comment
filing system to file comments or send an e-mail with your perspective.
.pdf Public Notice
Handouts for SCAN
NATOA AB2987 Meetings - October 2006
Bill Marticorena - Digital Infrastructure and
Video Competition Act of 2006 - .ppt
John Risk - Customer Service Power Point
John Risk - Customer Service Slides
Michael Friedman - AB 2987
Greg Fuentes -
Marc Jaffe - AB2987 PEG Powerpoint
Valle-Riestra - AB 2987 Presentation
Comparison of State of California and
Linked is a chart that compares various provisions in the Senate, House, and
cable franchise legislation. The goal was to keep the chart as simple as
Please be sure to refer to the actual legislation for more detail.
CSAC Letter to Governor Schwarzenegger on AB 2987
Enrolled (Clean) Version of AB 2987
Map of AT&T and Verizon Coverage in LA
Draft AB2987 prepared by Greg
List of Amendments (.pdf) to AB2987
Word Document with redlined AB2987
List of Amendments (.pdf) to AB2987
Word Document with redlined AB2987
List of Amendments (.pdf) to AB2987
Amended Language AB2987
The proposed abrogation language (permitting cable companies to opt out of their
franchises under certain circumstances) distributed at the California State
Senate hearing on June 26, 2006 is now available for your review
Abrogation Language - AB2987
This item, and others, will be discussed at the hearing June 28, 2006, so be
certain to contact your State Senator regarding any concerns you may have,
especially if your Senator is on the Energy, Utilities and Commerce Committee.
Senator Martha Escutia (Chair)
Senator Dave Cox (Vice-Chair)
Senator Richard Alarcon
Senator Jim Battin
Senator Debra Bowen
Senator Joseph Dunn
Senator Robert Dutton
Senator Christine Kehoe
Senator Kevin Murray
Senator Joe Simitian
Amended Version of AB2987
AB 2987 Documents From
the League of Cities
Public Safety Concerns 6.15.06
DejaVu Energy Cable 6.12.06
Talk Points 6.21.06
AB 2987 Sample Opposition Letter
Amendments to AB2987
Proposed Amendments to AB2987
Prepared by Paul Valle-Riestra
SCAN NATOA Board Member
Senior Assistant City Attorney, City of Walnut Creek
Introduces Telecom Reform Legislation
Proposed Communications Act Amendment
Decision dismissing most of the claims made
by AT&T against the City of Walnut Creek regarding Project Lightspeed
Locals are learning about
COPE - Communications, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006 - Legislation
Introduced by Representatives Barton, Upton, Rush and Pickering
California AB 2987 – April 5, 2006 (Nuñez, Levine)
- posted April 6, 2006
Oral Testimony of the Honorable Ken Fellman March 30, 2006
In Promoting Video Barton Rush March 29, 2006 - posted April 3, 2006
Opportunity, Promotion and Advancement (COPE)
Act introduced by Reps. Barton and Upton.
April 12, 2006
Proposed legislation creating a “national franchise”
for cable companies by U.S. House Commerce
Committee Chairman Joe L. Barton (R-Texas).
Draft dated March 27, 2006
47 U.S.C. 521 Current Cable Act Provisions
United States Code
to California Senate Bill No. 850
March 7, 2006, 2:23 p.m.
History Month Billboard Pages Available Free
Anyone Out There Watching?
Viewership Power Point for Government
By Robin Gee, CityTV, Santa Monica
for the NATOA 2005 Conference
SBC Asks FCC To Exempt Video Service From Franchising
By Brian Blackstone, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--SBC Communications Inc. (SBC) on Wednesday asked the
Federal Communications Commission to exempt its video service from cable
franchising requirements, arguing that its Internet-based service shouldn't be
subject to certain rules governing cable.
"This integrated suite of (Internet protocol)-enabled services cannot
properly be viewed as a traditional 'cable service,'" SBC said in a filing with
the FCC as part of the agency's 18-month-old Internet services proceeding.
Wednesday's filing is the first time SBC has formally asked the FCC to free
it from franchise requirements, though the company has long insisted they don't
SBC said it is spending $5 billion to deploy a video offering to 18 million
customers within three years. Those customers encompass 2,000 different
"Under normal conditions, the negotiation of each of these franchises can be
protracted, taking at least several months to more than a year, thus inevitably
making region-wide entry a long-term process," SBC said.
And a video product is needed "in order to justify the significant investment
associated with these new networks," the filing stated.
The company has no doubt been buoyed by recent comments from FCC Chairman
Kevin Martin. In an interview with USA Today last month, Martin stated that he
had asked FCC staff "to explore what the commission can do to ensure that local
authorities are not unreasonably refusing to award additional competitive
FCC action would probably be the quickest path for SBC on the franchise
issue, though any decision by the FCC would probably be litigated. Congressional
action would lower litigation risk, and there's some Capitol Hill support for
Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., in July introduced legislation that would eliminate
state and local franchising requirements. In June, Senate Commerce Committee
Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said a "national solution" may be needed on the
But legislation could take time. Analysts at Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc.
pointed out in a research note this week that "we suspect the (franchise
exemption) effort will become entangled in a broader congressional rewrite (of
telecom laws), which will likely take time."
Even more pressing telecom issues like the digital television transition,
which faces a budgetary deadline, have largely been sidelined for the near term
as Congress focuses its attention on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Though SBC wants the regulatory clarity of a federal franchising rule, a
company spokesman said that it will move ahead with its video offering even in
the absence of congressional or FCC relief.
A spokesman for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, which
represents the cable industry, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment
on SBC's petition.
In a June speech, NCTA Chief Executive Kyle McSlarrow said, "The government
must avoid picking winners and losers by imposing regulation based on the
particular mix of technology a video provider deploys."
-By Brian Blackstone, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-828-3397; brian.blackstone@
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Copyright (c) 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Copyright (C) 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
National Association of Regional Councils wanted me to let you know that this
programming is available for distribution on any PEG channel. In addition,
other programming which they have previously produced is also available on the
Telecast on July 27th, 2005
Building A 21st Century World Class Workforce
3:00 - 4:00 P.M. EDT
Click Here to Download Flyer
will showcase bold new initiatives in the expansion of workforce development
systems for maintaining and strengthening
economic strength. The demand for higher-skill, higher-wage workers exceeds
that of any time in our nation’s past. New industries have emerged. Other
industries that are today just a gleam in the eye of some inventor will soon be
woven into the fabric of our economy. The constant of commerce in the
twenty-first century will be the need for, knowledge workers, people who possess
high levels of specialized skills and training.
America’s economic growth in the 1990s resulted from the introduction of new
technologies, and 60 percent of the new jobs of
century require post-secondary education currently held by only one-third of
America’s workforce. To build the workforce of the
today’s workers must adjust to the changes of the 21st Century
will include discussion on what it takes to build a world class workforce; a new
streamlined workforce development system in the state of Mississippi; and a
community college perspective of how local efforts are putting these concepts
into practice. America must ensure that its workers have the opportunity to
equip themselves with the necessary tools to succeed in a new and dynamic global
economy. This will require local, regional, state and federal partnerships that
closely link economic development and workforce development efforts.
this telecast is free, registration is recommended, and no permission or
clearance is required for rebroadcast.
can be sent to
Director of Environment and Special Projects
Nat. Association of Regional Councils
1666 Connecticut Ave., NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20009
202-986-1032, ext. 224
Proposed City of Los Angeles Cable Customer Service
Press Release from Mayor James Hahn's Office Regarding
Current Consumer Service Standards
Survey on City
Council and Commission Coverage and Playback - August 2004 (Excel Download)
Survey on Satellite Carriage of PEG Channels
Communications Sites on City Owned
Light Poles/Traffic Signals - Posted March 2, 2004
Survey Results from SCAN NATOA
TIPS FOR TELEVISING MEETINGS
- Posted March 1, 2004
Helpful Council Meeting Tips for Televised Meetings -
Contributions from several Cities
Tulare City Council Suggestions for Televised Meetings
FAIR USE AGREEMENT POLICIES FOR PEG
NOTE - These agreement are only examples
and may not be suitable for every situation. Have your City Attorney/County
Counsel review any language that you use.
County of San Diego
Policy in Word
City of Yuma, Arizona
Programming Acquisition and Exchange:
Cooperative arrangements and agreements
with local educational programmers,
broadcasters, cable companies and other production groups may be established
for efficient operations and communications.
On some occasions, videotapes may be lent to other agencies for their use in
video projects or presentations. In addition, video tape may be given to
professional news organizations for public service work. These videotapes
may not be used for commercial purposes and a credit line must appear in
graphic form in the finished project stating "Videotape courtesy of
City-73." The Manager, Electronic Communications or a designated
representative must approve all requests for videotapes.
"WARNING: All video and audio contained
on this tape are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, edited or broadcast without the prior
written permission of the City of Murfreesboro, TN. For more information
about this program contact the City of Murfreesboro, Cable Television
Coordinator at (615) 848-3245 or email email@example.com."
Full Policy in Word
Communications vs. Santa Cruz County -
posted November 20, 2003
Brief of the United States and the Federal Communications
Commission as Amicus Curiae on the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
CITY OF LOS ANGELES/ADELPHIA RATE
City of Los Angeles
Rate Order (Ordinance No. 175231)
Adelphia's Request for
Emergency Stay of Local Rate Order
Opposition by the City of
Los Angeles to the Request for
Emergency Stay of Local Rate Order
Opposition of the City of Los Angeles to Adelphia's
the City's Rate Order (July 11, 2003)
Exhibits to Opposition of the Appeal
FCC Denial of
Adelphia's Request for Emergency Stay of Local Rate Order - July 29, 2003
COMCAST OF CALIFORNIA II,
CITY OF SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA,
(Adobe Acrobat Document)
Case No. C03-02532RS
MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR A
Date: August 13, 2003
Local Franchising Authorities with Adelphia
Documents to Request U.S. Trustee to Appoint an Official Committee of Local Agencies
- August 2002
"In the links to the
documents, below, they reference a September 17, 2002, hearing date on the
motion to create a local government committee. The hearing has been
postponed until October 9, 2002, at the request of the United States
SCAN NATOA and NATOA have jointly developed documents to present to the
U.S. Trustee in the Adelphia bankruptcy to request the Trustee's formation
of a Trustee-approved bankruptcy committee consisting of local government
Your support is needed in demonstrating to the Trustee that an official
committee of local government entities is needed, and that your community
supports this action and desires to be represented by any such authorized
Please download the
following documents - each has a choice of .pdf or Word
RESOLUTION COVER LETTER - seeking support of the formation
of a local government committee by the US Trustee
Cover Letter - Local Governments - Word Document
Cover Letter - Local Governments - .pdf
NATOA/SCAN NATOA Letter to Adelphia seeking support.
A - Adelphia Bankruptcy - Word Document
A - Adelphia Bankruptcy - .pdf
Response from Adelphia to NATOA/SCAN NATOA letter.
B - Adelphia Bankruptcy - Word Document
B - Adelphia Bankruptcy - .pdf
Resolution for local governments to adopt in support.
C - Adelphia Bankruptcy - Word Document
C - Adelphia Bankruptcy - .pdf
U.S. Trustee Letter requesting the formation of a local
Trustee Letter - Word Document
Trustee Letter - .pdf
ACTION ALERT - Seeking members support for the creation of
a local government committee by the United States Trustee.
Alert Adelphia - Word Document
Alert Adelphia - .pdf
If you have questions,
please contact SCAN NATOA President Lori Panzino at 909.387.9600, firstname.lastname@example.org
or NATOA Executive Director Libby Beaty at 703.506.3275, email@example.com.
Please give these documents your timely consideration.
....and please share with all other Adelphia communities.
Michael J. Friedman
Board Member, SCAN NATOA
for Lori Panzino, President SCAN NATOA
of July 22, 2002 SCAN NATOA meeting
CEO Erland E. (Erkie) Kailbourne
and Vice President of Legal Affairs Randall
to download in Microsoft Word
Handouts from June 20,
2002 Adelphia Meeting in Ontario
Digisuite LE Breathes New Life into Commuity Cable Channel
Matrox Makes the Cut
Digisuite Takes Its Harware to the Max
From Jane Mago Re: FCC Amicus Brief
you must have
Acrobat to view
City of Auburn,
City of Des moines,
City of tacoma,
ALTRIO COMMUNICATIONS Enters the Los Angeles
October 25, 2000, GLENDALE, CA: Altrio Communications, Inc., today
announced the close of its first major round of financing to operate as a
full-service broadband communications provider in the Southern California
residential market. “Altrio is now poised to become the premier provider
video, and high speed-data services to Los Angeles area neighborhoods,”
David Rozzelle, CEO. Initial funding for Altrio was provided by Frontenac
Company, a Chicago-based private equity firm.
Altrio is particularly proud of the distinguished group of equity
who have collectively committed $125 Million to this phase of Altrio’s
business plan. The investor group is led by Frontenac Company and Bessemer
Holdings. Other institutional investors include Soros Private Equity
Partners, SSB Capital Partners (the private equity investment fund
of Salomon Smith Barney), Royal Bank Capital Partners (the private equity
arm of Royal Bank Financial Group), Bank of America Capital Investors (the
private equity investment group of Bank of America), and Grove Street
Advisors (whose largest limited partner is CalPERS). The equity commitment
will be supported by senior debt in an amount up to $150 Million to fully
fund Altrio’s initial phase.
One of the unique characteristics of this company is its focus on Southern
California communities. “Unlike other competitive providers in the
who are seeking franchises in dozens of markets in many states – Altrio
dedicated to developing a regional network in cooperation with local
communities in the Los Angeles area,” said Jim Crawford, a Managing
of Frontenac Company.
Altrio’s other lead investor agreed. “It is the local nature of
business focus that made this competitive broadband opportunity so
interesting,” said Adam Godfrey, a General Partner in Bessemer Holdings.
believe the strength of the management team and its familiarity with the
Angeles market are advantages that other providers will not have.”
Planning for the Altrio Communications network is underway, and
will begin in several months. Altrio’s network is designed to provide
residential customers with an information capacity and reliability that
surpasses existing telephone, data and cable television networks now in
operation, due to its fiber-rich architecture and its extensive redundancy
Altrio’s senior management team includes David Rozzelle, CEO; Ted Liebst,
CFO; and Dave Large, CTO; formerly the principals of Media Connections
and all former executives with InterMedia Partners, with a total of 75
experience in the cable television industry. They will work with an
experienced team of professionals including Steve Ross, Altrio’s General
Counsel and the former Chief of the Cable Television Branch of the FCC;
Kostka, Altrio’s Vice President of Engineering, who recently supervised
cable modem certification at CableLabs; Brenda Trainor, Altrio’s Vice
President, Public Policy and a former Board Member of the National
Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors; and Eric Hart,
President of Outside Plant, who has been in the cable industry for over 20
years and has held technical management positions for the last ten years.
Altrio Communications, Inc., is a Delaware corporation with headquarters
Supplemental information regarding the investors, and company background
information is available by calling Nancy Iles at 818-552-4267.
County of San Bernardino
Right Of Way Questionnaire.doc
CITYTV ON THE WEB
City Council Meetings Live On-line in Santa Monica
by Keith A. Kurtz and Roslyn Wythe
So, somebody thinks that your municipal television broadcast ought to be on the Web. Once you get past your initial reaction (how are we ever going to do that?), you will probably be thinking about why this service is considered valuable.
After all, how many people in town can there be who have access to the World Wide Web, do not have cable TV, and want to watch your channel? We were thinking just that when two citizens sent unsolicited E-mail asking if we broadcast CityTV on the Internet. Both explained that they did not subscribe to cable TV but would like to watch the City Council meetings without having to come to City Hall (Council meetings have long been broadcast on the local college radio station, KCRW). OK. Point taken. There is demand.
There are, of course, two important groups that do not normally see the cable broadcast. First is anyone who is outside of the City during a Council meeting. This includes interested parties not based in the City, residents traveling that day, and staff who live outside the City. The second group is staff who need to be present for only a portion of the meeting. With the meeting broadcast available on their desktops, these busy people can easily work in their offices until needed in the Council Chamber.
Having decided to move forward, we looked for other cities already offering this service. Nearby Torrance, California is broadcasting full time on the web. Two telephone calls put us in touch with the staffer who set up the server and maintains the service. Torrance, we learned, is running the RealNetworks server on an Intel based computer serving an audio stream optimized for modem users. In simpler terms, they are using a computer similar to the PCs on staff desktops, only more powerful. They purchased software from RealNetworks and chose to provide a signal best suited to users dialing into their Internet Service Provider (ISP) using a modem.
There are two leading software products that will capture an audio/video signal and "stream" it to the Internet, RealNetworks RealSystem G2 and Microsoft Netshow. The RealNetworks product has a number of technical advantages while the Microsoft software is free. Both require that the user download and install a free "plug-in" on their own computer. Note that since RealNetworks has most of the streaming media market share, it is more likely that users will have already installed the RealNetworks software.
The RealNetworks basic server, G2, bundled with Real Producer Pro, is sold on a tiered pricing system depending upon how many streams, or simultaneous users, are required. When we investigated, we learned that the RealNetworks product was free for up to 25 streams, moderately priced for up to 40 streams, and relatively expensive beyond that.
Why pay RealNetworks for software that Microsoft is giving away? RealNetworks technology provides a more efficient and straightforward method for simultaneously broadcasting different quality streams without adding significant administrative effort. This makes it possible to offer streams optimized for both modem and network users with virtually no additional system resources or complexity. Despite the availability of ISDN, cable modems and DSL, most home users are still accessing the Internet using a modem. Many business users and almost everyone in Santa Monica City government has high speed network access to the Internet. The RealNetworks server will actually transmit more data, which provides a better quality picture, on a network optimized stream.
The RealNetworks Server also has the ability to adjust its signal based on network load for each stream. That is, when things get congested, there is a fancy compression that occurs and a slightly degraded signal is transmitted that can wend its way through a crowded network more easily. This is similar to pulling a motorcycle out of your trunk when traffic backs up on the freeway. You can't carry as much stuff, but you don't get slowed down either. Not slowing down is very important during a live broadcast. For all of the above reasons, we elected to purchase the RealNetworks Server with a 40 stream license.
NUTS & BOLTS
RealNetworks recommends that two servers be used, especially if multiple optimizations will be employed. One server needs to be connected directly to the television signal and is used to "capture," or encode the signal into a digital format. The second server is used to stream the signal onto the Internet. While this can all be done with one server, using two computers helps spread the load and assure that there are no service interruptions when usage gets heavy.
Consistent with Santa Monica City policy, we solicited bids for and purchased two Hewlett-Packard servers. Anticipating future growth, both are dual processor capable but contain only one CPU. Both came network ready and generously equipped with RAM and disk storage. The more RAM, the better for video processing!
For the web server, we chose a HP LPR NetServer equipped with the Windows NT operating system and the Microsoft IIS Web Server. The video capture server is the lower cost HP Kayak multimedia workstation. The Kayak comes with an audio capture circuit similar to a Sound Blaster, but we had to purchase a video capture card. RealNetworks recommends some specific video cards, the best of which we thought was the Wavetech TV-PCI product.
Unfortunately, the Kayak's extensive multimedia capabilities used up all of the interrupt request (IRQ) choices available on the Wavetech card. After three days of trying, we reluctantly decided to try a different card. The Matrox Rainbow Runner video capture card connects directly to the computer's video display card and is working well. We discovered the hard way that it was necessary to disable the Kayak's video power saving mode which automatically shut down our broadcast after 15 minutes. Another complication was that we had to replace Windows NT with Windows 98 on the Kayak to accommodate the video capture card.
We purchased a rack mounted VCR and 13 inch television monitor along with all of the cables needed to connect everything. Century Communications, the local cable franchise, dropped a line into our computer room. We connect the feed from Century directly to the VCR where the signal is split into audio and video. These, in turn, are run to the Kayak for capture. The Kayak puts the digitized stream onto our LAN where it is accessed by the LPR Server and streamed onto the Internet. A composite RF line is run from the antenna output of the VCR to the television to monitor the signal. All equipment is mounted in a 19 inch rack with a shared computer monitor and keyboard.
We are enough concerned about the load on our network that we are "netcasting" only during City Council meetings. The video stream requires considerable network capacity and we felt it necessary to restrict use to the evening hours when internal network usage is at a minimum. Note that Torrance is running their netcast full time with no reported problems. Still, we opted for the more conservative approach. We expect to be able to netcast CityTV full time once a planned network upgrade is completed.
The service is publicized both on CityTV and in City publications. Our development efforts are presently focused on developing programmable controls for the netcast as well as improving the size and quality of the video broadcast.
Today, nobody asks why we should offer this service. Rather, the public and staff are clamoring for service enhancements. This, we think, is the mark of a successful program. We are reaching an appreciative and attentive audience beyond the city limits. The City of Santa Monica's netcast has proved itself an integral element in the electronic delivery of electronic services and information.
Here to got to National NATOA's web site for info on
Portland, Pasadena, the FCC and more!
CITY OF LOS ANGELES OPEN ACCESS UPDATE
June 18, 1999: The City of Los Angeles releases 53 page staff
report recommending that the City not presently order cable operators to unbundle their
internet offerings, but further recommending that the marketplace be closely monitored,
and made other related recommendations. The entire staff report, in Adobe PDF format, is
available when you
HERE. It's interesting to note that as of the same date (June 18) the City's
Information Technology Agency Board no long had a quorum to conduct any future meetings
due to the 3rd Board Member resignation in 7 days. Keep an eye on the trades.
June 16, 1999: AT&T has (not suprisingly) filed for an expedited treatment of an
appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Judge Panner's ruling, discussed
and linked below. Portland is expected to oppose AT&T's application for expedited
To hear AT&T's 41 minute audio PR conference call on the appeal
(You must have RealAudio Player 5 to hear it, but the download is free. Follow the link.)
To download AT&T executive summary of their appeal
To download AT&T's entire appeal
the link to the Mt. Hood CRC AT&T/TCI Transfer page.
MT. HOOD OPEN ACCESS UPDATE
Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission wins big in the AT&T Suit Regarding Open Access
As reported directly to NATOA by David Olson, Judge Owen Panner granted summary judgment
on June 3 to the Local Governments on every material issue. The Judge concluded that open
access is within the authority of local government to impose to protect competition. He
affirmed that Congress has specifically recognized the power of local franchising
authorities to preserve competition for cable services. The franchising authoritys power
to prohibit a change of control includes the lesser power to impose condition on a
The open access condition is not a common carrier requirement. The condition does not
limit the cable operator's use of subscriber equipment or transmission technology, nor
does it impose requirements concerning the content of cable services. There is no free
speech violation because AT&T is already carrying all ISPs.
According to Judge Panner, "I conclude that the mandatory access provision is related
to AT&T's legal qualifications to assume control of TCI's cable franchises." The
Judge said, "I agree with Defendants that the open access requirement does not
conflict with the terms of the franchise agreements, and that Plaintiffs have no
contractual right under the franchise agreements to exclude competitors from the cable
modem platform." Finally, the Judge said, "The franchise agreements do not limit
the factors that the City and County may consider in
deciding whether to approve a change in control. Defendants motion for summary judgment is
According to David Olson, "It's a win on all points, going away!"
The entire formatted text of the decision, in PDF format, can be downloaded by
Note...this is a 409Kb download, but worth every byte!
If you don't have the Adobe PDF reader...you should! Click on the icon below:
And, if you're wondering about AT&T's take on the ruling,
here's a click to
their news release. Also, see the June 16th update above!
OPENNET URGES LOS ANGELES TO REQUIRE
HIGH-SPEED CABLE INTERNET
For immediate release 21 June 1999
Contact: Sydney Rubin 202/244-1200
Mayor Supports AT&T Controlling Internet Cable Access in LA, Officials Resign in
Protest Over Lack of Competition That Will Harm Consumers
WASHINGTON, D.C. (21 June 1999) -- A report issued Friday by the city's
Information Technology Commission rejected a plan that would have required AT&T to
open its cable network to allow competing Internet Service Providers to buy access to
cable lines. AT&T and
the cable company it owns are fighting attempts to create an open, competitive
system. News reports say AT&T has enjoyed the support of Los Angeles Mayor Richard
The "Broadband Access Report" was to have been voted on today by the Board of
Information Technology Commissioners and sent to City Council for review. The meeting was
cancelled Friday after the
third resignation by a member of the five-member board in protest over the staff-written
report that failed to require competition. "The city cannot even hold a meeting to
vote on this
report because people of conscience would rather quit than vote for a plan that is so
blatantly anti-consumer and anti-business," said Greg Simon, co-executive director of
the openNET Coalition. OpenNET is
a group of more than 70 Internet Service Providers nationwide battling to keep the
Internet the affordable, dynamic, open medium that consumers now enjoy.
Last week, Information Technology Commissioners Alan Arkatov, Joyce Emerson and
Robert Duggan resigned. Arkatov and Emerson had served as president and vice-president of
the Board, appointed by
the mayor. The Los Angeles Times reported that Riordan's support for AT&T forced the
Arktov and Emerson left without commenting on their resignations, but Duggan resigned in a
scathing letter that challenged the mayor's position which fails to protect consumers and
will lead to high prices and poor service. "The city should not . . . kowtow to the
wishes of an industry seeking monopoly power at the expense of all Angelenos," Duggan
"In the future, cable will most likely become the most important electronic conduit
to homes. We have an opportunity to protect consumers by keeping this important
conduit open," he wrote.
The report recommends that the city do nothing while AT&T builds its cable system into
one that not only offers traditional television services but also takes monopoly control
of the next generation of
Internet service. Consumers will depend on high-speed cable access lines for telephone,
entertainment and a full range of other services.
OpenNET coalition member Bob Adkins of DigiLink Internet Services in Marina del Rey,
California, said, "AT&T's plans will hurt small business and hurt consumers.
There are more than 5,000 ISPs
competing in the United States today and this competition has led to lower prices and
more innovative services. An AT&T monopoly threatens all of this."
Adkins noted that prices have fallen dramatically in the competitive Internet marketplace
over the last few years. Meanwhile, cable companies that hold monopoly franchises in most
American cities have
increased cable rates 22 percent over the last three years. "What is happening in Los
Angeles is happening in all the cities where AT&T is buying cable franchises and
seeking to avoid competition. People throughout the country should be concerned because if
the cable monopoly controls high-speed Internet access it will dictate what you pay, how
you get online, and the Web sites you see," said Marc Jacobson of Prodigy Internet.
"Consumer choice will be history."
With its purchase of cable companies such as TCI and MediaOne, AT&T will have full or
partial control of more than 60 percent of all cable service into American homes,
including homes in Los Angeles. Billions of
dollars and the future of the Internet hang on the decisions being made by cities whether
to require the AT&T-owned local cable company to sell competing Internet Service
Providers access to the cable network.
Last week, the CEO of AT&T's Broadband and Internet Services, Leo Hindery, told Wall
Street analysts in a private briefing that AT&T's deals to consolidate and control the
cable industry would fundamentally
change the nature of the Internet. Hindery said AT&T's recent activities in
cities like Los Angeles would lead to regional monopolies that would mark "the end of
an industry as I know it. I'm about six weeks away from
doing what I want to do," USA Today reported.
"We've seen what Mr. Hindery has to say about how AT&T will monopolize the cable
industry and the cable Internet," said openNET's Simon. "That's what scares us,
and it should worry consumers as well."
SCAN NATOA Newsletter Article from January
The Latest Access Question
by Paul Janis and Bob Jystad
A new ally has entered the old fight to break
open cable systems. Alongside local broadcasters and unaffiliated cable programmers now
stand the Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Clad in the garb of nondiscrimination,
competition and consumer choice, ISPs would thrust the spear of "open access"
into the wounds left by leased access, program access and must carry. It is an open
question whether or not this bravado will benefit local governments and consumers - a
question we won't even try to answer here.
What is the issue? Is the goal of "open
access" a cable modem architecture that permits multiple providers simultaneously to
provide services over the platform? Or, is the goal of "open access" to unbundle
Internet access from content so that consumers do not pay twice to use a preferred ISP
over the cable system?
However the issue is framed, it arises in the
context of a global Internet greedily in search of bandwidth. The conventional dial-up
narrowband Internet access service provided through the twisted-pair telephone line is
simply no match for the high speed broadband service now being provided by many cable
companies under such trade names as @Home, Roadrunner, Pipeline, and MediaOne Express.
Despite the apparent dissimilarity between video
programming and Internet access service, cable companies are eager to characterize their
Internet access products as cable services in order to avoid the regulatory requirements
of Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Cable administrators everywhere should be
flattered that, given their choices, cable operators prefer their regulators to be local
franchising authorities (LFAs) rather than the FCC or a state PUC. Until the FCC or a
court rules otherwise, cable administrators need to be prepared to protect the interests
of consumers of cable-based Internet access services.
One way to frame the issue is to focus on the
cable operators' uniform practice of bundling high speed data service with Internet
content. In the dial-up world, the user provides his or her own modem and, through a
conventional telephone line, links to an ISP who provides access to the Internet.
Typically, but not always, the ISP also provides a content service which may or may not be
bundled with access to the Internet. If the user purchases Internet access without a
bundled content service, the user must obtain a content service from a separate provider.
The user is free to contract with various providers for each of these elements separately.
In the cable modem world, the cable company
provides the modem, the link to the Internet, and content laden home page. All of the
Internet service elements provided by the cable operator are bundled and available only at
a bundled rate.
Because of the bundled nature of cable modem
services, a cable subscriber using a cable modem is required to subscribe to the content
service provided by the cable operator or an affiliate (e.g., @Home, Roadrunner, etc.).
The user is free to purchase another, unaffiliated content service (e.g., America Online,
Mindspring, etc.), but this involves a second payment for that content service. The
superior market position of the affiliated content provider is apparent.
The technical and market superiority of
broadband is not lost on the providers of Internet content who are unaffiliated with cable
companies. Some commentators in the industry fear the affiliated content providers will
eventually dominate the market in precisely the same manner that Microsoft's bundled
Internet browser software threatens to dominate the browser market.
This description of the issue assumes that it is
properly characterized as "unbundling." Cable modem providers prefer this
characterization because they think it molds the issue as a Title II issue and lets them
rest on the defense that LFAs cannot treat cable systems as common carriers. It is fairly
easy to counter this analysis even if you choose to characterize the issue as one of
unbundling. Title VI contains numerous access-type provisions that, simply because they
tend to produce more "open" cable systems, do not transform cable operators into
ISPs have tended to avoid this analysis. Rather,
they frame the issue as an issue of Aopen access.@ They describe the cable modem platform
as it is currently constructed as a closed platform that is only accessible by the cable
modem provider. In their analysis, there are no technical impediments to opening the
platform. Subscribers could select unaffiliated ISPs which, through the use of additional
equipment housed at the cable system's headend, could provide their own high speed
Internet access service to those users.
Should LFAs be concerned about the issue,
however framed? If so, what actions should LFAs be considering? The answers ultimately
depend on (1) whether Internet access really is a cable service, as represented by the
cable operators, (2) how broadly one construes the market for Internet access services,
and (3) whether the LFA wishes to regulate the market for Internet access services in the
hope of maintaining a level playing field.
In December, 1998 the Mt. Hood (Oregon) Cable
Regulatory Commission, the City of Portland, and Multnomah County all ordered TCI to
provide ISPs with open, nondiscriminatory access to its cable modem platform as a
condition of approval of transfer of local cable franchises to the control of AT&T. A
number of provisions of federal law have been used to justify such an action, for example:
Section 612 of the Cable Act requires cable
operators to set aside up to 15 percent of their channel capacity for commercial use by
persons unaffiliated with the cable operator. The argument is that ISPs could legitimately
offer a commercial service over bandwidth reserved for leased access programmers without
disrupting the cable system or diminishing the amount of capacity exclusively reserved to
the operator. Note that "commercial use" is defined in 612 as "the
provision of video programming." Accordingly, the strength of this argument hinges on
an assumption that Internet service as a cable service constitutes a kind of video
Section 613 of the Cable Act permits LFAs to
consider the anticompetitive effects of the ownership or control of a franchise in
approving a transfer. If, not to name names, @Home's relationship with TCI/AT&T is
such that its presence in the franchise effectively would wipe out competitor ISPs, the
LFA arguably could base a decision not to approve a transfer on that possibility. Despite
the strength of this argument, which is appealing, the devil is in the details. First, an
LFA must have a factual basis by which it determines that competition is threatened.
Second, that basis should be linked to competition in the franchise at issue and not to
competition in the national market.
Section 636's version of a "savings
clause" goes to the heart of the debate. This section preserves all franchising
authority "to the extent consistent with this title." Because Internet service
over cable is not clearly addressed by the Cable Act, the savings clause reserves the
LFA's authority to place permissible conditions on the provision of cable modem services
such as open access to the cable modem platform.
This argument requires you to defeat every
argument brought by the cable operators that, in fact, the Cable Act does address Internet
service, albeit indirectly, and bars LFAs from imposing virtually any condition, let alone
open access. Along these lines, they will refer to open access as "unbundling"
and will cite Section 621 which forbids treatment of cable systems as common carriers and
Section 624 which prohibits LFAs from establishing requirements for video programming or
information services. As you might imagine, these arguments also subject their proponents
to a variety of pitfalls.
However you frame it, the issue is important
and, undoubtedly, will take us well into the new millenium.
1) Singsen v. Television
On June 24, 1998, Division 2 of the First District
Court of Appeals in
California ruled that subscribers have a state law unfair business
practices claim against cable operators for failing to provide free
cable service to public building as required by its franchise even
though the city released the obligation. The court rejected contract
and third-party beneficiary claims by the plaintiffs. The plaintiff's
attorney appears to be chasing an $80,000 attorney fee claim, rejection
of which was reversed in the 2-1 opinion reported at 64 Cal. App. 4th
1437 (1998) . Interesting case.
On 9/3/98 the FCC's Office of
Plans and Policy released a 118 page report on regulatory issues connected to Internet
over Cable. That report highlights regulatory issues and directions the Commission might
consider and take. MUST READING. Here is a quote from the news release:
"After describing features and functions of the Internet and the communications
capabilities it makes possible, the paper addresses the existing regulatory framework for
wireline communications services under Titles I, II and VI of the Communications Act. The
paper concludes that the FCC could find that certain cable-provided Internet services come
within the revised definition of cable services under Title VI the Act, while Internet
access services provided by telecommunications carriers over common carrier facilities are
treated differently under existing statutory and FCC requirements. It concludes with a
discussion of the broader policy issues arising from this new communications medium, and
identifies some potential regulatory alternatives for addressing these issues."
Here is the link
to the FCC's News Release on the paper.
From there you can link directly to the Adobe PDF of the document.
Thanks to NATOAN Fred Polner, Esq. for the heads-up.
Board of Directors Member Brenda Trainor wrote an op-ed piece for Multichannel
News in their August 24, 1998 edition. CLICK
HERE to read her "Forum" article titled,
Networks: An Interesting Option" Reprinted with Permission, Multichannel
News, August 24, 1998
State Government Advisory Committee and CTIA Settlement on
Zoning Moratoria "Give Peace A Chance" -CTIA
On August 5th, at a Washington D.C. press conference, the Chairman of the FCC
announced a settlement with the wireless industry over the CTIA's petition to preempt all
zoning moratoria relating to wireless telecommunications facilities. As a result of the
settlement the CTIA is WITHDRAWING its preemption petition. The FCC's local government web
page has the Chairman's statement, Ken Fellman's statement, and the text of the agreement.
(www.fcc.gov/statelocal) (CTIA Press Release)
DAVID KORTE OF ETROK (KNOWN FOR HIS MUST-HAVE
CABLE TV LAW MANAGER
CDROM's) PRODUCED THE FIRST EVER CDROM OF NATOA CONFERENCE
PROCEEDINGS FROM THE 1998 SAN DIEGO CONFERENCE, CONSISTING OF MOST OR EVERY PAPER
PRESENTED AT THE CONFERENCE, PLUS SELECTED SOUND AND VISUAL HIGHLIGHTS.
If you are a NATOA member, you can place an on-line order
for the CD-ROM at $75 per
copy using a credit card or government P.O. Non-members can purchase a copy using our
on-line order form for $125 a copy. Requires a CD-ROM, Windows 95, 98 or NT, Internet
Explorer 4 (included on the disk), and a rye sense of humor (not included on disk).
Click here to have Webbie Jonathan Kramer
give you a special virtual tour of the CD-ROM!
Click here to jump to the on-line order
Now available from the FCC is their
digital TV fact
sheet on tower siting. CLICK HERE
to go to that page. Thanks to Ken Fellman, Chair of the FCC's State & Local Advisory
Committee, for announcing the link, then just a few hours old, to the attendees of NATOA's
Denver Regional Conference during his Keynote speech.
FCC MO&O Regarding Franchise Fee Pass-Through On
Click here for
the text version