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CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 13

Meeting Date: April 11, 2006

Subject/Title: Approve a Resolution Adopting Principles for Congress and the State Legislature to Consider in its Debate Over a New Telecommunications Regulatory Framework.

Prepared by: Gail Leech, Management Analyst

Submitted by: Donna Landeros, City Manager

RECOMMENDATION
Approve a resolution adopting principles for Congress and the state Legislature to consider in its debate over a new telecommunications regulatory framework.

PREVIOUS ACTION
In March 2006, the League of California Cities adopted the Telecom Policy and Principles geared towards managing telecommunications reform. The League is asking all California cities to support this effort by passing a resolution to support these principles.

BACKGROUND
Telecommunications reform continues to move forward at both the State and Federal level. Legislation is currently being drafted that will centralize franchising for the state’s multibillion-dollar cable market to allow telecommunication giants A T & T and Verizon to better compete with the state’s existing cable-operators. The cities of California support competition for telecommunications services because, among other things, it produces more affordable services and improves the quality of telecommunications services to city residents.

Technological advances in telecommunications services are outpacing the current state and federal regulatory framework for those services and these new telecommunications services will be vital to the businesses, households and public safety of local communities. In that regard, Congress and the California state legislature are beginning a serious debate on a new framework for telecommunications services in the 2006 legislative session.

Staff recommends that Council approve the following principles to be considered in the Congressional and legislative debates regarding new telecommunications regulatory framework:

REVENUE PROTECTIONS
• Protect the authority of local governments to collect revenues from telecommunications providers and ensure that any future changes are revenue neutral for local governments.
• Regulatory fees and/or taxes should apply equitably to all telecommunications service providers.
• A guarantee that all existing and any new fees/taxes remain with local governments to support local public services and mitigate impacts on local rights-of-way.
• Oppose any state or federal legislation that would pre-empt or threaten local taxation authority

RIGHTS-OF-WAY
• To protect the public’s investment, the control of public rights-of-way must remain local.
• Local government must retain full control over the time, place and manner for the use of the public right-of-way in providing telecommunications services, including the appearance and aesthetics of equipment placed within it.

ACCESS
• All local community residents should be provided access to all available telecommunications services.
• Telecommunications providers should be required to specify a reasonable timeframe for deployment of telecommunications services that includes a clear plan for the sequencing of the build-out of these facilities within the entire franchise area.

PUBLIC EDUCATION AND GOVERNMENT (PEG) SUPPORT
• The resources required of new entrants should be used to meet PEG support requirements in a balanced manner in partnership with incumbent providers.
• For cities currently without PEG support revenues, a minimum percentage of required support needs to be determined.

INSTITUTIONAL OR FIBER NETWORK (INET)
• The authority for interested communities to establish INET services and support for educational and local government facilities should remain at the local level.

PUBLIC SAFETY SERVICES
• The authority for E-911 and 911 services should remain with local government, including any compensation for the use of the right-of-way. All E-911 and 911 calls made by voice over internet protocol shall be routed to local public safety answering points (PSAPs); i.e., local dispatch centers.
• All video providers must provide local emergency notification service.

CUSTOMER SERVICE PROTECTION
• State consumer protection laws should continue to apply as a minimum standard and should be enforced at the local level. Local governments should retain the authority to assess penalties to improve customer service

OTHER ISSUES
• Existing telecommunications providers and new entrants shall adhere to local city policies on public utility undergrounding.

Copies of this resolution will be transmitted to the Congressional Representative and all state legislative representatives for the City of Brentwood, as well as all appropriate local media outlets.

FISCAL IMPACT
None at this time.

Attachments:
Resolution

RESOLUTION NO.

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD ADOPTING PRINCIPLES FOR CONGRESS AND THE STATE LEGISLATURE TO CONSIDER IN ITS DEBATE OVER A NEW TELECOMMUNICATIONS REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

WHEREAS, in March 2006, the League of California Cities adopted the Telecom Policy and Principles geared towards managing telecommunications reform. The League is asking all California cities to support this effort by passing a resolution to support these principles; and

WHEREAS, telecommunications reform continues to move forward at both the State and Federal level. Legislation is currently being drafted that will centralize franchising for the state’s multibillion-dollar cable market to allow telecommunication giants A T & T and Verizon to better compete with the state’s existing cable-operators; and

WHEREAS, the cities of California support competition for telecommunications services because, among other things, it produces more affordable services and improves the quality of telecommunications services to city residents; and

WHEREAS, Congress and the California state legislature are beginning a serious debate on a new framework for telecommunications services in the 2006 legislative session; and

WHEREAS, Staff recommends that Council approve the following principles to be considered in the Congressional and legislative debates regarding new telecommunications regulatory framework:

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood hereby adopts the following principles for Congress and the State Legislature to consider in its debate over a new telecommunications regulatory framework.

REVENUE PROTECTIONS
• Protect the authority of local governments to collect revenues from telecommunications providers and ensure that any future changes are revenue neutral for local governments.
• Regulatory fees and/or taxes should apply equitably to all telecommunications service providers.
• A guarantee that all existing and any new fees/taxes remain with local governments to support local public services and mitigate impacts on local rights-of-way.
• Oppose any state or federal legislation that would pre-empt or threaten local taxation authority

RIGHTS-OF-WAY
• To protect the public’s investment, the control of public rights-of-way must remain local.
• Local government must retain full control over the time, place and manner for the use of the public right-of-way in providing telecommunications services, including the appearance and aesthetics of equipment placed within it.

ACCESS
• All local community residents should be provided access to all available telecommunications services.
• Telecommunications providers should be required to specify a reasonable timeframe for deployment of telecommunications services that includes a clear plan for the sequencing of the build-out of these facilities within the entire franchise area.

PUBLIC EDUCATION AND GOVERNMENT (PEG) SUPPORT
• The resources required of new entrants should be used to meet PEG support requirements in a balanced manner in partnership with incumbent providers.
• For cities currently without PEG support revenues, a minimum percentage of required support needs to be determined.

INSTITUTIONAL OR FIBER NETWORK (INET)
• The authority for interested communities to establish INET services and support for educational and local government facilities should remain at the local level.

PUBLIC SAFETY SERVICES
• The authority for E-911 and 911 services should remain with local government, including any compensation for the use of the right-of-way. All E-911 and 911 calls made by voice over internet protocol shall be routed to local public safety answering points (PSAPs); i.e., local dispatch centers.
• All video providers must provide local emergency notification service.

CUSTOMER SERVICE PROTECTION
• State consumer protection laws should continue to apply as a minimum standard and should be enforced at the local level. Local governments should retain the authority to assess penalties to improve customer service

OTHER ISSUES
• Existing telecommunications providers and new entrants shall adhere to local city policies on public utility undergrounding.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting held on the 11th day of April 2006 by the following vote:
 

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