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Telecommunications Policy Analysis and Regulatory Action Planning

CITY OF MONROVIA

(Richard Singer, Assistant City Manager)

In 2008, assisted the City in reviewing applications for encroachment permits submitted by AT&T for constructing a U-verse (video over IP) video facility within City limits.  Working with the City Engineer, Public Works, and the City Attorney's office, made recommendations for assessment of fees and conditions regarding the City's approval of AT&T's response.  Also reviewed issues associated with carriage of the City's PEG access channels on U-Verse.


CITY OF INGLEWOOD

(Michael Calzada, Executive Assistant to the City Manager

(Michael Falkow, IT Director)

In 2007-2008, assisted the City in reviewing applications for encroachment permits submitted by AT&T for constructing a U-verse (video over IP) video facility within the City.  Working with the City Engineer, Public Works, and the City Attorney's office, made recommendations for assessment of fees and conditions regarding the City's approval of AT&T's response.  Beginning in 2007, CSG has conducted a strategic planning exercise intended to assist the City in preparing for state video franchises and local regulatory duties allowed under AB2987 -The Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006 (see link to analysis handout Spreadsheet). CSG offered detailed consulting on the effects of state franchising as it pertains to the City’s current franchise agreement and construction activity likely to occur by AT&T as a state video franchisee.  CSG assisted the City in adopting a comprehensive telecommunications and video services ordinance.


CITY OF ARCADIA, CALIFORNIA

(Tracey Hause, Former Administrative Services Manager)

(Bill Kelly, Former City Manager)

(Steve Deitch, City Attorney)

In 2007, assisted the City in reviewing applications for encroachment permits submitted by AT&T for constructing a U-verse (video over IP) video facility.  Working with the City Engineer, Public Works, and the City Attorney's office, made recommendations for assessment of fees and conditions regarding the City's approval of AT&T's response.  In 2005 and again in 2007, CSG assisted the City in drafting and updating its comprehensive cable television, OVS, and Other Telecommunications Provider Ordinance.  Beginning in 2006 and ongoing throughout 2007, CSG has assisted the City in PUC filing and state legislative activities relating to Senate Bill AB2987. CSG offered detailed consulting on the effects of state franchising as it pertains to the City’s current franchise agreement and franchise renewals.

Since 1994, CSG has assisted the City in general franchise administrative duties and has provided the City with consultant services related to the renewal and transfer of the City's franchise with TCI Cablevision and several transfers of ownership involving Century and Adelphia Communications.  CSG completed a community needs assessment including public meetings and extensive interviews with City staff, comprehensive franchise performance audit, and technical evaluation for franchise renewal.  In addition, CSG assessed department needs related to municipal cable television services and managed the bidding and procurement of nearly $400,000 in television production equipment.  CSG also provided extensive rate regulation assistance to the City.  In 2001and 2003, CSG provided a variety of services related to Adelphia and the City’s competitive OVS company, Altrio Communications.  Since Altrio’s reorganization and dissolution, CSG has been actively involved in the City’s negotiations and FCC Form 394 review with Champion Communications, a potential successor franchisee. In 2005, CSG assisted the City in transferring ownership of the cable T.V. franchise.

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CITY OF PORTERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

(Julia Lew, City Attorney)

In 2006 and 2007, CSG provided the City policy analysis and assisted the City adopt a new ordinance to address regulatory changes related to AB2987, The Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act (link to staff report and ordinance: Report).  We also reviewed Charter Communications’ performance to the City’s cable television franchise in the franchise’s final year before expiration.  CSG also explored options with regard to renewal and state video franchising. 

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CITY OF REDONDO BEACH, CALIFORNIA

(Maggie Healy, Management Analyst)

Beginning in 2006 and ongoing throughout 2007, CSG has assisted the City in PUC filing and state legislative activities relating to Senate Bill AB2987. CSG offered detailed consulting on the effects of state franchising as it pertains to the City’s current franchise agreement and franchise renewals.  In 2007, CSG provided input to the City's modification of ordinance language taking into account changes in state law.  CSG also assisted the City with various matters pertaining to the Verizon cable television franchise negotiations.  Links to the resulting Verizon documents: Ordinance  Franchise

Since 2003, CSG has provided services related to renewal of the City’s Adelphia franchise.  In 2000 and 2001, CSG performed a variety of services related to reviewing an application for an OVS franchise by RCN Communications.  During 1995, CSG performed a comprehensive evaluation of Century Cable's compliance to the City's customer service standards.  Identification of non-compliance, recommendation for corrective actions, and draft correspondence was provided.  CSG continues to provide administrative expertise related to cable television matters on a case-by-case basis. 

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CITY OF SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA

(Lori Sassoon, Assistant City Administrator)

(Catherine Allison, City Manager's Office)

Beginning in 2006 and ongoing throughout the first quarter of 2007, CSG has assisted the City preparing for either renewing its local cable franchises or waiting to allow the companies to apply as state video franchisees.  CSG assisted the City in analyzing compliance issues and in extension resolutions enabling the three local franchises to be extended through the January 2, 2008 date specified in AB2987. CSG also offered detailed consulting on the effects of state franchising as it pertains to the City’s current franchise agreement and franchise renewals. In addition, CSG worked with City Attorney in renewal preparation drafting governing ordinances for state video franchising laws.

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CITY OF WALNUT, CALIFORNIA

(Charles Robinson, Assistant to the City Manager)

In 2009, CSG assisted the City in analyzing the effects of Charter's bankruptcy and reorganization.  In 2008, assisted the City in determining issues associated with approving construction permits associated competitive video service providers.  Beginning in 2006 and ongoing throughout 2007, CSG has assisted the City in PUC filing and state legislative activities relating to Senate Bill AB2987.  In 2006, CSG assisted the City adopt a comprehensive regulatory ordinance.  CSG offered detailed consulting on the effects of state franchising as it pertains to the City’s current franchise agreement and franchise renewals.  Beginning in 2005, CSG has assisted the City in assessing community needs, a comprehensive franchise performance audit and technical evaluation for franchise renewal.  In addition, CSG assessed department needs related to governmental and educational access.  CSG acted as lead negotiator on the former renewal project and will serve as lead negotiator with Charter on this renewal.  From 1992 to November 1996, CSG assisted the City in general franchise administrative duties, rate regulation services, and with the renewal of the City's franchise with Charter Communications. 

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CITY OF EMERYVILLE, CALIFORNIA

(Carol Victor, Former Deputy City Attorney and Karen Hemphill, City Clerk)

Beginning in 2004 and ongoing throughout 2006, CSG has assisted the City in adopting a comprehensive cable television and video services ordinance.  We also advised the City regarding federal and state legislative activities. CSG offered detailed consulting on the effects of state franchising as it pertains to the City’s current franchise agreement and franchise renewals.  Beginning in 2005, CSG has assisted the City in assessing community needs, a comprehensive franchise performance audit and technical evaluation for franchise renewal.

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FORT BRAGG, WILLITS, UKIAH AND MENDOCINO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

(Bruce Mordhorst, Former Assistant County Administrator)

 

Beginning in 2000 and ongoing throughout 2005, CSG has assisted the cities and County acting jointly in adopting individual regulatory ordinances relating to video services and other telecommunications services.  During this period, CSG also provided guidance on federal and state legislative activities relating to telecommunications and cable television. In 2004, CSG assisted the group negotiate with Adelphia and Comcast for a fiber lease and institutional network.  We also assisted the group adopt and transfer a franchise agreement between Adelphia and Comcast.  Needs Report

 

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CITY OF REDONDO BEACH, CALIFORNIA

(Maggie Healy, Assistant to the City Manager)

In 2001 and 2002 the City retained Communications Support Group, Inc., (CSG) to facilitate a study of City telecommunications right-of-way (ROW) policies.  CSG assisted the City Manager’s Office and the City Attorney’s Offices by reviewing methods used by the City to grant permits for both wireline and wireless telecommunications companies.  CSG presented a series of objectives to be considered during the development of local policies, which City personnel ranked in the order of priority.  Outcomes of this project included:  

§         A central point of contact for all telecommunications matters;

§         Centralized record keeping of telecommunications applications;

§        Enabled the City’s IT facilities to develop and support a practical database of telecommunications permit and franchising matters;

§         Revised fee schedules for all departments pertaining to right of way and telecom planning matters;

§         New and improved private line agreements related to TCG and TYCOM;

§         Improved centralized mapping to identify and control placement of ROW entrants;

§         Improved inter-departmental communications;

§       Began the development of a "level playing field" for all telecommunications companies by assessing non-discriminatory taxes and fees on service providers in the City and/or companies that wish to use City ROW

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CITY OF BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA

(Roger Miller, Office of Information Technology)

In November 2000, the City of Berkeley contracted with Communications Support Group, Inc., and its subcontractor, the Social Science Research Center (SSRC) at California State University, Fullerton, to assess the telecommunications needs, concerns, and interests of residential households in Berkeley.  Telephone interviews were conducted from the SSRC’s survey research laboratory, utilizing Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) equipment and software.  The purpose of this study was to collect useful demographic and frequency data concerning residential use of cable television and telecommunications in Berkeley and to ascertain users’ satisfaction with cable television and telecommunications service (link to report summary: Report).  The City used the data from the survey to write a Telecommunications Master Plan for the City of Berkeley and recommend telecommunications policies to the City Council.

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CITY OF MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MISSOURI

(Steve Rasmussen, Assistant to the City Administrator)

Since 2000, CSG has performed a number of third-party auditor projects for the City.  CSG has audited franchise fees, license fees, per-foot ROW fees, and utility taxes for 14 telecommunications licenses serving residents and businesses within the City.  During 1999-2000, as part of a team of consultants, CSG was retained to report on the City's existing telecommunications regulatory and permitting structure in the context of existing and future telecommunications service providers.  CSG made recommendations for a comprehensive telecommunications regulatory and permitting framework that is consistent with state and federal law. 

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CITY OF SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

(Marc Jaffe, Former Cable Television Program Manager)

In 1999 the City retained CSG to analyze current City telecommunications policies and to identify areas regarding modification or amendment.  As part of the analysis, CSG:

§        Addressed the City’s issues of ROW management and compensation under federal and state law;

§        Conducted a comprehensive audit of the City’s telecommunications regulatory process, structure, fees and practices and evaluated the various departments for compliance to City codes or regulations;

§        Reviewed Finance Department forecasts and revenues attributable to telecommunications;

§        Evaluated the City’s organizational infrastructure involved with telecommunications management, planning, permitting, facility attachment approvals and ROW use management;

§         Conducted a variety of educational programs for City staff;

§        Developed strategic and action plans for ongoing telecommunications management;

§        Developed an inventory of known ROW users, locally assessed fees, taxes, or other compensation;

§        Identified new revenue streams, economic development initiatives, and organizational restructuring devices designed to increase and enhance service delivery and reduce operating costs.

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COUNTY OF MONTERREY, CALIFORNIA

(Aleta Cozart, Former Deputy CAO)

From 1992 to 1995, CSG was contracted to update and revise provisions of County's ordinance as they relate to customer service and performance.  CSG completed a compliance audit of the two cable operators as a part of the process.  CSG also provided a variety of services related to the County's rate regulation proceedings and franchise administrative issues in general.

 

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