[Davisgig] Report from tonight's meeting

Douglas A. Walter dawalter at dcn.org
Wed Mar 27 22:20:11 PDT 2019

Hi folks, and I hope we're not driving you away. Tonight's meeting was of the City's Broadband Advisory Task Force (BATF). The motion that passed (6-0-1 abstention) was (with 98% claim of accuracy):
“The BATF recommends that the City Council defer action on Staff’s proposed Astound contract and direct Staff to work with the BATF or a designated subcommittee thereof to, at a minimum:

“(1) Have the City Finance Director perform a detailed financial analysis of the proposed Astound contract;

“(2) Assess the potential impacts of the proposed Astound contract on the viability of and support for a City-owned broadband network that can serve all Davis residents and businesses;  

“(3) Identify and comparatively assess alternatives, including an option whereby the City owns and controls all fiber capacity in City conduit and leases shares of capacity on an open-access basis to third-party ISPs and content providers; 

“The BATF also recommends that the City Council direct Staff to consult with the BATF and provide an opportunity for a BATF recommendation to City Council prior to bringing the proposed or a revised Astound contract or an alternative to City Council for approval.”

This is pretty positive for keeping our vision alive. There were about a dozen people who spoke, and every one in their own way expressed support for keeping open the possibility of a municipal gigabit fiber network. Now, whether or not the Astound contract would detract from that vision was disputed a bit (although I think we also made a pretty good case there). But when the contract goes to the City Council for direction to staff, or for approval, it will have this motion attached to it, as well as one from the Utility Rate Advisory Commission (URAC) that also urges financial analysis.

So, I feel we've made some progress and I personally appreciate everyone who submitted written comments (which will be part of the meeting record, we were told), and everyone who took the time to attend tonight. Thank you!

Doug Walter (home account)
dawalter at dcn.org
"Wag more, bark less"

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