Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

ITC Discusses Preserving Local Franchise Authority

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

ITC Discusses Preserving Local Franchise Authority

Article excerpt

The Information Technology and Communications (ITC) Policy and Advocacy Steering Committee focused on local franchise authority during its recent meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

The meeting was chaired by Mayor Ken Fellman of Arvada, Colo. The meeting was planned by the Anchorage Assembly and staff.

ITC Committee members were guided through tours of the AT&T Network Operations Control Center and the BP Energy Center and participated in a demonstration of the Alaska Federal Health Care Network's (AFHCAN) telemedicine project. All of the site visits gave ITC members an opportunity to see the variety of ways telecommunications and technology are used to distribute information globally and throughout Alaska.

Steering committee members focused most of their policy discussion on the national cable/video franchise policy debate that has been recently publicized in the media and supported by some members of Congress.

Speakers briefed the committee on the recent state level legislative efforts to restrict the local franchising process.

Members thoughtfully considered the political climate local franchise authority is facing and began to evaluate their priorities associated with this issue.

Verizon and SBC demonstrated the video technology that has motivated them to lobby for state level franchises through state legislation and nationwide franchise authority at the federal level.

Afterward, representatives from the two companies answered questions from committee members who were concerned about how this new technology would be deployed and the impact it will have on local government. …

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