Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

ITC Committee Focuses on Digital TV Transition, Broadband Access

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

ITC Committee Focuses on Digital TV Transition, Broadband Access

Article excerpt

NLC's Information Technology and Communications (ITC) steering committee held its spring meeting June 12-14, addressing a number of timely issues. Meeting in Aurora. Colo., the committee considered potential policy amendments while also focusing on the local challenges associated with the digital television transition.

Chaired by Mayor Jim Haggerton of Tukwila, Wash., the committee has identified the digital transition as a priority for the year. While there may not be policy changes needed, the committee recognizes the unique position local elected officials find themselves in as the February 2009 mandatory switch to digital signals looms. Local officials are in a position to widely publicize information in advance of the switch, and once it occurs, they will likely be confronted by any potential problems once the transition occurs.

The committee reviewed an ongoing NLC outreach strategy to prepare local elected officials. The plan has already resulted in a workshop at the Congressional City Conference, a series of articles in Nation's Cities Weekly, and a webpage on the NLC website containing information and links. In addition to looking at the next steps in the strategy, the committee provided input on potential best practices for forming local partnerships and disseminating information.

Revisiting an ongoing policy issue, the committee took a close look at broadband access. The committee decided to consider several updates to policy, and will consider revisions to the current resolution on broadband access. The committee intends to reiterate the twin goals of universal broadband access for all Americans along with the need for higher national broadband standards in order to compete internationally.

The committee will also consider the potential role of the federal government in addressing the need for comprehensive mapping of existing service, and will coordinate with the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy Committee to address the availability of broadband spectrum for public safety uses. …

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