Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Telecom board's annual report for 2009

Fayetteville Telecommunications Board
Annual Report for 2009
Prepared by Chairman Aubrey Shepherd
June 28 , 2009

Scope and Purpose
This summary report by the Fayetteville Telecommunications Board has been prepared in accordance with the City of Fayetteville Code of Ordinances and as requested for use in the City’s RFP process for the community access channel contract for 2010. (See Director's Telecommunications Board letter, June 16, 2010)

Highlights of Telecommunications Board Activities in 2009.
The Telecommunications Board underwent a rapid transitional phase in the first months of 2009, along with other Fayetteville City Government activities. Improved communication is a key component of the Fayetteville Forward initiative that was launched by newly elected  Mayor Lioneld Jordan and his Chief of Staff, Don Marr. In addition, Sarah Lewis and Matthew Petty were elected to the City Council and the CityAdministrative structure was reorganized and  the Telecommunications Board elected Aubrey Shepherd as chairman, replacing Richard Drake. Board members and attendance for 2009 are listed in Attachment 2. Key support staff at the PEG Center also required replacement.
During the January-June 2009 period, the Board:
·       Initiated comprehensive strategic planning through a communitywide Telecommunications Forum in February, and a Brainstorming Session in May. (See summary documents: Telecom Forum.)
·       Welcomed Mr. Fritz Gisler to serve as manager of the Fayetteville Television Center
·       Welcomed Mrs. Lindsley Smith as Communication Director for the City of Fayetteville
·       Resumed preparation for negotiation of the Cox Cable franchise agreement
·       Announced AT&T roll out of U-Verse service for selected areas of the city, and carrying the PEG channels globally on the Internet
·       Proposed that Cox Cable and AT&T provide an additional education channel that would provide separate channels for the University of Arkansas and for the Fayetteville School District
·       Recognized Board Members Graves and Sales for completing their terms on the Board.

During July- December 2009: the Board:
    Welcomed new board members Russell, Tennant, and Bosseau
·       Resumed the Policy Subcommittee revisions of the FGC Policy in accordance with recommendations from the 2009 Forum and Brainstorming sessions. (See FGC Policy, Attachment 5)
·       Reviewed and approved the CAT Contract for 2010 as drafted by City Staff and presented to the City Council
·       Recommended a Needs and Interest Study to be approved by the City Council  to serve as a basis for negotiating with Cox Cable, AT&T and other telecommunication services.
·       Reconstituted the Internet Policy Subcommittee, chaired by Board Member Tennant.

Highlights of First Quarter 2010 
Board Activities from January to June  2010 included:
·       Conducted a Special Board meeting to review the CAT contract and CAT Board activities
·       Completion of FGC Policy revisions for review by the board and city staff.
·       Design and planning of a Telecommunications Board Communitywide Brainstorming Session

Considerations for the Future
The board’s goals for 2009 and 2010 have been established as shown in Attachment 6 and as proposed in the ongoing Brainstorming and Special Board Analysis Sessions.
The board continues to assign high priority to clarification and strengthening of the overall  organizational structure and the respective roles and relationships among and between the  Telecommunications Board, the PEG Channels, City Administration, and the City Council. Rapidly changing technology, related U.S. law and regulations, and Fayetteville’s expanding telecommunication infrastructure remain a strong challenge in meeting Fayetteville’s goals for  strong and transparent city government, with dynamic participation by our total community and region.

References and Sources of Report Data
 The summary report reflects the highlights of Board activities in 2009 as found in the Board’s monthly meeting minutes and other documents available on the Board’s Forum on the Access Fayetteville Web site (www.accessfayetteville.org). No quarterly evaluations were prepared, beyond those available in the quarterly reports of each of the PEG channels, which also are listed in the monthly meeting minutes on the board’s forum. No previous board reports were immediately available for reference regarding the City’s RFP process for CAT, or for use as templates for this annual report and the quarterly evaluations.

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