Report on 2023-01-24 County Council Meeting

Try this link to see video of the meeting. Rather than watch it all, you can skip to these good parts:

  • 1:53:00 Melanee Hand makes a motion
  • 1:56:30 Councilor Lepsch asks to see it written
  • 2:34:34 Motion passes

Councilor Hand’s initial motion was very close to the motion that I suggested in email to the Council the day before the meeting. When Councilor Lepsch said that the motion was long and he’d like to see it written out, Councilor Hand explained that “It was provided to all of us in an email from Andrew Fraser.” In the time they spent discussing the issue and editing the motion, they made it clear that they think that broadband infrastructure is like roads in that the County builds them without expecting to recoup the capital investment by use fees.

Here is the motion that the County Council adopted:

I move that the Council adopt the policy position that high quality reliable telecommunication including broadband is an essential utility and the Council directs the County Manager on the following items:

  1. Develop and maintain knowledge about telecommunication services in the County, and report to the Council at least annually on the status of those services. Specifically explain how the County will reliably contact residents in an emergency.
  2. Pursue a procurement option for a Community Broadband Network (CBN). In that pursuit, note that the Council values the following characteristics listed in order of importance:

A. The option is likely to actually be implemented

B. The network should permit open access

C. The County should retain ownership or an option to obtain ownership of the basic infrastructure

D. The network should provide the option of fiber to the premise to any resident who subscribes

E. The network should be built promptly


Letter to Los Alamos County Council

Dear Councilors,

I see that broadband is on the agenda for your meeting on Tuesday. I’ve read the agenda item and the attachments. While I would be pleased if you simply took the Recommended Action of directing “[the] County Manager to pursue a procurement for an open access network operator […]”, that Recommended Action ignores the weakness of general telecommunication infrastructure in the County that the outage in December demonstrated, and it fails to give guidance about the values the Manager should consider in pursuing the procurement. I recommend that you adopt a stronger motion with wording such as the following:

I move that the Council adopt the policy position that high quality reliable telecommunication including broadband is an essential utility which is not adequate in the County now. The Council directs the County Manager as follows:

  1. Develop and maintain knowledge about telecommunication utilities in the County, and report to the Council at least annually on the status of those utilities. Specifically explain how the County will reliably contact residents in an emergency.
  2. Make the information thus collected available to County residents. That information should include service options and advice on how to respond to outages.
  3. Pursue a procurement option for a Community Broadband Network (CBN). In that pursuit, note that the Council values the following characteristics listed in order of importance:
    A. The option is likely to actually be implemented
    B. The network should permit open access
    C. The County should retain ownership or an option to obtain ownership of the basic infrastructure
    D. The network should provide the option of fiber to the premise to any resident who subscribes
    E. The network should be built promptly


The first paragraph of my proposed motion expands the charge to Staff to include telecommunication in general. During the outage in December residents did not get any information about what was happening. To date we haven’t heard a comprehensive explanation of what services were affected and why. Nor have we gotten advice about how to prepare for or how to deal with any such future event. Because the utility companies that we rely on don’t take responsibility, it’s necessary for the County to step up. Items 1. and 2. are more specific about the scope of that responsibility.

Item 3. mimics the Recommended Action in the agenda and in addition lists values that characterize success. I think that one of the reasons the broadband effort ten years ago failed was because Council specified the network characteristics too tightly. The action I recommend is much longer than the Recommended Action and has more details. However, I intend for it to avoid killing the project with micro-management by saying only that we value characteristics A. through E. My proposed action does not require that the procured option have any particular characteristics. Now I will comment on each of the valued characteristics:

  • A. We do not want an option that is not likely to be implemented.
  • B. We want open access because we support freedom, and less idealistically we expect the competition that it enables to improve the quality/price ratio. The business model of the County’s dominate ISP, Xfinity, is selling entertainment and engagement. We want to separate the means of communication from the content.
  • C. We want to avoid the possibility of a monopoly ever buying the infrastructure that we build.
  • D. Fiber is the best long term technology.
  • E. The Federal BEAD program is going to provide $42B to other communities for building broadband networks. Once those communities start spending that money, they will be competing with us for resources to build networks. We will have better cheaper options if we can start before then.

Thanks to each of you for serving on the County Council,

Andrew M. Fraser


Coffee with Jerry Smith

I met Jerry Smith, the Los Alamos County Broadband Manager, for coffee Thursday morning December 8.

Mr. Smith is about to finish his first year with the County. In January of 2021 the Los Alamos County Council set Improving access to high quality broadband as one of seven priorities in their Strategic Leadership plan. They kept broadband as a priority in their plan for 2022

  1. The priority was manifest in the budget for 2022 that Council approved in April of 2021. The budget included a one time line for broadband design services and a recurring line for a Broadband Manager. Responses to the initial posting were not satisfactory, it was re-posted, and the County issued a news release announcing the second posting. Ultimately Jerry Smith filled the position after Christmas in December last year.

Note the following two points from the news release announcing the second posting:

  • The Broadband Manager position will direct, plan and oversee the research, development, design, implementation, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Community Broadband System.
  • The Broadband Manager position will be aligned to provide successful and timely implementation of projects and initiatives in line with County Management and County Council strategic goals.

Smith was hired to get a Community Broadband System built, and he is supposed do it with direction from County Management and in alignment with County Council strategic goals. I think we are fortunate that the County was able to recruit Mr. Smith. He understands more clearly than anyone I know in the County (in particular me, County Management, and the Council) the technical, financial, and political options and constraints for getting better broadband for us.

A Spectrum of Local Network Solutions

When I asked to meet with Mr. Smith, I thought that he was probably writing applications for some of the state and federal funds for broadband that I’d vaguely heard something about. I was hoping that the County would combine those funds with money raised by issuing bonds to build a communication utility that would be operated by the Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities. That scenario would require approval at the ballot box by the citizens of the County of both the bonds and the creation of a new County Utility. Around the country I expect such elections to elicit well organized campaigns of opposition funded by the incumbent communication utilities. In part I wanted advice from Mr. Smith about how to campaign in support of such measures. I learned that the scenario I had imagined is not the most likely path to better broadband in Los Alamos.

As we started our conversation, Smith first emphasized that there is not just one path to a Community Broadband System, or in my words, Better Los Alamos Broadband (BLAB). There is a spectrum of options spread on an axis that one can think of as the degree of control and involvement that the County will have over the ongoing operation. Smith said that any satisfactory solution must provide open access. And while we didn’t talk about technical details, I think fiber to the premises is another requirement. Smith said that my idea that the Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities would ultimately operate a fiber network as a fifth utility is at one extreme of that spectrum. At the other end is contracting with a for-profit company to build, own, and operate a network in the County. Such a contract would share the financial risk and require open access. Some of the solutions that lie in between those options would have the County own the network, and leave the operation to an outside organization. Smith believes that a local presence for service by the operator will be a consideration.

Open Access

For Smith the term open access is key. By that, I think he means residents and businesses in the County can choose from ISPs that are competing to use the same fiber plant. (Perhaps I can address the relationship between Smith’s notion of open access and the notion of open access science in another post.) He said that since 2013, the last time the County explored BLAB, other communities have implemented solutions at various points along the spectrum, and that we can use their experience to inform our choices. He talked about details of solutions several of those communities have used. I had heard about some of them before, and others were new to me. I may post a list with links in a subsequent post. Smith expects the County leadership to guide the option or options to pursue along the spectrum.

The Middle Mile

For many years leadership in Los Alamos used the absence of a middle mile solution to excuse delay in addressing BLAB. There is capacity available in the fiber that Lumen operates for LANL that crosses the Rio Grande at Buckman (failure of that link caused the December telecom blackout in Los Alamos), and I believe that all local ISPs either contract to use that fiber or use satellite links. Since Lumen has a monopoly, the prices are not attractive. Some time before Mr. Smith joined the County Staff, LANL began pursuing a redundant fiber link off of the hill. I had heard that PNM was going to allow fiber to run along side a new high voltage connection across the Rio Grand, and that the County would be able to participate. Mr. Smith explained that that solution may not be viable. He is working on alternatives that include a partnership with San Ildefonso and fiber through the Jemez.


While I had hoped that the County could combine our own money with state and federal money to build BLAB, I feared that we would not qualify for those programs because the service that Xfinity claims to offer would be deemed good enough. In a brief encounter with Representative Chandler some weeks ago, she explained that more severely under-served areas were the targets of her legislation. Smith confirmed that what Xfinity claims to offer will likely imperil our eligibility for either the state or federal programs. He explained that the FCC has a map that documents what broadband service is available anywhere in the US. The time window for challenging that map will close soon. As it stands the map makes us ineligible.

Here are links to the federal program BEAD, the NM program and the FCC map.

I don’t know exactly how Smith thinks the County can fund BLAB.

Community Engagement

In his first year Mr. Smith has made some public presentations. By Zoom I attended presentations to the County Council and the League of Women Voters. I also attended the Community Broadband Forum in October at which the agenda was

  • Listen to community members experience with internet speed and reliability,
  • Answer questions about the survey/speed tests, and
  • Discuss the project’s next steps.

I wish more people had shown up for that. If I am more concerned about community support for BLAB than Mr. Smith, it may be because it’s appropriate given our roles. I am a BLAB advocate, and he is a County employee.

What’s Urgent

  • The opportunity to challenge the FCC broadband map ends January 13, 2023. A Google search on January 13 FCC map yields a host of articles encouraging citizens to check the map. Smith sent me a Tip Card that lists the following reasons one can challenge the map:
    • Correct services or reported speeds that are not available for purchase.
    • Report a provider denial of a request for service or demand for connection charges that exceed its standard installation charge.
    • Report provider failure to schedule an installation within 10 business days of a request for service or failure to perform the installation.
  • When the $42B federal BEAD money gets awarded and begins to be spent, the market for resources necessary to build broadband projects will shift in sellers’ favor. We should get our project started before that happens.
  • The County Council presentation by Jerry Smith and representatives from the consultant, CTC, anticipated to be on the council agenda for January 24 will include results from the broadband survey. To be effective we, citizens who advocate for BLAB, should convey our concerns to Councilors before that meeting.

My Prepared Questions

Since the questions that I prepared were in part misguided, I have
left recounting them to the end of this post.

Q: What are your goals?

A: Smith wants to build open access broadband over fiber to the premises in Los Alamos County.

Q: What are you working on?

A: Funding, middle mile solutions, relationships with vendors who could build and perhaps operate a fiber plant in Los Alamos County, and community engagement.

Q: What can I do to help?

A: Perhaps invite speakers to educate the public.

Q: What kind of support from the community would help?

A: See above. Smith emphasizes educating the community more than advocacy.

Q: What were the results of the survey?

A: Smith doesn’t know yet because CTC, the consulting organization, is late getting the results. That’s in part because Patrick Mulhearn, the consultant assigned to Los Alamos, has left CTC.

Q: I sort of folded together the three questions about communication, namely: Answering questions from the public; Connecting with the County Council; Creating a board or commission.

A: My notion of communication involves advocacy, and I think Smith is reluctant to participate in advocacy.

Q: Have you thought about buying Lumen’s local phone business? I thought that would be a way to get the County into the communication utility business slowly, and that from there we could improve service incrementally.

A: Smith says vendors don’t want small projects. Rather than taking an incremental approach, doing a big project all at once will be easier to manage, and the result will be better and cheaper.


Telecommunication Blackout

I plan to attend the Los Alamos County Council meeting tomorrow, 2022-12-13, and read the following as a public comment:

Over the weekend Los Alamos County suffered a broad telecommunications failure for more than 24 hours. It is not clear to me how broad or dangerous that failure was. However I believe that it was both broad and dangerous. Both local news outlets were down till Monday morning. During the outage the only way I found to connect to the outside world was to drive to Ashley Pond and use the public WiFi there. Even with that connection, no information about the outage was available.

Telecom is a utility and natural monopoly. Utilities are classic examples of enterprises that are best provided by government or heavily regulated. In the past government regulation made sure telephone service was universally available and highly reliable. As technology has made twisted pair copper phone service obsolete, policy at the federal level has made regulation of telecom almost impossible. The alternative is local government ownership or at least control of local telecom.

As a step in the right direction, Los Alamos County recently created the position of Broadband Manager, and Jerry Smith is working to provide you options for addressing the issue in the long term. I hope the weekend outage stiffens your resolve to actually implement a long term solution. In the mean time, I ask that you direct staff to track telecom failures here and provide timely information and guidance to the public. I believe that if the outage had been in a utility managed by the County DPU, we would have gotten more prompt information about what was happening and how to respond.

Again, I thank each of you for serving on the Council.


Test Markdown

This blog,, is my first and only blog. I set it up two years ago to support a petition to the Los Alamos County Council. It took quite a lot of time to select tools and set them up. The SpeakOut! plugin for WordPress worked out. However, I don’t like editing the posts in a GUI. So today I am trying out the Import Markdown plugin for WordPress. I plan to edit posts on my desktop computer and upload them to the blog.

Markup Languages

One feature that I like about markup languages is definition lists. Here are some of the tools that I’ve used for writing:

I used roff on an IBM 360-91 to write a paper on punch cards for an undergraduate history class. It didn’t go well.
I used troff and ditroff with macro packages on a Ridge-32 computer for a couple of papers for course work in graduate school.
The first scientific paper I published was written in MacWrite, a WYSIWYG tool. I decided that I prefer markup languages, and reverted to ditroff for my second publication.
I wrote my third publication in LaTeX. Using a LaTeX dissertation style, I combined that paper with my two previous publications to make my dissertation. I’ve used LaTeX ever since.
I have some experience writing computer code documentation with markdown. I like the idea, and I’m going to try it for the blog.

Using the Tools

Since markdown isn’t WYSIWYG, I’ll use local tools to preview my posts. Here is the whole sequence for getting this posted to

  1. Use a text editor to create
  2. Preview the document.
    • Make html: pandoc -s --metadata title="Testing Markdown" -o test.html
    • View the result with firefox firefox test.html. Sublists of the numbered list don’t look right here, but they are OK when imported into WordPress.
  3. Upload to using the GUI plugin Import Markdown.
    • From the menu on the right click Markdown/Import
    • Click on browse to select the file
    • Click on Upload file and import
    • Click on “here” in You can edit it here.
  4. Oops, I don’t like some of how that looks. I guess it’s OK that it doesn’t immediately post it. I’ll put the title in by hand using the GUI.
  5. Edit on my desktop computer, and in the WordPress GUI choose Parsedown Extra from the Markdown/Options menu. Remove double spaces and line breaks in the source which the importer translates to line breaks in the displayed text.
  6. Try uploading again, and success!

Jerry Smith and I Schedule a Meeting

There was an announcement in December of 2021 that Jerry Smith would take the position of Los Alamos County Broadband Manager. I wrote to Jerry, congratulated him and offered to meet after he started. He replied and said he would like to meet. Twelve months later we agreed to meet for coffee on 2022-12-08.

I will post a report on the meeting after I’ve had time to collect my thoughts. Here are the notes that I wrote to myself to prepare for the meeting:

  • What are your goals? Ideally I’d like Los Alamos County to add to the DPU a communication utility that would run fiber to any home in the County that wanted it. I suspect you have similar goals, but I’m not sure.
  • What are you working on?
  • What can I do to help?
  • What kind of support from the community would help? I think we may need a bond election. To add a communication utility to the DPU would require an election to amend the County Charter. Opinion pieces in the paper and letters to the editor might help prepare the voters for such elections. Do you expect opposition campaigns funded by incumbent telecoms?
  • What were the results of the survey?
  • Can you or other County Staff answer questions about broadband? I have a small list of folks who exchange email about supporting Better Los Alamos BroadBand. They have questions and ideas. Could the County provide a venue for such questions? Perhaps put them on a blog and then you address ones that are worth your time?
  • How well are you connected to County Council? Do you speak to Councilors outside of Council meetings? Have you attended any of the Monday Leadership meetings?
  • Would a board or commission be helpful?
  • Have you thought of buying Lumen’s local phone business?

Suggestions for the Broadband Survey

I was encouraged by the broadband presentation on Tuesday June 30. Both the County’s Broadband Manager, Jerry Smith, and the CTC consultant, Patrick Mulhearn, were knowledgeable and well prepared.

While we should avoid running an obvious push survey, I’d like to use the survey to get the community thinking about issues like privacy, censorship and total budget. The survey is part of an effort to find how County staff can support better broadband for Los Alamos County. To do that, it should tell us:

  • What ISP and other communication services are currently used in Los Alamos County
  • How much members of the community are currently paying for services
  • How satisfied residents are with current service
  • What present and future needs are

I offer the following suggestions on the survey as an advocate for broadband in Los Alamos who is a knowledgeable interested citizen rather than an expert.

  1. Put a link to the online survey in each of the roughly 8,000 utility bills the DPU sends out. Cover either a sample of or all of the small number who can’t/won’t use an online survey from home by hand-holding at the Municipal building.
  2. Allow people to say that they object to County involvement in broadband. Q: Check all that you agree with:
    1. For profit utilities will provide appropriate communication services and Los Alamos County government should minimize its role in the business.
    2. I am satisfied with my current ISP.
    3. Los Alamos County should at least have staff expertise in broadband and electronic communication to oversee franchise agreements and support development of broadband options for the community.
    4. I want Los Alamos County to actively participate in the broadband utility market.
  3. Ask how easy it is to find availability and pricing information.
  4. Get enough information about each users ISP contract to enable the County to start providing information about what’s available to the public.  Q: If you don’t have Internet service skip to the next question.
    1. What is the name of your ISP?
    2. What speeds does your ISP claim they provide up/down?
    3. How much is your ISP bill per month?
    4. Does that bill include other services, eg, modem rental, phone, cable?
    5. What is the duration of your ISP contract?
  5. Get information about the rest of the electronic communication/content budget.  Q: For each service listed here: Indicate if you have the service; How much you pay for the service per month; If it is part of a package:
    1. Landline telephone
    2. Cell-phone (total number and total cost per month)
    3. Cable television
    4. Streaming service, eg, Netflix
    5. News and magazines, eg, Wall Street Journal
    6. Other services delivered electronically
  6. Compare your experience with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities to your experience with your ISP.
  7. Do you trust your ISP with respect to: Privacy; Censorship; Pricing

My Public Comment at the 2022-06-28 County Council Meeting

My name is Andrew Fraser. I live at 197 Taos Street in Los Alamos.  I’ve read Mr. Smith’s slides and the draft survey in the attachments to the agenda. It is critical to do the survey well.  I want to focus on the following three broadband issues:

1. Privacy
2. Censorship and
3. Pricing

With respect privacy, let me ask if after sending email about your vacation in Europe does it bother you to see more adds about ways to spend money in Europe? Beyond reading your email, ISPs can record and monetize the sequence of WEB sites you visit.

With respect to censorship, recall the fuss about net-neutrality a few years ago. ISPs were giving preferential treatment to the traffic in which they had financial interests.  Now, Fox-News does not provide a platform for Nancy Pelosi, and Twitter doesn’t provide a platform for Donald Trump, but Trump and Pelosi can both use the Post Office without any trouble. Fox-News is not a common-carrier and the Post Office is. What about Twitter, and what about your ISP?  I don’t know about Twitter, but I think an ISP should be a common-carrier.

With respect to pricing, I find the DPU rate schedule pretty clear, but I have found it difficult to get firm information about what broadband options are available. That’s the kind of behavior an economist would expect from a discriminating monopolist.

In summary, I would like the survey to ask:

  1. Do you trust that your current ISP respects your privacy?
  2. Do you trust your current ISP to act as a common-carrier?
  3. Do your trust your current ISP to be open, honest and fair about pricing?

Thank you for your attention.


Upcoming County Council Presentation and Community Survey

The effort to get better broadband access in Los Alamos County needs community input now. Please show up at the next County Council meeting in person or via the link. The meeting starts at 6:00 PM on Tuesday June 28, and the presentation “Community Broadband Network Study Progress Update” is item B on the agenda.

  • Ultimately I want Los Alamos County to own communication infrastructure (fiber).
  • However in the interim and even if we never own such infrastructure, I want County staff to be responsible for supporting access to affordable high quality broadband by members of the community.

Yesterday Akkana Peck alerted me by email that Jerry Smith, the County Broadband Manager, will make his presentation to the County Council this week. You can see the slides here  and a draft of a survey for the community is here.  Akkana’s email noted that Mr. Smith’s slides may overestimate what’s available in the County, and they suggest a reduced interest in County owned fiber. I share her concerns.

While members of the community can influence the future of broadband in Los Alamos by contacting the Council at, the survey may be more important. The ISP (Internet Service Provider) business intersects with other electronic communication (cell phone, land line, TV, etc.) and content businesses. The survey should touch on all of that. I believe the goals of the survey are: Find out what electronic communication people are using now; Find out what they use it for; Find out what the County can/should do to help; Get people thinking about what the County can/should do to help.

Here are some thoughts about each of those goals:

* Find out what electronic communication people are using now.

Questions 3 and 5 of the draft ask who is your primary ISP and what do you pay. We should find out about the whole electronic communication business in the County: Broadband; Cell Phone; TV; Streaming Content; Newspaper and Information Service Subscriptions; etc.  In addition to price, we should ask about the quality of service. I believe that I have used four different ISPs in the 17 years I’ve lived in Los Alamos. In each case: I got speed test results that fluctuated over the course of each day; The service sometimes stopped entirely; And with the exception of LA-Net, contacting customer service was difficult and unpleasant.

I know of families that drop service every year and have a different family member restart it with a new name to get introductory pricing. As a consumer, I find it difficult to discover the availability and pricing of broadband service. I would like for the County to post such information. We could use this survey to get started on that.

From anywhere else I access my home network on LA-Net via That would violate the terms of service of some other ISPs. I know others use techniques to watch some content in violation of their terms of service. The survey should ask if people find their terms of service onerous and if they honor them.

* Find out what they use it for.

Question 6 asks if the ISP fee includes TV and/or phone, and question 7 asks about several use purposes. While the questions are adequate, I feel they miss some cases. For example, I know people who use the Internet to work (mostly writing code) either for a single employer or on contracts thousands of miles away. And although I’m retired, I’m working on a technical book and attending technical meetings (in person and remotely). Scientists rely on the Internet almost continuously for information. The options in question 7., “Connecting to work” or “Running a home business”, don’t seem to fit. I think “Professional activity” is a better description. And of course there should be a place to say that one operates a blog.

* Find out what the County can/should do to help.

While I want the County to install fiber to the premises, there are other needs. In particular, I noticed during remote Council meetings, that at least one Councilor said that the poor quality of the connection was due to weak infrastructure at home. We should think about how to help people with their home networks.

* Get people thinking about what the County can/should do to help.

I have neighbors who oppose any County involvement in broadband. One opposes government in general, and the other thinks he’s getting a great deal from Xfinity. The survey should ensure that such views are easy to express.

I (an unbiased former Chair of the Board of Public Utilities) think that the County does a good job delivering the other (not broadband) utilities. The survey should ask people to compare the quality of service from the County DPU to the service that they get from their ISP.

Other utilities in the US are either government owned (like our DPU) or regulated as monopolies. The survey should ask if people agree that broadband is a utility, and then ask if it should be: 1. Owned by government; 2. Regulated as a utility; 3. Be subject to market competition; 4. None of the above (the current situation).


Broadband Manager Presentation to the County Council

Council Chair Ryti told me that Jerry Smith, the County Broadband Manager, would give a presentation to the County Council at their June 14th meeting entitled “Community Broadband Network Study Progress Update”, but the presentation is not on the most recent agenda. I watched the recording of Mr. Smith’s lunch presentation to the League of Women Voters in March which is available online, and I was pleased to see that he understands the technology and the current funding opportunities.

To prepare for Mr. Smith’s presentation, a small group of us have exchanged some email. As a result, I have the following observations and questions:

  1. Question for Mr. Smith: Do you believe that you have been assigned the task of establishing a County owned community broadband network? If not, what are your tasks?
  2. Question for Council: What do you want Mr. Smith to do?
  3. Question for Mr. Smith: What projects are the County pursuing that are eligible for federal and or state funds?
  4. I have heard that Comcast has installed fiber to each neighborhood in the County, and I have seen a map of Redinet fiber in the County. Question for Mr. Smith: Does anyone at the County (you?) know what telecommunication infrastructure exists in the County?
  5. I have heard both that the County can’t provide broadband service till it has a path off of the hill and that all of Internet traffic in the County now goes via a link owned by Lumen that crosses the Rio Grande at Buckman.   I’ve also heard that that link has plenty of capacity. Question for Mr. Smith: Which if any of those claims are true?
  6. I have heard that fiber conduit is not routinely installed either in new developments or when roads are dug up for other utilities. Question for Mr. Smith: Is that true? Is that a mistake?
  7. I would like to have the County discover and publish information about the broadband options that are currently available to County residents. As a consumer, I find it difficult to discover the technology and pricing that’s available. Question for Mr. Smith: How difficult would it be for the County to discover and publish such information? (I would not want the effort to discover such information to distract from pursuing projects that have a limited funding window.)