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

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