2008 COMMUNICATIONS POLICY
WHEREAS, mayors support the entry of traditional telephone companies into the video marketplace and the entry of traditional cable operators into the offering of voice services;and
WHEREAS, mayors, as the CEOs of local governments, which are themselves significant and sophisticated users of communications technology, eagerly anticipate the further conversion of voice, video and data services from analog to digital technology and the resulting increase in choice of providers, faster speeds and lower prices; and
WHEREAS, mayors recognize the increasing and vital role communications plays in both homeland and hometown security; and
WHEREAS, the Conference of Mayors’ advocacy efforts with Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Administration has been to highlight that the Federal government must:
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the United States Conference of Mayors’ advocacy efforts shall seek to achieve policies that:
• Preserve the local cable franchising scheme set out in 1984 federal Cable Act (and affirmed in 1992 and 1996) in which municipalities have the right to require all providers address each community’s needs in exchange for using our rights of way. Such authority must continue to empower localities with the authority to require as compensation for use of rights of way:
-Build-out to all residents, not just the most affluent;
-Adequate capacity for community channels, equipment and financial support, (The Cable Act should be amended to permit local governments to use PEG support for both capital and operating support.);
-“Institutional Networks” for use by local government for non-commercial purposes;
-Preservation of local police powers and consumer protections.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors acknowledges that the issue of net neutrality will be a central issue in any future communications or broadband policy efforts in the Congress, and the Conference through its Transportation and Communications Committee will examine these issues and develop a policy position for consideration by the Members.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors’ advocacy efforts shall be guided by these principles for the remainder of the 110th Congress, with the platform writing committees of the Democratic and Republican Parties, the 111th Congress and the 44th President of the United States.