76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008
Miami

2008 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

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:

  • Recognize and respect the inherent police powers of local governments and city’s right to manage and charge for the use of the public right-of-way;

  • Require that new technologies bear the same social obligations as the services they seek to replace such as supporting E-911 services, universal service;

  • Appreciate the neighborhood-by-neighborhood expertise local government brings to overseeing the social obligations, including public safety, broadband deployment, and preventing economic redlining;

  • Homeland and hometown security require the dedication of interference free dedicated interoperable spectrum for first responders; and

  • Mayors are grateful to the many leaders in Congress that continue to distinguish a tax from a fee for benefit rendered, such as use of the rights-of-way.

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.

  • Respect local governments’ ability to control the rights-of-way and regulate the actions of providers who reside in the city’s rights-of-way.

  • Require that new technologies bear the same social obligations as the services they seek to replace such as supporting E-911 services, universal service;

  • Oppose any preemption of state and local governments’consumer protection laws and zoning authority, and wireless providers, like their competitors, should be subject to local fair business practices and local cell tower siting authority;

  • Encourage competition among multiple IP service providers;

  • Resist attempts to auction for private purposes the so called D-Block of 700 MHz spectrum earmarked for state and local public safety and to properly fund the operations of the Public Safety Spectrum Trust;

  • Fund and assist establish national standards for interoperable public safety standards for first responders;

  • Preserve and extend municipal government authority to provide communications services to their constituents;and

  • Enact legislation to treat Internet commerce in the same manner as main street vendors.

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.