General Telecommunications Information and Associations
- APPA - Community Broadband - The American Public Power Association has a Web page devoted to issues involving public broadband deployment. Though some articles are only available to organization members, much of the info is public.
- FTTH -- Fiber to the Home Council - The Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council is an association of companies comprising telecommunications, computing, networking, applications, and content and service providers. Their mission is to educate, promote, and accelerate FTTH and the resulting quality-of-life enhancements.
- National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) Link added 3/09
- TechWeb - The IT Network - For those of you who like to keep up with not only telecommunications, but also the many computer, internet and related technology issues, this site appears to cover it all in brief, up-to-date articles: new developments, financial information, political issues, global perspectives.
- TeleCommUnity - The Local Government Telecommunications Alliance - TeleCommUnity is an alliance of local governments and their associations which are attempting to refocus attention in Washington on the principles of federalism and civility for local government interests in telecommunications.
- Washington Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors - Washington State chapter of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.
Regional and City Telecommunications Sites
- Austin, Texas City Connection - Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs (TARA) - This site provides access to telecom ordinances and rights-of-way regulation in this progressive city.
- Denver, Colorado, Office of Telecommunications.
- Greater Metro Telecommunications Consortium (GMTC) - The GMTC is a board of local government representatives comprised of 28 communities in the greater Denver area. The consortium has developed and posted model documents, including franchise agreements, ROW ordinances and wireless ordinances, all of which are relevant to local government nationwide.
- Metropolitan Area Communications Commission - This organization serves suburban and rural areas west and south of Portland, OR, and deals primarily with cable issues. There are many documents and links available through the site.
- Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission - Portland/Multnomah County intergovernmental cable commission (consisting of Portland (OR), Multnomah County, and 5 other jurisdictions.)
- Portland, Oregon, Office for Community Technology - Includes information on broadband and communications policy and cable regulation and consumer protection.
- Seattle Office of Cable Communications
- Tacoma's Click! Network - This site explains the history, services available, and construction progress on Tacoma Power's cable system, which now offers subscribers the ability to use their TVs to access the Internet and send E-mail.
- Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors - This site provides access to sample cable franchises and related documents from Texas jurisdictions.
PEG (Public Access, Education, Government) Channels
- Alliance for Community Media - The Alliance represents the interests of over 1,000 public, educational and governmental ("PEG") access organizations (generally known as "public access") and public access internet centers throughout the country. This is a great site to start at when investigating the role and potential of PEG stations.
- Comet Network ListServe - The Comet Network ListServe is designed for government access programmers to share information and exchange ideas. If you want to check out what equipment other operations are using, if others are experiencing the same technical problems you are having or just looking for some problem solving inspiration, this is the place!
- GATV Government Access TV Stations Institute - Nonprofit source for information on government access TV issues. Its mission is to promote Government Access Television to city communities through the use of television, the Internet, and other electronic media that, in turn, will encourage community spirit, educational progress, and local government support.
- K-20 Education Network - Here is an introduction to Washington's impressive K-20 Network, a fiber backbone connecting and serving the educational institutions of the State of Washington.
Cellular Towers and Antennae Siting
- Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) - The CTIA maintains a Web site which is sponsored by about 100 wireless telecommunications companies. This Website can help you access tons of information concerning the wireless industry. The site includes summaries of cases involving antenna siting disputes. The information is updated on a regular basis.
- Scenic America - This national nonprofit membership organization is dedicated to protecting natural beauty and distinctive community character. Their web site has a section devoted to Telecommunications Towers, and they sell some excellent brochures and short publications that can help to educate local elected officials.
- Rural Development Telecommunications Program, maintained by USDA, Rural Development. This site provides access to information and ideas for how telecommunications infrastructure and universal service requirements encourage and promote Economic development in rural areas of the country.
- Benton Foundation - Wireless Communications - The Benton Foundation is a non-profit organization which provides access to documents related to national telecommunications issues. The site is updated frequently.
- MuniWireless.com: Reports on municipal wireless and broadband projects - This is a good place to start if you need to research options for providing wireless options for your community.
- PlanWireless is a newsletter devoted to telling local governments what the wireless industry isnt telling them. PlanWireless is published by Kreines & Kreines, Inc., a consulting firm in California that helps cities and counties plan for cellular towers. Kreines & Kreines, Inc. doesnt work for the wireless industry. Ted Kreines has assisted several cities and counties in the State of Washington.
Telecommunications Funding Resources
- Technology Grant News - identifies public and private sector funding sources for your program initiatives. It costs to subscribe, but if you obtain a grant the expense would be well worth the cost.
- Verizon Foundation - Verizon Foundation supports programs that create innovative eSolutions, help bridge the digital divide, foster basic and computer literacy, help enrich communities, and create a skilled workforce. Consider this funding option when planning how to develop your telecommunications infrastructure.
Law Firms Specializing in Telecommunications
- Baller Herbst Law Group - This firm, with offices in Minneapolis and D.C., represents local governments on telecommunications issues. Firm attorneys are frequent lecturers at national conferences. The "Library" section of the site is where they post their articles -- good stuff!
- Federal Communications Bar Association - Most members of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the FCBA are private attorneys representing telecom providers. However, there are a few public agency members. The local chapter holds occasional social gatherings and periodic substantive meetings in the Seattle area. If you are curious regarding the costs and the benefits of joining, check out the FCBA web site or call Jim Doherty at MRSC.
- Best Best & Krieger (formerly Miller & Van Eaton, P.L.L.C.) - This law firm specializes in FCC regulatory work, and represents local governments on telecommunications issues. Joe Van Eaton has been a popular speaker at local government conferences focusing on telecommunications issues.
- Municipal Communications Law - This is the web site of Brian Grogan, a Minnesota attorney with the Moss & Barnett firm. Mr. Grogan is a frequent speaker at telecommunications conferences, and his materials provide good, basic advice on the primary telecom and cable issues.
Private Telecommunications Firms
- Center for Municipal Solutions - This is a private web site run by a municipal telecom consultant firm. Their section on wireless antenna siting provides good information and perspective.
- CityNet Telecommunications - This is the company that has been stringing fiber through the sewer systems of a growing number of cities throughout the USA. This alternative way of providing fiber in downtown areas is comparatively cheap and certainly less disruptive.
- Stealth Concealment Solutions, Inc. - This private company can let you know what type of antenna concealment is being done around the country, and the cost. Their Web site shows some examples of new technology and creativity.
- TCS International, Inc. is a North Carolina-based corporation that provides consulting & management services to municipalities and to both the telecommunication and public utility industries. Specializing in cable television, TCS International offers a wide range of services. Their Web site contains information regarding their services and a list of the cities that they have assisted. (For cities trying to develop broadband options, this firm might provide assistance. JAD)
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