gmhTODAY 17 gmhToday Nov Dec 2017 - Page 21

Legislative IMPACTS In October, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1665, which actually lowered California’s standard for broadband performance from 25 megabit-per-second download speeds and three megabit-per-second upload speeds, to 6 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. Brown made the decision despite the advice of the California Public Utilities Commission to the FCC to maintain the higher standard. We’re using more powerful mobile devices and applications and generating more internet traffic; not just as consumers but as creators and publishers of content. We need a 21 st century communications infrastructure that delivers more speed, capacity, and reliability—not less— for downloads and uploads. Senate Bill 649 also made its way to Governor Brown’s desk in October. According to Mayor Tate, “It was a controversial bill that would have usurped the ability of California cities to locate and charge for the placement of cell equipment. The City of Morgan Hill supports advances in technology, but it shouldn’t be mandated that the telecom industry can just come in and do whatever they want. We wrote a letter of opposition, which the League of California Cities recommended, and we were up in Sacramento on the steps of the Capitol to rally against the bill. Governor Brown vetoed it, but there’s still work to be done.” Gilroy Mayor Roland Velasco said that while the City of Gilroy did not write a letter of opposition to SB 649, he shared Mayor Tate’s views on the matter. He added that, like Morgan Hill, Gilroy considers communications infrastructure a priority and a key driver of economic development. The bill would have prohibited local discretionary review of “small cell” wireless antennas, including equipment collocated on existing structures or located on new poles or structures, including those within the public right-of-way and buildings. It would also have preempted adopted local land use plans by mandating that “small cells” be allowed in all zones as a use by-right. The ink wasn’t dry on the Governor’s veto before analysts were speculating that a similar bill would surface next year. In light of the limited municipal authority we have, our communities should give careful consideration to policymaking and pursue opportunities to partner with others in local or regional broadband infrastructure development initiatives. South County gets a “D” in BROADBAND Based on a “report card” widely-used by Northern California agencies and cities to rate their broadband availability against a range of performance benchmarks, both Morgan Hill and Gilroy get a D grade while San Martin gets an F+. San Jose and other cities to the north and east generally get a C grade, matching the California average. Looking at primary broadband providers, the low grades for Morgan Hill and Gilroy have been attributed to a lack of consistent upgrades by Verizon to the legacy telephone system it operated before Frontier Communications took ownership in early 2016, and the below industry average cable infrastructure maintained by Charter Communications. San Martin, which is largely unserved by Charter, has had poor service from AT&T. As result, certain South County communities have experienced performance below state averages. South County commercial and industrial customers have fared less well than residential customers as their needs are more specialized and they don’t represent a mass market. There’s no doubt that our local leaders want to bring those grades up, as do the cities to the north and south who are working to improve their own. In a changing economic, technological and regulatory environment, South County has an opportunity to find new ways to work with primary broadband providers as well as secondary and specialty providers. It will be interesting to see what kind of roles and policies our cities develop to influence the advancement of our communications infrastructure. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 Where will we BE in 2021? Cisco Systems, one of the most respected and influential network solutions companies in Silicon Valley history, predicts the demand we’ll place on our broadband infrastructure within the next three years… • Worldwide internet traffic will reach an annual run rate of 3.3 Zettabytes. It took about 40 years to reach an annual run rate of one Zettabyte (2016). • There will be three times more internet-connected devices than people on the planet. • The average American will have 13.2 per devices and connections. • Over half of all devices and con- nections will involve machine-to- machine applications such as smart meters, video surveillance, health- care monitoring, transportation, and package or asset tracking. • Broadband speeds will nearly double (in capability, not necessar- ily delivery of service). • Wi-Fi and mobile devices will account for 73 percent of internet traffic. Wired networks will account for 37 percent of internet traffic. • Globally, there will be nearly 541.6 million public Wi-Fi hotspots, up from 94 million in 2016. • A million minutes of video content will cross the network every second. At that rate, it will take over 5 million years to watch the amount of video crossing the network per month. • Consumer Video-on-Demand (VoD) traffic will nearly double, equivalent to 7.2 billion DVDs per month. • Video surveillance will grow 15-fold. Source: 21