FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION CABLE MODEM DECLARATORY ORDER

WHEREAS, The United States Conference of Mayors is eager to facilitate the timely roll out of competitive broadband services to every constituent in their communities; and

WHEREAS, The United States Conference of Mayors have a long and distinguished history of working in partnership with the cable television industry to provide access, first to cable television, and today access to broadband Internet access via cable modem services; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Communications Commission on March 15, 2002 issued a declaratory order finding that cable modem service offered over a cable system is an "interstate information service"; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Communications Commission simultaneously issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking raising a series of questions about how this interstate information service should be treated for purpose of public rights-of-ways access and other interactions with local communities and cable modem subscribers; and

WHEREAS, The United States Conference of Mayors recognizes that cities want to make sure that every citizen has access to the Internet for communications and education and underscores that cable modem will be the primary Internet service in the future; and

WHEREAS, cities cannot ensure that all citizens have access to this technology unless the service is provided under the universal coverage requirement of a franchise contract; and

WHEREAS, failure to recognize that cable modem services are a "cable service" will jeopardize consumer protection for cable modem services; and

WHEREAS, as well as $300 million in 2002 and billions of dollars of cable franchise fees in the years to come will be jeopardized; and

WHEREAS, the declaratory order comes at a time when local governments are being faced with tremendous additional costs in areas such as security following September 11th attacks; and

WHEREAS, local communities rely on this revenue to fund budgeted local projects such as street maintenance; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Communications Commission ruling robs local government of their rights to charge cable monopolies a fair rent for the use of public property; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Communications Commission is engaged in a proceeding to determine the implications of such a characterization on local government ability to manage access to rights-of-ways, charge cable franchise fees and provide consumer protection in the area of cable modem service; and

WHEREAS, The United States Conference of Mayors has joined with the National League of Cities, The National Association of Counties, The International Municipal Lawyers Association, and The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors to form the Alliance of Local Officials Against Preemption (ALOAP) to pursue legal and regulatory actions at the Federal Communications Commission, before the Congress and in the Federal Courts,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The Unites States Conference of Mayors calls upon the Federal Communications Commission to amend its characterization of cable modem service to be a cable service, returning to local government the ability to protect consumers as well as forcing cable to pay the rent it had agreed to for access to rights-of-ways; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors calls upon the Congress to affirm the important and necessary role that Local Franchising Authorities must play in the orderly and efficient deployment of cable modem services.