2003 Adopted Resolutions
71st Annual Meeting
Denver

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RESOLUTION IN OPPOSITION TO FEDERAL COMMUNICATION COMMISSION CABLE MODEM RULING

WHEREAS, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on March 14, 2002 issued an order that cable modem service is an "interstate information service" not a cable service; and

WHEREAS, such a finding is inconsistent with the law and common understanding between local governments and the cable industry, who together partnered to roll out broadband services to what will be more than ninety percent of homes served by cable by the end of 2003; and

WHEREAS, local government was not a silent partner in this broadband access effort. Local government actions included:

  • Granting cable companies access to rights-of-way to make the upgrades necessary to offer cable modem service;
  • Ensuring the universal availability of the services by mandating such coverage in cable franchises; sometimes at the expense of other benefits to the city in the franchise; and
  • Exercising forbearance on regulations regarding cable rate increases for cable since the cable operators were making necessary infrastructure upgrades to support cable modem service; and

WHEREAS, the FCC order has the potential to leave cable modem consumers without any consumer safeguards and deprive local government of approximately a billion dollars a year in franchise fees; and

WHEREAS, the United States Conference of Mayors has joined with its fellow local government advocates to create the Alliance of Local Officials Against Preemption (ALOAP), which has challenged this order at the FCC and in the Courts; and

WHEREAS, should ALOAP not achieve the required remedy to this issue at the FCC or in the Courts, it will need authorization to seek a legislative remedy,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors applauds the work of ALOAP and recommends that local governments support its efforts both financially and politically; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors, alone or in concert with ALOAP, investigate and if appropriate seek a legislative remedy to the challenges presented by the FCC's Cable Modem order as well as any other challenges to the rights of local government to manage its rights-of-way and be fairly compensated for the use of same.