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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

CenturyLink Says City Regulations on Utility Cabinets Hinder Broadband Upgrades

Posted by on Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 2:47 PM

CenturyLink would like Seattle to loosen its rules regarding installation of utility cabinets on public right of way.
  • Bidgee | Wikimedia commons
  • CenturyLink says that Seattle's tough rules regarding installation of utility cabinets on public right of way makes it impossible to deliver faster broadband.

In this week's paper I make the case for using Seattle City Light's coming "smart meter" rollout as an opportunity for building a fast, city-owned broadband system. Read the piece and tell me what you think. But as is often the case with print, there just weren't enough column inches available to tell the entire story—for example, CenturyLink's ongoing dispute with the city over the way it regulates the installation of utility cabinets like the one pictured above.

Generally installed in twos or threes in alleys or on planting strips, these four-foot high metal cabinets can be an eyesore and a nuisance. But CenturyLink says they are also necessary to provide the upgraded broadband services many neighborhoods say they want. Under current permitting rules, CenturyLink must receive written permission from the property owner abutting the proposed utility cabinet, plus at least 60 percent of the property owners within 100 feet of the proposed site. Due to its inability to meet these city permitting requirements, CenturyLink says it has been forced to abandoned 60 projects over the past few years that would have provided high-speed broadband to an additional 21,000 Seattleites.

On the other hand, these utility cabinets can be an eyesore and a nuisance. Would you want CenturyLink to have the unilateral authority to install these cabinets on your planting strip? Probably not.

So what can be done? CenturyLink is free to bury these installations under the street, but says that's too expensive. They can also pay homeowners to install the cabinets on private land. That costs money too. Instead CenturyLink, along with some frustrated consumers, are asking the city council to create a trial project on Beacon Hill that would suspend the rule and replace it with a public notice and comment period (like we already have for land use developments ) on new utility cabinet installations in the area.

"It fixes the immediate issue by creating more competition in underserved neighborhoods," says Robert Kangas of Uptun.org, a neighborhood group dedicated toward advocating for faster broadband service and more competition throughout the city. Kangas lives in one of those underserved neighborhoods on Beacon Hill, where his broadband choices essentially consist of cable provider Wave (formerly Broadstripe) or nothing. Kangas says that sometimes he gets 16 Mbps service, but during peak periods, often much slower. "Some nights I can’t even adequately stream Netflix," complains Kangas. For this he says he pays a combined $195/month to Wave for voice, broadband, and cable TV.

Kangas says that CenturyLink had wanted to upgrade service in his area, but couldn't get the necessary 60 percent of property owners to agree. "Abstainers count as no votes," says Kangas, who explains that the biggest hurdle is simply getting homeowners to reply. That's why he and his organization support CenturyLink's request for a trial project that would loosen these rules.

And it's not just Beacon Hill where CenturyLink provides little competition to the monopoly cable franchise. "We get complaints out of Magnolia and Beacon Hill and the Rainier Valley," says council president Tim Burgess. "CenturyLink provides service in my neighborhood," says Burgess, a Queen Anne resident, "but it is inferior to what Comcast offers ... I wish I had more options."

As I write in this week's paper, one of those options could be a city-owned fiber-optic network that would not just provide competition for high-speed broadband, but for voice and cable TV as well. But that would take years to build. And it needn't be exclusive from adjusting the rules to allow CenturyLink to upgrade its network faster.

"We see this as an iterative step," says Kangas.

Personally, I start from a place of being dubious of corporate demands for easier access to public resources, but I'm not familiar enough with either side of this question to take one position or another. That said, it certainly seems like a question the council should take up and address.

 

Comments (50) RSS

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Dougsf 1
Same thing here in SF. FiOS boxes were met by NIMFY's at every step. I wish broadband would just become a city utility, or the city would worth with carriers to find another way to make it more accessible.
Posted by Dougsf on January 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM · Report this
Dougsf 2
"work" with
Posted by Dougsf on January 22, 2014 at 2:52 PM · Report this
3
Goldy, you have a good grasp of the issue here. Just one correction: I'm not the founder, I'm just a member... I just happen to be the one dealing with the press. :)

-Robert
Posted by DigitalSingularity on January 22, 2014 at 2:59 PM · Report this
Fnarf 4
It's a piece of street furniture like any other. It can be useful to set things on when you're waiting for a bus or talking to someone. You can even use one as a (high, but usable) desk for writing or reading.

Something that is functional is not an eyesore. In that picture, the eyesore is the vast plot of patchy weeds and grass, not the utility box.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 22, 2014 at 3:01 PM · Report this
5
Let's hope the city fixes this quickly. Seems like a stupid rule that's holding back faster broadband.
Posted by Akbar31 on January 22, 2014 at 3:09 PM · Report this
MiraL 6
Goldy: The issue is that the city doesn't apply the rule the same way to all providers. They do not apply the Director’s rule to cable projects. Comcast and Wave can place at grade equipment by filing a tradition permit application – none of the Director’s rule requirements or community outreach is required. The proposal is to change that so that there is a level playing field amongst providers. The rule for at grade cabintes should be based on site priorities (e.g. easements first, alleyways second, pole mounted, etc.) and set mitigation requirements (i.e. wraps or landscaping). The trigger should be based on cabinet/equipment size rather than a specific technology or provider.
Posted by MiraL on January 22, 2014 at 3:19 PM · Report this
fletc3her 7
I wouldn't mind having one in the corner of my yard if it meant I got much faster internet.
Posted by fletc3her on January 22, 2014 at 3:19 PM · Report this
8
C'mon Goldy. If the city doesn't need permission to bond for and build a welfare sports facility for some 1%ers, then why would they need anyone's permission to put up a metal box?
Posted by hmmmmm on January 22, 2014 at 3:22 PM · Report this
meanie 9
Private company complains that it has to pay market rates for land or access, and wants a subsidy from the city so they can make money easier.

Most of these old cabinet's are empty, they were designed and built around having thousands of pairs of copper wire in them, and are pretty much vacant today. Century link doesn't want to economize what they have, they want a new giveaway to make it cheaper, because new deployments have lower costs.

That said the city doing its actual job, and coming up with some guidelines on a size of cabinet that's not an eyesore or obstruction that doesn't require approval seems like a good fit.
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on January 22, 2014 at 3:25 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 10
Obviously we need to call these Big Bertha's and then the city will bend over backwards to get them.

At ten times the normal price.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 22, 2014 at 3:26 PM · Report this
11
@4: In talks with CenturyLink, they said they're offering to landscape around these boxes. They've also talked about using graffiti-resistant wraps that could incorporate artwork. Personally, I don't mind being able to tell that the box in my neighborhood is providing my internet services. It'd honestly be more of an eyesore if it was up on a utility pole (Beacon Hill already has plenty of crap cluttering up my sky).
Posted by DigitalSingularity on January 22, 2014 at 3:26 PM · Report this
12
@9: Care to offer any proof?
Posted by DigitalSingularity on January 22, 2014 at 3:28 PM · Report this
13
@10: Silly! Big Berthas are underground, which is exactly what the city is trying to do with these! They will be ten times the normal price and create massive digs in our neighborhoods.
Posted by Akbar31 on January 22, 2014 at 3:29 PM · Report this
14
@13 More Big Berthas for some, tiny American flags for all!
Posted by DigitalSingularity on January 22, 2014 at 3:38 PM · Report this
Goldy 15
@3 Fixed!
Posted by Goldy on January 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM · Report this
16
my electric utility pays rent on their footprint of their pole and their support wire on my property.

'tis a pittance, but - Japan FTW!
Posted by weakly on January 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM · Report this
Fnarf 17
@11, landscaping is almost always a bigger eyesore than not. It's usually ugly, and always gets worse as time goes on, with dead plants, weeds coming up, garbage collecting around it, and so on. Most of the publicly landscaped land around rights-of-way look like hell. I wouldn't be surprised if the patchy weeds in that picture were decoratively landscaped once upon a time.

City land should have buildings on it.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 22, 2014 at 3:48 PM · Report this
18
@17: City land should have buildings on it? we're talking about parking strips, alley ways, etc, not giant parcels that could hold houses or apartment buildings.
Posted by DigitalSingularity on January 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM · Report this
19
CenturyLink isn't planning to offer gigabit speeds with these boxes. Not saying they're good or bad, but they're no substitute for a municipal broadband system with 1 gig per second up and down.
Posted by junipero on January 22, 2014 at 3:58 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 20
@4,

I wish there were more objects like that on city streets. Sometimes you just need to set your coffee down on something while you tie your shoe.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 22, 2014 at 4:03 PM · Report this
21
@19: They do offer gigabit services in some buildings, but you're right, it's not common. We're arguing the requirements should be loosened while the city pursues its long-term goals here.

Let's face it, building out a municipal broadband network is likely to take years... the rest of us need better options now.

And... for the current providers of gigabit services, the subscription rate for these ultra-fast services is really low. The average consumer is probably using 20-30 megabits / second. Even when we start talking about 4k resolution TV streaming, it's going to require something like 50 megabits a second. It's going to be a long time before the average consumer is actually going to be using a full gigabit a second. http://bgr.com/2013/09/26/netflix-4k-str…
Posted by DigitalSingularity on January 22, 2014 at 4:09 PM · Report this
Fnarf 22
@18, look at that picture again. That's at least an acre of waste ground.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 22, 2014 at 4:16 PM · Report this
Gus 23
Perhaps they could make them less hideous.

I wouldn't want that thing where I could see it from my house. It's not that it's a box, it's that it's a really, really ugly box. Planting flowers around it won't help.

Yes, less hideous would be more expensive. But let's not pretend that the only solution is to put these hideous boxes around, and that the people who oppose it are holding back progress. That's just the cheapest solution.
Posted by Gus on January 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM · Report this
24
@22: You're using one particular stock photo to judge how much space each box would take?
Posted by DigitalSingularity on January 22, 2014 at 4:28 PM · Report this
Rotten666 25
Paint a pretty picture on the things and STFU.
Posted by Rotten666 on January 22, 2014 at 4:38 PM · Report this
26
It's not "your" planting strip: it's the planting strip in front of where you live.
Posted by tiktok on January 22, 2014 at 4:41 PM · Report this
27
I don't know the technology well enough to judge whether the large ugly above ground boxes are necessary. Could they be smaller, prettier, more functional? How much does it really cost to bury them? Is this really what is holding back service? Color me skeptical until an unbiased expert weighs in.
Posted by wxPDX on January 22, 2014 at 4:44 PM · Report this
28
@23: You could bury the boxes. I've had a chance to tour one of these. It's an underground equipment vault about the size of a city bus. These have a controlled environment to keep temperature and humidity constant. The cover for these vaults actually takes up more square footage on the ground than an upright box, since you have to be able to let a human being crawl down it (we're talking about a 15 foot climb to the bottom. This option tends to cost about 5 times as much as a box that's sitting on the ground.

These boxes also require a separate concrete pad an an electric meter base so City Light can charge the company / shut down the equipment in the case of an emergency.

A community the city keeps on pointing to as an example of what they'd like their infrastructure to be like is Portland OR. Portland has a policy that requires equipment to be buried if at all possible, which stifles companies from building out their networks. If you go to Netindex.com, you'll see that Portland's average speed is even slower than Seattle. Seattle, in respect to the rest of the state is ranked 22/50 for average speed. Hell, we're ranked way lower than Aberdeen at this point. :(

I got to tour a smaller prototype box that didn't use any active environmental controls in Magnolia... the equipment failed because you can't control moisture or temperature in a small box just barely underground. Moisture built up and corroded things. This was CenturyLink's attempt at trying to create a smaller underground box that was passively-cooled so it wouldn't need an external power meter (per Seattle City Light's rules).

Another option is putting the equipment up on utility poles. You could break things up into smaller boxes mounted on the poles, but then you have more wires running back and forth between the main fiber optic line, each box, and the houses. I don't know if you've been to Beacon Hill lately, but I'm starting to see more boxes and wires running around everywhere. It's pretty ugly too.

The option that sits on the ground is about the size of a regular refrigerator cut in half. Yup, infrastructure is ugly (I can't say I like things like traffic control boxes... these are actually slightly smaller), but the newer equipment doesn't require a separate power meter / cut-off (it's all built into the box).

In talking with the North Beacon Hill Council, the group overwhelmingly said they wanted this equipment in the neighborhood. Again, infrastructure is ugly, but plenty of people would rather at least have competition so we have a choice in services. And, we as residents in the city need to push the providers to iteratively improve their equipment and upgrade existing installs to smaller boxes as time goes on.
More...
Posted by DigitalSingularity on January 22, 2014 at 4:45 PM · Report this
29
@27: I don't work for any of the telecoms. I work for a game company in Seattle. I became involved in UPTUN.org about 4 years ago because I was upset at the horrible choices in my neighborhood. I was stuck between 1.5 megabits/second Qwest and about 12 megabits/second Broadstripe. I gave Qwest a try first... couldn't deal with the slow speed, so I went to Broadstripe. It was a truly awful experience... so many outages, slowdowns in service, etc. Any call to support was so incredibly slow.

UPTUN.org hosted a community meeting some years back with the major internet providers, the city's Department of Information Technology, Bruce Harrell, the city's cable office, etc. They all realized there was a problem, but the only company that approached us about trying to do something to improve things was CenturyLink.

So, I'm a little biased to their point of view because they're the only ones that tried working with us, the city, and the North Beacon Hill Council to try to address the lack of good internet options over the years. I've encountered tons of frustration, myself, in trying to get the city to do anything about this.
1) The city was completely ineffective at trying to get Broadstripe to improve their service. At best, they'd simply try to get you a refund if your service was out. Their office for cable oversight really didn't have any power over them.
2) There's a franchise agreement that each cable provider agrees to. The city and the providers all agree that the cable providers aren't going to compete with each other at all. http://www.seattle.gov/cable/franchises.…

So... since I'm not part of any of those companies, I cannot give you exact numbers, but the cost to bury equipment is roughly 5 times of what an above ground box would be. It's much more disruptive to the neighborhood since the buried equipment's about the size of a city bus that's buried about 15 feet underground... which means a huge hole has to be dug.

The ground-level boxes are actually getting better over time. Since Seattle City Light eliminated a requirement for an external power meter, there's only one box required, as opposed to two. It's not perfect yet, but if you want a box that's going to serve up 500-1000 people in a neighborhood, there is a decent footprint involved. But, the alternative is a bunch of smaller boxes mounted to poles with a bunch of cables running between all of them. There's no perfect solution here.
More...
Posted by DigitalSingularity on January 22, 2014 at 4:56 PM · Report this
watchout5 30
"It's too expensive"

If your customers getting the internet they pay for is "too expensive" for them to upkeep can we find a company that sees the benefit in better broadband service and is willing to invest in it?
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on January 22, 2014 at 4:59 PM · Report this
emma's bee 31
Cincinnati Bell is installing Fioptics boxes left and right, along with their clunky standard boxes. They are in the right-of-way strip, not in large parcels of land, and they are graffiti targets.

Here is an example of how they're being (t)arted up in my neighborhood (the theme is Everyday Objects): https://www.facebook.com/cliftoncommunit…
Posted by emma's bee on January 22, 2014 at 5:17 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 32
Many electric utilities have similar cabinets for transformers in areas where the power lines are underground, but City Light generally puts transformers underground also, in vaults. (That may actually be a City of Seattle requirement, for I've only ever seen transformer cabinets in the areas outside the city limits).

The trouble with vaults is that they fill up with water, people relieve themselves in them, they can have poison gas in them - all sorts of dreadful things. The electrical gear is all submersible, so that's not generally a problem, but I imagine the telecom stuff is much more delicate.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on January 22, 2014 at 5:31 PM · Report this
33
@31, thanks for sharing. It's important to encourage the providers who are installing equipment boxes to use graffiti-resistant covers and take input from the community on possibly having art installed on these boxes.
Posted by DigitalSingularity on January 22, 2014 at 5:34 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 34
Tiny American Flags ftw!
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 22, 2014 at 5:37 PM · Report this
Gus 35
@31: now that looks better, and if CenturyLink was installing things like that, working with local artists to fund decoration, and considered the continued upkeep of the art to be part of the cost of regular maintenance, then I think they would be able to get the required 60% of the neighbors to approve them.

No rule changes required.
Posted by Gus on January 22, 2014 at 5:47 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 36
The Scandinavian countries tend to bury utilities for a few obvious reasons, the first being esthetic, the second being climatic. America loves things cheap up front, but VERY costly at the back end. More progressive nations make the large up front investment for a longer term less expensive solution. These boxes can be placed underground in water tight containers. It's not a mystery situation, it's a money situation.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on January 22, 2014 at 5:51 PM · Report this
emma's bee 37
@31 & @35: apparently it took some time to work out with Cin-Bell, and so far I think we're the only Cincinnati neighborhood to do it. (We have to raise $250 per box, which is matched by our neighborhood foundation, for supplies and to pay a meager stipend to the artists). We have a VERY WELL MAINTAINED community garden (*ahem* Fnarf) with two boxes that will get the treatment, based on painting a garden trug on it (e.g., http://tinyurl.com/pqwry4h) sometime this spring.
Posted by emma's bee on January 22, 2014 at 5:55 PM · Report this
MrBaker 38
None of this is new.
If only … we would serve everybody our product to a neighborhood that could afford the service.

This was studied in 2009.
http://www.seattle.gov/broadband/docs/Se…
The recommendation to get fiber to the premisis all over the city, all of it, was as a city utility.
We are much further along in being able to create a utility that would get fiber to every premises than CenturyLink and Comcast are or ever will be.

If CenturyLink wants to water down the discussion, thanks to a rube like Goldy, so be it.

But, the fact remains, there is only one viable path the get gigabit speed to every premises, that as a utility.
Posted by MrBaker http://manywordsforrain.blogspot.com/ on January 22, 2014 at 6:11 PM · Report this
Fnarf 39
@24, I'm sorry that you are finding the need to argue with someone who is basically agreeing with you.

@23, the boxes are not hideous. They're functional, which is a beauty all its own, and these boxes are no uglier than mailboxes or trash cans or benches or light poles.

The obsession with esthetics has several problems: first, the esthetic values of the people making the decisions are ABYSMAL, and public street furniture has to be tarted up with layers of bogosity to be acceptable, which is how you end up with hideous faux-Victorian streetlights, which are supposed to look all historical despite being sixty feet high, like the pieces of shit that have recently desecrated the Arboretum. Everything has to have art painted all over it too, but talented artists are not allowed. Look at the state of the murals that are painted in this city.

The need to prettify everything is a holdover from the City Beautiful or Garden City movement of a hundred years ago, which fucked over a thousand cities in its day but lives on only in outposts of bluenose busybody grandmothers like Seattle. That's the primary reason our street grid is so fucked up. And still, today, the No Unseemly Functional Or Commercial Purpose To Anything -- the same people who refuse to permit signs anywhere -- controls every decision about where to put stuff. Stuff that would demonstrably make everybody's life better.

@31, parking strips ARE large parcels of land; collectively they make up many square MILES of Seattle. Waste ground, aside from the handful that are planted or used in some way.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 22, 2014 at 6:57 PM · Report this
40
@ DigitalSigularity -

I actually work for a telecom. My day to day tasks are on the RF design/opto side of the fence, but we run fiber in the city. If this rule is changed, there would be a couple policy issues:

1) As meanie mentioned earlier, how do you encourage telecoms to use public space efficiently? My company has a substantial number of obsolete facilities where it is simply cheaper to continue paying rent than removing the equipment.
2) You will get a proliferation of cell sites in neighborhoods. Anyone who has attachment rights can work with City Light to get antennas on utility poles, and changing these rules will allow wireless carriers to easily mount electronics in the ROW. This would bypass all of the conditional use requirements for radio site in the city and make this an over the counter transaction.

From an opinion perspective - it is not too difficult to approach a private property owner and get this done. Yes, there are hurdles and you need to target the correct zoning classification. But this can be done in most areas of the city easily today - you would need a lease for your equipment, right of way access to the utility pole from SDOT, and pole rights via City Light. Not rocket science. So I would be skeptical of C-Link's numbers and motivation to get access to cheap space. And cheap space does not always motivate innovation...

And on a side note - if City Light gets tasked to do muni broadband, that would be great. Although they occasionally have rules that I've run up against, they are safety focused for their workers, have their shit together, and have been great to work with. My bet is that they would run a high quality network. If you want cheap, then hire me...
Posted by Action Slacks on January 22, 2014 at 7:05 PM · Report this
41
Goldy: You wrote 650 words about Internet access without once using the word Internet. Do you have some aversion to it or an attraction to marketing buzzwords?
Posted by Phil M http://https://twitter.com/pmocek on January 22, 2014 at 7:09 PM · Report this
42
Action Slacks:
1) You can approach this through the renewal process for permits. I admittedly haven't completely thought this one through, but this one probably warrants a little more discussion / research. Until recently, SDOT made CenturyLink go through 2-2009 all over again even for replacing existing, dying equipment. There was an instance of a neighborhood where they couldn't get through the approval process, the hill was destabilizing, and they just couldn't even replace an existing cabinet even though it was jeopardizing people's 911 phone service.
2) Actually, no. The change we've requested only covers a rule that deals just with broadband cabinets. Cell towers are covered by a different set of rules. If you're interested, here's the text of 2-2009 (http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/do…)

During my canvassing of my neighborhood, about half the houses never responded to a survey (this was me doorbelling repeatedly and sending letters). The current rules mean that people who don't respond are actually a no-vote. SDOT now agrees that this isn't working and they're slowly investigating a change to the approval process.
Posted by DigitalSingularity on January 22, 2014 at 9:37 PM · Report this
43
That utility cabinet looks just like the cabinets the City builds at every signalized intersection to operate the traffic signals. No big deal. Let's get on with it.
Posted by Citizen R on January 22, 2014 at 11:29 PM · Report this
44
It's embarrassing that Centurylink doesn't yet have a full rollout of VDSL2 in the city to compete with cable. We need to get these boxes sited, somehow. And once it's possible to site them, Centurylink and any other phone company operating in the city should be required to offer VDSL2 to every address. Because we have to get something in exchange for enhancing their monopoly, and it's a shame not to utilize this vast legacy copper infrastructure.

But even the most modern cable and dsl systems still can't compete with fiber-to-the-premises. That's what Comcast and Centurylink will never offer, and why we seriously do need a municipal fiber grid.

@9 The hundreds of copper pairs is actually centurylink's biggest asset in this case. Their max speeds are lower, around 40mbps where they have fully updated equipment, but they do not have the crippling rush-hour congestion that cable providers do, because they have a dedicated pair at the box for each subscriber rather than cable's shared last mile.
Posted by Lack Thereof on January 23, 2014 at 12:32 AM · Report this
45
@42 I agree that 'cellphone towers' are regulated differently.

However, in this case it is not a cell tower. It is a telecom cabinet that falls under SDOT rules, and a separate pole attachment. Neither trigger the conditional use process under DPD for a wireless facility.

We've already done this under the existing rule, albeit with the notification requirement. Again, what I put on the existing utility pole is exempt from the SDOT rule. If I wanted to replace the utility pole and extend the height, then yes, you are correct I would have to go through a separate process for that.

I agree with what you are trying to accomplish, just pointing out an area where you may need to partner very closely with SDOT and DPD.
Posted by Action Slacks on January 23, 2014 at 1:12 AM · Report this
46
Action Slacks, we've been trying to work with SDOT for years now. Under the previous administration, we kept on hitting a roadblock. No matter what, they just simply didn't want to compromise. About a year ago, SDOT finally softened their stance a little bit after we got the city council on board, the North Beacon Hill Council, CTTAB, and got over 120 signatures in a petition asking them to change the rule.

So... SDOT started a series of sessions to gather feedback from us stakeholders. They finally admitted the rule wasn't serving the community and needed to be changed. They wanted a few months to evaluate the rule, then do a SEPA review, then they could make a pitch to the city council. At this point, Bruce Harrell already threatened SDOT with a budget proviso if they didn't alter the rule to start letting telecom cabinets be placed. So, SDOT was now wanting the city council to make legislation on this, as opposed to being a simple rules change. Ugh.

The original timeline had this being presented to the city council as legislation by Q1 2014. Well, that's slipped quite a bit. SDOT now wants to do an additional 5-6 months of community feedback, then finally pitch legislation.

The relationship SDOT had with the city council, UPTUN, CenturyLink, etc. has been a combative one, instead of a collaborative one.
Posted by DigitalSingularity on January 23, 2014 at 7:40 AM · Report this
47
@46 - Yes, in my experience lack of compromise and commitment to least common denominator process are hallmarks of SDOT. You need lots of luck and persistence.
Posted by Action Slacks on January 23, 2014 at 1:16 PM · Report this
48
Action Slacks... yup, 4 years of patience so far. I feel like a decade is going to go by before they change their mind... unless some nice external pressure is applied.
Posted by DigitalSingularity on January 23, 2014 at 3:19 PM · Report this
49
If CenturyLink put up a website where people could volunteer locations, they'd likely get what they need with little hassle. There's an ugly spot adjacent to my building I'm sure we could all agree to offer up for anything approaching decent internet speeds!
Posted by Erica Tarrant on January 24, 2014 at 5:26 PM · Report this
50
Look at CenturyLink's effective tax rate. it's less than zero; they sucked money from the taxpayers. They can use the median when they PAY GODDAMN TAXES like the taxpayers do. Right after pigs fly.

Posted by tricefrench3 on April 2, 2014 at 8:56 PM · Report this

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