A resolution establishing a Task Force on Telecommunications Innovation to explore and report on the feasibility of using Metropolitan Government resources in a network that is available to the public using broadband technologies, broadband over power lines, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, and other wireless applications, end-user fiber build out, and other telecommunications technologies.

WHEREAS, the economic vitality of Metro Nashville and Davidson County depends upon the adequacy of the county's physical infrastructure generally, and

WHEREAS, the United States is lagging behind its international competitors in providing access to broadband communication means, with incumbent providers of communication means not making sufficient investment in advancing Nashville's broadband network even though 1000 MBPS access to broadband networks will be necessary within 5-10 years; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council is committed to maintaining and expanding Nashville's position as a leader in technology and healthcare, to expanding the variety and lowering the cost of services provided to its citizens, to providing the City with greater access to technology, and to providing and using, when appropriate, the most advanced technologies available; and

WHEREAS, equal access for all citizens to media, Internet, and other digital technologies is critical to bridging the "digital divide," reconnecting citizens to government and community, invigorating public discourse and private enterprise, and promoting greater civic engagement, participation, and transparency in government; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council believes that technological innovations and expanded access to services can be major catalysts for economic development within Nashville, and have the potential to bolster Nashville's economy, spur the growth of private businesses and generate revenue for the Metropolitan Government; and

WHEREAS, Nashville and its surrounding areas are home to world-class technology experts in both the public and private sector, whose vision and vast experiences are substantial resources upon which the Metropolitan Government would like to draw, and whose collaborative efforts would likely have a major impact on technological advancements Nashville; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council is interested in utilizing the expertise of such persons in order to further the goals set forth in these recitals.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby establishes the Task Force on Telecommunications Innovation ("Task Force") to assist the Metropolitan Government in examining and evaluating the feasibility of and options for providing broadband technology and advanced telecommunications and information services in Nashville in order to further the goals set forth in this Resolution.

Section 2. Composition. The Task Force shall consist of fifteen (15) members and shall be composed of the Director of the Metropolitan Department of Information Technology Services ("ITS"), or his designee and the following types of members who shall be selected and appointed by the Vice Mayor:

1. Five members of the business, technology, and telecommunication communities including one representative designated by BellSouth, one representative designated by Nashville Electric Service and one representative designated by Comcast;

2. Two persons with a background in community technology;

3. Two persons with expertise in technology and telecommunications law and regulation; and

4. Two citizens with an interest in technology, telecommunications, and the delivery of services to residents and businesses in Nashville; and

5. Three Members of the Metropolitan Council.

Section 3. Purpose. The purpose of the Task Force is to explore the feasibility of using Metropolitan Government resources in a network that is available to the public and allows public data access and transmission, and to make recommendations to the Council about which technologies the City should pursue, if any.

Section 4. Scope of Work. The Task Force shall:
1. Explore and evaluate broadband technologies, broadband over power lines, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, and other wireless applications, end-user fiber build out, and other telecommunications technologies that provide public Internet and data access and transmission, and explore and evaluate the types of advanced telecommunications and information services such technologies would enable the City to use and/or offer to its citizens;
2. Explore various business models by which the City could use and/or offer these technologies and services, such as public/private partnerships, contract or lease arrangements, and other models, and examine what role(s) the City might play in such models;
3. Consider these and any related questions that might assist the Task Force in fulfilling its purpose:
a. Is it possible to create a network using municipal resources that is available to the public and that offers public data access and transmission and advanced telecommunications and information services? What City resources might be utilized?
b. What technologies/applications would best achieve the goal of creating such a network ("preferred alternatives")?
c. What is the fiscal viability of the preferred alternative(s)?
d. What are the direct benefits of providing this service through the preferred alternative(s)? What might be some of the indirect benefits or consequences?
e. Could such a network be revenue generating?
f. What are alternative sources to fund the network? If Metropolitan Government funds were needed, what funding source(s) would be used? Would new funding source(s) be created?
g. Does the Task Force think proposed Metropolitan Government capital expenditures would be a wise investment?
h. What are the risks of creating such a network? Would it be a low risk project? A high risk project?
i. What role would the Metropolitan Government play in such a network: owner, lessor, partner with private business, etc.?
j. To what extent could the network further the goals discussed above, including expanding the choice and lowering the costs of services provided to citizens, promoting economic development, enhancing access to and public participation in government, generating revenue, promoting technological innovation, and bolstering the City's position as a leader in technology?
k. Should the City pursue a small pilot program first?
4. Invite a wide array of experts and persons knowledgeable in the issues to be studied by the Task Force to inform its discussions and evaluation, including but not limited to ITS and various technology vendors and service providers;
5. Prepare a report reflecting the conclusions of the Task Force on the questions identified in subsection 3 above, in a format of the Task Force's choosing that contains the following elements and any other elements that the Task Force believes warrant further consideration:
a. An analysis of the financial and technological feasibility of the services and technologies examined, and a list of other services and technologies that were not considered;
b. Possible business models, including capital costs, funding sources (including grants if available), and possible opportunities for revenue generation;
c. Estimated time frames and implementation schedules for deploying the services and technologies examined;
d. Any federal and/or state regulatory or legal parameters affecting the services and technologies the City might offer, or the business models the City could use, including specific constraints, unresolved regulatory or legal issues, and other pertinent regulatory legal issues;
e. Physical and/or electronic security concerns, and proposals for addressing those concerns;
f. A list of options and specific recommendations for technologies, services, and/or business models that would best serve the goals set forth in the recitals of this Resolution (including possible pilot programs), and that the Task Force recommends that the City pursue;
g. Requirements for minimum capabilities that the network should possess at launch, 5 years after launch, and 10 years after launch; and
h. The data, research materials, and resources used to compile the report.

Section 5. The Task Force shall submit its final report to the Metropolitan Council within 180 days from the date of adoption of this Resolution.

Section 6. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: David Briley


Referred: Budget & Finance Committee 
Introduced: August 16, 2005
Deferred: August 16, 2005
Substitute Introduced: September 20, 2005
Deferred: September 20, 2005
Adopted: October 4, 2005 - Roll Call Vote
Returned Unsigned by Mayor: October 6, 2005