Klickitat County Broadband Workgroup 4-14-2016 Meeting
Columbia Gorge Community College, The Dalles
Attendees: Dan Spatz, Jake Anderson, Brian Wanless, Linda Williams, Dave Sauter, Jeff King, Carrie Pipinich
Updates and Additional Next Steps
Connect America Fund II Investment:
· Advocacy with the congressional delegation related to community input and investment into Klickitat County. There is also potential for coordination with other Counties in the Gorge as this is really a regional issue.
· Commissioner Sauter and staff followed up with Congresswoman Herrera-Beutler’s Staff to discuss the program. They also discussed with Senator Cantwell at meetings she held in Klickitat and Skamania Counties. Linda noted she brought up the importance of broadband at the Skamania County meeting.
· County staff prepared a letter to CenturyLink regarding the investment in Klickitat County, and are working to identify the best place to send that letter to maximize its impact.
· State Rep. Gina McCabe is also aware of the discussions.
· Dan Spatz noted Bob McFadden from The Dalles Community Outreach team did discuss the importance of broadband and the CAF investment in the region when he was in DC. The Outreach Team met with members of the congressional delegation from both Washington and Oregon
o Next Steps:
§ Carrie will reach out to Barb about who would be best to send the letter to. Jake will follow up with his contacts as well.
§ Carrie noted that Senator Merkley’s staff have been very engaged on the Oregon side, and that she would continue conversations on that front and share lessons learned with the group and encourage collaboration between the two delegations as she is able.
County Infrastructure Utilization:
· Dave Sauter noted that CenturyLink does not currently have a franchise agreement with the County. County staff will work to map builds out based on permitting. Commissioner Sauter will bring this information to the group when it is ready.
· Carrie noted that she is working with partners in Washington and Oregon to update the Broadband Funding Resources document created during the LTPT phase, and will keep the group posted as this happens in case funding opportunities arise that would be helpful. She noted that there were not a lot of broadband specific funding sources, but that many federal agencies are moving toward making it an allowable expense for other projects so it should be kept in mind as other activities occur that could impact demand or create assets.
· Jeff reviewed the state of the current 911/radio communication towers that Klickitat County has invested in to reach difficult to serve areas. He noted that they are wrapping up final pieces with the currently constructed towers, and looking forward to start planning for the last two—one above Klickitat on Red Tail Rd and the other up toward Satus Pass.
· Jake noted that the WSDOT and SawNet were working on a fiber build to Satus, and Jeff noted he would follow up to see if it could have a positive impact on the towers.
· Jake noted he had reached out to Mosier WiNet about a back of the napkin estimate for what it would cost to add a broadband backbone to the existing public safety network.
· Jeff and Jake reiterated that a wifi network using the towers would be much more limited than the land mobile radio because of the spectrum it would be using and the need for line of site to provide service.
o Next Steps:
§ Jeff and Carrie will follow up with US Cellular to continue the collocation conversations.
§ Carrie noted she would ask around to see if she could find AT&T and Verizon contacts that might also be interested in exploring collocation.
§ Jake will continue to explore what updates to the public safety tower network would be required to build out a broadband backbone, and the potential reach of this service. Jake noted that this would be a project that could serve the areas outside of CAF eligibility.
Additional Next Steps:
· Continue to keep the PUD in the loop related to broadband need and areas where partnerships and utilization of existing assets could support moving a project forward. This will occur through continued engagement with this work group.
· Carrie reached out to GorgeNet and they noted they are still interested in exploring a project, and continuing to gather necessary information to put something together to determine if it is feasible.
· Reach out to ISPs again to discuss opportunities for moving projects forward.
o Next Steps:
§ Carrie, Jake, or both will continue to reach out to Wave to discuss opportunities in the area.
§ Carrie and Jake will continue conversations with local providers about serving the area.
Next Meeting: TBD. Carrie will send out a doodle.