gmhTODAY 17 gmhToday Nov Dec 2017 - Page 22

master PLANNING Like Morgan Hill, Gilroy’s General Plan (2040) calls attention to current and future telecommunications, and acknowledges the need to be on the forefront of new telecommunications technologies in order to attract and retain new businesses. Gilroy city offi cials break it down into key focus areas. First, there’s the provision of utilities. City offi cials seek to partner with public and private service providers as practicable to provi de adequate levels of service to Gilroy residents. While the City didn’t take an offi cial position prior to the Governor’s veto of SB 649, the goal is compatible co-location of telecommunication facilities and collaboration with service providers in the process of locating these facilities on City-owned property or public rights-of-way. Second, when it comes to undergrounding, Gilroy aligns with Morgan Hill in acknowledging the value of a Dig Once policy. The City requires areas of new development or redevelopment to include the undergrounding of utilities infrastructure, including communications. The City’s Communications Master Plan provides a framework to guide the evaluation, planning, implementation, and management of the City’s communications infrastructure. This includes support for implementation of telecommunication technologies to attract new businesses and meet the changing communication needs of City residents and businesses. Gilroy aims to maintain and enhance the coverage and band- width of the wireless network, which provides free wireless data service to residents, businesses, and visitors. When it comes to fi ber optic cable access, the City will continue to explore opportunities to expand its fi ber infrastructure consistent with the Communications Master Plan. A parting thought: If we build a better infrastructure, the world will beat a path to South County. Both Morgan Hill and Gilroy are committed to being “Dig Once” cities. By approaching communications infrastructure projects as an integral part of local and regional economic development initiatives, and coordinating them with other infrastructure projects, our cities aim to minimize the number and scale of excavations, and reduce the disruption and overall cost of infrastructure development. To accomplish this, each city must work to establish reasonable conditions and procedures by which carriers and service providers (and other utilities) perform their construction work in public right of way spaces. Morgan Hill’s Telecommunications Infrastructure Plan 2035 lays out a clear model of best practices. For example, if there’s a plan to dig a trench for a major in- frastructure and construction project in the public right of way, it makes sense to have several requirements in place: to give advance notice to broadband and other utility providers; to maintain a shared database; to explore cost sharing opportunities; and to foster coordination of infrastructure deployment with other projects. While our cities don’t generally have authority to review proposed telecom projects for capacity or network design, they can establish and communicate preferences for a minimum set of specifi cations for conduit being installed. City public works projects and utility undergrounding programs might require placement of spare, city-owned broadband conduit. With a Dig Once policy, our cities can minimize wear and tear on streets. Such a policy might also incentivize telcos and other utilities to upgrade or build infrastructure sooner rather than later by setting a deadline and offering cost-sharing opportunities. Requiring encroachment permit applicants to demonstrate that alternatives do not exist, and giving cities broad scope to review and inspect, helps ensure that telcos and other utilities provide access to conduit and pole routes to other carriers; thus utilizing excess capacity. To a certain extent, this is covered under state law and cities can require this kind of cooperation. 22 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Revenues from leases or rents of City property, including publicly-owned con- duit, can be set aside in an account dedi- cated to communica- tions infrastructure, and be made avail- able for construction and maintenance of public-owned conduit. By taking a “future proof” approach, cities can encourage broadband providers to size underground and overhead facilities with technology advances and expanded service in mind. Standard specifi cations could be included in building codes for new and major remodeled construction. For work done in the public of right of way, minimum sizes may be suggested, and encouraged by encroachment permit policies. Wireless facilities and supporting infrastructure, notably fi ber optic networks, should be planned with future needs in mind. The current trend is toward smaller cell areas and facility sizes, and this trend will accelerate as 5G standards are fi nalized and network upgrades begin. Tap • Jazz • Ballet • Lyrical • HipHop • Acro NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 gmhtoday.com