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Presentation on the Cable- Related Needs Assessment for Washington County Presented by: CBG Communications, Inc. Thomas G. Robinson 73 Chestnut Road, Suite 301 Executive Vice President Paoli, Pa 19301 P: (610) 889-7470 F: (610) 889-7475 March, 2006 Washington County, Maryland Project Elements Four Major Elements Residential Community Needs and Interests Assessment Review of Public, Educational and Government (PEG) Access Needs and Interests Business and Non-Profit Community Needs and Interests Assessment Institutional Network Needs Assessment CBG Communications, Inc. Residential Community Needs and Interests Written, statistically valid survey of the County’s residential community 320 subscriber respondents 80 non-subscriber respondents CBG Communications, Inc. Residential Community Needs and Interests Customer service and technical problem areas were noted including: Telephone answering and hold times Subscriber communications regarding programming and rate changes Outages Signal quality Speed and reliability of high speed internet connection Service installation CBG Communications, Inc. Residential Community Needs and Interests Concerns were also expressed about: Variety of cable programming Quality of cable programming Cost versus value CBG Communications, Inc. Residential Community Needs and Interests Local Community Access is important Viewership of current Access programming is well established Subscribers would like to see more of various types of programming, especially: Community News Special Events Public/Community Events and Activities Coverage Local Historical Programming Public Safety Information 75% of Subscribers believe it is important for the cable operator to provide support for the Access channels CBG Communications, Inc. PEG Access Review Overall Access Channel Viewership in Washington County Access Daily Weekly Monthly Occasionally Never Channel 6 - Local 5% 14% 5% 46% 30% Government Access 19 – Local 2% 11% 5% 40% 43% Origination/ Community 99 – Local 3% 10% 5% 34% 49% Educational Access CBG Communications, Inc. PEG Access Review Comparison with Recent Viewership for Some Other Cable Services Cable Network CUME (Weekly Exposure) Outdoor Life Network (OLN) 3% Speed Channel 3% BET 3% Bravo 3% Style 2% Animal Planet .3% ESPN Classic .1% CBG Communications, Inc. PEG Access Review Written surveys, individual interviews, group discussions and a public meeting were held with a variety of organizations including: Government agencies Educational entities K-12 (Washington County BOE) Higher Education (HCC and USM) Businesses and Non-profit organizations CBG Communications, Inc. PEG Access Review Key Findings included: Access channel capacity and related channel positions need to be preserved and/or provided There should be the capability for future migration of the analog Access channels to digital services, including service expansion capability There are Capital funding needs for facilities and equipment that can be supported effectively by the cable operator CBG Communications, Inc. PEG Access Review Key Findings included: New, upgraded and replacement equipment for the governmental and educational access channels needs to be provided in accordance with a schedule to be negotiated between the parties Regional interconnection should be pursued between neighboring cable systems to share Access programming, promote information sharing and enhance public safety CBG Communications, Inc. PEG Access Review Key Findings included: There needs to be free cable drops that provide all tiers carrying PEG or public interest-oriented services for County buildings, libraries and educational facilities There should be free Cable Internet Service, to all public schools (K-12) and libraries CBG Communications, Inc. Business Community Needs Assessment Key Findings included: Broadband services should continue to expand for the business community in outlying areas Reliability of broadband services should be increased related to business use CBG Communications, Inc. Business Community Needs Assessment Key Findings included: Additional tiers of broadband service, especially lower cost entry level tiers, would be beneficial to businesses and non-profits VoIP telephone services, as well as video conferencing applications for both internal communications and business-to-business applications need to be provided High-capacity networking services need to be available in the future to the business community CBG Communications, Inc. Institutional Network Needs Assessment Key Findings included: The core backbone network that has already been developed for WCPN members needs to be extended, especially to critical County facilities, public schools, HCC, USM and libraries, beyond the current implementation in the downtown area of Hagerstown, to sites throughout the County and within the incorporated municipalities The architecture that would work best would be to develop a series of rings that would connect these facilities such that video, voice and data communications could be routed within an organization or between organizations in a highly reliable, fault tolerant manner CBG Communications, Inc. Institutional Network Needs Assessment Key Findings included: A residential system-based data-over-cable channel I-Net alternative should be established for certain facilities The cable operator could provide an upstream and downstream path on the residential network, exclusively for institutional data-over-cable use CBG Communications, Inc. Institutional Network Needs Assessment Interconnection I-Net interconnection with other networks and systems would be beneficial to allow the sharing of public safety communications, Access video and other information with neighboring jurisdictions Scalability Whatever institutional network concept is chosen, it must be capable of cost-effective growth in both the number of physical locations and communications bandwidth CBG Communications, Inc. Conclusions and Recommendations In order to satisfactorily address the needs, interests and concerns of the various Communities of Interest within the County in both the near and longer term, we recommend that the County pursue cable communications franchises with Antietam, Adelphia and Comcast CBG Communications, Inc. Conclusions and Recommendations Such a franchise should include the following critical provisions: Establishment of customer service standards Provisions that help facilitate critical public safety communications Establishment and enforcement of technical standards Establishment of reasonable density requirements Provisions that help bolster economic development Provisions that ensure the continuation, development and expansion of Educational and Governmental Access services CBG Communications, Inc. Conclusions and Recommendations Such a franchise should include the following critical provisions, cont’d: Provisions that ensure state of the art delivery of Educational and Governmental Access services Development of reasonable support mechanisms to help Access programming meet subscriber needs and interests Provisions requiring the approval of transfers Provisions that ensure that the County’s and Public Schools’ networking needs are met cost-effectively in the future Protections for the public rights-of-way Protections for the County and its citizens CBG Communications, Inc. Thank you CBG Communications, Inc.
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