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Technology Task Force Final Report

Technology Task Force Final Report

  1. Purpose of the Task Force

    On November 7, 2000 the Fullerton City Council created the Technology Infrastructure Task Force and established the following four objectives:

    1. Identify the current status of the technology infrastructure in Fullerton installed by the private sector.
    2. Evaluate City procedures and processes that either assist or hinder development of high technology infrastructure.
    3. Determine the effectiveness of influencing businesses to locate in Fullerton, based upon an advanced technology infrastructure.
    4. Provide recommendations to the City Council concerning the community's technology infrastructure.
  2. Task Force Activities/Accomplishments

    A time limit of 18 months was placed on the term of the Task Force to accomplish the responsibilities listed above. The Task Force held its first meeting on March 1, 2001 and met approximately every two weeks until it completed its final report on June 11, 2002. The minutes and agenda for all meetings were placed on the City's website. Task Force members, their occupational associations, and the organization of the Task Force are shown in Appendix A.

    During its meetings over a period of 15 months, presentations were made to the Task Force by City staff, developers, high tech companies, telecom firms, and educational institutions. Individual Task Force members visited a telecom data center and a high tech incubator, met with Anaheim's telecom manager and numerous telecom system integrators, and attended several conferences (Digital Government Summit, the Digital City, Comtech 2001, American Telemedicine Association Conference, and two Optical Fiber Communication Conferences. See Appendix B for a complete list). Research was conducted using numerous online sources, published articles, and referrals from telecom experts contacted online.

    The Task Force also conceived and did much of the planning for the speaker series: All Aboard the Digital Revolution: from Trains to Bits, a series of four talks by nationally recognized experts in 1) technology in urban development, 2) telecommunications in economic development, 3) telemedicine, and 4) technology in education. The Task Force enlisted the City of Fullerton, the Fullerton Business Council, and the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce to be the presenters of the speaker series.

    The Task Force addressed each of the four objectives in the following manner:

    Objective 1. The Task Force prepared a map of the location of fiber optic lines from information provided by telecom carriers and material obtained from the website www.fiberloops.com. A map of the location of wireless telecom towers was created from information obtained from the FCC website and the City of Fullerton's database. Because of the incompleteness of the databases from which information was obtained and the reticence of some companies to reveal the location of their fiber optic lines, the maps are known to be incomplete and not as specific as the Task Force would like.

    Objective 2. The Task Force reviewed the City's use of information technology in various departments and made suggestions for improving those systems and adding new ones. The Task Force also initiated the development of a database of technology-related businesses and prepared recommendations for enhancing e-government services to the public through the City's website.

    Objective 3. The Task Force reviewed literature and interviewed experts and representatives of local businesses to determine what qualities make cities desirable candidates for attracting and/or fostering the development and growth of technology-related businesses.

    Objective 4. The Task Force formulated many recommendations regarding steps that the City can take to improve its technology infrastructure and internal city processes, interact with constituents, and enhance its attraction to and growth of technology-related businesses.

    Rather than attempt to arrange recommendations according to the objectives listed above, they have been arranged by topic: 1) public policy, 2) telecommunications, 3) tech-related economic development, and 4) e-government services.

  3. Key Findings

    1. Fullerton has the opportunity to play a leadership role in linking all of its constituents to a state-of-the-art telecommunications network. Such linkage stimulates the advance of information technology in its educational and health care institutions, and greatly enhances the growth of economic development that seeks or depends upon that type of infrastructure.

      Key components of a telecom infrastructure that are already present in the City, or can readily be installed include:

      • The fiber optic backbone in key industrial and commercial areas, Downtown Fullerton, Amerige Heights, and Cal State Fullerton
      • The hybrid fiber coaxial cable network that reaches deep into residential neighborhoods
      • Inexpensive new wireless technologies
    2. Leadership requires the development of policies and plans (e.g., comprehensive telecom and IT plans) which set forth the vision and implementation strategies to realize the benefits of computing and telecommunications technologies. Policy and planning activities require the skills of a Chief Information Officer who can deal with the internal and externally-directed uses of the City's information technology resources.

    3. The addition of appropriate technology-intensive businesses can enhance the City's economic wellbeing. Such businesses contribute sales tax and job growth and they attract professionals to live and shop in the already thriving Downtown. Amenities and features such as award-winning elementary and secondary schools, fine medical facilities, excellent schools of higher education, a revitalized Downtown, community institutions, a talented work force, and beautiful residential neighborhoods are all attractive to these businesses and their workers.

    4. The City has an untapped resource for technology-intensive growth: for example, its schools of higher education and other institutions. Alliances with California State University, the North Orange County Community College District and others can yield significant benefits for all parties.

  4. Summary of Task Force Recommendations

    Recommendation 1

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton create and update bi-annually a statement of public policy regarding the role it expects technology to play in its relationship with its various constituencies.

    Recommendation 2

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton set for itself the goal of being a very high broadband (VHB) community within five years (mid-2007).

    Recommendation 3

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton develop a telecommunications master plan for the community that incorporates wireless, fiber optic and new hybrid-fiber-coax (HFC) technologies. A combination of new and existing fixed and mobile wireless, fiber optic, and new HFC technologies should be integrated in a manner which insures that all community constituents have ready access to very high bandwidth telecom services and are interconnected by a community-wide intranet.

    Recommendation 4

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton define a specific set of telecommunication standards and guidelines for internal cabling in both new and reconstructed buildings in the City. The standards and guidelines should be based upon the latest proven copper, fiber optic, hybrid-fiber-coax (HFC), and wireless technologies and updated as these technologies improve.

    Recommendation 5

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton strongly urge major developers/builders to incorporate fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) telecom infrastructure for video, data, and voice service in their new projects.

    Recommendation 6

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton create and maintain a database of technology-related businesses in the City to use as a basis for developing business retention, attraction, and assisted growth strategies.

    Recommendation 7

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton conduct a Needs Assessment with its existing major technology and knowledge-based businesses and institutions. The Needs Assessment should include a survey of the projected growth and economic development requirements of existing businesses and institutions.

    Recommendation 8

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton implement processes to attract and assist the growth of technology-related businesses which complement the economic goals of the City.

    Recommendation 9

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton develop specific alliances with its educational institutions such as the California State University at Fullerton and the North Orange County Community College District to promote the development and addition of technology-related businesses in Fullerton.

    Recommendation 10

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton view Downtown Fullerton as a prime area for locating small technology-intensive, knowledge-based firms, such as high tech design firms. The City should promote the addition of infrastructure and amenities that will increase the attractiveness of the Downtown to these types of firms.

    Recommendation 11

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton give greater recognition to the importance of its information technology functions by establishing the position of Chief Information Officer (CIO) for strategic planning and policy development.

    Recommendation 12

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton develop a comprehensive information technology plan.

    Recommendation 13

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton continually seek new ways of using its website to communicate with the public.

    Recommendation 14

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton establish a 311 call center system to act as a single point of contact for City services, programs, information, and police non-emergencies.

    Recommendation 15

    The Task Force recommends that the City of Fullerton create a new committee that will be responsible for reviewing and overseeing the implementation of adopted recommendations. A member of the City staff should be made responsible for the implementation of all adopted recommendations.

Next Section: TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS: A. The Role of Public Policy in Determining Technological Leadership