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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  July 28, 2019 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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all members of this other organization that i didn't know existed? >> you know, i would say you need to ask them. i know we are required to allow them space in that area. >> supervisor fewer: okay. >> so our inspection and maintenance plan is kind of covered here. we also follow all the regulations that are used throughout the state of california. so we stay with -- we comply with all the state and federal regulations, and it's our interest of course to keep our customers and workers safe and to keep our services reliable. this slide shows you all of the different rules that we work under. there's -- this is just a partial list of the most important and most relevant to this discussion which you've heard a lot today is go 95, and that's 600 pages of state rules for overhead line design, construction, and maintenance. of course as you heard earlier, this was developed over years of workshops and reviews and
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collaboration between all of the utilities. so on this slide, i'm just kind of going over the attachments and what we do. at&t is attached to approximately 26,000 poles in san francisco. now, of those, 2,000 are solely owned by at&t. the majority we are co-owners with pg&e and you heard a little bit about that earlier. our inspections -- as far as maintenance and inspections and protocols, our techs are required to inspect the infrastructure for safety issues every single time they touch our equipment. so if you are running around san francisco, you see our trucks everywhere. so we are constantly doing these evaluations. they actually call it a t-zone inspection that they need to do, where they look up the pole and then they look both directions as far as the ooi can see just to notice if there are any irregularities or anything that
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needs to be repaired and they are empowered to repair that on site or file a report immediately. go 95 also lays out a timeline that you heard earlier for routine inspections at longer intervals, but we feel here with at&t and in san francisco which is so dense and pop you you -- populace, we are identifying the pole for integrity. additionally every provider attached to a pole is obligated to notify the other users of that pole if they identify a safety issue. which means if pg&e is looking at a pole and they see some problem with our equipment, then they notify us right away and we would do the same if we saw another provider having an issue, we would report it right away. as for our protocol in responding to these issues, go 95's rule 18 specifically lays out timelines for how quickly we should address each issue and we
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do follow that. let's see. i know as far as mapping, we do have a map of all of our equipment. we don't share that publicly for security reasons, but we are also working with the open proceeding that cpuc is holding right now to develop sort of a solution to that. as far as load calculations, the cpuc has rules that every attacher must follow. a new attacher will apply to the pole owner and then conduct the required load calculations that they must do as part of their application. the pole owner would review this and approve or deny that attached application. every single time new equipment is added to a pole, it is reviewed pretty thoroughly. >> supervisor fewer: kammy, just for clarification, you own -- part ownership of 26,000 poles in san francisco. so every time anyone wants to attach new stuff onto the pole,
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that they have to follow -- they must apply to the pole owner. >> right. >> supervisor fewer: so if at&t wanted to attach new stuff, new equipment, you would apply to yourself? >> i don't think we would file an application to ourselves. i'm talking about an external carrier or provider >> supervisor fewer: so that means of 26,000 poles that at&t had ownership in, you can attach any new equipment that at&t owns. >> with the 2,000 that we solely own, yes. but with the co-ownership ones, we would need to discuss with pg&e. we still need to do a load calculation. all of this has to be approved. it has to be able to withstand all of the additional load and we would never install something that would make a pole fail. we do have the internal review
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process as well. it's not a formal application. >> supervisor fewer: so would at&t then have to apply to the other pole owner, which is pg&e. so you jointly own these poles with pg&e? >> yes. >> supervisor fewer: so if you wanted to put new equipment on, would you then apply to your partner, pg&e, who is a joint owner of the pole -- >> yes. >> supervisor fewer: -- to see whether or not you could put this equipment on? >> yes. >> supervisor fewer: but you wouldn't apply to your own self? >> no. >> supervisor fewer: okay. so has there been any incidents of at&t wanting to put new equipment on and it being denied at all? >> we have had instances -- yes. we have had instances where we have applied for like a puc pole and the puc will say, you need to -- if you're going to do that, you're going to need to replace the foundation or you're going to have to help us -- you have to replace the pole. we've gotten denials like,
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saying, yes, you can use that pole but here's what you're going to need to do in order to make the pole withhold that weight >> supervisor fewer: so do you -- forgive me that i don't know this, but puc owns poles also? >> the san francisco puc, yes. >> supervisor fewer: the san francisco puc. you don't jointly own poles with the san francisco puc? >> no, we would rent space. >> supervisor fewer: you would rent space. >> yes. >> supervisor fewer: so the san francisco puc that owns these poles, they only rent space, they don't have co-ownership; is that correct? >> right. >> supervisor fewer: thank you. >> yeah, i know it's all confusing. i'm grateful for this hearing because i learned quite a bit about my own company because i don't normally do all this engineering stuff. yes, then there's the abandoned equipment question which i know that is very important to you, supervisor fewer, yes, so the
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definition under go 95 is if it's considered to have no future foreseeable use. in san francisco where we have so much churn as far as residents and there's a lot of renters and i actually have friends who change their cable provider every year just to get a bit more miles for their flight programs, people change all the time. so as long as that technology is still something that we're using, if a customer moves, we don't want to just take that equipment down because we don't know if in six months someone else might move there and they would be responsible for paying for that equipment to be put back up. as long as it is still being used that technology then it stays up. the other thing is at&t is required by the cpuc as carrier of last resort, that we need -- as long as there are still landline customers in california, we need to be able to provide landline service. so we can't take it down.
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>> supervisor fewer: so what you're telling me is that if you have an existing line, you keep it up because people may want to eventually connect back to it. so this happens -- this could happen repeatedly, repeatedly, repeatedly -- >> yeah. >> supervisor fewer: -- and is that why we're seeing so much more stuff on the line? >> i think why you're seeing more stuff is there are more companies that are attaching to poles. there are more options for consumers. there may be more people now who have cable than five years ago or more people that have internet service than five years ago. so i think that's why you're seeing more stuff >> supervisor fewer: and we're seeing, as in the photo with the extra wires that are just hanging there -- >> the drops. >> supervisor fewer: -- yeah for a very long time? >> yes. and we like to take care of those right away. of course if a consumer or a resident sees something that they feel is out of line, they can report it to the cpuc
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complaint line, they can call 611, they can -- we get -- i get calls from your office occasionally when there's something that residents see as a miss and we try to take care of it as soon as we can >> supervisor fewer: okay. any other questions? comments? nothing. you're not done yet? sorry. >> no, i'm done. you know, we just -- we like to work with you guys and we try to keep it as safe as we possibly can. >> supervisor fewer: thank you very much. >> you probably already know this, ms. blackstone, but the majority of the things we hear more recently in terms of complaints is when there are companies that apply for really large kind of overhanging -- there's no other word to describe it other than kind of ugly and very obtrusive in the neighborhood. i think they're antennas or --
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can you talk about that because the thing is they look -- they're just ugly. >> infrastructure is rarely beautiful. >> but the truth is it's on a pole and it's hanging and it's big and if it's next to your house you say, why do i need this large obstructive thing next to my house? and then i hear -- then i drive to other parts of the city and i don't see it as much in other parts of the city as i do in our part of the city. i'm not necessarily sure whether that's true, if you're looking around you're going to see them, maybe you're noticing it more. at least in our neighborhood, they're copper, brown, they pop up. people say i didn't have something here, now i do. it's large. can you talk about that. >> sure. i'm not exactly sure what you're talking about. >> the large antennas that hang
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off the side of poles. >> so we've been -- all cell providers are doing small cell which is a like a canister that is on top of a pole. however, sometimes when there is a wood pole, the planning department has asked for what's called a side arm installation. that i think is the one you're talking about -- >> when it's just on the top, people have less of a problem. when it's hanging out and it looks like a big -- >> sure, no i understand. and that's maybe a planning department -- >> those are small -- >> or it could be the antenna or the radio that serves that. >> they're on your poles and definitely related to cell service and at&t. >> i will say there are internet providers that have boxes that go on poles. i don't know if you've invited those smaller providers today, but they might be able to speak more to that >> supervisor fewer: we might have to have this continued
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because this is i think deeper than what we originally anticipated. >> i'm sure you get them in your district too, supervisor walton. >> supervisor walton: i definitely do, but it's getting more and more concerning about it how many providers we have attached to poles and who's regulating or not that. >> supervisor fewer: it seems the regulation is very loose what can stay up on the poles and what can't. >> i have a clarifying question, these smaller providers, do they come and get permission from at&t if they're coming on your pole and are you required -- do you have to let them on there? >> yes. >> but they have to get your permission? >> they have to apply and make sure whatever they'll be installing will be safe and the pole can withstand that load. >> maybe we should have a follow-up on this one. >> supervisor fewer: i think we should, but actually we're going
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to have puc here too because puc also owns a lot of poles in san francisco. puc owns poles, pg&e owns postal jointly with at&t. thank you. thank you, ms. blackstone. now from comcast, our friend dylan in a new capacity here. [ laughter ] >> supervisor fewer: colleagues, it's this presentation, so i hope everyone has a copy. all right, dylan, good to see you again. >> good morning, supervisors. for the record, dylan ellian comcast, government affairs. i'm joined by my colleagues kevin domer from my left and behind me john gumar from regulatory affairs. thank you for the invitation to speak to comcast's commitment to safety and the safety program.
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we share the vision of the city of san francisco for a well-maintained network and the safety of workers and the public. we continue to invest in our network to provide a broad range of innovative products and services, including gigabit service to all clients. we have invested $8 billion infrastructure improvement since 2011. additionally we continue to demonstrate our commitment to inclusion which provides low-cost high-speed internet to students and seniors in san francisco and others. and since the launch of essentials in 2011, comcast has connected more than 6 million individuals to low-cost, high-speed internet. i just wanted to quickly say that we have a focus on community impact and digital --
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with that, if i may, i would like to hand it over to my colleague kevin domer to speak. thank you. >> thank you. kevin domer with comcast president field. so for us, safety is really important, it's number one. we have approximately 100 technicians that work here in san francisco, and we do a lot of training with them on what we call outside plant conformance, which is the go 95 regulations. we do a lot of training with them in getting them up to speed in these safety issues. we are instructing them to on every single job to look one span right, one span left, and look for any non-conformance issue that they may have. part of the closing of any work
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order requires that they close the job with a pass, fail, or repair on outside plant conformance. if they repaired something and made it up to standards, then they would close that job out as a repair. if it's something that they aren't capable of repairing right then, because of time or it's beyond the scope of what they can handle, then they fail it and a return job is immediately created to have the work done. >> supervisor fewer: thank you. >> now, if it is an extreme safety issue that is perilous, they are instructed to stay on site for as long as it takes until they can hand that off to the entity that needs to fix it, whether it's another utility, even the fire department,
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something like that. we must stay on site until the issue is resolved or hand off to someone that can resolve it. so we have a map here. this is just kind of an example. this is six months of data and this is the number of work orders that we've had within the city of san francisco. so every black dot is one of these work orders. just to kind of give you an idea of how much territory we cover during the six months so that we can do this evaluation of the spans, one left, one right, and do this what we call the patrol inspection to make sure everything is up to our outside plant safety conformance. so all field personnel are trained in this. it's an ongoing process from the very first pay that they become
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an employee. we're talking about the safety conformance. every month we have specific training tailored precisely for them to gain their knowledge. i personally go out and train supervisors and what i call calibrate the eye. so i go out and train the supervisors so they can in turn use that knowledge to train the front-line employees as well so we're all on the same page. we also have an outside plant conformance guide book that the technicians can reference when they're out in the field. the technicians actually created a quick reference one-page sheet that they can use. it's a hard-bound laminated sheet that they can use with the most common non-conformance issues that they can reference if they need to.
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>> supervisor fewer: so if you don't mind, i have a question. so when we're looking at these utility poles, are you joint owners of any of these poles? >> no, we're tenants. >> supervisor fewer: you're all tenants? when we're looking at where -- you would be in this communication zone of the pole; is that correct? >> yeah. >> supervisor fewer: okay. and since you have so many customers, i'm assuming that you have really a lot of wires on our poles. would that be an accurate assumption? >> well, we have the drop lines that go to the facilities, the house or the building. >> supervisor fewer: okay. so your lines go from the building. okay. so your lines actually do you -- so to get your service to the building, is it a single line that runs? >> yes, single line.
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>> supervisor fewer: thank you. what additional stuff do you have on the poles besides that? >> well, we have, you know, active devices like amplifiers, things like that that are not on the poles but are on our strand. >> supervisor fewer: on your strand. >> that hangs between the poles. >> supervisor fewer: are those those black things hanging between the poles? >> i'm sorry? >> supervisor fewer: we see these bibbing black things now on the poles, on the wires, are those yours? >> i'm not sure, that -- i mean, there's several utilities that have black things, like what you're describing. >> supervisor fewer: yeah, i know. i'm so sorry. untrained eye. >> it's nice to see you again. yes, we do have amplifiers on our poles, but over time it's -- our investment in our network is to put more fiber into our network so we don't need
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amplifiers. and what that does is take an rf signal and boost it. if you put more amplifier in, you don't need to boost it. are there more amplifiers? yes, but less than when i started the company a decade ago >> supervisor fewer: is there a plan to get rid of those and have more fiber? >> get rid of, yes, but not totally eliminate. there would be some portion of a neighborhood that you may need to boost signal. for instance, our 1 gig service was referenced. you have lots of people using that at one time, that rf signal is going to be need to be amplified. we will not eliminate, but bring more fiber over time >> supervisor fewer: so you're saying there is a plan to remove many of these on the poles by using fiber; correct? >> that's correct. >> supervisor fewer: any
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questions? >> supervisor walton: just a quick question. you may not be able to answer this and i'll have to wait. do you know how one comes to owning a pole? how does that decision get made? >> i do not know. i mean, cable started as a tenant. we have a long-term interest in being owners >> supervisor fewer: thank you. any other questions or comments? thank you, comcast. we have other providers, though, that are providing the service that you provide; is that right, dylan? >> pardon me. >> supervisor fewer: we have other providers that are providing the same service that you are providing? >> we like to think our service is unique and best in class, but there is competition to your question. >> supervisor fewer: you are sharing that particular area. >> the communications zone, yes. >> supervisor fewer: so would you say that also through inspection that this is where we're seeing most of the new wiring coming in, is in this communications area?
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>> if i may. >> yes, supervisor, there are and this has been spoken of this, monkey brains and other folks, sonic coming into the frisk market. you know, the -- a lot has been said about the -- how competitive this market is. i think san francisco are the most competitive internet access markets in the country, but it does come with additional facilities in the city >> supervisor fewer: okay. so as -- and so when my constituents say we're seeing much more wiring on our poles, it is because more companies and more competition is coming in so they are putting up their own lines. then we don't have any regulatory ability to regulate that in san francisco, i'm believing, because that is regulated by the california puc and also this other pole agency, whatever it is, association; is that correct? >> i do not know the pole
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process -- >> supervisor fewer: i think it's a question for the city attorney. thank you. now we have puc, ramon abway. >> good morning, supervisors. so our portion here, i wanted to clarify a couple of things. so we do own poles, and once we get to that diagram. we don't own too many poles, power poles, in the city. i want to clarify that. we own probably about 200 power poles, but we own about 25,000 streetlight poles. so the applications that the at&t represented stated they're not on power poles but on our streetlight poles. i just want to qualify that. there's a difference. >> supervisor fewer: okay. >> so the poles that we own, it's shown on this map, it's very limited. like i said, it's about 200
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poles and a lot of those still belong to the housing authority. they don't transfer those ownership to us until they're ready to close the project and they're ready to transfer the utilities to us. i also want to clarify about jurisdiction, private versus public poles. so just to clarify, we're not under the jurisdiction of the california public utilities commission, we're under your jurisdiction. basically you give us directions. although we abide by the general orders 95, 165, we follow the construction standards on the pole for safety and reliability. so -- >> supervisor fewer: how many poles. >> i want to clarify that. >> supervisor fewer: sure. how many poles do you own? >> we own about 200 poles, that includes the poles owned by the housing authority and that are going through the construction site. >> supervisor fewer: okay.
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so san francisco puc owns 200 power poles? >> correct. >> supervisor fewer: in comparison to the, something, 22,000 -- >> 32,000 by pg&e. >> supervisor fewer: owned by pg&e. so i think it's safe to say the vast majority of these utility poles are owned by -- in some part by pg&e, even if they're jointly owned? >> that's correct. and i also want to clarify -- yeah, so this is basically when you say there is utilities, so under the joint pole agreement a lot of the communication companies are able to attach to the pole on the communication space that they have >> supervisor fewer: so they're able to attach to your poles? >> they do if they apply. we're also part of the joint pole agreement. we're the base owners >> supervisor fewer: so you -- all of you -- so this association is getting really -- >> we don't have any ownership
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on the pg&e poles that i know about, of that 32,000 poles, because we don't have any facilities to attach. >> supervisor fewer: okay. but on your 200 poles, and you're just up 200 poles, which is a small number. okay. i feel like that's -- got it. okay. >> so of those 22,000 poles jointly owned by pg&e, one of the challenges to mention about undergrounding, some of the challenges in doing underground working, a lot of times the base owner in this case, which is pg&e, will be much ahead of the other utilities due to the coordination that may be done, but the base owner under the joint pole agreement can abandon the pole -- not abandon, but transfer ownership responsibility to the communications company. in terms of who has to get rid of the pole, it's really depending on the schedule. under the joint pole agreement, once pg&e gets done and the communication companies are not
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ready to transfer their facilities, they will -- there's a term that will top it off and let the communications company deal with the poles. one of the questions i was asked to answer was what do we do with abandoned poles? it really depends on scheduling and coordinating with the other joint pole owners. in most cases from my experience, not here, is that the communication companies are behind the power companies because they're always needing to get the power up or through the underground project completely. so coordination is a major challenge that we need to work on in order to clean up the poles. >> supervisor fewer: so, supervisor walton, looks as though you see a lot of poles in your hood. >> again, i want to clarify, we do own over 25,000 streetlight poles, but not power poles. >> supervisor fewer: not power poles, but the street light poles, okay. >> all right?
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>> supervisor fewer: okay. got it. >> thank you. >> supervisor fewer: thank you very much. any questions? supervisor walton. >> supervisor walton: do you know the answer to how a company or a public utilities becomes an owner of a pole? >> yes, that becomes a public easement. they have to apply with the public works department to allow them to install the pole, and one of the reasons for the joint pole, i think mr. klein mentioned, we want to avoid having all communication companies and the utilities to insert their own poles. so we're trying to minimize poles in public right of way. so really to allow a pole it's up to our public works department to allow that to be inserted. >> supervisor fewer: got it. thank you very much. thank you. we are learning bits and bits of information, aren't we? now let's have public works,
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eric thrasher to talk about the utility underground master plan study. thank you. >> good morning, supervisors. my name is eric thrasher. i am with -- >> supervisor fewer: hi, mr. thrasher. >> i am with san francisco department of public works, bureau of street use and mapping. i have been liaisoning with our partners at telemon engineering study, the master plan underground utility study. i'm going to invite doug zeiring
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with telemon to discuss the slides. this isn't the actual study. we're giving you a sneak peek. the results should be completed sometime late august or early september. just quickly as a way of background, the last program to underground utilities in san francisco began in 1996, and from 1996 to about 2006 roughly 46 miles of overhead wires were undergrounded in the city. at cost of about $173 million. as was mentioned earlier, the 20(a) fund that was used to pay for this program went into deficit and that's why the program stopped in 2006. there is currently a program, a second streetscape program underway which will involve two blocks of lines that will be undergrounded, but aside from
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that nothing has happened since 2006. i would also mention that there is a neighborhood association in supervisor stefani's district that are interested in doing a 20(c) property owner funded. so there hasn't been much activity in a while. so the purpose of this study was to kind of get a state of where things are currently to talk about funding and some other issues which doug is going to go into. here we have as our agenda for this brief overview. i'm going to talking about the goals, governing policies and previous projects which i just mentioned, lessons learned to underground, the approach for the master plan, and the benefits of the study. >> supervisor fewer: excuse me. >> yeah. >> supervisor fewer: i think as a matter of time, since you mentioned that there is going to be a study, the study results are going to be released in
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august or september, which i think could be an appropriate time to bring this back to committee, quite frankly. >> okay. >> supervisor fewer: i'm wondering if you could just then -- because i feel as though once we hear from the study, when we call it, you will actually address some of these other areas. so i'm just wondering if you could focus now on the master work plan approach and then maybe on the framework of the study and we'll have you come back when the study has been completed. would that be okay? >> perfect. >> supervisor fewer: i'm sorry, this plan isn't numbered, but it's a master work plan approach. >> i'm going to invite doug ziering from telemoney ziering up. >> good morning. thanks for calling this session
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together. it's been very informative with all of the other utility agencies here. one of the main goals that -- as we have reviewed all of the past history and documentation and everything else, there is a large amount of lessons learned that we have obtained. so as we have developed this master work plan, one of the key elements we're looking to identify is unforeseen conditions of which will help to mitigate any risk as we move forward with any undergrounding master plan that gets developed in the future. from these lessons learned that we have identified some of the big elements in this master work plan approach that we're entertaining is to plan by risk mitigation and alternative funding sources, as well as identifying a process that can be implemented during design and
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construction as well. as you can see, there are a lot of various poles in san francisco. so one of the key points is trying to make sure that the database of what is out there as well as who are all of the sf stakeholders, that would need to be engaged as we go to underground various districts and everything is very important piece, as well as understanding the cost per mile, which can vary quite substantially depending on if you're undergrounding downtown or versus in more of a suburban area. we have seen those costs range from $3 per mile all the way up to $13 million per mile. so depending on how much of a maze is below ground can greatly increase those costs. one of the other big elements that we're looking at for alternative funding sources is
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identifying collaboration with other san francisco projects or developments that might be occurring in the area. we feel this is a pretty big opportunity that can reduce costs as well as share in the burden of finding funding sources for undergrounding utility. as we move into the design and construction, we would build off this initial planning effort, which is probably the bulk of the work that would take place. so establishing what is known as existing site conditions with respect to -- there are methods of doing underground utility locating or pot-holing to understand what's under the ground as well as making sure you have an accurate survey of everything that you are going to underground so the design makes sure to take all of that into consideration. another key element we feel is phasing and constructability. dealing with the phasing with so many services and points of
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connection not only to the existing systems becomes quite an effort. so making sure that that effort gets reviewed in a timely process and gets brought forth during design process, then you can make sure that the costs get allocated appropriately. the final point that kind of seems to be during design and construction is this early coordination and collaboration that these sf stakeholders. we can't emphasize that enough. to me, the more we collaborate and the more we understand what each person is doing, the more we can make sure to build off of each other and make sure funding gets shared or you share in that burden of having one sole person doing the undergrounding. then if you want some of the benefits we feel from doing this
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master plan framework. the goal is to help the stakeholders developing a formal master plan as well as capital planning for anything in the future. we feel we will be able to help out with minimizing risk and any cost overruns you'll be able to identify that over time. identify funding sources. as you can see rule 20(a) doesn't seem to be the best source anymore. and then the other big one is identifying these collaboration projects to help share in the burden of undergrounding >> supervisor fewer: okay. thank you. actually, that was one of the things i was going to ask about the collaboration. as you know, we are putting in also pretty extensive new water systems, sewer systems, those types of things and seems as though we should be coordinating it at the same time so we don't keep ripping up the streets. colleagues, any comments or questions? if not, this opens -- thank you
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very much, i appreciate it. let's open this up for public comment. ilene bovin, richard kordelo, mark snider, david banroft, jill fox, steven edwards, and then mr. phillips. every speaker will have two minutes. thank you. >> i'll be using the overhead. >> supervisor fewer: oh, the overhead, please, mr. carroll. >> ilene bovin coalition for san francisco neighborhoods here on my own behalf. on the overhead is the proposal for the 2019 building code update. it was presented at the capital planning committee on july 22 of this year. in its presentation, the department of the environment stated that 35% of the city's
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emissions today is from private-sector natural gas. to reduce these emissions, the proposal is to encourage all electric design in new construction. the timeline for this proposal is for review by the department of building inspection and code advisory committee in august, the board of supervisors land use committee in september, and the full board in october. while not in the department of the environment presentation, the capital planning committee members expressed concerns. with increased reliance on electricity, the issue of reliability was raised. the response was possible use of battery storage for electricity. although not specifically related to this presentation, the issue of undergrounding was raised. with the risk of blown transformers and downed power lines, the undergrounding of utility wires should be considered as well. with pg&e in bankruptcy, i would
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urge the sf puc, and the board to replace storage batteries and the undergrounding of lines on the table. in response to pg&e, the west side has lots of gophers. the sand dunes are their native habitat. we shouldn't put in undergrounding without concern for the gophers. district 1 -- district 4. >> supervisor fewer: yes, i know i have gophers in my back yard. >> does the committee want a copy of this? >> supervisor fewer: yes, thank you very much. >> okay. >> supervisor fewer: thank you. next speaker, please. yes, next speaker, please.
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>> can i have the overhead, please. thank you, supervisors, particularly stefani for showing up and fewer and stefani for proposing this legislation and supervisor walton. thank you very much for hearing this important safety issue today. my name is richard cardello. i'm a board member of russian members and a long supporter of the san francisco coalition to
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underground utilities. really, thank you for bringing this up and i've learned a lot today. thank you for calling the speakers. sadly, we're all too aware of the recent devastating fires contributed to downed power lines which resulted in a great loss of life and property. the existence of the very many remaining overhead wires in san francisco makes the ever-present danger of an impending earthquake that much more ominous. i wonder if all these wires are still in active use or if many have been abandoned. i learned what the definition of "abandoned" means now, it means nothing. >> supervisor fewer: yeah. >> i'm also concerned about the potential interference with fire safety and if the fire department is unable to use their ladders in some cases because of the interference of overhead wires. i was first attracted to the
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cause of undergrounding for esthetic reasons. i've grown to appreciate that the tangles of wires above our heads also represent an extreme hazard for residents and visitors to our city. please move to remove this danger over us. thank you so much >> supervisor fewer: thank you very much, sir. >> i need three hands. oh, dear. wait a minute. thank you, supervisors, for hosting this hearing today. i am the chairman of the san francisco coalition to
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underground utilities. in addressing the proliferation of wires, poles, and equipment in the 45% of our city that is endangered by its existence, it is only right to point out that you address today only a portion of the city's residents, as more than half the city enjoys undergrounded utilities and it's paralleled increased safety. it is therefore doubly important to bring parity to the rest of your constituents. as telecom saddles every single american pole with new equipment by order of the middle class tax act of 2012, pole heights are being raised, increased 4 to 7 feet, changing the relationship of existing wires to both poles and adjacent properties, creating swinging, sagging boxes
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and wires which then are blithely controlled with duct tape, if at all. this duct tape was applied in february of 2016, pg&e apparently reviewed these poles annually. this duct tape has been there now three years. by dpw permit requirement, telecom must attach its new equipment in a "neat and orderly condition without excess loops." but with no requirement to refrain from making existing wires worse. an interim solution prior to undergrounding is obvious to me. telecom -- [ indiscernible ] -- [microphone not activated].
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>> clerk: the speaker's time is concluded. >> supervisor fewer: thank you very much. thank you. next speaker, please. >> good morning, supervisors. thank you for having this hearing. my name is mark snider. i'm a resident of district 8 and a member of the san francisco coalition of underground utilities steering committee. we're a city at risk for earthquakes, and a strong earthquake will certainly topple utility poles. residents and tourists alike will risk injury and death from falling poles, but the wires on the street will also present a risk in that fire and emergency vehicles will not cross wires that they cannot pass without -- knowing that they're safe to pass. the solution clearly is undergrounding. it's not rocket science, but it does involve engineering. there are some updates in a localization of underground facilities and utilities, and there are also updates in creating conduits without
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trenching. both of these have potential for cost savings. undergrounding will help our city become safer and more resilient, more beautiful, and it's an investment that will be spread out over years and recouped those reasonable franchise fees on the utilities that share the conduits. here's what i think has to be done. i hope you will assert your authority into the removal of non-functioning wires. i hope you legislate the dig-once approach, so there will be more undergrounding when streets are dug for other purposes. i hope you will look at the franchise deal with pg&e now that they're in bankruptcy and look at a municipalized system. fully fund the master plan for undergrounding and support changes to the rule 28 program that have been discussed. thank you very much >> supervisor fewer: thank you very much. next speaker, please.
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>> good morning, my name is steven edwards. i'm also a member of the san francisco coalition of underground utilities. i live in district 8. i wanted to point out what seems to me a huge discrepancy between the -- what we heard this morning in this hearing and what we see on the streets. the speakers from the telecoms and from pg&e this morning emphasized and went into considerable detail about the protocols that they use in order to coordinate amongst themselves and how they ensure that each of the various steps are taken to make sure that things are installed on poles, that they're safe, that they're earthquake safe and so on. and yet, the reality before our eyes that you see over here, this is what it really looks like. this is not what we heard.
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all this stuff, the tape, you see the cut bits there that you see hanging down, they're using these not poles, but the wires themselves to store large heavy coils of cable. i heard no one say that any form of academic or scientific study has been done on the risks of these hanging things swinging in an earthquake. so my question to you would be: would you be able to find out what would happen in a 7.0 earthquake with all of this swinging material? thank you very much >> supervisor fewer: thank you very much. next speaker, please. >> my name is david bancroft.
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i'm a resident of district 2 and i too am a board member of the san francisco coalition of underground utilities. i want to talk about two things. first i want to clear up sort of a little bit of fog that we generated today about rule 20, to make two essential points. number one, that obviously what is going on here -- by the way, rule 20 funds are generated by a charge to our utility bills, so everybody. so essentially what's been going on here for the last 12, 14 years is we, those who don't have undergrounding, have been paying for -- paying out of our utility bills for those people who have undergrounding. this drove our coalition to not try to find certain sections of the city that would get undergrounded, but the only equitable thing to be done is to have city-wide undergrounding which is the master plan.
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on the issue of is undergrounding better to leave the wires up, 100,000 frenchmen can't be wrong. san diego is doing this at 12 to 15 miles a year and have been doing it for the last 10 or 12 years. santa barbara is doing it. berkley has commissioned a study to underground if they're going to be doing it. i mean, the proof in the pudding is very much in the knowing here. not only as supervisor mandelman pointed out, is it common sense, but the techniques are available, the cost can be controlled and we urge you to push for a master plan after telemon reports on its initial overview for a master plan. thank you very much. >> supervisor fewer: thank you very much, sir.
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thank you for covering this issue. my name is lindsy phillips. i am a member of the san francisco coalition of underground utilities. i live for the past 30 years in a 100-year-old building on russian hill. there are six poles on my block. i look at them out my windows with the recently added extensions holding all of the gear for the telecom industries, some of those poles are now four storeys high. they tilt if you look at them from the top of our block. i'm on a hill. one of them fell two years ago
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when a tree that was weakened by the drought and have not been trimmed back from the wires fell over in a wind storm, knocked down the pole which totalled two automobiles that were parked on the street and blocked the entire street. luckily this happened in the middle of the night or someone might have been badly injured. i would like to say there are also poles behind my house. now, as i said, i live in a very old building. these poles were probably put in 100 years ago. they're poorly maintained. if it rains, i have no telephone servi service. the wires until about a year ago were sheathed in paper, which is 1920s technology. i really think -- we have
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linemen that will not even climb those poles back there, they're so dangerous. so i don't know who's inspecting them. i certainly haven't seen anybody. thank you. >> supervisor fewer: thank you very much. next speaker, please. >> good morning, commissioners. thank you very much for this meeting. i've learned a lot. my name is lucricia row. i live on russian hill and i'm on the board of russian hill neighbors. i've lived in my building for over 30 years. it's on -- i don't mind saying it's on the corner of chestnut and levenworth. there used to be four utility poles on that corner. there's now seven. that's why i was taken aback when the man from pg&e said they're trying to reduce the number of poles because we have
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three more. plus, not only that, the new poles -- the old poles were replaced with much taller ones so they are almost 4 -- i'm on the fifth floor and they're almost up to my windows. but the point i wanted to make is that -- from what i've heard is the tenant and owners of these poles, obviously these owners of poles are getting revenue from the tenants, tenants are leasing the space on the poles. so needless to say, they have little motivation to limit the number of tenants they have, unless there is some other regulatory agency that takes care of that, because it's seemed like for a while every week another cable company or net company was coming by with big spools of cables and
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installing more and more and more. needless to say i am for putting all these horrible wires and equipment underground. thank you very much. >> supervisor fewer: thank you. >> hello, i'm jill fox. i'm here today as a community volunteer as a member of the san francisco coalition for underground utilities. i live and vote in d 10. while i encourage you to fund a master plan, i would like you to consider the specific issue of large new developments. i live a half a mile from the shipyard. the shipyard is fully underground utilities, electric, fiberoptic cable, they advertise it. it looks beautiful. however, these utilities get to the shipyard through the established neighborhoods. all they did to power their fancy new high-tech units was
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run wires on existing above-ground poles in the old neighborhood, poles that run on both sides of innis avenue and were installed in 1941. there have been fires, explosions, poles have collapsed. it's really not safe. so now there are hundreds of homes and eventually there will be thousands of homes basically running off an extension card past my home. so i have two suggestions: have these larger developers pay for putting the utilities underground through the neighborhoods that feed to their projects, so that would be the shipyard and the candlestick side and several other large projects. have the city establish a percentage per square foot fee on new buildings that go into a city-wide utility undergrounding fund. in our zeal to build, build,
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build, you need to consider the people who already live here, especially those of us near these big developments. with my suggestions, you will help assure while we add more homes and offices, we also make this city livable for all. thank you >> supervisor fewer: thank you very much. next speaker, please. >> the cost of undergrounding has variously been estimated at $1.3 million to upwards of $13 million, that shared funding through collaboration would increase project costs through decentralization and the subsequent increase in the number of stakeholders, as opposed to concentrating the present data. is there a data reference with existing thumb notation of
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maximum load capacity on a pole stock basis with the present load volume expressed as a percentage as a labor-savings measure and in the interests of maximizing utility to suit potential requirement. so in between the poles do they keep a running number or tally of what the capacity is on the pole and between the poles? so we have also heard, if i recall, two or three speakers mention pole mapping and restrictions on information related to homeland security issues. so i imagine the same is true in terms of the operation of laying underground fiberoptic cable which we can all appreciate. i'm wondering then if at&t and pg&e require that field operation employees verify their