Case Study - Medium Size Market

Clackamas County, Oregon

Clackamas County is a suburban jurisdiction in the Portland Metropolitan Area, with a population of over 400,000. It is famous for being at the end of the Oregon Trail and encompassing Mount Hood, part of the Pacific Northwest’s Ring of Fire. It is also somewhat unique in that it has multiple, sometimes overlapping, cable operators ranging from the largest in the country, Comcast, to smaller telephone cooperatives that also provide cable service. The unincorporated County also surrounds numerous incorporated municipalities. Since the late 1990s, CBG has successfully performed a variety of projects for both the County and incorporated municipalities.

Cable System Technical Audit

In 1999, we completed multiple cable system technical audits encompassing 9 different cable operators serving the unincorporated County and its municipalities, including, at that time, TCI™ and Falcon Cable™ as the largest (now Comcast™ and Radiate™ [after undergoing multiple transfers from Falcon™ to Charter™ to Wave Broadband™ to Radiate™]) to the smallest serving only 90 homes (a telephone cooperative also providing cable service). These technical audits, as many do, required an in-depth understanding of FCC rules; the cable industry as a whole including small, medium and large size operations; and the continually evolving cable TV, telecommunications and broadband marketplace and associated technology.

After establishing that baseline, CBG has continued to perform technical audits over the years on these systems as they have evolved, including migration from all analog to all digital, all coaxial to hybrid fiber coax (HFC) and fiber to the premises (FTTP) and from primarily downstream video services to a highly interactive environment. Audits now include testing in both the upstream and downstream directions and both at the end of distribution lines and through ever more sophisticated set-top units (STUs). At this time, CBG’s testing includes optical performance, as well as a variety of tests related to QAM-based signals under FCC rules promulgated in the Fall of 2017. CBG’s system technical audits have led to the cure of a multitude of outside plant code compliance violations, as well as multiple system upgrades in the nearly 20 years that we have performed services for Clackamas County.

Broadband Planning

During the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunities Program) in 2010, CBG successfully assisted the County in developing an application for a County-wide, middle mile fiber optic network designed to provide high capacity infrastructure for multi-gigabit IP communications connectivity to a host of anchor institutions, as well as provide pathways for both public and private providers to expand broadband access in the County. This fiber optic network is called the CBX (Clackamas Broadband Express) and now serves numerous educational and governmental locations, as well as providing a backbone network for multiple wireless ISPs.

Cable Television Franchise Renewal and Community Needs Assessment

CBG has performed Needs Assessments related to franchise renewals affecting nearly every cable operator in the County, which has resulted in upgraded and enhanced Public, Educational and Governmental Access television opportunities; in-depth franchise customer service and technical standards; increased funding support for PEG Access; and a host of other franchise provisions beneficial to the County.

The Needs Assessments have included written and online surveys of the residential community and various organizational constituencies. They have also included site visits, facility tours and facility and equipment age, condition, usage and capability evaluations and analyses related to every PEG Access Channel provider in the County.

With the multiplicity of cable franchises serving the County, CBG continues to assist the County in a variety of cable franchise renewal-related activities as different systems enter the 36-month federally-stipulated renewal window.

Ongoing Franchise Administration Assistance

CBG provides expertise and assistance related to a number of day-to-day issues that arise with the various cable operators in the County, including questions and issues concerning the use of PEG funds, transfers and assignments (CBG recently assisted the County in the transfer process from Wave Broadband™ to Radiate™), franchise negotiations, technical issues and compliance and enforcement of franchise requirements.

Some Examples of Other Medium-Sized Market Clients

  • Washington County, Oregon and its municipalities
  • City of Vancouver and Clark County Washington
  • Marin County, California
  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Frederick County, Howard County and Charles County, Maryland
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico