WHEREAS, issues related to the impact of telecommunications technology are of primary concern to all citizens of the City of Philadelphia;

WHEREAS, telecommunications technology will be a compelling force for global competitiveness in the City, the region, and the nation;

WHEREAS, the City of Philadelphia's ability to attract and retain business as well as create and maintain jobs is linked to an advanced telecommunications infrastructure;

WHEREAS, the City of Philadelphia has a unique combination of public, private, and nonprofit telecommunications entities headquartered in the metropolitan region, giving it a distinct competitive advantage over other major municipalities in the nation;

WHEREAS, these telecommunications entities have expressed a willingness to work with the City to help position and promote the image of the City as a world class leader in telecommunications technology, workforce preparedness, and economic development;

NOW, THEREFORE, by the power vested in me in accordance with Section 3ll(h) of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, it is hereby ordered as follows:


A. The Telecommunications Policy Advisory Commission (the "Commission") is hereby established in the Office of the Mayor. The Commission shall consist of thirty (30) members who shall be appointed by the Mayor. Two-thirds of the original members shall be appointed to three-year terms and one-third shall be appointed to three-year terms one year later. All members shall serve at the pleasure of the Mayor, as required by Section 3-404 of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter.

B. Persons appointed to fill vacancies shall serve for the balance of the terms for which their predecessors were appointed. All other appointments shall be for two year terms.

C. In making appointments to the Commission, the Mayor shall consider recommendations from City Council.


In making appointments to the Commission, the Mayor shall use his best efforts to create and maintain a Commission reflecting the diversity of public, private, and nonprofit entities involved in telecommunications technology, industry, and related activities.

A. Those selected shall have the skills and experience in areas relevant to the work of the Commission. Areas that should be represented are: community and business leadership, relevant academic and training expertise, economical development, and workforce preparedness.

B. The Chair of the Commission will be appointed by the Mayor.

C. At the first meeting of the Commission, it shall, by majority vote of all its members, adopt rules governing the conduct of its meetings, proceedings, and other procedural matters.

D. To allow for broad participation on a regional basis, the Commission will be supported by subcommittees or work groups whose membership shall not exceed ten (10) members each, including participating Commission members. Initial subcommittees shall include:

Regional Issues and Relationships
Technology Requirements and Future Trends
Workforce Development and Job Creation
Educational Relationship and Issues
New Business Growth and Development
Legislation and Regulatory Review and Analysis
Community Needs and Development
(1) Membership for participation on the subcommittees will be solicited by the Commission and appointments will be made by the Mayor upon the request of a majority of the Commission.

(2) The number and type of subcommittees can be increased or decreased by the Mayor based upon the needs of the Commission upon the request of a majority of the Commission.


No compensation shall be paid to Commission members.


A. The Commission shall advise the Mayor and City Council on policies and actions as related to the use or impact of telecommunications technologies in the City of Philadelphia and the region.

B. The Commission shall have the power to research and report on any telecommunication-related issues deemed appropriate to accomplish:

(1) the goals of quality education;

(2) affordable and accessible healthcare;

(3) creation and retention of businesses and jobs;

(4) maintaining and expanding the tax base by promoting the City's unique position as home to major multi-national telecommunication companies and other companies which are at the leading edge of telecommunications technology; and

(5) any associated issues which will, in total, enable students and all citizens who live and work in Philadelphia to achieve their personal goals regarding access to information and preparedness to participate in any economy which is increasingly tied to the use of telecommunication networks.

C. The Commission shall: explore the appropriate roles of local governments in assuring and safeguarding public access to telecommunications networks; encourage investment in telecommunications infrastructure; advocate the private creation of telecommunication businesses that promote job opportunities and/or expand the wage and property tax base; and recommend ways that the City can support the growth of telecommunications-reliant businesses.

D. The Commission shall also review relationships of the City with telecommunications providers to ensure a competitive marketplace and that providers are treated in a non-discriminatory fashion.

E. The Commission shall also explore ways to disseminate information about the unique combination of telecommunications providers and their ability to support the development of advanced infrastructure for the educational, healthcare, governmental, and business communities in the region and the nation, as well as the creation and retention of jobs.

F. The Commission shall assess the extent and quality of available and future telecommunications infrastructures; benchmark comparable cities to identify best practices on the most efficient, affordable, and cost-effective manner in which to access telecommunications networks; research the challenges associated with operating telecommunications or telecommunications reliant businesses in the City; advise on public policy regarding local government's interfacing with telecommunications companies; and determine the best methods of communicating to the business community the wealth of telecommunications resources in the City.

G. The Commission will work cooperatively with the School District of Philadelphia, Community College of Philadelphia, and other City schools and regional educational institutions and students to develop strategies for the effective utilization of telecommunications and information technology.

H. The Commission has no legislative oversight or executive authority.

I. The Commission, at its discretion, may make specific recommendations at any time; shall issue a public report summarizing its activities and recommendations not less than once a year to the Mayor and City Council; and shall make copies of the report available to the public at the Free Library, on the Internet, and in other locations.


This Order shall be effective immediately.

Date: 5 June 1996

Signed: Edward G. Rendell, Mayor

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