Proposed Data Zoning Regulations

Purpose of this document

The 20'th century was marked by changes in mankind's ability to move materials. New industries were born and new lands were opened as we advanced from rowboats and sailing ships to steamships, locomotives and then to cars and airplanes. The 21'st century is marked by the changes in our ability to move data, rather than goods and people.

Our society is moving from a world where our work and home are limited by our physical environment to one where our work and home is enhanced by the availability of information and by our ability to acquire that information.

Just as the railway was essential to Dexter's growth in the 1800's and the I-94 was essential in the 1970's, having an on-ramp to the Information Superhighway is essential in the 21'st century.

Communication capabilities that were considered to be expensive toys for scientists yesterday are considered essential by businessmen today. These capabilities will be considered inadequate tomorrow. In order to maintain a controlled growth, Dexter and the surrounding communities must obtain and maintain a data communications infrastructure that will attract the residents and businesses that can make the Dexter the type of community we all wish to live in.

This document addresses the data connectivity needs of the 21'st century homeowner and small businessman. It defines minimal levels of access to the Information Highway, and methods for modifying those minimum requirements as technology advances.

Oversight Group

Just as we require zoning regulations and a zoning board and inspectors to maintain our physical environment, we will require a set of regulations and inspectors to maintain the data environment.

Because the data environment extends beyond any single townships boundaries, this board will be created from representatives from the neighboring townships.

Duties of this board may include:

  1. Generating and maintaining a set of data environment zoning regulations including:
    1. Minimal Quality-Of-Service acceptable to residential areas.
    2. Minimal Quality-Of-Service acceptable to industrial areas.
    3. Minimal Quality-Of-Service acceptable to high-tech incubator areas.
    4. Required functionality for cable TV franchises.
    5. Required coverage areas for cable TV franchises.
    6. Acceptable locations for wireless communication towers.
    7. Minimal wiring for communications in new structures.
    8. Develop wording on how far cell towers must be from residential areas of such-and-such a density
    9. Designing and maintaining a map of the wireless towers and coverage to allow providers to find an adequate location (perhaps existing location for facilities.)
    10. Designate some distance parameters where review by adjacent municipality might be allowed. For instance -- if you propose a cell tower in Dexter Crossing, Scio Township might be able to veto it since it is within X feet of the township border (but the area-wide zoning plan would deal with this).
    11. New regulations shall not provide a monopoly to any service provider. We must provide for alternative providers to be allowed to bid and provide infrastructure development (i.e., a single provider cannot just come in and say -- we were here first and you have to let us build right here).
  2. Generate and maintain simple checklists for service providers that details the minimal Quality-Of-Service requirements.
  3. Generate and maintain simple checklists for contractors, builders and architects that describes the building code Quality-Of-Service requirements.
  4. Assist builders and vendors in acquiring outside funding (Government and industry grants) to assist in complying with the Dexter Area Quality of Service requirements.
  5. Approve and inspect new buildings for adherance to code.
  6. Develop and bestow approval ratings for contractors and developments that meet and/or exceed the communications infrastructure codes.
  7. Negotiate with service vendors, such as the Cable TV franchises, wireless communications and land-line telephone.
  8. Develop taxation and fee structure for service providers.
    1. Currently, the service providers negotiate with townships on a one-by-one basis. This should be centralized with a common and standard rate structure.
    2. Reduced rates can be declared for vendors that provide services that meet the requirements.
    3. Fines can be applied to vendors that provide service that does not meet the required Quality of service.
  9. Create and manage a high-technology incubator area to support and encourage new businesses to locate in the Dexter area.

    This incubator area should:

    1. Provide state of the art access to the data infrastructure.
    2. Provide a temporary home for larger corporations moving to the Dexter area.
    3. Assist businesses to 'outgrow' the facilities and move to other sites.

Proposed Data-Environment Zoning Regulations

This set of regulations is suggested as a blueprint to help develop a more comprehensive set of actual regulations.

Vendor Provided Services

Many of the communication services required by residents must be provided by outside vendors. Currently these vendors consist of the cable TV, land-line phone and wireless phone service providers. In the future, these services may also include wireless data access providers, on-demand entertainment providers, and others. The Dexter area represents an area that can provide a large profit to these companies, but the larger profits may require larger investments than they would prefer to make. It is to both our advantage and their advantage to provide a set of minimal Quality-Of-Service benchmarks that these providers must meet (or perhaps exceed.)

Cable TV Franchises

  1. All new Cable franchises or upgrades must include two-way access suitable for use with Cable modems.
  2. Cable TV Frachises will be required to offer real-time access to and from each school building to all residents within that school district.
  3. If cable modems are supported, cable franchisers must allow full speed access between all schools and all residents of that school district.

    If the franchise area and school district do not coincide, the TV franchise must make arrangments with the neighboring franchises to provide that coverage in their areas.

Land line data communication providers

  • Data Rate availability by geographic zoning area:

    Areas zoned as follows must be able to purchase connectivity with the following data rates at a reasonable cost. ((How to define reasonable cost??))
    Area Required Data Rate Uptime
    Hi-Tech/Light Industrial 100 MB/S 99% (3 outage days/year)
    Commercial 10 MB/S 95% (15 outage days/year)
    Residential 1 MB/S 90% (30 outage days/year)
    Rural Residential 0.5 MB/S 85% (45 outage days/year)

    Wireless Service Providers

    1. Require tower builders/developers to remove installations in the case of obsolescence within a defined period of time (say, five years of building)
    2. There will be an N Foot buffer zone around each township extending the zoning regulations regarding land use to the neighboring township. Tower developers creating projects at a township line will need to adhere to both sets of guidelines.
    3. Cell towers can not be placed in areas zoned Residential, Rural Residential, or Recreational.

    Regulations for Hi-Tech Zoning

  • A township may designate/zone an area for Hi-Tech Industrial use, which may require extensive upgrades above (or before) upgrades to other areas. ie: Before a utility can install services to a new residential area, they must bring the Hi-Tech area up to the current code for that area.
  • By new Development:
    1. Developers are required to put all wiring in conduits.
    2. Conduits must have access points every 1000 feet (?Reasonable number?)
    3. Each residence must be wired with two sets of cat-5 cables to each function room (bedroom/study/den)
  • When upgrading infrastructure
    1. All wiring must be installed in conduit.
    2. Conduit must be installed whenever a cable is upgraded or new cable is installed.
  • Conduits shall terminate in a central community owned cable facility (perhaps adjacent to school or town hall).
    1. A high-speed data conduit will connect this central cable facility to the service providers switching facility.
    2. This central facility will be managed by the data-environment board.