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Public Hearing – Comcast Cable Franchise Renewal

Are you interested in the renewal of Comcast’s Seattle cable franchise? Here are some ways you can participate in the public hearing process and provide comments on the proposed legislation to approve the franchise (Council Bill 118549):

  • Attend the public hearing on Thursday, November 12th at 2:00 pm (location: Seattle City Hall).
  • Watch the public hearing live at 2:00pm on The Seattle Channel (Channel 21) or via the Seattle Channel website: Seattle Channel live
  • Watch the recorded public hearing later on The Seattle Channel website: Seattle Channel Recent Event Videos
  • Email comments on the proposed franchise to Councilmember Bruce Harrell (harrell@seattle.gov) or all Councilmembers at council@seattle.gov.
  • Send comments to Councilmember Bruce Harrell, City of Seattle Legislative Department, PO Box 34025, Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Written comments on the proposed ordinance will be accepted until 5:00 pm on November 30, 2015.

Questions regarding the public hearing process should be directed to Councilmember Bruce Harrell’s office by calling (206) 684-8804.

For other information related to the Comcast cable franchise renewal, visit the Office of Cable Communications Franchise Renewal page or call them at (206) 684-8498.

Libraries to host Access for All Tech Open House

The Seattle Public Library and the Library Equal Access Program (LEAP) are proud to launch “Access for All: Accessibility Kits & Software” for low vision and blind patrons.

New accessibility software will be available on public computers at every Library location. All computer workstations will have ZoomText, a text-enlargement software program for low vision patrons, and JAWS, screen reading software to assist blind users.

To learn more about the software and kits, everyone is invited to attend an “Access for All” technology open house this fall. The open houses will be happening at Library locations across the city from Wednesday, Oct. 28 through Saturday, Dec. 19. Free parking is available at the branch library locations. Parking in the Central Library’s parking garage is $6 after 5:00 p.m. and will be covered for attendees of the LEAP technology open house.

At the open houses, Library staff will give patrons hands-on access to computers with the assistive software. They will also demonstrate how to use magnifiers, Braille systems and other items in the new Accessibility Kits. Dates, times and locations for the “Access for All” technology open houses are as follows.

The “Access for All” kits and software are generously supported by the Safeco Insurance Fund’s “Access for All” inclusion grant and The Seattle Public Library Foundation.

For more information visit the Access for All page, call the Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.



Computer, tablet or phone repair at a fraction of the cost

There’s not much worse than dealing with a computer, phone or tablet that’s acting up, especially when you realize the repair is beyond your ability and you need to go to a professional. Repairs can be costly, but fortunately for us, they do not have to be. Seattle nonprofit InterConnection offers computer, tablet and phone repairs for a fraction of the cost of what for-profit repair shops charge.

At InterConnection the diagnostic fee is only $40. After you get your computer, smartphone or tablet diagnosed, if you decide to have it repaired your $40 diagnostic fee goes towards the price of your repair. If your computer happens to be unrepairable, your diagnostic fee can go towards the cost of a new computer at InterConnection. They also offer a 20 percent discount on repairs to those who qualify as low-income, and $5 off repairs when you show a school ID.

Not only will you get a great deal on any repair you need, but when you shop at InterConnection you are helping their mission of making technology accessible to underserved individuals in both the Seattle community and around the world.

For more information visit http://interconnection.org/laptop_repair.php, call 206-633-1517 ext 116, or drop by the store at 3415 Stone Way North, Seattle, WA 98103.

Iga Fikayo Keme newest Get Engaged board member

CTAB (Community Technology Advisory Board) welcomes Iga Fikayo Keme as its newest member filling the Get Engaged position.

Iga is enthusiastic about serving on the Community Technology Advisory Board (CTAB). She understands that due to the constantly changing technology landscape, technology legislation is bringing significant changes to how our society operates. She is eager to use her business development skills and expanding knowledge in technology law to be of service to the City of Seattle. Iga is an attorney specializing in contracts and business transactions, but is shifting her focus to a career in technology and innovation. In growing her knowledge of this field, she has had the opportunity to assist with Seattle’s Annual Technology Law Conference, as well as Seattle’s Annual Cybersecurity Conference.

Iga grew up in a diverse community in Southern California where civic engagement was highly encouraged. She currently volunteers with a community organization that assist low-income residents with housing issues, and is a mentor to at-risk youth living in South Seattle. She previously worked and volunteered for a variety of organizations including GoodWill GoodGuides, America Reads America Counts, and the National Education Association. Iga received her Bachelor of Art’s degree in Political Science and Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara (2008), and her Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2014).

Comcast Customer Alert

No more payments/equipment will be accepted at Central Neighborhood Service Center.

Beginning September 2015, the City’s Central Neighborhood Service Center, 2301 S Jackson St, will no longer accept Comcast cable payments or equipment drops.

Comcast has ended its contract with the City’s Neighborhood Service Center and opened a new downtown cable service center that will now accept payments and equipment. Here are the new service center details:

Comcast (Xfinity) Store (Downtown)
900 Lenora St, Suite 116 (on the corner of Westlake and 9th Avenue)
Seattle, WA 98121

Store Hours
Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.
Sunday 12:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.


Comcast customers who used the Central Neighborhood Service Center can now visit the new downtown cable store, which opened in August 2015. For more information on the new site, see Comcast Opens Xfinity Store in Seattle’s South Lake Union Neighborhood.

Comcast also has a North Seattle service center that can accept payments and equipment.

Comcast Service Center (North Seattle)
12645 Stone Ave N
Seattle, WA 98133

Store Hours

Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.

Saturday 9:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.


If you have questions about the Central Neighborhood Service Center change or need help resolving an issue with your cable company, contact Seattle’s Office of Cable Communications at (206) 684-8498 or through our online Cable Issue Service Request Form.

Digital Equity Phase 1 report now available

The City of Seattle is pleased to present the Digital Equity Initiative Action Plan: Phase One – Building the FoundationThe vision, principles and goals were developed through community input in the first phase of the project, which included in-depth stakeholder interviews, four roundtable discussions throughout the City, our Community Technology Advisory Board (CTAB), and feedback from a City of Seattle interdepartmental team and an external Digital Equity Action Committee working together.  You can view the report here and read more about the Digital Equity Initiative here.

Please keep checking back as we will be reporting on our work as we further define strategies and prepare to implement in 2016.

Digital Equity Plan update

The City is wrapping up the first phase of work on a Digital Equity Initiative. A draft vision statement, principles and goals have been developed with the tremendous help so far from 17 interviewees, four community roundtables and a team from multiple departments with a community, education, faith and industry Digital Equity Action Committee. See the draft on our Digital Equity web site. Over the next six months, we will be identifying and assessing specific strategies for implementation. Look for this late in the year or to be announced with a splash early next year. Starting next month, we will also be accepting comments and ideas for action the City and community together can take to move digital equity forward in Seattle. Two Community Technology Advisory Board (CTAB) committees (Digital Inclusion and Cable and Broadband) are using their meetings to generate and discuss ideas. The public is welcome to participate in these. Contact David.keyes@seattle.gov if you are interested or sign up for the committee listserv to stay up to date.

Seattle to be part of HUD ConnectHome Program

Seattle was named as one of 28 communities around the country to be part of HUD’s ConnectHome program to increase internet access and digital opportunity for low-income families in HUD assisted housing. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), City of Seattle, and Seattle Housing Authority announced the local impacts of the ConnectHome initiative pilot.

The announcement marks a major step in providing communities across the nation with tools to improve digital opportunity for HUD-assisted housing residents. ConnectHome establishes a platform for collaboration between local governments, members of private industry, nonprofit organizations, and other interested entities to produce locally-tailored solutions for narrowing the digital divide.

For two decades, the City of Seattle has worked to provide community members with equal opportunity to use and access technology, through partnerships, educational programming, services, and resources. Since this work began in the 1990’s, Seattle has awarded $3.4 million in Technology Matching Fund grants through 270 projects, set up public access sites and training (in libraries, community centers and other city facilities), provided cable broadband for community organizations, and launched the Technology Indicators for a Healthy Community project to measure technology and broadband access and adoption.

ConnectHome will complement the work already underway in Seattle by:

  • Requiring HUD-funded new residential construction and substantial rehabilitation projects to support broadbandinternet connectivity. Locally, the Seattle Housing Authority is already committed to providing infrastructure for technology access as it updates buildings throughout the city, and redevelops communities such as Yesler Terrace, High Point, Rainier Vista and New Holly. ConnectHome will help underpin that commitment and will help low-income residents access monthly broadband service in buildings that support it.
  • Service cost reductions from CenturyLink and Sprint. CenturyLink will make broadband service available to HUD households, via its Internet Basics program, for $9.95 per month for the first year and $14.95 per month for the next four years. Sprint will work with HUD and the ConnectHome program to make its free wireless broadband Internet access service program available to eligible K-12 students living in public housing.
  • Providing communities with the flexibility to spend portions of their Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants on local broadband initiatives and associated connectivity enhancements, including approximately $150 million dedicated to the current competition.
  • Sharing Seattle’s experience, guidance and best practices nationally to better integrate digital literacy programming and access to technology.

Read more here.

Welcome Marlon Givens

Seattle’s Department of Information Technology welcomes Marlon Givens, Seattle Youth Employment Program intern to Community Technology. We are very excited for Marlon to be joining our team for the next seven weeks this summer.  Some of Marlon’s duties will include designing the fall Get Online campaign and providing support for the Technology Matching Fund and Access for All cable broadband for organizations program. He will also be helping with DoIT tours for students and much needed administrative support. Marlon wants to use his drawing talent to study video game design in college and hopes to work for Sony creating video games in the future. He will be playing football for Garfield High School in the fall as a sophomore.

Washington State’s virtual Data Visualization Internship launches

Washington state government agencies and local software companies have joined together in a public-private partnership to create an innovative virtual Data Visualization Internship program for seven college and grad students and recent grads from across the state. To the organizers’ knowledge, this is the first internship to ever take place virtually. Bringing together industry, government, and education is what we do at WTIA and we got to organize the kickoff event for this summer internship program on June 23 at Tableau Software. After the kickoff, the interns toured Microsoft and Socrata, which are two of the software partners in this internship. Check out the photos from the event here.

Each student team will be matched with a mentor from a government agency and a data visualization software company. Will Saunders, senior program manager for Washington State’s Chief Information Officer, said the program is “using student time and cool software to produce a better visualization of what’s going on.”

Participating government agencies include the state departments of Employment Security, Labor and Industries, Early Learning, Ecology and Financial Management. Private companies were mainly chosen based on suggestions from agencies, and companies that either have prior contact with the state or interesting tools. Software companies participating include Live Stories, Tableau, Socrata, and Microsoft. Students at Washington schools were introduced to this program and encouraged to apply. Interns come from all over the state, including University of Washington, Gonzaga University, and Washington State University.

Joneil Sampana, Community Technology Advisory Board member for the City of Seattle and Public Sector Program Manager at Microsoft, described this program as a collective effort made possible by government, non-profit, university and corporate leaders. “I’m amazed at how quickly we were able to come together and mobilize our resources to provide this meaningful work-based learning project. Students and Agency leaders will work to develop compelling data-rich stories on important legislative issues. We are using 21st century technologies in our government to engage our next generation of leaders! We are creating a space for our government leaders, eager students, and data analytics mentors to collaborate and learn from each other.”

Two-thirds of the students come from Eastern Washington and only two are from the University of Washington.  Based on a new model, this virtual internship is designed to have everything done remotely from wherever the hired interns and involved companies are located. The virtual nature makes it easier for students who have other work and family obligations to participate. Washington companies saw the need for a low impact way to get student interacting with government differently.

One of the interns, Alexandra Tester, a recent Gonzaga University graduate, said, “I applied to this program because it offers an amazing learning opportunity in an area that I do not have much experience or knowledge in. I feel as though it will teach me skills that will be applicable and useful in my future work experiences. I currently work for Gonzaga University, so being able to intern from Spokane would not have been possible without the virtual aspect of the program and willingness of the mentors to remain involved through technology. I hope to gain a knowledge in an area that I have not been involved with previously and explore new opportunities.”

The interns will meet again on September 15 at an exhibition at WTIA’s Full ConTech.