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Maine Telecommunications Education Access Fund
Advisory Board

Meeting Minutes for April 13, 2006

 

Members Present: Phil Lindley, Joanne Steneck, Gary Nichols, Jeff Mao for Greg Scott, Joe Weisenburger, Jeff Letourneau, Reginald Palmer, Scott Thibeau, Lance Bell, Paulina Collins for Bill Black.

 

Members Absent:

1)     Minutes from March 1, 2006, meeting were approved.

 

2)     Status of Connections. Joe Weisenburger provided an updated count of sites that receive Verizon transport: 191 installed standard 56 kbps connections, 503 installed T-1 connections, 91 installed ATM circuits that serve 141 sites, and 40 installed DSL sites. There are approximately 125 shared connections. Deb Alford discussed the 56kbps upgrade process: all Frame Relay T-1s will be installed by July 1, 2006; the DSL circuits will be installed starting July 1 with installation completed by mid-July.

 

3)     Status of Internet Service. Jeff Letourneau said that the number of shared sites is not exact as some may be behind routers or firewalls of the primary location. The routers for the upgrades have been received and will be preconfigured. Router maintenance plans will be available to individual sites from UNET at $75 per year.

 

4)     & 5) Erate Issues and Applications. Linda Schatz discussed commitment issues and PIA review. The FY 2005 funds have been committed. The FY 2004 payments are complete and the FY 2006 commitment should be done in a few weeks. Linda said that there was a new acting CEO for USAC. Linda also said that internet and telecom services are still fully funded and that a permanent exemption from the ADA for Erate funds is possible.

 

6)     Recommendations to Commission. Joanne Steneck discussed the annual recommendations to the PUC for its required order. The Board also discussed the role and function in the future of the Advisory Board. Should it be involved in day-to-day operations, should vendors be members, and should there be a project manager?

 

7)     MSLN: Future Needs Survey. Jeff Mao discussed the survey that the Future Needs Group released. There were 480 responses to the survey. The issues are where is MSLN going, bandwidth needs, and management. The next steps of the group are to analyze the results with the Maine State Library and Department of Education, with the possible use of focus groups.

 

8)     Other

 

a)     Circuit Rider report, and proposal at the current rates.

 

b)     Next Meeting To be announced.