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Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

January 13, 1999

Members Present: Bill Black, Phil Lindley, Reginald Palmer, Ray Poulin, Gary Nichols, Barry Crommet, Joanne Steneck, Barry McCrum

Members Absent: Stephen Gilbert

1. December 2, 1998 meeting minutes approved.

2. Status of Connections, Expanded Bandwidth and Circuit Rider Service.

Art Henry reported that letters were sent to all schools and libraries by the end of December describing the availability of the circuit rider service and expanded bandwidth. Each circuit rider contractor also sent a letter. As of January 12, 1999, 55 sites had submitted an on-line assessment form and 128 sites had mailed in forms expressing interest in circuit rider services. All contractors are scheduling visits. The contractors will attend the next meeting to provide a status report on both last year's training efforts and the new circuit rider service.

Art reported that 70 sites had already applied for T-1 service. He has received some calls from sites that believe they have met the criteria but are not on the eligible list. Art will investigate these by examining usage in months other than October and determine if they are meeting the criteria. Others he will refer for a circuit rider visit. Art will forward information to the Advisory Board chair from sites that have specific funded plans for computing upgrades that will cause them to exceed their 56 kbps connection in the near future. Joanne will review these for upgrade eligibility and notify Art of eligibility.

3. AEV for ATM sites. Ray Poulin asked the Board to consider asking the Commission to approve additional support to sites choosing to participate in the State's ATM initiative, beyond the AEV value for a T-1 (projected to be $114 per month). Ray suggested that the MSLN project pay for the cost of the OC-3 circuit necessary for the ATM connections. Such a connection is in lieu of a T-1 or 56 kbps circuit these sites would otherwise use.

Under the existing contract between the State and Bell Atlantic, ATM sites will pay $2,000 per month for the ATM service. Ray suggested that sites apply for Federal Universal Funds to cover a portion of these costs (on average 60%) with MSLN providing a credit toward the remaining amount. Discussion was had about paying an amount similar to Bell Atlantic's out-of-pocket incremental cost toward the monthly ATM payment.

It was agreed that Ray will put together a proposal and spreadsheet on potential costs under various scenarios. Walt Taranko will check to make sure that an additional credit can be provided after the E-Rate discount is applied. This information will be discussed at the next meeting. E-Rate applications are due by March 11, so the Board will work toward putting any proposal before the Commission by February 15 or February 22.

4. Federal E-Rate. Linda Lord reported that as of 12/30/98, 44 public schools, 7 private schools and 2 libraries had received discounts totalling $681,982.

The next meeting will be held on February 10, 1999 in the Commission's Hearing Room from 1-3 p.m.