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Maine Telecommunications Education Access Fund
Advisory Board

Meeting Minutes for February 12, 2004

 

Members Present:             Phil Lindley, Joanne Steneck, Gary Nichols, Greg Scott, Greg Desjardin, Scott Thibeau, Gerry Dube, Reginald Palmer

 

Members Absent:            Lance Bell, Bill Black

 

1)     The Minutes from December 4, 2003, meeting were approved.

 

2)     Status of Connections.  Greg Desjardin reported that there are 370 installed standard 56 kbps connections, 492 installed T-1 connections, and 89 installed ATM circuits that serve 128 sites.  There are two pending ATM sites.
 

3)     Status of Internet Service.  Gerry Dube provided a detailed description of the Internet 2 system and how it affects the MSLN.  Libraries and K-12 schools are included as they are part of a common network.  Other private colleges could be included as well.  Gerry has short-term bandwidth concerns on the north-south spine, with additional capacity on order.  Internet 2 is transparent to the end user sites, but will provide increased bandwidth for participants.  Gerry also described “Dense Wave Division Multiplexing” and how this technology greatly increases the capacity of existing fiber strands.
Gerry reported on a recent network “event” caused by an outage on the Global Crossing network, causing increased latency on the network.
Gerry said that the recent virus/worm infections were a major problem in the schools.  It has been difficult to get some schools to clean machines and to maintain current software and virus updates.  Schools can avoid this problem by directing all their email traffic through UNET servers.  A board working group will explore requirements for installation of antivirus updates or routing all email through UNET servers.  Tentative members of the working group are: Greg Scot, Gerry Dube, Scott Thibeau, Dick Hinkley, and Linda Lord.
Gerry also provided information on filtering by network ranges for school and library networks.  UNET’s default configuration is all schools are filtered and all libraries are unfiltered.  Currently, there are 393 filtered network ranges and 339 unfiltered network ranges (54%/46% of 732 ranges).  Gerry cannot determine the actual number of sites or computers because of individual configurations, firewalls, etc.  There are 381 filtered school networks and 12 filtered library networks.  There are 87 unfiltered school ranges (local site filtered) and 252 unfiltered library networks.  According to these numbers: 81% of schools use MSLN provided filtering, 4.5% of libraries use MSLN filters (12).

 

4)     Federal E-Rate Status.  Edna Comstock said that she met the deadline for the 2004 application.  The application amount was about $3.5 million.  DSL service was not specifically listed, but service substitutions can be made later.  The 2002 application review is almost complete; the 2003 review is complete and the 2001 appeal paperwork is complete, we are waiting for the check ($250K+).
The E-Rate webpage, www.maine.gov/msl/erate/erate.htm.

 

5)     Discussion of New Contracts.  Linda Lord said that the purchasing department has approved the UNET contract and the Verizon contract is being reviewed.  The appeal of the UNET contract was denied.

 

6)     Funding Requests.  Joanne Steneck reviewed the three funding requests:  MLTI for $2.25M; U of Maine for database subscriptions for $500K for two years; and a request from the Maine State Library to supplement lost Federal E-Rate funds for those libraries choosing not to filter, $131,000 (if all libraries choose not to filter).  No funds would be available until the Federal E-Rate money is received.
Joanne also mentioned a pending FCC notice of rulemaking regarding E-Rate funding rules where comments are due March 11, 2004.


Next MSLN Advisory Board Meeting – March 25, 2004, at 9:30AM, PUC Conf. Room C.