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Maine Telecommunications Education Access Fund
Advisory Board

Meeting Minutes for March 25, 2004

 

Members Present:             Phil Lindley, Joanne Steneck, Gary Nichols, Linda Lord for Greg Scott, Greg Desjardin, Scott Thibeau, Gerry Dube, Lance Bell, Bill Black

 

Members Absent:            Reginald Palmer

 

1)     The Minutes from February 12, 2004, meeting were approved.

 

2)     Status of Connections.  Greg Desjardin reported that there are 369 installed standard 56 kbps connections, 493 installed T-1 connections, and 89 installed ATM circuits that serve 128 sites.  There are still two pending ATM sites (video equipment not ready).
Greg discussed the use of DSL service for sites needing upgrades from 56kbps.  He said that there were some “back office” issues with UNET, but that a few pilot sites should be connected before July 1.  The highest of the three DSL rates will be installed unless a technical reason limits bandwidth.  The Board discussed changing current T-1 sites with low use to DSL in the future, which would require an equipment change (who pays for that equipment was also discussed).  The Board agreed that any new sites or sites that needed an upgrade would be evaluated for DSL connectivity before installing the frame relay service.
 

3)     Status of Internet Service.  Gerry Dube provided more information on Internet 2, describing what MSLN traffic would use the Internet 2.  Gerry also discussed email servers and UNET’s ability to screen MSLN email for SPAM.  UNET hosts 626 domains (analogous to the number of MSLN sites) and 45 other sites funnel their email through UNET.  Gerry said that 50% of the email traffic is SPAM.  Gerry provided graphics on a number of sites that are not well served by their current MSLN connections.  This will be discussed in more detail at the next meeting.

 

4)     Federal E-Rate Status.  Edna Comstock provided a chart, “MSLN E-Rate Review Round-Up,” which showed the status of the various annual applications.  She also said that she will be retiring, but hoped to be rehired.
The E-Rate webpage, www.maine.gov/msl/erate/erate.htm.

 

5)     Status of Library Wireless Hub Project.  Linda Lord said that three sites will be pilots and that two per day will be installed starting April 1 – for 50 total.

 

6)     Discussion of Annual Recommendations.  The Board discussed the annual recommendations to the Commission for operation of the MSLN.  The assessment is at the maximum allowed – 0.5%.  The innovative and technologically advanced requirement should continue to include the ATM connections; other grants may be possible if all the Federal E-Rate is received.  The reimbursement rates for ATM shared connections will decrease next year as they are based on the Verizon contract amounts, which are lower.  The Circuit Riders should be funded.  Internet filtering will continue to be a part of the UNET service (libraries may continue to filter because of budget limitations).  The Board discussed the FRAD/Router maintenance program and Verizon will provide more information regarding the remaining stock and how many routers are installed per year.  There are an estimated 200 FRADs still in the field.  Any upgrades, either to DSL or T-1 would require a router.  UNET and Verizon proposed possible leasing programs for routers.

 

 

·        Next MSLN Advisory Board Meeting – April 27, 2004, at 9:30AM, PUC Conf. Room C.