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Maine Telecommunications Education Access Fund
Advisory Board

Meeting Minutes for June 8, 2004

 

Members Present:             Phil Lindley, Joanne Steneck, Gary Nichols, Greg Scott, Greg Desjardin, Gerry Dube, Chris Lawrence for Lance Bell, Bill Black, Reginald Palmer, Scott Thibeau

 

Members Absent:           

 

1)     The Minutes from April 27, 2004, meeting were approved.

 

2)     Status of Connections.  Greg Desjardin reported that there are 324 installed standard 56 kbps connections, 510 installed T-1 connections, and 89 installed ATM circuits that serve 140 sites.  There are still two pending ATM sites (MDI and Hampden Academy).  Greg and Deb Alford discussed the use of DSL service for sites needing upgrades.  Within Verizon the DSL offering is being revamped and reorganized causing some confusion regarding the availability for MSLN.  There are technical issues with the “residential” DSL service, which makes it unsuitable for MSLN use.  The Board agreed that new upgrades from 56kbps would be held until the DSL service is available for those that qualify. 
 

3)     Status of Internet Service.  Gerry Dube said that the Megaconference over Internet2 was successful and that Maine (Baxter School) participated in the national broadcast.  He said that service has been stable lately and that available bandwidth is “comfortable.”  The bandwidth to Boston will be increased by the end of the year.  He also discussed the wireless connectivity project for the UM campuses and centers.

 

4)     Federal E-Rate Status.  Edna Comstock said that the forms for the 03-04 funding year have been submitted.  She expects the 02-03 funding commitment soon and that the final rounds of corrections are complete.
 

5)     Status of Library Wireless Hub Project.  Linda Lord said that 30 libraries are done with 16 to go.  She expects at least 60 libraries to participate.  Privately owned laptops using the wireless connections will not be filtered.  Gerry Dube express some security concerns with the wireless connections.  The project is called “Walk-In Wireless,” at http://www.maine.gov/msl/infotech/wireless/walkinwireless.htm.

 

6)     USAC Chair Visit.  Joanne Steneck discussed the visit by the new Chair of USAC, Lisa Zaina, on May 26, 2004.  Maine was one of the first states to be visited.  The difficulties with the MSLN E-Rate applications were pointed out, but no commitments were made.  She was very impressed with Maine’s activities.

 

7)     Library Budget Amendment.  The board discussed its recommendation to the Commission regarding the level of support to provide for those libraries choosing not to filter.  There are 275 libraries on the MSLN, with about 30 not eligible for E-Rate (law libraries, medical libraries, etc.).  Many libraries use other types of connections (cable).  The board recommended that the non-filtering libraries pay $25 per month toward the lost E-Rate money and that the MTEAF will fund the remaining $59 per month.  The Maine State Library will provide a billing and payment mechanism.  Linda Lord will send out a survey to the libraries inquiring about who would pay to not filter, who would filter and who would disconnect from MSLN.

 

8)     Discussion of Sites Keeping MSLN Connection for Backup.  The board agreed to explore this further at the next meeting.  There are many sites with dual connections that keep their MSLN link for a variety of reasons – backup, email, web space, or access to the Circuit Riders.

 

9)     Other.

 

a)     Bandwidth Increase for T-1 Sites.  The Maine Central Institute has one T-1 connection and asked about obtaining another as they often are using the T-1 to capacity.  The board discussed the issue and decided that at this time it will fund only one T-1.  In addition, it appears that part of the MCI usage could be attributed to residential/dormitory access, not allowed under the E-Rate guidelines.  MCI should contact UNET for advice on managing its bandwidth and possibly explore additional connections on its own (DSL for example).

 

b)     Next MSLN Advisory Board Meeting – Tuesday, July 20, 2004, at 9:30AM,
PUC Conf. Room C.