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Maine Telecommunications Education Access Fund
Advisory Board

Meeting Minutes for June 9, 2005

 

Members Present:             Phil Lindley, Joanne Steneck, Gary Nichols, Steve Vose for Greg Scott, Greg Desjardin, Gerry Dube, Scott Thibeau, Reginald Palmer, Lance Bell

 

Members Absent:            Bill Black

 

1)     The Minutes from April 26, 2005, meeting were approved.

 

2)     Status of Connections.  Greg Desjardin provided an updated count of sites: 241 installed standard 56 kbps connections, 488 installed T-1 connections, and 91 installed ATM circuits that serve 141 sites.  Greg said that there are 25 DSL sites connected with seven in progress.  Greg said that corrected bills should be completed for five more months of regular connection service.  The DSL ordering process seems to be working well.  Doretta York orders the new POTS line and the DSL service.  There are a few DSL billing issues yet to be ironed out.  There was a discussion with Linda Schatz regarding E-Rate issues such as, mid-year service changes, eligibility of DSL service, new schools not on the application (who may have to pay E-Rate portion of bill), and the need for a discounted bill from Verizon.

 

3)     Status of Internet Service.  Gerry Dube said that the UNET network was in good shape and that the summer load is much lighter.  He said that there were a few issues with the DSL ordering process.  The demarcation point for POTS lines can be substantially different than where the frame relay connection enters the building requiring significant “inside” wiring.  UNET, in some cases, has gone to the site to do wiring.  The process can still take up to a month from ordering to activation.  Gerry suggested that all of the 56kbps sites should be upgraded – 80 are DSL capable, the rest are not.  He also said that 170 of the T-1 sites are DSL capable at 3.0 mbps service or greater.  There will be substantial savings if all are eventually converted.  Gerry also said that “end-to-end” service could be provided that would include routers that could be E-Rateable.

 

4)     Federal E-Rate Issues.  Sylvia Norton provided a brief summary of the status of pending applications – 2002 is in the invoicing process with a few inquiries from SLD.

 

5)     Legislation.  The bill to raise the assessment amount was signed for .7% without an emergency preamble, which means it will not be effective until ninety days after the session ends.  The change for the fund will probably be effective October 1st.

 

6)     Other.

 

a)     The reimbursement for the Mt Ararat High School was discussed and the Board Chair will send a message denying the request.

 

b)     There is a new fund administrator for both the MTEAF and the MUSF – NECA Services, who was the original administrator for the MTEAF.

 

c)      Louis Blair, the circuit rider from NMCC has resigned.

 

d)     Next MSLN Advisory Board Meeting – Wednesday, August 24, 2005, at 9:30 AM, in PUC Hearing Room.