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SCHOOL & LIBRARY NETWORK ADVISORY BOARD MEETING

August 7, 1996

MINUTES

Members Present: Joanne Steneck, Phil Lindley, Bill Black, Jim McCarthy, Raymond Poulin, Barry McCrum, Stephen Gilbert and Gary Nichols.

Absent: Reginald Palmer

1. Minutes of June 26 and July 2 Telephone Meeting

Approved with no changes.

2. Status Report from NYNEX on Applications, Computer Grants, Installation Progress

Mr. Henry gave update on what is happening and presented statistics on recent activities. Thus far, NYNEX has received 857 applications, 703 for standard relay, 47 business lines and 107 equivalent value. NYNEX has also produced a list of those that have not yet applied. Process for contacting non-applicants will be discussed at future meeting. Thus far, 295 computer grants requested, 230 checks mailed to date. Sixty-six standard frame relay connections installed by 7/23, 127 scheduled to be installed in August and into September; 125 to 140 to be installed by the start of the '96 school year. NYNEX hopes to be installing 3 per day in September and 4 per day in October. NYNEX plans to make calls following installation to check on status of connections, etc.

So far, two schools have asked for FRAD credit because router preferred. $1,030 given as credit for FRAD. Based on inquiries, Art Henry currently expects about 150 will choose routers over FRADs.

Ms. Steneck questioned whether the business line option should be kept. Discussion was had about how some smaller libraries are interested in the 22-hours free toll calls that comes with this option, which can be used for internet and other toll calls. Everyone agreed the option should be kept but that NYNEX should inform those requesting the business option of the implications of going over 22 hours and that the connection is somewhat inferior to 56 frame relay service.

3. Discussion of plans for Monitoring and Expanding the System as Usage Increases

Gerry Dube presented two reports; one on current support center activities and the other on his plans for ongoing monitoring and reporting support center activities.

Steve Gilbert asked what will happen if a school or library finds after time that its 56 Kbps connection line is "maxed out." Will schools and libraries be able to upgrade to 386 or T-1 and still be connected to the Network? What kind of pressure could this put on the system? A related question is what criteria should apply for pooling of AEV credits for T-1 connections. Everyone agreed these questions had not been addressed and that it should be discussed in more depth at the September 4th meeting. Any recommendation would have to eventually go to the Commission.

4. Update on Status of Basic Network Competency and Technical Coordinator Training

Training update given by Mr. Jay Johnson and Mr. John Pierce. John said MSTF is still finalizing contracts and time schedule slipped due to longer negotiations with subcontractors. The first Network competency training will be held on September 15 for the southern and central areas and September 30 in Aroostook County. A draft material packet will be ready by August 8th. The subcontractors will do a second mailing prior to August 30th to all potential participants. Copies of the mailings from each subcontractor will be sent to Ms. Steneck for distribution to the Board. The web site is up and test piece is in place (www.MSTF.org/MIEC).

Jay Johnson stressed the importance of technical training. The response to initial mailing was not as great as expected due to difficulty of reaching people in the summer. A training session will be held on August 8th in Orono with another in late August and September. None are scheduled for October as of yet. Eight instructors have been lined up and Bill Lowell has prepared the program and materials. Mr. Henry will report to the Board at the next meeting to update status of both training programs.

5. Status on availability and costing of T-1 and 386 Connections

Jim McCarthy said NYNEX has under consideration a discounted tariff rate for libraries and schools for T-1 and 386 connections. He should have final numbers at the next meeting. He said it is likely to be in the range of a 20% to 30% discount off tariffed rates.

6. BREAK

7. Discussion of AEV Approval Process. Recommendation on AEV Approval of Crescent Park School, Telstar Middle School, Telstar High School and the Bethel Library

Process: Ms. Steneck suggested that the Board review subgroup was no longer needed. Ms. Steneck, Mr. Lindley and Mr. Cowie have been calling applicants and preparing recommendations for the Board. Board agreed to eliminate subgrouping review.

All of the priceouts from NYNEX so far have been $40 - $42 per month.

The Board approved recommending to the Commission for its approval AEV funding for Crescent Park School, Telstar Middle School, Telstar Regional High School and the Bethel Library. The Board also approved AEV funding the Atlas Project for schools in Caribou, MSAD #1, MSAD #20, MSAD #42. There was some question if Limestone was participating in this project. Ms. Steneck said she could check on this prior to sending the Atlas recommendation to the Commission for its approval on August 19.

8. Discussion of Next Steps for Evaluation and Data Collection

On July 9th, the Commission approved the submitted list of data to be collected. The information is to be gathered by December for inclusion in a report due to the Legislature in February, 1997. Ms. Steneck went through the list of items and it was agreed on who would be responsible for collecting each item.

Information on at least three of the benchmarks will likely have to be gathered by survey: average weekly hours of Network use; libraries and schools purchasing computer equipment as a result of this program (other than through grants); reasons why non-participants are not participating.

The Board agreed that any survey for data collecting should be done electronically. Further discussion at September 4 meeting.

9. Discussion of Program Publicity

Mr. Nichols, Mr. Poulin and Mr. McCarthy suggested that we try to get some publicity about the program by having an event that could include the Governor's office. Mr. Poulin offered to work with the Governor's P.R. office and with NYNEX. The Board approved Mr. Poulin's suggestion and he will begin immediately trying to set things up and will report progress at the next meeting.

10. Items for Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held September 4th. Mr. Poulin stated he and Linda Lord will be prepared to make a presentation on connecting the Superintendents' Offices to the Network. Mr. Nichols requested that the Board discuss further the possibility of municipal offices being connected as he views them as analogous to Superintendents' offices for libraries. Ms. Steneck said the Commission in its orders never contemplated that the Library and School Network would expand to include municipalities and that such expansion seems highly unlikely. Mr. Gilbert agreed and stated that he understood that the Maine Municipal Association and individual municipalities were moving to create their own network information systems. Some of that information might even be available for a fee. Ms. Steneck suggested the Board discuss it further at the next meeting if Mr. Nichols is still interested in pursuing this topic.

Meeting adjourned at 4:15 P.M.