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Maine Public Utilities Commission

School & Library Network
Advisory Board Meeting Minutes
August 12, 1998


Members Present:
Bill Black, Stephen Gilbert, Phil Lindley, Reginald Palmer, Ray Poulin, Gary Nichols, Barry Crommet, Joanne Steneck

Members Absent: Barry McCrum

1. June 10, 1998 meeting minutes approved.

2. Report on Applications and Installations. 1126 sites are currently connected. Art Henry reported the University has five T1s (7.5 megabits) connected via an inverse multiplexer as was discussed at the last meeting. By September there will be an additional T1 bringing the total to six T1s or 9 megabits. During the summer, no comments about speed have been received. The Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) category of the MSLN homepage has been expanded and updated. Speed concerns, suggestions and questions will be a part of this FAQ. More will be done in this area between now and September. The libraries with general e-mail addresses were placed on the MSLN website after the last Advisory Board meeting. A reminder note regarding general e-mail addresses was published on the listserves and description was attached to recent correspondence sent by Bell Atlantic to the superintendents and head librarians.

3. Status of Training. Following the last meeting, John Pierce reported in the Training Mid-Year Report that a total of 1013 of the expected 1617 persons (63%) had received training as of June 30th, 1998.

Northern Maine Technical College has seven workshops and two discussion seminars in July and August. The University of Southern Maine conducted five discussion seminars and three more site specific presentations in July and August. Art was unable to obtain information about any of the University of Maine summer sessions. He said by September both NMTC and USM will have trained more persons than originally anticipated. Detailed numbers for all three subcontractors will be updated and presented at the next Advisory Board meeting.

The technical coordinator training schedules have all been finalized and a letter sent to the superintendents and the head librarians. Schools and libraries that responded to the training questionnaire will be contacted by phone. An announcement about the training will be published on the Technical Coordinator and the MeLibs listserves.

4. Commission's August 4, 1998 Circuit Rider; Expanded Bandwidth. Joanne Steneck described the Commission's recent Order requiring the Board to propose for Commission consideration a circuit rider program and a plan for providing greater bandwidth to sites with a demonstrated need. The Board discussed ideas for implementing the circuit rider program. Gary Nichols suggested using a document library representatives prepared as a starting point. That plan had an estimated budget of $459,000. The Board also discussed criteria for determining the need for upgrades, ways to estimate the number of sites that might qualify for an upgrade and possible costs. Everyone agreed that two subcommittees should be established and present proposals at the next meeting. Members of Circuit Riders Subcommittee: Art Henry, Linda Lord, Gary Nichols, Karl Beyser, and Bill Black. Members of the Bandwidth Expansion Subcommittee are Barry Crommett, Steve Gilbert, Reggie Palmer and Ray Poulin, with consultation from PUC staff on incremental costs.

Meeting adjourned at 12:20 p.m. Next meeting is scheduled for September 17, 1998 at the Commission.