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Maine Telecommunications Education Access Fund
Advisory Board

Meeting Minutes for September 4, 2003


Members Present:             Phil Lindley, Joanne Steneck, Bill Black, Gary Nichols, Kim Quinn for Greg Scott, Gerry Dube, Reginald Palmer, Barry Crommett, Scott Thibeau


Members Absent:            Lance Bell


  1. The Minutes from July 24, 2003, meeting were approved.


  1. Status of Connections.  Barry Crommett reported that there are 387 installed standard 56 kbps connections, 475 installed T-1 connections, and 85 installed ATM circuits that serve 123 sites.  We continue to have slightly different numbers depending on who is counting and how.  We reviewed the numbers and will crosscheck the different lists to find any errors.  We aren’t always notified when a site drops the MSLN connections – Linda said some libraries have dropped off because of router costs.
  2. Status of Internet Service.  Gerry Dube said that the UNET system is at about 50% capacity which also means that the bandwidth hogging “worms” are a lesser concern for his network.  There was an infection problem with an ATM site and Gerry’s own machine was infected.  The latest version of the filtering software allows “tailoring” by each site, greater local control.


  1. Federal E-Rate Status.  Edna Comstock said that the Form 486 was filed for the 2001 appeal; MSLN should receive an additional $26,000.  The 2002 appeal is moving at a “snail’s” pace.  Over 400 appeals are pending.  No lawyer has been assigned.  No funding commitment on the 2003 application yet.  New 479s for CIPA are out and due by September 30.  The new letters of agency will cover three years and the Circuit Riders will assist with the forms.  Linda Lord also discussed some of the CIPA issues and questions from libraries:  CIPA applies to Internet service, not transport; how would libraries pay for the Internet service if they dropped out of MSLN; and billing issues with the service providers.


  1. Discussion of New RFP.  Linda Lord said that the RFP has been issued and that Q&As from potential bidders have been posted.  The due date for the responses was extended to October 3, 2003, at the request of a potential bidder.  The new MSLN RFP has also been posted on the USAC S&L website.


  1. MEDMS.  Kim Quinn said that MEDMS (Maine Education Data Management System) provides student and teacher information from the school information system to the State Department of Education.  She does not think that a T-1 would be necessary for just the MEDMS use; a 56kbps connection would be useable.  The initial upload of information may be large, but updates are not.  Sites may be able to schedule uploads during off peak periods.  Kim will provide more information at the next meeting.
  2. Other.