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Maine Telecommunications Education Access
Fund Advisory Board
September 12, 2001
Members Present: Phil Lindley, Linda Lord for Gary Nichols, Joanne Steneck, Greg Scott, Barry Crommett, Bill Black; Scott Thibeau; Jeff Letourneau for Gerry Dube
Members Absent: Reginald Palmer, Barry McCrum
1. Approval of Minutes From August 1, 2001 Meeting. The August 1, 2001 minutes were approved. [Note: One typographical error was corrected – the June 27, 2001 (not 2000) minutes were approved].
2. Federal E-Rate. Edna Comstock reported that USAC had requested certain additional information on our application, which she has provided. She estimates that it could be mid-October before the application is approved, given its size. She was told it was the third largest application (in terms of pages) received. In October, she will also be distributing the letter of agency necessary for our Federal E-Rate application for next year. We will apply for T-1 connections for all sites to ensure any upgrades are covered. It was noted that a number of Maine schools at the 90% discount level received E-Rate funding for internal connections in WAVE 4. Ed Gomes reported that 60 sites were approved for ATM funding and 3 were denied due to errors or omissions in their applications.
3. Filtering. Edna provided a draft of a letter she will be sending to all schools and libraries explaining how to file Form 479 to certify compliance with Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act (NCIPA).
4. Coordination of Maine Learning Technology Endowment with MTEAF. Joanne reported that the DOE had requested that the Commission approve certain funding and support from MTEAF for the laptop initiative. DOE asks that MTEAF provide: up to $9 million (not to exceed $2.25 million per year) over four years beginning August 2002. It is expected $1 – 4 million of this amount may be covered by Federal E-Rate; e-mail support for 7th and 8th grade students; some level of support of home Internet access; continued availability of content filters; and bandwidth to support connections. There was a great deal of discussion about what the Board should recommend. In particular, there were concerns from Linda Lord representing the libraries as to whether libraries would continue to get adequate support if this level of funding was required for MLTE. The Board finally agreed to recommend that the Commission approve the request with the caveats that the Commission reserve the right to approve any specific expenditures and that the Commission ensure the fair and equitable treatment of libraries.
The next meeting will be October 24, 2001 at 1:30 p.m. at the Commission.