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Maine Telecommunications Education Access Fund
Advisory Board

Meeting Minutes for October 7, 2004


Members Present:             Phil Lindley, Joanne Steneck, Gary Nichols, Greg Scott, Greg Desjardin, Gerry Dube, Bill Black


Members Absent:            Scott Thibeau, Lance Bell, Reginald Palmer


1)     The Minutes from August 27, 2004, meeting were approved.


2)     Status of Connections.  Greg Desjardin said that there are 335 installed standard 56 kbps connections (about 1/3 with routers and 2/3 with FRADs), 507 installed T-1 connections, and 91 installed ATM circuits that serve 141 sites.  Except for the ATM connection, the numbers are the same as last meeting because Verizon will make adjustments after the bills have been reconciled. 


3)     Status of Internet Service.  Gerry Dube said that UNET still has plenty of bandwidth, about 60% of the capacity on the two main connections is being used.  The Orono to Portland pipe with be increased in the next couple of months and the infrastructure to Boston will be increased.  The Board also discussed the possibility of another RFP for intermediate bandwidth technologies above T-1, but below T-3 (ATM) speeds.


4)     DSL Transport Service.  Greg said that there continues to be problems with the DSL to Hubbard Library.  The company will develop an “escalation” process for ordering problems.  DSL will be ordered for two more sites – in Lubec and Boothbay Harbor.  Deb Alford said that they would attempt to create an MSLN-specific DSL product to make the process smoother.  Gerry Dube suggested that stand-alone POTS lines should be ordered for DSL sites, which would eliminate interference problems.  There are about 7-10 libraries waiting for upgrades that have Gates funds for routers.  Pricing is still to be determined, especially if a POTS line is included.


5)     Federal E-Rate Issues.  Joanne discussed her recent presentation at the FCC and the current concerns with “waste, fraud, and abuse.”  The suspension of commitments is due to accounting changes and the “Anti-Deficiency Act,” which does not allow USAC to commit funds that were in investments or have not yet been collected.  Edna Comstock said that there are a few certification questions and issues, and that she would be attending a meeting in DC of the state E-Rate group.

6)     Status of Library Wireless Hub Project.  Linda Lord said that over 60 libraries are hooked up.  Security issues of the Wi-Fi connections were discussed.  UNET is working with Karl Beiser regarding the use of those connections.  Privacy issues were also discussed and Gerry said that UNET does not keep records of individual usage.


7)     Discussion of Proposals to Maximize Broadband Coverage In Maine.  The Board discussed some administration ideas for improving the coverage of broadband service.  The Walk-In Library project is one method for putting more broadband in rural areas.  Issues of cost, system management, and control were also discussed.



8)     Other.


a)     UNET Mail Servers – Smart Hosting.  Jeff said that over 75% of MSLN sites use UNET email service.  The rest would need to be “touched” to allow UNET control of the email traffic (about 600 routers).


b)     Next MSLN Advisory Board Meeting – Wednesday, November 17, 2004, at 1:30PM,
PUC Conf. Room C.