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Maine Telecommunications Education Access Fund
Advisory Board

Meeting Minutes for October 16, 2003

 

Members Present:             Phil Lindley, Joanne Steneck, Bill Black, Gary Nichols, Greg Scott, Barry Crommett, Scott Thibeau

 

Members Absent:            Lance Bell, Gerry Dube, Reginald Palmer

 

  1. The Minutes from September 4, 2003, meeting were approved.

 

  1. Status of Connections.  Barry Crommett reported that there are 382 installed standard 56 kbps connections, 480 installed T-1 connections, and 85 installed ATM circuits that serve 123 sites.  Six additional ATM sites should be connected by the end of the year.  Barry also provided a list of additional DSL offices that will be installed by the end of 2003.  These additional offices serve approximately 40 schools and libraries that, if their loops qualified for DSL, could use DSL service in the future.
     
  2. Status of Internet Service.  Gerry Dube could not attend the meeting but sent an email that said, in part, “I can't think of anything specific to report.  The major activity since we last met has been in trying to get all schools to clean up infected machines.  Many TCs were busy and this was not a priority.  In many cases, infected machines caused poor performance on some networks.  In the end, we had to provide lists of machines we could identify as infected and threaten to block them.  There are still some remaining problem machines but for the most part things are under control.”  
    The Circuit Riders added that last month was their busiest month because of the recent virus attacks.  According to the CRs, many of the problem sites were smaller schools and libraries, especially those with 56kbps connection because of the time required to download patches and virus updates.  A possible solution would be enterprise/MSLN-wide anti-virus software, similar to the filtering solution, which may also be erate-able.  Dick Hinkley suggested a “tiered” approach to allow for different site configurations.  The board discussed a potential work group to look into this, with tentative volunteers of Gerry Dube, Jeff Letourneau, Dick Hinkley, Scott Thibeau, and the Circuit Riders.

 

  1. Federal E-Rate Status.  Gary Nichols said that the request for review was granted on the 2002 appeal, finally.  The amount should be almost $4million.  The current application is apparently receiving intense scrutiny by the SLD.  Edna Comstock said that the 472 Form from the previous appeal has been processed for about $26,000.  Packets have been distributed to the schools and libraries including the Form 479, CIPA requirements.  There is also a new E-Rate webpage, www.maine.gov/msl/erate/erate.htm.

 

  1. Discussion of New RFP.  Linda Lord said that she had received seven responses after sending out 18 RFP packets.  The responses came from Verizon, UNET, Prexar, GWI, two from AT&T, and Island Hosting Group.  The review committee will meet on November 7, 2003.  We hope to have a signed contract by the end of the year, or soon thereafter.

 

  1. ITA (Innovative and Technologically Advanced).  Joanne Steneck said that the PUC Order directed the Board to have a recommendation by September 12, 2003, but that the uncertainty of the appeal was a concern.  The MLTI laptop funding may be an eligible ITA expense.  The three grant projects from last year will submit final reports for discussion at the next Board meeting.
     
  2. Other.