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Maine Telecommunications Education Access
Fund Advisory Board
October 24, 2001
Members Present: Phil Lindley, Joanne Steneck, Gary Nichols, Greg Scott, Barry Crommett, Bill Black, Scott Thibeau, Gerry Dube
Members Absent: Reginald Palmer, Barry McCrum
1. Approval Of Minutes from September 12, 2001,Meeting.
2. Joanne Steneck announced that she will be working on the MLTE project and will no longer be Chair of the MSLN/MTEAF Advisory Board. Phil Lindley will become Chair and Joanne will become the second PUC member.
3. Status of connections. Art Henry stated that connections for standard 56kbps are down from 666 last year to 534 currently; T-1 connections are up from 259 to 386, with 37 shared; and there are 42 ATM sites “billed” to the MTEAF.
4. Federal E-Rate. Edna Comstock reported (by cell phone) that new waves are expected next month. She expects a wave after the CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) deadline of 10/28/01. She is preparing the LOAs for next year, year five, for 56s, T-1s, and ISP service. She will be applying for T-1s for all sites. After the LOAs are completed, Edna will submit the 471s.
5. Filtering. Linda Lord (and Edna) reported that the CIPA compliance forms (479) are due 10/28/01, she will be calling all who do not respond, not expected to be very many. The 479s were sent out pre-checked to allow the most leeway to each site. Edna stated that sites that do not submit the 479 will be contacted by the SLD (the FCC Universal Service Administrative Company's Schools and Libraries Division) for refunds of E-Rate funds, which could have an impact on the MTEAF. Gerry Dube, UNET, stated that he was reviewing other filtering products for UNET to be used by the individual MSLN sites. Each site would be able to adjust the filtering settings for its type of users. Gerry’s review is also focusing on the price to each site. Currently, 20-30% of MSLN sites use the filtering software located at UNET.
6. MLTE (Maine Learning Technology Endowment). Joanne Steneck reported that the RFP responses were due 10/25/01 and a selection by 11/29/01. The home access piece, to be partially funded by the MTEAF, has yet to be defined. Fifty-nine of the 241 target schools do not have T-1 connections and will probably need the increased bandwidth to accommodate student access to the internet. The MTEAF agreed to support the additional T-1s as needed.
7. Renewal/Extension of contracts with Verizon and UNET. Linda Lord reported that the Verizon (VADI) contract for the Frame Relay Service Network Service will be extended at the same rates. The contract extension with UNET may have to be amended to reflect the increased bandwidth for the T-1 and ATM sites. The original UNET contract rate reflected a “blended rate” for all sites assuming specific amounts of each type of connection.
8. Service Quality Reports. Linda Lord reported that Verizon’s August report was delayed and that there were only 3 “no charge time” incidents for August, out of 901 circuits. UNET’s report indicated no problems, but that it lost half of its connectivity bandwidth to Boston recently due to a cable cut in Eliot.
9. UNET Improvements. Gerry Dube reported that UNET would be increasing its bandwidth to Boston, which will impact the MSLN. He also informed the board about other changes: a video bridge in Augusta, video conferencing with Rhode Island, the OSHEAN project (see http://www.oshean.org/wave/), and that Ray Poulin in now working with UNET on new projects.
10. Innovative and Technologically Advanced Grants. Linda Lord reported on the responses to the pre-proposal request – thirty to thirty-five are expected. The evaluation group will continue to be the subcommittee that prepared the pre-proposal. She expects to have all pre-proposals rated by 11/9/01.
The next meeting will be December 12, 2001, 1:30pm, at the Commission.