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Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

November 4, 1998

Members Present: Bill Black, Barry Crommet, Stephen Gilbert, Phil Lindley, Gary Nichols, Barry McCrum, Reginald Palmer, Joanne Steneck, Ray Poulin

1. October 7, 1998 meeting minutes approved.

2. Report on Installations/Applications. Art Henry reported that 1133 Schools and Libraries are connected to the Network. The Board decided that the computer returned to the project from a private school that was no longer eligible, will be donated Computers for Schools and Libraries Projects.

3. Update on Circuit Rider Contracting. Art Henry reported that he has asked the three current training contractors (Northern Maine Vocational Technical College, University of Southern Maine, University of Maine) to submit a plan for implementing the program in their areas consistent with the Commission's October 14th Order. Each contractor submitted a draft and Art will be meeting with them in November 10. Gary Nichols and Ray Poulin (or their representatives) will participate. Plans are to announce availability in December with circuit riding to begin in January. The Board will review the contracts at the next meeting and discuss the process for contacting sites about the availability of this service.

4. Report from Expanded Bandwidth Team. The Board decided to submit the following proposal for the Commission's consideration. Bell Atlantic is working with Commission staff to determine the expected incremental out-of-pocket costs associated with the proposal. At this time they are not expected to exceed $3 million.

A. Eligibility. Any MSLN site that has usage that peaks over 40 kilobits per second for fifteen minutes on three days a month or peaks over 40kbs for fifteen minutes at least 6 times a month will qualify for an upgrade to a high speed 384kbs Frame Relay Circuit. It is estimated that up to 300 sites could be eligible.

Any MSLN site that has regular and extended peaking that exceeds 50 kbs for fifteen minutes three times or more per day for half the school or library work days in an average month, has more than 50 actual computers connected and sustains an average bit rate for the month of over 10kbs qualify for a high speed upgrade to a T1 Frame Relay circuit. It is estimated that 50 sites could be eligible.

B. Installation. Once sites have met all upgrade requirements, they will be connected on a first come first served basis. Sites that apply and become eligible at the same time will be scheduled based on the highest need as measured by their actual usage in October of 1998.

It is expected that all eligible sites that apply before June of 1999 will be connected by September of 1999.

C. AEV. To qualify for Alternative Equivalent Value reimbursement schools and libraries will have to meet the same usage requirements described above.

Reimbursement will be based on Bell Atlantic (or independent phone company) out-of-pocket incremental cost to provide the T-1 on 384 at the site. Schools or Libraries choosing ATM would be eligible for AEV.

D. Contribution from School or Libraries. Schools and libraries are expected to pay their own site preparation costs including any necessary router and CU.

E. Coordination with E-Rate: After discussing the expected timing of the next round of E-Rate applications, the Board decided it was unlikely that E-Rate could be used for sites wanting to upgrade to a 384 or T-1 during this school year. 471 applications for the next round are due by mid-February with funds to be available for the period of July 1999 - June 2000. The Board decided to describe this situation to the Commissions to see if it wants the Board to examine this further.

5. Report on E-Rate: Edna Comstock explained that the SLC will start notifying schools and libraries about their eligibility beginning November 10. The next 80 day window for 470 applications is expected to open in early December. 471 applications will be due in Mid-February. At this time, the state does not know which sites filed 471 applications nor will it know which sites received funding. Eventually the SLC plans to have a database listing all sites receiving awards.

Next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2 at 1:00 at the Commission.