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Maine Telecommunications Education Access Fund
Advisory Board

Meeting Minutes for November 20, 2002


Members Present:             Phil Lindley, Joanne Steneck, Bill Black, Linda Lord (by phone) for Gary Nichols, Greg Scott, Barry Crommett, Gerry Dube, Reginald Palmer


Members Absent:            Scott Thibeau, Melinda Poore


  1. Approval of Minutes from September 25, 2002, meeting.


  1. Status of Connections.  Barry Crommett reported that there are 426 installed standard 56 kbps connections, 442 installed T-1 connections (plus unknown number of additional shared sites), and 73 installed ATM circuits that serve 118 sites.  For a total of 986 sites.
  2. Status of Internet Service and Filtering.  Gerry Dube discussed filtering for the MSLN.  He stated that “blocked” pages generate messages from irate users and can send emails to both the relevant technical coordinator and to UNET.  There are over 700 accounts on the filter server, allowing TCs to have local control for most of the sites on the MSLN.  UNET continues to encourage local control.  The board discussed the need for higher level authorities to be aware of the local filtering control.  Email is not filtered except for viruses and SPAM, and then only if provided by the UNET mail server.  It is each site’s choice to either use UNET for email or invest in their own machines.  The UNET mail server is more secure.

    Gerry also discussed the recent “speed” or latency issues.  While the traffic on the MSLN has grown, almost to capacity of the pipes, a problem with peer-to-peer file sharing eats up bandwidth.  UNET uses “traffic shaping” software that has recently been circumvented.  UNET will add bandwidth short term and then install upgrades to the shaping software.  Two DS-3s (45Mbps) are currently dedicated to MSLN.  The bandwidth capacity will be doubled in the next few months.  The Internet II connections will also be increased.
  3. Federal E-Rate Status.  Edna Comstock reported that the appeal is being processed (about $22K).  Verizon was paid by MTEAF for 12 months, but only received 10 months of E-Rate funds, more to come.  The Year 6 process has started, the Circuit Riders will assist with the notification for the LOAs.  Edna also said that results of the rulemaking would be out shortly, probably only for the “easy stuff.”


  1. ITA Grants.  Linda Lord said that letters have been sent to the recipients regarding the annual report requirements – Madison and Guilford are in process.  Linda also said that the Gates Foundation awarded $57K for library training.  There will be Circuit Rider support and a coordinator will be hired.


  1. Technological Needs Survey.  Gary Nichols will update the Board at the next meeting.


  1. Leaning Technology Initiative.  Joanne Steneck said that approximately 20,000 machines have been distributed.  Only thirty have been broken, five by teachers.  EDS made a large donation of software to the MLTI project.


  1. Other


·        T-1 Bandwidth increase for single building sites.  Gerry Dube is not aware of any sites that may need another T-1.  Any requests for expansion should be handled on a case-by-case basis.


·        An MSLN connection used only for web space or as a backup was discussed.  The consensus was that if the connection is used for web space or email service it should be left in place, but that if there was no usage of the MSLN facilities, then it should be disconnected.  This may need further discussion.  Some libraries have moved to cable connections because of franchise agreements with their cable TV company and maybe because of the cost of a T-1 router.


·        Next MSLN Advisory Board Meeting – January 15, 2003, at 9:30PM, PUC Conf. Room C.