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Maine State Government

Dept. of Administrative & Financial Services

Office of Information Technology

 

POLICY ON THE PROVISION OF PRIVATE SECTOR WIRELESS INTERNET SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC FROM STATE FACILITIES

 

I. Statement

Executive Branch agencies may allow a third party to provide public access the Internet at a State owned or leased facility.  Selection must be via a competitive process.  An agreement must be signed stating the conditions of use.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to govern the private sector provision of free, or low cost, wireless internet access services to the public from State of Maine owned or leased facilities. 

 

The policy requires the development of a pre-qualified list of companies capable of providing and maintaining quality internet access wireless services via a competitive bid process.  An accompanying standards document governs internet access wireless site specifications to ensure quality service that is separate from State operated networks.  Sample Request for Quotes, and a Service Provision Agreement to be used by agencies to select and formalize their relationship with a private wireless internet access vendor will be eventually included as attachments to the standard.

III. Applicability

This policy applies to all agencies of the Executive Branch of Maine State Government.

IV. Responsibilities

A. Agency Responsibilities - Agencies, or collaborations of agencies, who have jurisdiction over a site where public wireless access is desired will sign a Service Provision Agreement SPA (SPA) with one or more of the approved vendors from the pre-qualifed wireless internet access list using a RFQ process.   Agencies will not charge vendors rent, or require them to reimburse the State for electricity used by their equipment.

 

B. Office of Information Technology - The Office will establish via a competitive bid process, and regularly update a pre-qualified list of companies capable of providing and maintaining quality internet access wireless services.  The Office will also inspect all sites to ensure they meet the requirements of this policy and all applicable standards.

V. Guidelines & Procedures

A. Agency Responsibilities - The Service Provision Agreement (SPA) will include the minimum requirements outlined in Section C, and additional specifics governing the site usage, appropriate equipment, its installation and maintenance, and other technical requirements which are documented in the standard associated with this policy.

1. To select a vendor, or vendors, agencies will release a Request for Quotation (RFQ), and select a vendor or vendor(s) based upon the best value offered to the State and citizens of Maine. 

2. Agencies will inform the CIO of their intention to negotiate and sign a SPA with a vendor(s) in compliance with this policy. 

3. For the term of the SPA, successful vendors will be allowed private sector exclusive rights to provide free or low cost wireless services from sites owned or leased by the signing agency, or collaboration of agencies.  The individual site, regional area or site type designation will be made at the agency’s, or collaborating group of agencies’, discretion.

4. At their discretion, agencies may add content to the unique first page presented to wireless users.

a. Best Practice Suggestion: additions should reflect the logo and agency name, and local to the site information considered useful to the consumer.  For example 511 information may be added to the first screen viewed at highway rest areas wireless sites.

B. Using a fair and competitive process, OIT will initially create, and periodically update, a list of qualified wireless internet access vendors.

1. OIT will periodically review and update the technical standards associated with this policy.  Following approval (as outlined in the Policy on the Adoption of Policies, Standards, and Procedures), the updated standards will be incorporated into agency SPAs.  Preexisting SPAs will be in force, until their term expires.

2. OIT will work with agencies to ensure State employees conduct state business in a secure manner, whenever using the free wireless services.

3. OIT will establish minimum standards regarding vendor-developed first page that will be presented to all wireless service users at all sites.  At a minimum, this first page will include

a. an explanation clarifying the wireless internet access service is provided by a vendor, not Maine State government, and service may cease without public notice
b. applicable privacy policy
c. applicable security policy
d. general use  instructions

4. OIT will maintain a copy of all signed SPAs.

C. Service Provision Agreements - In order to promote the provision of wireless services at no cost or low cost to the public, agencies will not charge vendors rent, or require them to reimburse the State for electricity used by their equipment.  However, the SPAs will include the following minimum requirements of vendors.

1. Vendor will provide public wireless access to the Internet on a free or low fee basis.

2. Free access to Maine.gov and any other domain as specified by the agency in the SPA.

3. The vendor will develop the first page, as required in Section 5 B (4) and will add additional features, graphics or links as required by the agency through its SPA.

4. Vendor will provide signage, written and reproduced to State specifications, to explain the wireless site, fees, etc. to be displayed in public areas of State facilities.

5. Vendor must not store customer credit card or other personal information beyond what is necessary to conduct a transaction.

6. SPAs will be written for two year terms. Thereafter, at its discretion, the agency or collaboration of agencies may extend the SPA for two, one year terms.

7. The SPA will ensure the vendor(s) meet all State of Maine Web Accessibility requirements for pages under their control.

D. Nothing in this policy shall prevent the State of Maine, or other governmental entities, from providing wireless internet access services to the public at any State site.  However, the State must also honor its commitment to the selected vendor to provide service at any given site, or group of sites, for the term of the SPA.

VI. Definitions

1.      Chief Information Officer (CIO) - The term Chief Information Officer refers to the CIO, the chief administrative officer of the Office of Information Technology within the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.

 

2.      Hotspot - A person with a wireless compatible device, such as a computer, telephone, or personal digital assistant (PDA) can connect to the Internet when in proximity of a wireless access point. The region covered by one or several wireless access points is called a hotspot. Hotspots can range from a single room with a single person connecting to the internet, to large metropolitan areas. [1] 

3.      Internet Service Provicer (ISP) - A wireless ISP is a business or organization that offers users access to the Internet and related services via wireless technology. Many but not all ISPs are telephone companies.

4.      Policy - A policy is a statement of direction with respect to the planning and management of information technology approved by the Chief Information Officer of the State of Maine.

5.      Site - The term “site” refers to the state-owned or leased, public-frequented facility for which a Service Provision Agreement (SPA) is made between an approved wireless vendor and State agency or agencies of jurisdiction. As defined in the SPA “site” may refer to an individual location (e.g. Rockland ferry terminal), or an explicitly bordered regional area (e.g. York County), or a type of facility (e.g. all Route 95 highway rest areas). 

6.      Standard - A standard is a specific approach, solution, methodology, product, or protocol that must be adhered to for establishing uniformity.

7.      WiFi (also Wi-fi, Wifi, or wifi) - WiFi is a brand originally licensed by the WiFi Ethernet Compatibility Alliance to describe the underlying technology of wireless local area networks (WLAN) based on the IEEE 802.1X specifications.[2]

 

VII. References

 

None

 

VIII. Document Information

 

1.      Document Reference Number:     2

 

2.      Category:     Internet, Network and Transport

 

3.      Adoption Date:     July 18, 2006

 

4.      Effective Date:     July 18, 2006

 

5.      Review Date:     July 17, 2009

 

6.      Point of Contact:     Wayne Gallant, Director OIT/Network Services Division

 

7.      Approved By:     Richard B. Thompson, Chief Information Officer

 

8.      Position Title(s) or Agency Responsible for Enforcement:     Kathy Record, Associate Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology

 

9.      Legal Citation:

 

10.  Waiver Process:





[1] Source Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_service_provider