DECEMBER 15, 2005








The December 15, 2005, meeting of the Education Telecommunications Council was held at Iowa Public Television and via various ICN sites.  The following members were present at the meeting:  Al Bode, ISEA; Jim Bodensteiner, Regents; Paul Bowers, IAICU; Merv Cronbaugh, IACCT; Greg Davis, IASB; Tim Dose, SAI; Mary Gannon, IASB; Glenn Grove, AEA Boards; John Hartung, IAICU; Ellen Kabat Lensch, IACCT; Terry Rinehart, IPTV; Kay Runge, DE/Public Libraries; Chet Rzonca, Regents; Gail Sullivan, DE; and Mary Travillian, AEA Boards.  Dean Cook, SAI; David Montgomery, DE/CIANS; and Kathryn O’Shaughnessy, ISEA; were absent.


The following guests were also present at the meeting:  Patty Fairchild, RTC 1; Bruce McKee, RTC 2;  Kathy Goebel, RTC 5; Julie Thomas, RTC 6; Dawn Fratzke, RTC 7; John Haack, RTC 10; Pat Thieben and Dennis Yoshimura, RTC 11; Pam Southworth, RTC 13; Linda Abel, RTC 15; Tami Fujinaka and Joseph Cassis, ICN; John O’Connell, DE; Judy Jones, State Library; and Kathy Borlin, Gwen Nagel, and Deb Fiscus, IPTV.


    II.          ISSUES

A.                  Approval of Recommendations to Amend Administrative Rules

Mary Gannon, head of the ETC sub-committee to recommend amendments to administrative rules, opened the discussion stating that there is no stipulation regarding number of Council meetings per year in Chapter 8D of the Code of  Iowa, but that  Chapter 15 of the Iowa Administrative Code requires that advisory councils are required to meet two times per year.  However, it hasn’t been necessary for advisory councils to meet since the ICN network has reached the point of running smoothly and there aren’t any issues to be discussed or any decisions to be made.  RTCs were asked to respond to a survey regarding the number of meetings per year that RTCs meet--it showed from 2-5 meetings, with some RTCs unsure of number of meetings required.


Judy Jones of the State Library stated that the Library Network Advisory Committee (LNAC) has not had any need to meet twice each year.  She has contacted Tami Fujinaka to determine the steps required to make a change in the requirement.  Tami stated that the opinion of the legal counsel to the ITTC is that a letter could be written to the ITTC recommending that the LNAC council be disbanded, and that their yearly report to the ITTC could be incorporated into the ETC report presented to the ITTC.


Following the discussion these motions were made:



John Hartung moved to incorporate the State Library report into the ETC annual report to the ITTC.  Mary Gannon seconded.  All in favor.  Motion passed unanimously.





Mary Gannon moved that the RTC template for Educational Support Funds be changed to state that RTCs are to meet twice per year rather than 4 times per year.  Kay Runge seconded.  All in favor.  Motion passed unanimously.


ETC members agreed to continue meeting twice per year as required in Chapter 15 of the Iowa Administrative Code and elected not to request a change in those rules regarding number of meetings required per year.


B.      Discussion about E-rate Eligible Activities and the Possible Impact of  Changes on RTC Services

Pam Pfitzenmaier updated the members on the recent changes from USAC regarding E-rate eligible services for FY 2007 released at the end of November 2005.  These changes will not impact the video rate discount received currently but it will impact scheduling.  In the past, the state of Iowa received approximately $300K for video scheduling services.  The new eligible services list says:


“Video services involve the transmission of visual images (this is eligible).  Eligibility is limited to the telecommunications transmission services that enable video communication.  Components such as scheduling, content creation, and storage are not eligible.”


Iowa, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Alaska, and Virginia have engaged in conversations with USAC and will file a petition with the FCC to reconsider this but Pam was not at all optimistic that it will have any impact on FY 2007, and may or may not have an impact on FY 2008.  Pam spoke with Terry Rinehart concerning the IPTV budget request for RTC funding and said it won’t be enough to compensate for the loss of e-rate funding.  If an appeal was filed tomorrow with the FCC, she didn’t expect to see any action until well into the next fiscal year.


C.       Discussion about Collection of Information and Analysis of Data Related to Use of the ICN

In the beginning it was mandated by the legislature (for a couple of years) that this data be collected.  That mandate has gone away, but the ETC continued collecting the data.  The collection of information and analysis of data was dependent upon Star Schools funds which are no longer available.  Discussion followed to determine what information was needed, who would coordinate the collection of the data, and how to fund the collection of that information.  John Haack of Kirkwood CC stated that the RTC coordinators would be meeting that afternoon following the ETC meeting and he would bring up the issue there and then let Gail Sullivan know the outcome of their discussion.  Terry Rinehart of IPTV said he has no immediate aid to offer, but that in the long term, within IPTV’s budget request that was submitted to the Governor, there was a requested increase of $31k which would represent a restoration of funding for the RTCs that could be used to fund the data collection project, if the request is approved.  Terry and someone from the ICN will work together to determine what data is to be collected.


III.          UPDATES

A.      ICN Update

Joe Cassis, Deputy Director, ICN, provided an overview of the reorganization of the ICN.  Joe is involved with aspects of marketing, public relations, and IT; Dave Lingren is the sales and marketing director, focusing on customer orientation issues; and Mark Lafferty is in the customer service area.   Joe continued his report with information about plans for broadband, video development, IP, and video management.  He also requested feedback concerning supplementary weighting.  Discussion followed.


Another item that the ICN is looking into concerns the Part III leases.  Bids went out for 46 of 51 Part III connections in July.   A number of the vendors have offered for the ICN to purchase those connections but the ICN is prohibited by law to own those.  It would be a great opportunity--to pay one annual charge for the lease and actually own it; the state would have the benefit of owning that connection and not have to redo the bids every year.  That would save a lot of money and the ICN is pursuing having that reconsidered.


Interest earned on monies the ICN receives from the general fund and monies collected from the customers goes back to the general fund and was not able to be used to enhance the equipment that may need to be repaired or replaced.  The ICN has asked that the interest be brought back into their accounts to be used for equipment maintenance, etc.

Discussion followed.


  IV.          ADJOURNMENT

The December 15, 2005, meeting of the Education Telecommunications Council adjourned at 10:30 am.  The next meeting of the ETC is June 1, 2006, at Iowa Public Television.