December 16, 2002







The December 16, 2002, meeting of the Education Telecommunications Council was held at Iowa Public Television and various ICN sites.  The following members were present:  Robert Barak, Board of Regents; Al Bode, ISEA; James Bodensteiner, Board of Regents; Paul Bowers, IAICU; Merv Cronbaugh, IACCT; Greg Davis, IASB; Ed Gambs, SAI; Mary Gannon, IASB; John Hartung, IAICU; Ellen Kabat Lensch, IACCT; David Montgomery, DE/CIANS; Kathryn O'Shaughnessy, ISEA; Pam Pfitzenmaier, IPTV; Vickie Myron for Kay Runge, DE/Libraries; Gail Sullivan, DE; Mary Travillian, AEA Boards; and Robert Vittengl, AEA Boards.  Mick Starcevich, SAI, was absent.


The following visitors were also present:  Kay Bolton, Mike Bacino, and John Gillispie, ICN; Bruce McKee, RTC 2; Kitty Conover, Region 3 Scheduler; Kathy Goebel, Region 5 Scheduler; Julie Thomas, RTC 6; Roger Rezabek, RTC 7; Wendell Maakestad and John Haack, RTC 10; Pat Thieben, RTC 11; Pam Southworth, RTC 13; Stacy Gibbs, RTC 14; Darlas Shockley and Linda Abel, RTC 15; Rebecca Hannum, Region 16 Scheduler; Shelly Goergen, Heartland AEA; Ida Pofahl, Denison; Paul Lutsgraf, ISU; Judy Jones, State Library; John O'Connell, DE; Dana Rosenberg, EICCD; and Kathy Borlin and Debbie Fiscus, IPTV.


Paul Bowers opened the meeting by informing members and guests of the "Certificate of Appreciation" that the ETC/RTCs were giving to retiring Auditor Richard Johnson, exofficio ITTC commissioner.


II.                  ISSUES AND UPDATES

II-1.      Report on 2001-02 Enrollments in ICN Video and Web-Based Courses

Dana Rosenberg provided a verbal summary and distributed copies of the final report for the ICN 2001-02 Educational Classes Survey conducted by EICCD.   Although federal funding has for this project will no longer be available, the members agreed that the survey is a very useful tool and they would seek an alternative funding source. Following a lengthy discussion a motion was made.


Pam Pfitzenmaier moved that the ETC meet with the ICN to discuss options of alternative funding for the Educational Classes Survey and to report on those options at the March 2003 ETC meeting.  Bob Barak seconded.  All in favor.  Motion passed unanimously.  Pam and Gail Sullivan volunteered to research funding options as well as enter into conversations with the ICN.


Dana Rosenberg stated that she was concerned about the data collection process and asked that an advisory support group be pulled together to help refine and resolve issues and definitions and to promote the data collection process. Paul Bowers asked for ETC and RTC members to volunteer for the group. The following people volunteered to be a part of this working group:  Pat Thieben, Bruce McKee, Pam Pfitzenmaier, John Haack, and Kathryn O'Shaughnessy.  Other ETC and RTC members are requested to volunteer also. 


II-2.      Internet2

Paul Lutsgraf, manager of the Internet for ISU and technical representative for ISU on the Internet 2 project, provided an update on Internet2.  Iowa State University and the University of Iowa are the two Internet 2 members in Iowa.  A couple of years ago it was determined that the Internet2 network was a valuable resource for education beyond the limited use of it original research university members and had enough capacity to add K-12 schools and other higher education institutions.   The Internet2 founding universities established the sponsored educational group project known as the Internet2 K-20 initiative.  The Internet2 members in each state can sponsor one or more organizations to serve the educational community in their state--the K-12s, community colleges, independent colleges, etc.  ISU is going to sponsor the ICN as the connector for the K-20 community in Iowa and details are being finalized at this time. The University of Iowa has a separate connection to the Internet2 and will provide back-up connectivity for Internet2.   UNI will be connecting to Internet2 through ISU shortly after 2003.  With the aid of John O'Connell of the Dept of Ed and the ICN, a K-12 pilot project is being planned that will begin shortly after January 1 and conclude June 30.  This K-12 pilot will only include a minimal number of K-12 sites connected to Internet2 at this time.   After July 1, 2003, additional Internet2 sites may be added with the ICN providing connectivity to ISU.  ISU will continue to provide connection to Internet2.  For further information about the Internet2 project, contact Paul Lutsgraf or the ICN.


Following a lengthy discussion on the Internet2 issue, especially with questions about costs of Internet2 membership and circuit costs, a motion was made:



Pam Pfitzenmaier moved that the ETC sponsor an ICN session(s) to include ETC members, ISU and ICN staff to discuss Internet2 and educational/content uses.  Bob Barak seconded. Paul called for a negative assent vote and hearing none, the motion passed unanimously. 


Paul Bowers, Pam Pfitzenmaier, Greg Davis, Ellen Kabat Lensch, and John O'Connell volunteered to head up this project.  Due to the approaching e-rate deadline issue, the ICN session(s) will be scheduled for a date in January.


II-3.  No Transmit Update

Pam Pfitzenmaier reported on the discussion held on December 9, 2002, with various RTC members and ICN schedulers concerning the no transmit issue.  In response to suggestions made during the meeting, Pam developed a draft document, "Guidelines for the Use of No Transmits for ICN educational video classroom sites, Parts I, II, and III."  Pam asked for feedback from the regional partners (RTCs and schedulers) and ETC members via an upcoming phone conference or ICN session to help finalize the document for distribution.  A final recommendation will be presented to the ETC at the March 2003 meeting.


II-4.      Cancellation Policy Update

Paul Bowers provided an overview of the conference call held with the ETC/RTC task force on the current cancellation policy that included Jane Ginapp of ATAC, Pam Pfitzenmaier, Roger Rezabek, Kay Bolton, and Ellen Kabat Lensch.  As a result of the task force conference call, Paul distributed a four-part recommendation that was developed by the task force for presentation to the ETC.  Following a lengthy discussion, it was recommended that parts 2-4 of the recommendation be approved with the first recommendation modified.   (The first recommendation called for a rescission of the cancellation policy by the ITTC with a remand to the ICN staff to modify in consultation with the ETC, ATC and others).  Members agreed that the ICN Credit Request Policy be amended to say "…shall be canceled by the originator of the session at least 24 hours or more in advance of production" rather than accept the first task force recommendation. (The language of the ICN Credit policy currently requires 48 hours or more.)



Pam Pfitzenmaier moved a friendly amendment to the task force 4-part recommendation.  The first recommendation will be amended to read, “The ETC recommends that the Credit Request Policy approved by the ITTC on June 10, 1997, be modified to state, ‘…shall be cancelled by the originator of the session at least 24 hours or more in advance of the production.’”  Al Bode seconded the friendly amendment. Paul called for a negative assent vote on the amended recommendation and hearing none, the amended motion passed unanimously.  The amended 4-part recommendation will be forwarded to the ITTC for their January meeting.


II-5.      ICN Video Event Site Selection and Communication

At a previous ETC meeting, Bob Vittengl raised a concern that ICN sites could not be added to specific ICN events even if the ICN site offered to pay to be included in that session.  Because it was mentioned that these sessions were offered sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education, Pam Pfitzenmaier contacted the DE to learn more details.  It was discovered that while the DE was often willing to add more sites when sessions were primarily not highly interactive, the cost issue was discovered to be problematic.  Agencies such as the DE had no mechanism to bill sites and collect funds.  Pam then followed up with Mike Bacino at the ICN, asking if ICN staff could establish a mechanism to re-bill sites in these circumstances.  Mike Bacino stated that the ICN has come up with a workable solution.  The DE has been notified that when such rebilling is needed for upcoming sessions that the ICN contract is Denise Sturm.

II-6.      November 14, 2002, ITTC Meeting

Paul Bowers provided the members with an overview of the ITTC meeting on November 14.  Paul carried forth the recommendation to the ITTC that ETC and ITTC form a joint task force or working group with members of the ETC and ITTC to examine current and futures uses of the ICN, particularly in K-12 districts.  Paul emphasized that the ETC wanted to assist in the focus of ICN services beyond just the ICN video classroom and focus on the bandwidth applications for Internet1, Internet2 and other IP-related applications.  The ITTC was very receptive to the recommendation of forming a joint task force.  Mike Bacino reported on behalf of the ITTC that Betsy Brandsgard appointed two commissioners, Bob Hardman and Mark Schouten, to the task force as well as Mike Bacino and John Gillespie from the ICN.  The ETC appointed 3 ETC members--Pam Pfitzenmaier, Greg Davis, and Paul Bowers.  Mike Bacino will inform the ETC concerning a scheduled meeting time.


II-7.      ICN Update

Mike Bacino distributed an updated document concerning the ATM rings and an update on the status of the network upgrade.  In Rings 1 and 5 in western Iowa, the transport equipment has been installed for some time along with debugging of the Terrawave codecs.  The next process in Rings 1 & 5 involves moving across to the new transport system and taking the old equipment out of the network.  The plan is to do that before Christmas. 


Transport equipment is installed in Ring 4, but there are no codecs installed there.   All of the transport equipment has been installed in Rings 2 & 3 but the spans between each of the EON sites there went live on Friday.  All of the transport equipment is in place and rings 2, 3, and 4 are functioning.  Sometime after the first of the year they will commence the deployment of codecs.  The plan is to start in Ring 4, then simultaneously move up into Rings 2 and 3.  The deployment of the new Terrawave codecs in Rings 1 and 5 has allowed the ICN to offer Ethernet capability for Internet at the user level.  Ethernet Internet will be available in all areas of the state by July 1. For further information concerning the ATM upgrade, contact Mike Bacino.


As for the VOSS scheduling software, the ICN has met with the software vendor and ICN is reworking the contract with them for re-deployment of the switching software and the upgrade of the scheduling software with a new target date of June 2003.


Voice services have currently been split between MCI Worldcom, which carries the intrastate, 800, and calling card traffic, and the long distance toll is carried by AT&T, whose contract was up for renewal also. Through a competitive bid process, McLeod USA was contracted to carry the toll traffic, to be effective the first part of February.


Part III Leases--actually in two categories.  Category one--The ICN put out a bid for 61 leases that expire June 3, 2003.  The invitation to bid is on the ICN web site offers two opportunities for bid:  dark fiber or a leased DS-3 service capability.  The bids are due the first week of January.


Category two--the 63 tail circuits leased from Adesta.  Adesta has given those circuits to high schools and libraries.  The ICN sent letters to those 63 sites asking their preference--maintain the circuits themselves or pass ownership on to the State who would maintain them.  This requires a change of language in Chapter 8.D and is part of the ICN's legislative package.


II-8.      Proposed Dept. of Administrative Services

Several ETC members had expressed interest in learning more details about the proposed Department of Administrative Services and how inclusion of the ICN in the agency might impact educational user.  The ETC Executive Committee asked Pam Pfitzenmaier to contact personnel in the executive branch who might provide information about the proposed new agency.  Pam spoke with a staff member in Department of Personnel (Mollie Anderson, Director of the Department of Personnel, has been designated by Governor Vilsack as the future director of the new agency) about presenting information to the ETC, RTC and other interested educational parties about the proposed agency.  It was agreed that an informational session will be held via ICN in the first part of January before legislative session begins in which Mollie Anderson will provide information and hear the questions and concerns of educators.  No date has yet been set for the ICN session, but Pam will send an email out to invite all educators who are interested in attending once a date/time are set. 


II-9.      Telecommunications and Technology for K-12 Current and Future Uses

Pam Pfitzenmaier distributed a document “Telecommunications and Technology for K-12 Current and Future Uses.”  The document was originally developed in December 2001 and has been used widely.  However, the document is now outdated and needs revisions, especially to include higher education.  Volunteers for the updating this document are  Al Bode, Greg Davis, Paul Bowers, Pam Pfitzenmaier, Ellen Kabat Lensch, and Jim Bodensteiner.



John Gillispie, the new Executive Director for the ICN, introduced himself and stated that he wishes to work closely with the ETC in the future.


Pat Thieben suggested that an ICN user guide be available on the Web or in the video classrooms.  In addition, she suggested that a job description for new ICN video site coordinators be developed stating what their job duties are.   She further suggested that an ICN session be offered each September to train new site coordinators.


Roger Rezabek suggested changing the frequency of ETC meetings to bi-monthly meetings alternating with the ITTC meetings.  Paul Bowers stated that the ETC would take it under advisement.



The December 16, 2002, meeting of the Education Telecommunications Council adjourned at 11:50am.  The next meeting of the ETC will be held March 21, 2003, at Iowa Public Television.