Illinois Broadband Deployment Council (BDC)

September 14, 2006, 2pm

 

SPRINGFIELD ATTENDEES:

Ryan Alderks, Rochelle Municipal Utilities; Joe Annett,

Alcatel; Jason Bird, City of Princeton; Michael Dickson, WIU; Rex Duncan, SIUC; Ronald Duncan,

Shawnee Community College; Bart Ellefritz, Office of Senator Durbin; Kay Gregg, Rural Partners; Dan Hamilton, Mt. Vernon Net, Inc.; Tom Hampton, AT & T BCS Enterprise Select; Brad Housewright, Heartland Communications and Internet Services; Melanie Ignjatovich; Jody Johnson, University of Illinois Extension; Mark Kinkade, Illinois Department of Transportation; Missy Kinsel; Pete Knopf, Illinois Virtual High School; Dr. Dave Loomis, Illinois State University; Donna McCann, McCann and McCann; John Miller, Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission; John Muhs, AT&T; Lynn Murphy, Illinois Century Network; Sara Nelson, Senator Durbin's Office; Melville Nickerson, Citizens Utility Board; Mayor Chet Olson, City of Rochelle; Deno Perdiou, SBC Illinois; Doug Power, Regional Development Institute; Andrea Preston, Illinois State Board of Education; Marcelo Quiroga Battelle; Drew Robertson, Movaz Networks; John Scrivner, Mt. Vernon Net, Inc.; Deborah Seale, SIU Telehealth; Lori Sorenson, Illinois Century Network/CMS BCCS; Terry Sullivan, Shiloh CUSD # 1-Edgar County CUD #6; Don Wood, Assoc. of Illinois Electric Cooperatives; Philip Wood, Verizon; Ted Young, Illinois Tollway Authority.

 

CHICAGO ATTENDEES:

Katherine Dawkins, Digital Educator; E. G. Enbar, Equip for Equality; Gerry Galloway; Dana Peissig, Alcatel; Chuck Brown, Integrated Technology; Jose Cerda, City of Chicago; Tim Collins, IIRA; Bruce Cooper, NOW Wireless; Tony Hylton, City of Aurora; Dan Maloney, Comcast; Rex Parker, City of Park Ridge; Wally Pierce, Alcatel; ; Jill Rendleman, Illinois Finance Authority; Shannon Rooney, Ald. Manny Flores; Charles Wu, CW Lab.

 

The Lieutenant Governor welcomed guests and thanked members of the council for their participation.

 

Carolyn Brown Hodge tabled the June meeting minutes for the next meeting pending revisions.

Belleville Main Street wifi grant

The Lt. Governor asked Ryan Croke from his office to review the Main Street wifi grant program. He explained that one of this year’s recipients, Belleville Main Street, is working with a local Internet Service Provider (Norcom) to deploy a downtown free wireless network. Norcom will offer enhanced access for an additional charge. Present grant recipients are encouraged to collaborate with last year’s winners (in Mt. Vernon and Quincy). Belleville is still working out the language of the “terms and conditions” they plan to require for users of the free service.

 

I Connect

The Lt. Governor explained that a bill passed in the general assembly this year to launch a program that would fund “laptop learning” in selected middle schools in Illinois. He noted that the state Board of Education is working with his office on the program to select seven schools (from the 40 applicants) that will be part of the pilot.  He discussed successful similar efforts in other states, including Maine, which provides every 7th grader with a laptop, and Michigan, California, New Hampshire, Virginia and others, where pilot programs are also underway. He noted that further details about the selected Illinois schools would be announced at the next BDC meeting.

 

Illinois Virtual High School

 Pete Knopf à IVHS began as a state Board of Education motion in 2000. Since then, it has become a collaborative effort between them, the Illinois board of higher education, community college board, state educator groups, and the educational technology leaders. IVHS has almost 3,000 students enrolled this year, 50% of whom come from low-income schools. They offer 100 courses each semester to supplement and support, not replace, local schools.

IVHS fits into the broadband conversation because they consider themselves a digital content creator and aggregator. If their courses are to be interactive and engaging, they will require bandwidth-demanding modeling, simulations, streaming media, and work with large data sets. They remain challenged by the fact that IVHS is also charged with making sure courses are designed for the lowest common denominator in terms of connection speeds. IVHS would like to design more courses for broadband, but many students only have access to dial-up at home.

 

Internet Safety

Katherine Dawkins discussed laws designed to protect consumers against Internet dangers. (A handout accompanied the presentation.) The Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, Delete Online Predators Act and Schools Safety Applying Faculty Excellence Act 2003 were reviewed. Then some statistics on youth Internet use were presented, including:

·         77million teenagers and children now use the Internet.

·         65% of all of online sexual solicitation or harassment incidents occurs in chat rooms

·         The FBI arrested 1649 Internet predators in 2005

·         14% of teens have met an online acquaintance in person

·         85million children and adults use Myspace

·         Internet pornography is a 4 billion dollar business

·         Over $13 million dollars were lost in 2005 from online scams

Katherine stressed defined the following terms: chat rooms, instant messaging, text messaging, bulletin boards, social networking, spam and phishing.

 

Statewide Broadband Mapping

Dave Loomis à The effort to map broadband penetration at the residential level by zip codes continues. The hope is now to match Internet availability to underlying economic and demographic information. Phase 1 – identifying local providers through the state – of the project is complete. The final report will be ready by the end of the year.

Because of proprietary concerns, broadband availability will be the main focus of the study, rather than service and pricing options. In response to concerns that zip code data will provide a less-than-comprehensive marker of broadband availability, Dave noted this study is not the end-all-be-all, but rather the beginning of an effort to understand broadband availability. At the study’s end, he suggested, maybe zip code regions that appear the least developed, should be further investigated.

John Scrivner à suggested via teleconference that the study should mention the prerequisite costs of service for the various broadband options.

Lt. Governor à encouraged everyone to cooperate with the landmark study.

 

Connect SI

Rex Duncan à Connect SI is a 20-county community and economic development initiative that is considers the availability of affordable BB as the driving force behind economic development efforts.

It exists to serve not simply Carbondale, but Edwardsville and places like the SIU-Springfield School of Medicine.

Connect SI seeks to identify and leverage existing fiber backbone(s).

He stressed the need to make a business case for private and public players who can mutually benefit from broadband deployment.

 

Illinois Century Network

Lori Sorenson à ICN is engaged in strategic planning with its statewide constituents. Its planning leadership committee includes community colleges, universities, K-12, municipalities, and health care agencies. ICN is developing a report on the future of its operations that will compare the ICN to similar entities in other states, and chart its successes since its 1997 founding.

ICN has increased the capacity of its backbone to support advanced research/applications, expand access and have a network point of presence in every LATA (Local Access and Transport Area). Last-mile challenge continues to plague the ICN. They are always looking for last mile scalable solutions.

Successful collaboration with regional network people (like NIU’s Power & Krause) help them deliver more service. An

October 2 meeting at Parkland in Champaign will finalize the ICN progress report, leading to a long-term action plan with specific steps. ICN is also holding regional meetings starting in October among core backbone, policy, and regional technology staff where they will meet with constituents and survey their clients’ specific needs.

In October, ICN will announce changes in cost recovery rates thanks in part to ICN’s merger under CMS two years ago, which will permit increased capacity and lower costs.

This will save money for educational, municipal, and health care customers.

Lt. Governor à Have you discussed selling ICN?

Lori Sorenson à I have not participated in any conversations regarding a sale of ICN.

Business access continues to be a regulatory concern. CMS wants to hire regulatory experts to assess implications of private network status or becoming a CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier).

Lt. Governor à Does ICN have as many subscribers today as it once did?

Lori Sorenson à Yes. There are over 7,000 ICN subscribers. But, especially in rural areas, some customers have disconnected and gone to DSL. ICN v. DSL represents an “apples to oranges” comparison. ICN offers guaranteed bandwidth and secured networks, unlike residential broadband providers. Non-for profits are allowed to join, and many do, especially in the Chicago area.

Mike Dickson à Added that ICN does not own any circuits or bandwidth. ICN is a group of users who band together through state government to procure bandwidth for computer services.

In essence they have no capital or infrastructure to provide, so they could not sell any assets.

John Scrivner à Added that he wants to be a last mile provider for ICN in Jefferson County. He would like to see a program for network operators to become “qualified” ICN distributors, in the same way some larger companies have been able to.

Lori Sorenson à Again, regulatory concerns are implicated. Iowa’s ICN become a CLEC subject to many regulations and lost its USF e-Rate access.

Rick Johnson à Schools have left ICN to join his CLEC for higher bandwidth and VPN access.

 

Springfield Wireless Project

Deno Perdiou

AT&T has a wireless network for the entire city of Springfield in progress. SkyPilot is handling the engineering and network design. AT&T is responsible for the Internet gateway, web portal services, customer support, back office, maintenance and repair work. Siemens will serve as the equipment provider and installer. The wireless cloud will cover 25-30 square miles. Free 200kbps Internet access will be available throughout this area, and it will be supported through paid advertisement. The difficult part will be covering areas surrounding the lake. This part of the network will be supplemented with Cingular broadband services.

Higher speed residential and business access will become available at daily, weekly, and monthly rates. AT&T expects the Springfield City Council to authorize a pole attachment agreement by mid-October, at which point the network design and deployment can begin. The entire project will come at no cost to the city; rather, it will be funded by the project participants (Siemens, AT&T and SkyPilot).

 

Verizon Project

Phil Wood à Verizon DSL is expanding to 15 new rural areas in Illinois, including the central & southern parts of the state. Details will be sent to Carolyn Brown Hodge.

Carolyn Brown Hodge à A consumer asked about limited DSL availability in Macomb. Any ideas about whether Verizon will increase capacity in this area?

Phil Wood à This is a complicated issue better addressed outside of the BDC.

 

Northern Illinois Technology Triangle

Ryan Alderks à Rochelle Municipal Utilities is Collaborating with IDOT on a 175-mile ring of redundant fiber to build smart highways and intelligent services along I-39. All of the necessary municipal agreements should be passed by Jan. 1. NIU wants to connect Rockford, Hoffman Estates and DeKalb campuses. They are bringing technical and legislative support.

Mayor of Rochelle à addressed the value of working together with municipalities, representatives, IDOT, and private entities.

 

Vince Demuzio Rural Broadband Initiative

Carolyn Brown Hodge à The Lt. Governor’s office is working with local leaders to assess needs and make an announcement in the near future about broadband in Macoupin and Montgomery counties.

 

Medicaid reimbursement for telehealth

Deborah Seale à Currently there is no reimbursement available for mental health teleconferencing. Fortunately, states set their own rules for Medicaid.

Lt. Governor Quinn à Expressed an interest in developing a law to address telehealth shortcomings in the state.

 

Alcatel

Dana Peissig à Explained that Alcatel works with state, local, municipal governments to establish public telecommunication networks. He explained that his company returns 12% of profits to R&D. A merger between Alcatel and Lucent will happen in the next 2 months.  He noted that Alcatel can help rural counties exploit local infrastructure (e.g. towers)

 

Announcements

Jeff à Invited interested parties to participate in the wireless pilot project in Chicago’s Albany Park – Ward 33

 

Next meeting

Lt. Governor à Thanked all those in attendance and suggested Dec. 6 as a possible date for the next meeting.