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Technology Working Group Minutes: August 29, 2005

Technology Working Group Minutes: August 29, 2005

August 29, 2005
9:00 A.M.


Fullerton IT Manager Helen Hall called the meeting to order at 9:02 a.m.


Members Present:

David Bailey
Helen Hall
Gerald Lucas
Roger Burtner
Fred Canfield

Members Absent:

Paul Stover


Tony Anderson
Mike Carter
Tom Duarte
Cameron McCune
Robb Port


Helen Hall announced that five TWG members had been appointed by Council: Bailey, Burtner, Canfield, Lucas, and Stover. She further noted that when Council finished appointing all of the members (September 6, 2005), an official meeting would be held to elect a Chair and Co-Chair of the committee. Handbooks for City Commissioners were distributed to the appointed members.


Provisions of the Brown Act applicable to the TWG

Deputy City Attorney Tom Duarte explained the Brown Act to committee members and conducted a Q&A session to address any issues or concerns regarding the Brown Act and Public Records Act. He indicated that committee members would receive another presentation of the Brown Act at the annual "Fullerton Council, Commission, Committee, and Board Members' Briefing" to be held September 15, 2005.

The most significant question pertained to emails between members. Mr. Duarte indicated that communication between committee members via emails is fairly new; they are subject to the Public Records Act and cannot be deleted, unless they claim attorney-client privilege. They are required to be printed and filed. He advised committee members using email to refrain from expressing opinions pertaining to committee matters, eliciting any responses as to how a member may vote, or discussing agendized items with more than one committee member.

Discussion of Recommendations in TWG Final Report, April 19, 2005
Creation of an Educational/Municipal Fiber/Wireless Network, FullertonNet
Next Steps Regarding FullertonWireless

Mr. Burtner explained that when the TWG started approximately two years ago, the committee began looking at fiber in the City and how it might be utilized in terms of creating an institutional network. He indicated that a number of school districts and cities have come up with a way of using existing infrastructure to create a customer-owned or controlled fiberoptic network which gives Gigabit Ethernet bandwidth that's been basically paid for from the savings on existing telecommunications contracts. Mr. Burtner suggested that would be a major project and area that the new committee might delve into. He indicated that he had been contacted by Jonathan Amir from MRV Communications in Chatsworth regarding similar projects in Los Angeles and Santa Monica. He further noted that the Desert Sands Unified School District had created a fiberoptic net using Time-Warner assets at a cost of approximately $25,000 per school.

Mr. Burtner suggested that if the committee agreed to move forward in this area, he would make arrangements to have MRV Communications attend the next meeting to speak to the committee on the subject.

Mr. Burtner noted that the key would be the cooperation of Adelphia (or Time-Warner who is buying Adelphia), and perhaps at the time the telecommunications contract is renegotiated, some leverage might be used in extending what would be the I-Net or institutional network. Mr. Burtner then asked for discussion of whether the project is something the committee wanted to consider pursuing.

Ms. Hall asked if the newly appointed members to the committee had any thoughts or comments on their expectations of the committee.

Fullerton School District Superintendent Cameron McCune indicated that the school district has invested heavily in wireless, with three schools currently using one-to-one laptop access. He stated that by September 2006, the district's plan is to provide every 6th grader 24/7 access to a laptop. He further noted that there is a huge population in the City that does not have Internet access currently in their home, so there's a strong interest to the district in trying to find an inexpensive way of providing that kind of access.

Fullerton Joint Union High School District IT Director Carl Samantello stated that he found it difficult to believe that the cable companies would provide conversion from light signaling to signaling over copper considering the expensive equipment, but if the objective was to try to get the cable companies to finance the project, he agreed it was a very good idea. He further indicated that the High School District would be very interested since they would be losing their connectivity to the Internet because CENIC had terminated the Digital California contract and their Internet access was in jeopardy.

Mr. Lucas pointed out that there had been some mention in the TWG final report of possibly getting the community and businesses involved, and asked if the objective was to offset some of the cost through businesses leasing some of the assets. It was pointed out that involvement of businesses as discussed in the TWG final report pertained to FullertonWireless, the wireless mesh network in downtown Fullerton. There would be no intent to offer services in competition with telcos.

Ms. Hall noted that the Redevelopment Agency was paying for one year of service for the Internet ISP provider, and that their objective was to make the downtown wireless attractive to businesses so they would advertise on the portal page which would hopefully pay for the monthly fee of the ISP provider.

Ms. Hall further noted that the real challenge of the committee, regardless of the recommendations or investigations into different areas, was to determine how to pay for any project. She noted that with the City's tight budget, funding is the challenge.

Mr. Carter asked what happens if someone is using FullertonWireless for illegal purposes. Mr. Burtner responded that the City has an abuse policy which is on the portal website. If anyone is found to be abusing the policy, the City has the capability to restrict their use.

Mr. Burtner stated there were some problems with FullertonWireless with regard to Macs. He noted that the City has an agreement with Tropos to provide 95% coverage, and if that fails, they will supply extra radios at no charge. He asked if there was someone in the group who was a "PC person" as well as a "Mac person" who would be willing to do some informal but systematic surveys in the downtown. Mr. Samantello volunteered. Mr. Anderson agreed to work with Mr. Samantello on this survey.

Future Meeting Dates

After a brief discussion regarding meeting dates, it was decided that future TWG meeting would be held at 9:00 a.m. on Thursdays, with the next meeting to be held September 15, 2005.


Presentation by MRV Communications.




There being no further business, a motion for adjournment was made and unanimously approved by the members present. The meeting adjourned at 10:15 a.m.