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Technology Working Group Minutes: November 15, 2005

Technology Working Group Minutes: November 15, 2005

November 15, 2005
9:00 A.M.


Chair Burtner called the meeting to order at 9:02 a.m.


Members Present:
Tony Anderson
Roger Burtner, Chair
Fred Canfield
Mike Carter
Helen Hall
Gerald Lucas
Cameron McCune
Paul Stover, Vice Chair

Members Arriving After Roll Call:
Robb Port

Members Absent
Stephen Hall
Carl Samantello

Joe Felz, Assistant to the City Manager
Larry Iboshi, TWG Candidate


Chair Burtner noted that the minutes of the October 27, 2005, meeting had not been completed in time for the meeting, and would be agendized for the December 8, 2005, meeting.


Chair Burtner introduced guest Larry Iboshi, noting that Mr. Iboshi was scheduled to be appointed to the Technology Working Group at the City Council meeting scheduled that evening. Mr. Iboshi provided a brief recap of his background and experience related to the TWG.


Discussion Item 1: Creation of an educational/municipal (institutional) fiber/wireless network, FullertonNet

Visit to Santa Monica - November 10, 2005

Chair Burtner had prepared and distributed to TWG members a draft report of the TWG's visit to the City of Santa Monica to meet with Jory Wolf, Chief Information Officer, to learn how Santa Monica created its I-Net using telecom savings. Chair Burtner asked the TWG members if there were any comments or corrections to the trip report. Vice Chair Stover stated that he believed there were two salient points learned from the visit: the fact that the TWG should be paying particular attention to getting the maximum number of strands, and connecting the maximum number of facilities in advance of any negotiations.

Chair Burtner noted that it was unclear why Santa Monica needed so many strands (six), because it was his understanding that one strand could be used for an end number of circuits. He stated he intended to contact Jory Wolf for clarification. Ms. Hall noted that it could depend on how Santa Monica set up their framework for the strands.

The question also came up about bandwidth limitation of single strand vs. multiple strands. Chair Burtner noted that he would check into that because he believed it would be critical in terms of negotiations, i.e., how many strands Fullerton wanted and needed.

Mr. Cameron thanked Chair Burtner for the very thorough write-up of the visit to Santa Monica, noting that the potential for the school district is tremendous, and seemed to be a win-win situation for both the city and the school district.

Franchise Negotiations with Adelphia and Time-Warner

Mr. Felz noted that based on the information obtained from Santa Monica, it would be important for the TWG to focus on:

1) Agreement between the city and school districts/universities: Working out the details and finalizing the agreement. He pointed out that the sample agreement offered by Santa Monica involved only one school district and one community college, unlike Fullerton, which has more than one school district and five universities.

2) Number of facilities: Mr. Felz noted that Santa Monica, when compiling their list of facilities, had overlooked parking structures and the pier. He suggested that the TWG's list of facilities be as thorough and inclusive as possible. Chair Burtner indicated that the list of 50 city facilities included St. Jude and various other institutions, but had not included private schools or parking structures, so the committee would need to look more closely at the compilation.

3) Hiring consultant: Mr. Felz noted that Santa Monica had hired a separate negotiator for the technology issues. He further stated that Fullerton's City Manager was open to the possibility of hiring a consultant, but it would depend upon how much money was available to the City for the negotiating process.

4) Conceptual Design & Finance Structure: Mr. Felz stressed the importance of a conceptual plan to present to Council in closed session that included:
  1. a map noting the locations of all of the facilities to be connected
  2. a background on how the committee came up with the list of facilities
  3. cost of implementation (cost of getting everyone connected and everything up and running)
  4. cost savings for the city and facilities involved.
Ms. Hall suggested that the TWG Chair or Vice Chair (or both) be included in the closed session to respond to any questions regarding the technical aspects of the project.

Vice Chair Stover noted that Santa Monica had referenced an "intelligent design" as the critical aspect of the project. He pointed out that if the consultant played a significant role in creating the "intelligent design," would Fullerton consider hiring a consultant or is the design something the TWG would advance?

Chair Burtner indicated a consultant might also be the source for costs and cost savings information, noting that even the individuals on the TWG might not be able to cite what all of the costs and potential cost savings are.

Mr. Felz stated that he would contact Santa Monica for the school district agreement and contact information for the consultant, and report the status of negotiations to the TWG at its next meeting.

Ms.Hall and Mr. Felz will make additions to the list of government facilities that should be connected to the I-Net. A map of the facilities to be connected to the I-Net will be created by Ms. Hall's staff. A map of Adelphia's fiber network was created for the earlier Infrastructure Task Force and can be obtained from Dianne McCarthy. Mr. Felz will contact Jory Wolf, Santa Monica, to obtain copies of all documents that were prepared as part of the creation of its I-Net. Chair Burtner will work with Mr. Felz in creating the list of items to be requested.

Vice Chair Stover asked if CalState Fullerton was part of the facilities list. Chair Burtner indicated they were not, that they had fiber in all of their buildings and major fiber to the outside world. Vice Chair Stover asked if that was something that could be tapped into. Mr. Felz stated that it was something that needed to be investigated. Chair Burtner offered to speak with Dick Bednar to see if he could provide any information.

Vice Chair Stover suggested that the TWG think about attaching a name to the project that's a little sportier than I-Net. Chair Burtner suggested a contest and volunteered to provide a prize for the winner.

Visit to Desert Sands Unified School District

Mr. Anderson apologized to the group for having to cancel the first scheduled visit to Desert Sands. He indicated that he would reschedule the trip, but noted that it would probably take all day and he needed confirmation from those TWG members who could make the all-day commitment.

Chair Burtner pointed out that the trip would probably be most beneficial to representatives from the school district.

Vice Chair Stover suggested a teleconference, and requesting a copy of any presentation materials they might have. Member Anderson suggested that it may be possible to set up a videoconference. Chair Burtner asked Members Anderson, Carter, McCune, and Samantello to coordinate the videoconference or teleconference and to notify the other TWG members so they might attend if interested.

Discussion Item 2: Review of Action Items

Chair Burtner had prepared an updated Action Items list, but copies were unavailable for distribution to TWG members.

Vice Chair Stover asked if there was any way to prepare a map of possible I-Net sites for the TWG meetings, such as an aerial, noting that it would be very valuable visually. Chair Burtner agreed, indicating that it would be easier to pinpoint all of the sites, e.g., schools, parking structures, government facilities, etc. Ms. Hall stated she would check with the City's GIS Specialists.

Item 4 - Addresses from the Various Schools
Chair Burtner reminded the school district representatives to send him any addresses they wanted included. He has already compiled a list of 63 possible sites from those that had been submitted by commission members.

Item 6 - Beta Test of Alvarion's 4.9 GHz for Public Safety Application
Chair Burtner indicated that he and Helen Hall had met with Jack Unger for a tour of the City's microwave towers. Mr. Unger determined that the 4.9 is not the right technology, indicating that it's too short a wavelength to penetrate the obstructions in the city. He recommended using a 900 megawatt type of radio system. Therefore, the beta test was canceled.

Usage Statistics - FullertonWireless
Helen Hall is working on that report.

Item 7 - List of Application System Requirements
Commission members had been asked to prepare a list of application systems requirements they would like to have a wireless system or hybrid wireless system support. Chair Burtner noted that Member Carter was the only person to respond. He reminded the group, especially the city and schools who are looking for specific applications, that the TWG needed to gather that information to be part of the process in terms of coming up with a conceptual design, and asked that members work on completing their lists. Vice Chair Stover suggested that the TWG obtain Santa Monica's "laundry list" which in his opinion appeared to be a very complete list of applications.

Item 8 - Discussions with Jeff Chavez regarding Gigabeam

Draft Resolution Regarding Negotiations
Chair Burtner suggested that the resolution no longer appeared to be necessary because of the City's commitment to work with the TWG in the negotiation process.

Visit by Tom Horan or Wayne Smith
Vice Chair Stover had been asked to determine when Tom Horan or Wayne Smith were going to speak to the commission regarding the very large report (that has been slow to be released) that focuses particularly on Orange County in terms of what should be happening related to the infrastructure. Chair Burtner indicated that the report would be regional, and show what the trends are and what people are doing on a broader basis.

Vice Chair Stover also suggested that Dave Mock speak to the TWG. Chair Burtner noted that Mr. Mock is a technology writer, author of two books -- "Tapping Into Wireless" and "The Qualcomm Equation" -- and has written numerous articles about investments in wireless and other telecom technology. Mr. Stover asked when the group might like to have a 10-20 minute presentation by Mr. Mock, with a follow-up Q&A.

Chair Burtner noted that the committee would have its hands full with negotiation issues for about four to six weeks.

TWG Bios
Chair Burtner reminded the members to provide the Chair (by the next meeting) with a short bio for distribution with contact information - a paragraph or so of information that TWG members might find particularly valuable in knowing (background, technical qualifications) that the TWG can draw on for certain projects as the group's work continues.

Discussion Item 3: Next Steps Regarding FullertonWireless

Connectivity Issues - FullertonWireless & Macs - Tropos Diagnosis Chair Burtner indicated that Tropos had assigned someone to investigate. Ms. Hall noted they had tried reaching him for almost three weeks, but received no response until she related the lack of contact to Derek Williams at CDCE. It was noted that in some of the exchanges between TWG and CDCE, CDCE indicated that they do not have a Macintosh to check the Macintosh connectivity issues. It was suggested that since CDCE assured the City of a platform neutral system, they should invest in a Macintosh to check the connectivity, noting that it is a Tropos problem that needs to be resolved by Tropos. Vice Chair Stover suggested that the committee negotiate for additional time (three to six months) because of the connectivity problems. Chair Burtner also noted that Tropos now has equipment and software for checking connectivity within the mesh.


It was decided that the next meeting of the TWG would be held at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 8. Chair Burtner indicated that the next meeting would be largely devoted to the action items.


Guest Larry Iboshi noted there was no representation from hospitals or nonprofit organizations on the TWG. Chair Burtner stated there had been representation from St. Jude Medical Center, Fullerton College, and the Southern California College of Optometry in the past, but no representatives had applied for the current committee, although they had been invited.


Helen Hall distributed to the TWG members a copy of a recent L.A. Times Business Journal article titled, "WiFi Wonderland," which showed the hot spots in L.A., and discussed the pros and cons of cities getting into offering wireless.


There being no further business, a motion for adjournment was made and unanimously approved by the members present. The meeting adjourned at 10:02 a.m.