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Technology Working Group Minutes

CITY OF FULLERTON

TECHNOLOGY WORKING GROUP

MEETING MINUTES

April 20, 2006

9:00 A.M.

 

CALL TO ORDER      

Chair Burtner called the meeting to order at 9:06 a.m.

 

ROLL CALL                     Members Present

                                                Roger Burtner, Chair            Helen Hall

                                                Fred Canfield                        Larry Iboshi

                                                Scott Carroll                           Paul Stover, Vice Chair

                                                Mike Carter                           

 

                                                Members Absent

                                                Tony Anderson                      Cameron McCune

                                                Richard Hartman                   Robb Port

                                                Gerald Lucas                         Carl Samantello

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Chair Burtner asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of March 30, 2006.  Two spelling corrections were indicated: Dando to Dandin, and Moran to Horan.  With the corrections noted, Fred Canfield moved that the minutes be accepted.  Helen Hall seconded, and the minutes were approved unanimously, with Scott Carroll and Larry Iboshi abstaining since they had not attended the March 30 meeting.

 

DISCUSSION ITEMS

 

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

 

Status of I-Net Conceptual Design

 

Chair Burtner indicated that the final document of the I-Net conceptual design was not yet available for the TWG's review, and Assistant to the City Manager Joe Felz had not provided an estimated completion date.  The item was continued for discussion for the next meeting.

 

Funding Sources  &

Power Users Group

 

Chair Burtner stated that he would defer discussion of funding sources until Joe Felz was present, and with the absence of TWG members Cameron McCune, Carl Samantello, and Tony Anderson, the discussion regarding the Power Users Group would be continued to the next meeting.

Memorandum of Understanding

 

Chair Burtner noted that the sample Memorandum of Understanding document provided by the City of Santa Monica appeared to be fairly clear in its structure and could probably be used by the City of Fullerton as a template, with rewrites specific to the needs of the participating Fullerton institutions.  Mike Carter noted that the Santa Monica model seemed to provide benefit to institutions with multiple sites, and since Hope International University has only one site in Fullerton, there would not be a benefit to Hope unless the agreement provided cost savings through a collective purchasing of telecom or internet services with the other I-Net partners.


Chair Burtner indicated collective purchasing, with cost savings for all participants, was one of the reasons for the Memorandum of Understanding, regardless of the number of sites.  He further pointed out that it would become a customer-owned network, which is open access to any of the owners to do what they want in terms of how much bandwidth they want to put on it in terms of their own electronics and who they want to have as their internet service provider.  It essentially would offer a lot more flexibility and the potential for savings with the ISP over what one might get through a cableco or telco.

 

Vice Chair Paul Stover stated that his chief concern at this point in time is not so much that there is anything wrong or right with the sample Memorandum of Understanding, it's where the TWG can really go with the cable franchise agreement, given the time frames.  He pointed out that since the TWG began, there has only been discussion about the agreement, never any movement to do anything.  He indicated that the TWG cannot just keep talking, with no action, but that the TWG has absolutely no control over the franchise agreement negotiation process, and discussions of memorandums of any kind related to the franchise agreement are in a major stalemate.

 

Chair Burtner explained that the TWG had been told that the time to look at the potential for creating an I-Net with a cableco was during the renegotiation of the franchise agreement, especially with a change in ownership.  The City has denied the change of ownership, which, in effect, should have forced the cable company to come to the table with the City to negotiate the transfer of ownership and a new franchise agreement.  However, telecos are now claiming that their offering of video services is not subject to franchise agreements as the cablecos have been.  As a result, many cablecos are reluctant to negotiate new franchise agreements.  Cablecos want telcos to be subject to the same franchise agreements that they are required to operate under.  On the other hand, if telecos are not going to be subject to franchise agreements, then cablecos want the same consideration.  Consequently, cablecos tend to be in a "wait and see" mode, putting the City in a state of limbo under that scenario or strategy.  If Time Warner does not come to the negotiating table, City staff have indicated they would like to build the I-Net in some other way. 

 

Chair Burtner noted that the TWG cannot do much of anything until the conceptual design is completed and there is a better feel for whether or not Time Warner is going to come to the negotiating table.

 

Vice Chair Stover asked why the conceptual design is taking so long.  It was noted that the City had contracted with Lee Afflerbach quite some time ago, and the TWG was told that a conceptual design would be ready in six to eight weeks.   Chair Burtner stated he would check with the City's liaison with the contractor (Joe Felz, Assistant to the City Manager) to see if he could provide a time frame for the conceptual design's completion.

 

Mr. Stover and Scott Carroll suggested that the TWG look at other vendors for the design, but Chair Burtner pointed out that Lee Afflerbach had been highly recommended by at least two cities, and he would prefer to check the status of the conceptual design from Lee Afflerbach before pursuing other options or further discussion.  However, in the event that a conceptual design cannot be completed soon, Chair Burtner has had contact with another engineering firm recommended by Corning which can do the design work.  Corning is also willing to do design work if their cable is specified.

 

Item 2:  Review of Action Items

 

FullertonWireless Usage.  Helen Hall indicated she would have the usage report available at the next meeting.

 

Larry Iboshi questioned the timeout feature, which logs users off after a certain number of idle minutes.  Helen Hall explained that it is to prevent users from sitting with their laptops on all day, which would overload the system.  Mr. Iboshi questioned the number of ports and capacity of the system.  Ms. Hall reminded Mr. Iboshi that FullertonWireless was set up for the casual user, not for businesses in the downtown area to conduct their day-to-day business.  She further noted that the portal page explains the acceptable use policy. 

 

Power Users Group:  Since TWG Member Carl Samantello was not in attendance at the meeting, Chair Burtner directed that the item be continued.

 

Item 3:  Status of Fullerton/Wireless

 

Chair Burtner noted that he had advised TWG members via e-mail of Nextphase’s plans to submit a proposal for a subscription-based, citywide wireless network in Fullerton.  He stated that Nextphase had initially asked for a meeting with City staff.  Nextphase's Jim Wray had been pressing Chair Burtner to find out what sort of revenue stream the City might be requesting.  Chair Burtner explained to Mr. Wray that he could not speak to that, but referred the inquiry on to the City Manager and Joe Felz.  Chair Burtner indicated that he had learned that MetroFi has done installations where they are paying $36 per year per streetlight to have their wireless equipment mounted and powered on a streetlight.  Nextphase had indicated the entire project depended upon having an anchor tenant and working out the finances.  Then they would be ready to meet with the City.  Scheduling the meeting became difficult because of the City Manager's travel plans. 

 

MetroFi, a firm that sets up metro-scale wireless networks that provide free wireless service to communities, had contacted the City Manager earlier this year regarding the possibility of creating a wireless network in Fullerton.  Chair Burtner has contacted MetroFi for more information, which will hopefully be available before the next meeting.

 

Mr. Stover asked if there was any reason why the TWG could not start to consider going out for request for proposal on the wireless.   Chair Burtner indicated that it should not be a problem, but because there are possibly two proposals already pending, he would prefer to discuss it with Joe Felz or the City Manager first.

 

Mr. Stover requested that the issue be placed on the agenda for the next TWG meeting. 

 

ITEMS FOR NEXT MEETING

 

Chair Burtner indicated he would add Paul Stover's suggested RFP to the next meeting agenda.

 

Mr. Stover stated he would like to have some discussion about taxes in the City related to technology infrastructure.  He indicated that the sewer infrastructure was being fixed with monies from a special tax on every resident's water/trash bill, and he believed that the technology infrastructure was just as important if not perhaps more important.

 

Chair Burtner pointed out that the TWG should exhaust looking at all other funding sources before the TWG ever raises the issue of another tax. 

 

Mr. Stover asked that the TWG begin researching the issue, because it's a public policy issue and the TWG is really involved in the policy arena.

 

Fred Canfield suggested that a possible subject for discussion would be to recommend to the City that they require cable in all new developments.  Chair Burtner reminded the TWG that the July 2002 report of the Technology Infrastructure Task Force had recommended specifying cable types inside and outside of buildings, but it was never adopted into the Building Code.  Helen Hall commented that Diamond Bar requires at least CAT 5e cabling in both new buildings and remodels.

 

Larry Iboshi agreed that the item should be discussed further and the recommendations of the Technology Infrastructure Task Force should be reiterated by the TWG and somehow get an action by the City that would require specific types of wiring in new construction.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Larry Iboshi indicated that he had recently been in London and learned that broadband is being offered free from phone companies, i.e., if you have phone service with the phone company, you can get free broadband.  He noted that much of England is still using dialup, and the free broadband appeared to be a marketing attempt to switch them to broadband.

 

Chair Burtner presented a recap of his, Paul Stover's, and Gerald Lucas' visit to the Loma Linda Workshop on FTTP Networks.  He noted that Loma Linda changed their building codes in 2003 to require that all new homes have CAT6 wiring and fiber to the home.  Loma Linda is the first and only community in Southern California that is developing its own municipal fiber network, although Ontario is requiring that all new homes (approximately 30,000 homes) in its New Colony development be connected with fiber that will probably be dedicated to the City.  Loma Linda has what is called an active system, which is similar to the system that UTOPIA is building in 14 communities in Utah.  These are not passive optical network systems.  In Loma Linda they have created four fiber rings (or loops) in four different quadrants of the city.  Each ring can support up to 10 Gbps data rates.  When those are activated, they can provide up to 100 megabits per second bandwidth symmetric to and from the home.  The homeowner essentially pays for the system, in that the developer puts in the system, pays for it, dedicates it to the city, and then recovers his cost in the sale of the new home.  They anticipate that it adds about $3,700 to the cost of a home – about $2,500 for the internal wiring and about $1,200 outside.  Penetration is effectively 100%.  Loma Linda views the municipal network as a necessity for competitiveness, quality of life, and image of the community.  In addition, it is the foundation for a comprehensive communication network to which they can add a wide variety of wireless applications.

 

Studies have shown that homes that are wired with fiber increase in value anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000, so the homeowner can readily recover the cost.

 

Free wireless Internet access will be provided in public spaces.  There will be automatic meter reading.  Each of the rings costs $2 million to build.  When the builders dedicated their system, it was anticipated that the builder dedication to the city was valued at $6 million.  They figure a three-year payout with monthly payments by the homeowner on the city's portion of the system.

 

Two attorneys were present at the conference who were covering what was going on in the telcom world.  They mentioned the fact that SBC/AT&T is saying that cities cannot require a franchise agreement with them for video.  SBC/AT&T's Project Lightspeed has been opposed by most cities because they won't sign a franchise agreement; however, the City of Anaheim has signed some sort of revenue sharing agreement.  Details are not known.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business, Chair Burtner asked for a motion to adjourn.  The motion to adjourn was made by Fred Canfield and seconded by Larry Iboshi.  With unanimous approval, the meeting adjourned at 10:31 a.m.

 

The next meeting will be held May 25, 2006, at 9:00 a.m.

 

 

 

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