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TWG Minutes - January 11, 2007

CITY OF FULLERTON

TECHNOLOGY WORKING GROUP

MEETING MINUTES

January 11, 2007

9:00 A.M.

 

CALL TO ORDER

 

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

 

ROLL CALL                     Members Present

                                                Tony Anderson                      Steve Giano

                                                Roger Burtner, Chair            Larry Iboshi

                                                Fred Canfield                        Paul Stover, Vice Chair

                                                Helen Hall

 

                                                Robert Port arrived after roll call.

                                                                                                                       

                                                Members Absent

                                                Mike Carter                            Cameron McCune

                                                Gerald Lucas                         Carl Samantello

                                                                                   

                                                Staff

                                                Joe Felz, Assistant to the City Manager

                                               

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Chair Burtner asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of November 30.   With no corrections, Tony Anderson motioned to approve the minutes.  The motion was seconded by Steve Giano, and the minutes were unanimously approved.

 

DISCUSSION ITEMS

Before moving into discussion items, Chair Burtner shared with the members samples of ribbon cable provided by Corning – one with 48 fibers, another with 288 fibers and another with 432 fibers.  Chair Burtner stated that Corning had also provided three copies of their installation video for the TWG's viewing (noting that one copy would be provided to Mr. Felz).

 

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

                       

Discussions with SCE and Trillium

 

SCE

Chair Burtner requested that the discussion begin with an update from Mr. Felz of recent discussions with SCE.  Mr. Felz indicated that a lengthy meeting was held with SCE regarding the City's I-Net plans, noting that it seemed to be compatible with what SCE was getting involved with, which is leasing fiber.  SCE has assigned their engineers to come up with an inventory of existing fiber and what they would propose to lease or build and lease out, with some minor changes based on the City's map.   Mr. Felz noted that a big public utility such as SCE may not be the most efficient partner in the City's venture.  Chair Burtner expressed concerns about SCE's mention of technology (SONET) which he considered outdated.  He was not certain what type of system SCE would come up with, but assumed that SCE would be the owners and the City would basically be leasing it and have no control.  The City would have to go through SCE for applications and upgrades.  Chair Burtner also noted that SCE's representative appeared unknowledgeable of e-rate funds and whether or not SCE was in a position to capture e-rate funds as a carrier.  He indicated that he was unsure whether SCE would be able to come up with a model that would suit the City's plan in terms of ways to fund it and did not look upon SCE as a viable option.  Mr. Felz stated that, in due diligence, he would obtain a mileage/footage number from SCE for comparison purposes.

 

Trillium

Chair Burtner reported that TWG Member Samantello had had conversations with Trillium, who was proposing to build an infrastructure for the school districts.  Since they (Trillium) were already a qualified carrier, they could essentially give reduced rates to the school district based on their capture of e-rate funds.  Based on Mr. Samantello's discussions, Chair Burtner believed that if Trillium is a viable option, i.e., if the City builds the loop, then Trillium could come in with the laterals to the school district and build out that portion of it, relieving the City of trying to establish a carrier status in order to capture the e-rate funds.

 

Two Trillium representatives had met with Chair Burtner and Assistant to the City Manager Joe Felz January 8.  Trillium is a four-year-old "startup" backed by Intel.  They have done 1500 schools across the country, using a microwave system.  Their proposed system would make the school districts the lead agency, with the City (government services) as an add-on.  Chair Burtner expressed concern that Trillium had never added government services onto one of their networks before.  In addition, the use of microwave technology was something that the TWG had never considered, nor was it part of the planned showcase event.  Trillium indicated that they can use fiber if it already exists – that it fits into their network – but Trillium was pushing a 100 percent microwave solution.  Trillium also indicated their bandwidth would do 100 megabits per second to the various locales with the capability of going up to a gigabit.

 

Mr. Giano questioned whether there were any legal issues involving a government institution basically tapping into an educational institution's system.  Mr. Felz noted that Trillium had indicated they were confident there was no violation of any rules because of their common carrier status.

 

Chair Burtner noted that Trillium would be making a presentation to Mr. Samantello on January 12.  Mr. Anderson stated that Trillium had presented twice to the Fullerton School District, and he had said no because they were "hideously" expensive.

  

Chair Burtner indicated that Trillium was quoting $55,000-$60,000 per site, half of which would go into putting in a 60-foot high pole 20 feet into the ground to which they would then attach their equipment.  He stated that on the surface of it, the figures did not appear any more competitive.

 

Mr. Felz indicated there was one very productive point as a result of the meeting with Trillium, and that was the business model that creates an I-Net, whether it's microwave or fiber.  He noted Trillium's business model made the most sense from a cost-effective standpoint – which was getting the I-Net built, capturing e-rate, and then if possible add the layer of local government on afterwards.  Chair Burtner agreed, noting that either the City is the lead agency through a JPA that would qualify for carrier status, or there are companies that will build fiber and provide the service, or the City could have the fiber built, own it, and have some other third party essentially run it and capture the e-rate funds.  Chair Burtner indicated he would do additional research on the companies who provide such services.

 

Showcase Event at CSUF

After a lengthy discussion regarding alternative presentation models (such as focus groups, videoconferences, field trips), it was decided to proceed with the original planned showcase event on February 20.  It was suggested that the event be held at Fullerton City Hall in the Council Chamber, rather than the Titan Student Union building, but availability of the chamber would need to be confirmed.  Ms. Hall stressed that the focus of the event should be what the benefits are for each of the key groups.  Mr. Felz reiterated the point by suggesting that city officials want solutions to problems, and need to see how the I-Net has the potential to provide solutions.

 

Vice Chair Stover stated the showcase should provide three things:  define what an I-Net is and the benefits it can provide, how much it's going to cost, and the deadline for getting it built.  Mr. Felz indicated that deadlines are driven by funding, and the most difficult part of this project would be coordinating funding from three agencies (noting that the deadline for the next fiscal year's budget is July 1).

 

Mr. Felz assured Vice Chair Stover that real cost figures would be available for the February 20 event.  Chair Burtner indicated he would be working on finalizing a business model, with perhaps two or three options to present.

 

Item 2.      Citywide wireless network

 

Chair Burtner asked Mr. Felz when the WiFi would go before Council (it had originally been slated for January).  Mr. Felz indicated that he would take it to Council as soon as he received Chair Burtner and Helen Hall's recommendation for the best model, based on the information they obtain at the industry conference on WiFi which they will be attending February 12-14.

 

ITEMS FOR NEXT MEETING

Same agenda items.

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

None

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mr. Canfield indicated that he would have a booth at Fullerton Railroad Days (May 5-6) and asked if anyone was interested in participating and providing information about FullertonWireless, noting that Mr. Iboshi had participated in 2006.   There were no volunteers, but Mr. Stover suggested that the TWG provide some kind of brochure regarding the I-Net. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

With no further business, Chair Burtner asked for a motion to adjourn.  The motion to adjourn was made by Helen Hall and seconded by Tony Anderson.  The meeting was adjourned at 10:34 a.m. with unanimous approval. 

 

The next meeting is scheduled for February 1, 2007.

 

 

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