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TWG Minutes - January 31, 2008

CITY OF FULLERTON

TECHNOLOGY WORKING GROUP

MEETING MINUTES

January 31, 2008

9:00 A.M.

 

 

CALL TO ORDER       Chair Burtner called the meeting to order at 9:07 a.m.

 

ROLL CALL                 Members Present

                                                Tony Anderson                      Larry Iboshi

                                                Roger Burtner, Chair            Madusha Palliyage

                                                Fred Canfield                        Robb Port

                                                Mike Carter                            Edward Smith

                                                Helen Hall                               Paul Stover, Vice Chair

 

                                                Carl Samantello arrived after roll call.

 

                                                Members Absent

                                                Steve Giano                           Thad Sandford         

 

                                                Guest

                                                Sam Ricchio, Assistant IT Director, Fullerton School

                                                District

 

                                               

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Chair Burtner asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of January 10, 2008.   With no corrections, Paul Stover moved approval of the minutes.  The motion was seconded by Ed Smith, and the minutes were unanimously approved.

 

DISCUSSION ITEMS

 

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

 

Sunesys and Paxio responses to school districts' Form 470s

 

Chair Burtner noted that he had heard the school districts had signed a two-year contract with AT&T, but asked Carl Samantello and Tony Anderson if they had anything to share regarding the bids from Sunesys and Paxio.

 

Mr. Anderson (Fullerton School District) stated that Sunesys had responded with quite a comprehensive proposal, probably 30-40 pages, and that Paxio had submitted a one-page letter with some cost projections.  He pointed out that the FSD, prior to the state's budget crisis, was already looking at a $2.5 million budget reduction, and with the state coming up $14 billion short, the state is already threatening mid-year reductions and significant reductions over the next year.  With those looming budget cuts, he indicated the school district was not in a position to change vendors (regardless of the increase in bandwidth) because the proposals received reflected significant cost increases (from two to three times current costs).

 

Mr. Samantello (Fullerton Joint Union School District) related a similar situation with the proposals received – with Sunesys costs quite a bit higher.  He did note, however, that Paxio's proposal indicated significant cost savings over current costs, especially when the cost for voice service was included with the cost for data service.  Although Paxio did not state how it would deliver service and it was willing to provide service even if the I-Net were not built, Paxio offered much better prices than AT&T, especially for local and long distance voice service.  However, because the school districts and the City had agreed at a meeting on December 18th to sign a two-year contract with AT&T and conduct a feasibility study, the FJUHSD did not accept Paxio’s bid.  The school districts can opt out of the contract during the two years, but would have to pay a penalty equal to two-thirds of the cost of the services for the remaining term.

 

Mr Samantello hopes that the feasibility study will determine if the school districts need to prepare and distribute an RFP for telecom services in order for a telecom firm other than AT&T, which holds the state’s master contract, to provide service.  Some school districts have not prepared RFPs before signing contracts with telecom firms other than AT&T because they are contracting for services rather than a capital expenditure and thus believe that an RFP is not necessary.  According to E-rate rules, school districts which qualify for E-rate funding are not permitted to own physical infrastructure over which telecom services are delivered.  Mr. Samantello has been unable to obtain an expert opinion of what is required regarding bidding.  The school district’s E-rate consultant, however, has assured Mr. Samantello that in the event that the I-Net is built, during a conversion period from the current network to the I-Net the school district will qualify for E-rate reimbursement for both the current carrier and the new carrier, but E-rate will not pay for redundant service.  Mr. Samantello’s plan is to ask telecom firms to bid again next December to provide service over the I-Net which he hopes will be authorized by that time.  He considers the I-Net’s architecture which provides for redundancy to be superior to the plan submitted by Sunesys.  In the meantime telecom costs for the FJUHSD keep going up substantially every year. 

 

Paxio stated that it did not respond to the districts’ Form 470s with more detailed information because the Form 470s published by the school districts were very vague.  In the future any Form 470 that is published will probably be accompanied by an RFP which will specify in much more detail the type of network over which the services are to be delivered.  Chair Burtner pointed out that TWG Member Thad Sandford had drafted an RFP which was presented to committee members at the last meeting.  He asked that Mr. Samantello and Mr. Anderson review the document and let him know of any suggestions they might have.

     

Chair Burtner noted that he had planned to ask Acting Assistant to the City Manager Robert Ferrier several questions regarding the study group session requested by Council on January 15, but because Mr. Ferrier was not in attendance, he asked Helen Hall if she had any information.  Ms. Hall noted that she did not, but that Council's request would have been followed up by the City Manager, and because the City Manager had been on vacation, most likely Mr. Ferrier had not yet had an opportunity to brief the City Manager on Council's request.  Chair Burtner asked Helen Hall to follow up with the City Manager regarding the study group session and determine when it will be scheduled so that the TWG could adequately prepare.

 

2.         Citywide wireless

 

Chair Burtner informed the members that he and Vice Chair Stover had attended an Orange County Business Council meeting on January 30.  The OCBC has been contracted by the County of Orange to do a regional wireless feasibility analysis.  He also noted that Frank Ury of Viejo Technical Group was conducting a survey for the OCBC of all Orange County cities to determine what they are doing in terms of wireless.  Survey results reflected a wide range of activity – from doing nothing to cities like Anaheim which have implemented citywide wireless.  Some cities have large IT departments whereas others outsource all of their IT functions. 

 

The goal of the OCBC is to look at various business models, and in the near future bring IT managers together in a summit to discuss recommendations regarding what types of wireless technologies to deploy and how to do it countywide.  Mr. Ury commented that Fullerton is considered to be a pioneer in this area.  Chair Burtner and Vice Chair Stover were asked to provide a recap of what Fullerton is doing.

 

Chair Burtner also noted that SCE had a representative in attendance at the OCBC meeting, and that SCE indicated they are now accepting applications for WiFi to be mounted on their streetlights.  The cost will be $11 per month per pole, which would include both the energy and the pole.  If the streetlight pole is owned by the city and SCE is providing power, the charge will be $5 per month per pole for the power to the pole.  SCE has established an approved list of equipment and specifications that will be permitted on their poles. 

 

Another attendee at the OCBC meeting, a representative from Toshiba, indicated that there would be a WiFi/WiMax chip available this summer to go into laptops.

 

ITEMS FOR NEXT MEETING

To be determined.

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

None

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

None

 

ADJOURNMENT

With no further business, Chair Burtner asked for a motion to adjourn.  The motion to adjourn was made by Fred Canfield and seconded by Carl Samantello.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:52 a.m. with unanimous approval.  The next meeting date is set for February 21.

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