ITTC August 2020 Meeting

Thursday, August 20, 2020


Pursuant to Iowa Code, Chapter 21, the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission hereby gives notice to the public of its intended meeting on Thursday, August 20, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom. The proposed agenda for the meeting is included with this notice and incorporated herein by reference.

Members of the public and interested persons are invited to attend the Commission’s meeting. To ensure the most efficient use of State resources, the August 20, 2020, ITTC meeting will be held by Zoom pursuant to Iowa Code section 21.8. To receive the meeting instructions, send notification to Lori Larsen at (515) 725-4713 or e-mail

The Commission welcomes public comments as a part of the Commission’s open meetings. The time for public comment is during the Public Comments portion of the agenda. Comments should be limited to five (5) minutes. Please send advance notification of appearance to the Iowa Communications Network, Lori Larsen at (515) 725-4713 or e-mail If you require the assistance of auxiliary aids or services to participate in or attend the meeting because of a disability, please call the ADA Coordinator, Lori Larsen, at 877-426-4692 toll-free or if you are hearing impaired, call Relay Iowa TTY at 800-735-2942 toll-free or e-mail Questions regarding the meeting agenda may be directed to Lori Larsen, at (515) 725-4713, or 877-426-4692 toll-free or e-mail


Call to Order
Approval of Meeting 7/16/2020 Minutes
Old Business
New Business
  • ICN Agency Updates

    • Finance Update
      Mike Cruise
    • Business Services Update
      Randy Goddard
  • ICN Carrier Updates

    • Network Services Update
      Ryan Mulhall
    • Operations/Engineering Update
      Scott Pappan
      • Contract Limitation Amount Adjustment Notice
Other Business
  • ITTC Committee Updates
  • Executive Director Search
Public Comment
Notice Posted
Aug 13, 2020

Iowa Telecommunications & Technology Commission August 2020 Minutes

Grimes State Office Building, 1st Floor
400 E. 14th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319

August 20, 2020

To ensure the most efficient use of State resources, the August 20, 2020, ITTC meeting was held via video conference pursuant to Iowa Code section 21.8. The current public health recommendation is to minimize public gatherings. A video conference ensured that more Commissioners, staff, and the public were able to participate in the meeting and reduced the risk of delays caused by the public health recommendation.  The meeting was accessible to members of the public.

Roll Call:

Commissioners Present via Zoom

Barb Kniff McCulla, Chair
Bob Holz, Member
Steven Olson, Member
Timothy Lapointe, Member
Krista Wenzel, Member
John McCormally, Representing Rob Sand, Ex-Officio Member

Commissioners Absent

Matt Behrens, Representing Annette Dunn, Ex-Officio Member

Iowa Communications Network Staff via Zoom

Deb Evans, Acting Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer
Mark Johnson, Chief Operating Officer
Mike Cruise, Finance Bureau Manager
Randy Goddard, Business Services Bureau Manager
Scott Pappan, Operations and Engineering Bureau Manager
Ryan Mulhall, Network Services Bureau Manager
Dave Marley, Field Services Officer
Lori Larsen, Executive Officer 2 (Recorder)

Guest Attendees via Zoom

Alan Nagel, Attorney General’s Office
Scott Golberg, Fiber Network Services (FNS)
Rob Smith, Fiber Network Services (FNS)
Ray Warner, Aureon
Sean Corey, CenturyLink

Call to Order:

Chair Kniff McCulla called the meeting to order at 10:32 AM.  It was noted that a quorum of members was present for the meeting.

Approval of the June 18, 2020 Meeting Minutes:

Chair Kniff McCulla requested a motion to approve the July 16, 2020 meeting minutes. Commissioner Holz moved to approve the minutes. Commissioner Wenzel seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Old Business:

Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency Waiver

Commissioner Holz asked about the Commission’s written decision regarding the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency waiver. Deb Evans said that ICN received the written decision late Wednesday. Commissioner Holz asked Alan Nagel if action needs to be taken by the Commission regarding the written decision. Alan Nagel was going to review the situation.

New Business:

Agency Updates

Finance Update – Mike Cruise

Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Financial Overview

Billing for FY 2020 period 13 is completed. We can still create a manual bill if necessary.

This would be for special one-time projects and/or Outside Plant (OSP) billings. This year we benefitted from a MAC (Move, Add, Change) freeze over the last five days of June. We still have through August 28th to pay bills and through September 15th to make corrections. After September 15th we will begin closing the general ledger, so final financial statements can be prepared for FY 2020 at the end of September.

A quick glance at the general ledger does show an increase in margin, with a net of $95,000 in additional revenue over expenses. ICN’s GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) package is due to DAS-SAE (Department of Administrative Services - State Accounting Enterprise) by October 1. The GAAP package is financial information to help create the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The Statewide Cost Allocation Plan (SWCAP) for federal reporting is due October 31.

July FY 2021 Budget-to-Actual Report

Monthly Revenues and Expenses

The month of July resulted in an operating margin of -$2,788. This is $96,342 favorable to the budget of -$101,130. Revenue was down $89,000 but expenses were down also.  There is a monthly accrual for Managed Voice Service not entered, so the actual operating margin will be closer to the budgeted amount once that is entered.

Comparison to FY 2020

The operating margin for FY 2021 is $362,257 favorable to July FY 2020. The major difference is a large amount of OSP expenses booked in FY 2020.



Business Services Update – Randy Goddard

Healthcare Update

  • Iowa Rural Health Telecommunications Program (IRHTP) Network refresh update.
  • Working on contract renewals and bandwidth increases.
  • Submitted for Rural Healthcare funding from USAC: a proposed fiber build to support connecting three Great River Health System locations, InConcert Care office relocate, and Manning Regional Health relocate of IRHTP switch along with a redundant fiber path install.

Government Update

  • We continue to provide consultation services for the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) for their proposed datacenter relocation. OCIO is moving out of the Hoover State Office Building to LightEdge in Altoona, IA.
  • Released a customer spotlight article regarding the State Public Defender’s (SPD) internal phone system at their Iowa City site that went down with no support. ICN was able to restore their voice services in five days with our MVS product. There are additional SPD sites that are interested in the product.

Public Safety Update

  • Department of Corrections’ (DOC): Clarinda Correctional Facility moved over to ICN’s MVS.  Newton Correctional Facility will move to ICN’s MVS. Technical Assistance Center (TAC) on site to evaluate cabling. The existing conduits are full and the project will need new conduits and cabling put in.  We are providing support for high level funding estimate for new conduit between 16 buildings.
  • Ft. Dodge DPS Patrol Office phone system failure – ICN will move them on to MVS as quickly as possible.
  • DOC Inmate Tablet Request for Proposal (RFP) – ICN assisted the DOC, wrote RFP, evaluated responses, provided consultation, and an award was made.  The award is under appeal. ICN is working with the Attorney General’s Office and the Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals. The appeal has been assigned an administrative law judge, and the hearing date is set for Sept. 4.
    • Alan Nagel added that there will likely have a “Continuance” filed. It is unlikely that the hearing will happen on Sept. 4.

Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HSEMD) and 911 Project
Wireline and Hosted Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Equipment

  • 911 Wireline: ICN’s network is completely installed to support migration of all 911 wireline calls from local exchanges. ICN has begun migration of call routing to 113 PSAPs.  Four of eight Centurylink Regional Routers now connected to ICN’s Point of Interconnect. Migrating four PSAP’s a week is the goal.
  • 911 Wireless Secondary Connections: Iowa will be the first in the nation to utilize FirstNet to wireless connect the redundant selective routers to the PSAPs in the event if the primary route that utilizes ICN’s fiber is damaged. Initial install will be at 25 locations. The site surveys are completed.  Two primary sites JFHQ and Tiffin are completed and the next six sites are scheduled for install.


  • Consultations continue with community colleges. We are focusing on contract renewals.
  • Colleges are increasing bandwidth. Students likely will be completing more online classes from the dorms.
  • Added Monticello CSD last week after storm took down aerial fiber from local provider. Local provider indicated two-three months before service restoral.  ICN had operational within a day.  ICN buried fiber already at site.
  • Erate Update: FY 2021 List of proposed eligible services was posted by the FCC with a 30-day public comment period. Comments are due by Sept. 4. There were no changes in services only equipment exclusion of Huawei and ZTE.
  • Erate Update: FY 2021 New 5 year cycle for Category 2 Services. We are looking more closely at our Wireless Solution.
  • ICN has worked with Iowa State University on their Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWRNET) Grant for the last 3 years. Their application is the Wireless Living Lab for Smart and Connected Rural Communities. This would create a wireless broadband Internet canopy over Boone, Story and Tama counties. (Iowa State is one of two finalists for the grant.


  • SYBAC Applications – This year’s agenda has been set for students that covers a wide range of technology topics and includes guest speakers.
  • Scheduling meetings with customer’s executive leaders. Scott, Randy and Deb met with with Department of Transportation’s Executive Team.



Carrier Updates

Network Services Update – Ryan Mulhall

Fiber Cuts / Outages / Customer Issues

  • Davenport Fiber Cut: 7/28/20
    • Root Cause Analysis: A contractor cut ICN fiber working on a job that wasn’t properly located. This cut lasted 6 ½ hours due to issues between the contractor and One Call getting emergency locates worked out. The only customer affected was the Davenport DOT Maintenance Garage.
  • Layer 1 Outage: 8/19/20
    • Root Cause Analysis: The Network took a significant hit to our Layer 1 network around 4:30 p.m. Initial reports indicated a potential issue with our ADVA platform between JFHQ and Newton, but ICN received word that a contractor struck our fiber duct in Ankeny and potentially damaged the fiber. We will continue to investigate exact cause as this was a significant disruption to multiple customers and impacted a lot of the east-west and Internet traffic across the state for 20-30 minutes.
  • Derecho: 8/10/20
    • Our network and customers took a big hit during the storm. Internally we had many dealing with power, Internet outages, and cleanup efforts. We made the initial notice to the Executive Council which is our “insurance” (State is self-insured) as we are monitoring power, equipment, fiber, HVAC, and service outages all across the State.
    • Generators, battery plants, UPS, and most likely related network equipment issues are some of the specific items of interest along with aerial fiber used for connections from other providers (i.e. Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids). These connections are usually a third party aerial cable with a pole rights agreement with a power company.  When the power goes down, they restore first, before allowing any work on the communications cable. There have been reports of some minor facility damages, we continue to survey during route surveillance.
    • We still have 22 storm related incidents open, 19 of which are circuits down, related to either fiber or power problems.  These continue to be worked.  The other three are minor issues that need to be addressed.

Outside Plant

The trend of more work for Outside Plant continues with 42 new projects in July.  That is over 500 projects projected out over 12 months.  That’s a big number for one month and double what we’d typically see in July (average of 21 new projects in July).

Cost recovery efforts continue to go well from contractors that cut ICN fiber. After we close out a couple more for the previous fiscal year, we should see $500,000 - $600,000 in costs recovered. ICN will submit an Iowa One Call violation against a contractor.  We have not been able to recover from an incident about a year ago after extensive efforts including the AG’s office involvement.

ServiceNow Planned Timeline

We will deploy Customer Service Management into production on September 17. This will allow us to provide greater control and flexibility for customers in managing their uses and services as well as provide our internal staff with better visibility over all of their assigned work. We will finish up testing and acceptance over the next month. This deployment will be prior to a significant version upgrade that will be taking place in October. We will also deploy some customized project management capabilities in November to help better track the big strategic projects occurring.

Positions Filled

ICN filled two positions in Network Services. We brought a part-time contractor on board that started Monday as a software developer/programmer to maintain finance applications. He is a familiar face as he retired from the ICN in April, Ed Parker.

The other position was a full-time position to take care of our internal network and systems. That position was accepted and the person will be starting August 25.


Commissioner Wenzel – Regarding the unreimbursed Iowa One Call claim ICN is making, what was the dollar value associated with that?

Ryan Mulhall – It is around $8,000. It is not a huge value, but it is not something that ICN has historically done. We don’t want to set the example that we are going to let companies get away with it.

Operations/Engineering Update – Scott Pappan

E911 Wireline Network Project (TDM/Ethernet Solution), Iowa Homeland Security

From an Engineering perspective, the Wireline Platform and Hosted Platform are completed, because the networks are now installed.  As ILECs (incumbent local exchange carrier) are installed on the E911 Wireline Network, and the PSAPs are installed on the E911 Hosted Multi-Node call handling platform, Business Services will provide updates. Both platforms are operational.

Virtualization Server Platform

Virtualization platform: All instances have been moved and project is completed.  The virtualization platform is to be used for internal services.

  • Accessed 165 instances/servers, reduced to 90.

100Gb Network Core Upgrade

  • Migrating circuits to 100Gb Core – Layer 2 (Ethernet Layer).
  • Moving forward with upgrading new IP Infrastructure (Layer 3).
  • Need to speed up the removal of MX Brocades out of the network to avoid future network interoperability issues.

Iowa Rural Health Telecommunications Program (IRHTP)/Hospital Ciena Upgrades

  • All IRHTP orders being engineered.
  • Clinics: 123 sites installed, 2 open orders, and 23 pending orders with FNS.
    • 169 new network devices have been installed on IRHTP Network.

Network Cleanup: To fix or improve upon operational efficiencies within the ICN.

  • TDM/ATM Cleanup: Less than 30 conversions left of 427 circuits.
  • ATM Sunset: Six CBXs need to be removed.

Network Update

  • Ingress:  Moving Dallas to Chicago: Lower costs, improved latency, and more dependable.
  • Windstorm: 471 incidents - Not all network related.
  • 22 storm related incidents, 19 circuits down.
  • At one time ICN had 11 generators running full time to keep health care and E911 running.
  • Reached out to agencies and offered power assistance.
  • Working on HVAC for several (7) different huts.
  • Previous OSV voice platform has been discontinued and circuits engineered to be removed.

Future Plans

  • Meeting with hardware and software vendors for the White Box service. Testing and product development to follow.
  • 5G connectivity: evaluate, design, develop, test, and install last mile 5G wireless connectivity to PSAPs.
  • Continue to develop wireless portal.
  • Expand FirstNet connectivity to PSAPs as a backup service.



Contract Limitation Amount Adjustment Notice – Mark Johnson

Each year ICN is required to update our contract cap limitation amount. When ICN enters into a contract that exceeds the amount, we are required to get prior approval from the General Assembly or the Legislative Council if the legislature is not in session, or the Executive Council in the event of a natural disaster. We have to update the amount and publish the amount prior to September 1, and that amount is applicable from September 1 through August 30 of the next year. This year the dollar amount increased $14,771, and now is at $2,476,610.60 for contracts moving forward.

ICN’s contract limitation amount adjustment notice will be published on August 26 in the Administrative Bulletin.


Chair Kniff McCulla – What was the increase the year before?

Mark Johnson – It would have been around the same amount. It is based on the CPI index.

Other Business:

ITTC Committee Updates – Staff/Commission

Personnel Committee – Mark Johnson

Meeting Date: August 3, 2020.
Attendance: Chair Kniff McCulla, Commissioner Holz, and Mark Johnson.
Topics Covered:

  • Provided update for the two open positions now filled.
  • Discussed an upcoming retirement in Business Services.

Customer and Services Committee – Randy Goddard

Meeting Date: August 12, 2020.
Attendance: Commissioner Olson, Commissioner Lapointe, Lori Larsen, Ryan Mulhall, & Randy Goddard.
Topics Covered:

  • ICN’s authorized user requests.
  • New customers: State Public Defender (Iowa City) and DHS.
  • Requests for waivers from certified users. No new requests received.
  • Services.
  • Sales outreach.
  • Customer complaints and network outages.

Finance Committee – Mike Cruise

Meeting Date: August 17, 2020.
Attendance: Commissioner Holz, Commissioner Wenzel and Mike Cruise.
Topics Covered:

  • Reviewed the July financials as presented today.
  • Discussed due dates remaining for FY 2020.
  • Reviewed the FY 2021 12-month budget distribution report.

Operations Committee – Scott Pappan

Meeting Date: August 13, 2020.
Attendance: Chair Kniff McCulla, Commissioner Wenzel, and Scott Pappan.
Topics Covered:

  • Current Priorities.
  • Network Issues.
  • Network Tools: ServiceNow, NNMI (Network Node Manager), and Cacti Reports.

Executive Director Search – Chair Kniff McCulla

We are in the process of reviewing applications. The window is closed for any new application, and we are moving forward. We will keep everyone updated.

Public Comment:



The ITTC meeting adjourned at 11:20 AM.

Barb Kniff McCulla - Chair, Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission

Downloadable Agenda (PDF):
Downloadable Minutes (PDF):

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