ITTC February 2021 Meeting

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Pursuant to Iowa Code, Chapter 21, the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission hereby gives notice to the public of its intended meeting on Thursday, February 18, 2021, 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 February 18, 2021, ITTC meeting will be held by Zoom pursuant to Iowa Code section 21.8. To receive the Zoom meeting instructions, please 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 written notification of appearance to the Iowa Communications Network, Attention: Lori Larsen, Grimes State Office Building, 400 East 14th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319 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


Commission / Staff
Commission / Staff
ICN Agency Updates
  • Finance Update 
    Mike Cruise
  • Contracting Update 
    Mike Cruise
  • Business Services Update 
    Mike Lauer
ICN Network Updates
  • Network Operations & Security Update 
    Ryan Mulhall
  • Network Engineering & Outside Plant Update 
    Ryan Mulhall
ICN Administration & Facilities Updates
  • Facilities & TAC Update 
    Mark Johnson
  • Legislative Update 
    Mark Johnson
Other Business 
  • ITTC Committee Updates 
  • Commission may go into closed session to discuss issue raised by application.
    Action - ICN Application for Rehearing 
    Application pursuant to Iowa Administrative Code rule 751—5.19 requesting that Commission rehear the ICN concerning certain aspects of its decision of January 21, 2021 in Case number 21ICN0001.
  • Commission may go into closed session to discuss issue raised by application.
    Action – Securus Application for Rehearing 
    Application pursuant to Iowa Administrative Code rule 751—5.19 requesting that Commission rehear Securus concerning certain aspects of its decision of January 21, 2021 in Case number 21ICN0001.
Public Comment 
Notice Posted
February 15, 2021

Iowa Telecommunications & Technology Commission
Grimes State Office Building, 1st Floor
400 E. 14th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319

February 18, 2021

To ensure the most efficient use of State resources, the February 18, 2021, 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
Matt Behrens, Representing Annette Dunn, Ex-Officio Member

Iowa Communications Network Staff via Zoom

Randy Goddard, Executive Director
Deb Evans, Chief Financial Officer
Mark Johnson, Chief Operating Officer
Scott Pappan, Operations and Engineering Bureau Manager
Mike Cruise, Finance Bureau Manager
Ryan Mulhall, Network Services Bureau Manager
Mike Lauer, ICN Sales Engineer
Andy Ryan, ICN Sr. Telecommunications Engineer
Dave Augspurger, ICN Sr. Telecommunications Engineer
Mark Dayton, ICN Sales Engineer
Lori Larsen, Executive Officer 2 (Recorder)

Guest Attendees via Zoom

Scott Golberg, Fiber Network Services (FNS)
Rob Smith, Fiber Network Services (FNS)
Ray Warner, Aureon
Sean Corey, Lumen
Brad Horn, Attorney General
Ryan Koopmans, Representing Securus Technologies (phone)
Mark Schultheis, Representing Inmate Calling Solutions
Alan Nagel, Attorney General
Jason Richey, K&L Gates

Call to Order:

Chair Kniff McCulla called the meeting to order at 10:30 AM.  It was noted that a quorum of members was present for the meeting.

Approval of the January 21, 2021 Meeting Minutes:

Chair Kniff McCulla requested a motion to approve the January 21, 2021 meeting minutes. Commissioner Olson moved to approve the minutes. Commissioner Holz seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Old Business:


New Business:

Agency Updates

Finance Update – Mike Cruise

January FY 2021 Budget-to-Actual Report

Monthly Revenues and Expenses

The month of January resulted in an operating margin of $35,528 or 1.3%.  This is $200,587 favorable to the budget of -$165,058.  We did return to favorability to budget this month with the revenue budget numbers returning more towards the average for the year.

Revenue for the month was $231,324 favorable to budget.  Contributing to this was billing for Managed Voice Service for a Department of Human Services (DHS) ACD (Automatic Call Distributor).  Another factor was billing $158,000 in Outside Plant (OSP) repairs.  OSP and Finance continue to perform well in recovery costs from fiber damage and we are as current as can be achieved in collecting on those projects.

Direct expenses are unfavorable to budget by $68,689.  Usage for long distance and conferencing services continue to be high compared to budget due to the pandemic, so that will be an increase in both revenue and expense.  There was also an increase in internet expense as we entered an adjustment for four months of the annual maintenance and expense for the Infoblox equipment.

Total allocated operating expenses were $37,953 favorable to budget.

Year-to-Date (YTD) Revenues and Expenses:

Through January the YTD operating margin is -$216,625 or -1.2%, which is $696,748 favorable to the budgeted amount. Gross margin remains favorable by $601,934.

Comparison to February FY 2020:

The operating margin for FY21 is $106,000 favorable to January FY20.  You will see that the increase in revenue and gross margin was favorable.

Year-to-Date Comparison to FY 2020: 

The operating margin is $773,000 favorable to FY 2020.  The gross margin remains strong at $554,000 favorable and overall allocated expenses are favorable by $219,000.


Monthly meetings resumed in January with no major changes to report for progress on timeline for implementation other than to say we are still on schedule.  Train the trainer has begun for the HCM module.  This is the HR piece of WorkDay and ICN has four individuals participating in this to become HCM experts.



Contracting Update – Mike Cruise

The sole source contract with Ventraq for maintenance and support for our current billing system is signed now we are working on the timeline of that installation.

On February 1, ICN issued an ITB for Lanner products & services which we have chosen as the white box solution. Responses are due March 1. 



Business Services Update – Mike Lauer

Healthcare Update

  • IRHTP Equipment Refresh Project.
    • Successful testing of interoperation between IRHTP and ICN Network.
    • Scheduling of conversion has resumed with final 11 hospitals.
  • Received order from Blessing Hospital / Clinic in Keokuk, IA, and they signed up for a 50Mb Internet connection.
  • Bandwidth increase to Boone County Hospital.
  • DDoS service order to Compass Memorial Hospital in Marengo.

Government Update

  • OCIO move to LightEdge Data Center Project: no change.
  • Judicial project: Providing connectivity and project management for a data center move project.
  • Structured cabling projects: completed legislature project prior to session. Received orders for Auditor of the State and Department of Inspections and Appeals.
  • DOT Synergies Projects: Discussion/discovery meeting regarding cost saving options for DOT’s Network connectivity, state wide. 

Public Safety Update

  • 911 Landline Migration Project: completed 73 PSAP’s with 40 remaining
  • 911 Secondary Connection with FirstNet Project: Received order to add a FirstNet backup circuit to Buchanan County PSAP.
  • Working with Iowa National Guard on a Redundancy/Diversity solution, fiber and Equipment for Building A9 on Camp Dodge.
  • Received orders Ethernet circuits to connect Buchanan County PSAP to Zetron shared service.


  • FY 2021 E-rate; 470 Bid Request; currently recorded a quantity of 1,507. 621 are category 1 services (data connections [Internet and Ethernet]), 886 are considered category 2 services (hardware devices, managed service costs, firewalls, etc.). Window plans to close on March 25.
  • Des Moines Area CC renewed Ethernet service contract for Transportation Center.
  • Winfield-Mount Union CSD, is requesting a change of the funding commitment decision with USAC to stay with ICN for this current FY; vendor selected as the result of last spring’s bidding process as yet to deliver service.
  • University of Iowa’s RFP – expect an update by February 25.

Conferences / Outreach

  • FirstNet and AT&T – ICN had a joint meeting with FirstNet and AT&T to highlight ICN’s backup service. They have also asked ICN to participate in super user groups.
  • Platform has been tested and it worked exceptionally well.
  • Ryan Mulhall will be presenting at the Data Connectors conference in Ohio.
  • ICN will distribute a press release to announce Pappan as CTO.
  • SYBAC update – Adam Shell (DOT) presented about automated transport and connected vehicles.


Chair Kniff McCulla – Great updates. 

Network Services Updates

Network Operations & Security Update – Ryan Mulhall

100Gb Network Core Upgrade

  • Approximately 70% of the equipment installs are completed, migration of circuits continues on an on-going basis.
  • Preparing for Internet services swinging from Dallas to Chicago. Still required is installing Gigamon equipment in Bettendorf, which allows us to copy traffic and utilize for other solutions such as our DDoS mitigation.
  • Issues this week with Dallas weather situation: Our Dallas Internet connection was down for about 5 hours in Dallas. This means all our Internet traffic swung to Denver and we were running at about 85% capacity for a while. ICN is waiting for a reason for outage from our provider there and whether it was related to a power loss, which is possible, as the site kicked from commercial power to generator.

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

  • Approximately 87% completed. 
  • All IRHTP orders have been entered into the system and passed to FNS.
  • Clinics: 155 sites installed and 22 pending orders with FNS.
  • FNS has 184 network devices installed on IRHTP Network.
  • Network Operations continues to migrate services as these are installed
  • The biggest barrier to completion continues to be access to hospitals and clinics to install the equipment.

Network Update

  • For our disaster recovery project, our Veeam platform has been installed, and we received bids back for additional storage in Tiffin. We will soon begin to install that storage which will allow us to complete this effort for disaster recovery.

Future Projects and Planning

  • Whitebox testing is ongoing. The goal of this effort is to be able to provide network services out to customers without installing multiple pieces of hardware.
  • ICN has a bid out currently for Lanner equipment, which will be the hardware utilized.
  • ICN is testing different routing software VNF’s. If the testing goes well and we are able to achieve desired throughput, this solution might be able to be used for our aggregation sites.
  • We continue discussions and testing with multiple firewall vendors, as the first network services targeted are router and firewall.
  • ICN has an active job posting for a Firewall Administrator that we are taking applications on through March 4.



Network Engineering & Outside Plant Update – Ryan Mulhall 

Fiber and Network Outages

There were two minor fiber issues this month and only one of them causing an outage.

Coralville – February 2

Customer Impact – Iowa Medical and Classification Facility.

Root Cause Analysis – A field technician was able to roll fibers at Tiffin to restore service. Any type of permanent repair troubleshooting would have required taking down a larger segment of customers during the day, so it has been put off until better troubleshooting to pinpoint damage.


Customer Impact – Seven Avera Health’s sites.

Root Cause Analysis – ICN technicians were working on a connection and believed the port to be clear of traffic as part of the IRHTP upgrade.  There were some circuits still traversing through that path which caused an unintended outage. ICN is in the process of auditing the ports involved with the IRHTP upgrade project to ensure our records are accurate.

Ottumwa – February 10

Customer Impact – Ottumwa customers, including 911.

Root Cause Analysis – A LEC fiber cut caused an outage for most of the day. It is believed that a snow plow or sand truck was the cause. The approximate duration of the outage was around 11 hours.

Outside Plant (OSP)

Added 12 projects in January. The average per month in FY 2021 to date is 26 projects. We are projecting out for over 309 (previous high is 270 in FY20). We had 180 projects to date in FY 2021.

Positive trends amongst those numbers include no fiber cuts and a significant amount of estimate requests coming in for E-rate season.

Contractor Issues

We are finding ways to tighten up our bidders list and improve the quality of work on our network. Our contracting team was able to work with the Attorney General’s office to withdraw a couple of bids that were awarded to a contractor that has not performed well. Some of the issues we had with this particular contractor on one job.

  • Late by over a month.
  • Subcontracted without our knowledge, which is a violation of our contract.
  • Conduit bored on private property, had to rebore.
  • Handhole attempted to be placed on private property (land owner intervened).
  • ICN specs not followed.
  • Splice crew 3 hours late to meet ICN Engineer on cutover day.
  • County had to provide 1 foreman, 2 crewmen, 1 sheriff deputy, and 1 police officer due to insufficient safety signage and lighting provided by the contractor.

Engineering Update

TDM Upgrade/Cleanup 

  • Approximately 350 DS3’s have been retired.
  • We have 23 that are pending removal.
  • TMC3312 – We have 43 closed and installed with 4 completed the last month.
  • 8 sites are engineered to be installed.
  • This will ultimately lead to the sunset of our ATM platform, with a goal of completion by July 1.

Future Direction – Scott Pappan

ICN's Network vision is based on four principles: (1) develop, (2) secure, (3) enhance, and deliver cost-effective technologies (4) efficiently.

  1. Develop: The goal is to protect our core investment. We are working towards this with the Whitebox solution. The purpose is to develop a virtualized/automated infrastructure that is layered on top of our cloud infrastructure (Network). 
  2. Secure: The goal is to maintain network integrity. ICN is launching a new service of Firewall as a Service. That platform has two elements: cloud services and edge security.
  3. Enhance: The goal is to maintain the highest quality of Telecom services. Our goal is to keep the Network resilient. Components under this goal include: clean up IP address space, upgrade aggregation, and continue to move forward with virtualization and automation within our Cloud Infrastructure.
  4. Efficiency: The goal is to manage a smaller more efficient network. We will have the core upgrade completed by 2022, the healthcare network upgrade will be completed in 6 to 9 months, we plan to standardize on TDM/Ethernet to one platform, and expand Managed Service Provider services.



Administration & Facilities Updates

Facilities and TAC Update – Mark Johnson 

TAC (Technical Assistance Center)

Projects completed:

  • Upgraded fiber backbone cabling in 7 telcom rooms utilized by the Department of Public Health in the Lucas Building
  • Upgraded workstation cabling at Public Safety Post 7 in Fort Dodge to accommodate the transition to the MVS platform.
  • Finished workstation cabling, camera cabling and installation, and wireless access point cabling and installation needed to support the Dept of Revenue’s move into newly renovated space in the Hoover Building.

Projects currently underway:

  • Moving telecom room facilities in support of the relocation of Milestones Area Agency on Aging in Ottumwa.
  • Preparing to assist in the relocation of the Department of Natural Resources’ Manchester Office.


In future meetings, I will highlight hut facilities and locations around the State, where equipment is located in Part I and Part II sites.

Legislative Update – Mark Johnson 

We are at the end of the 6th week of session.  Significant legislation ICN is tracking includes:

Governor’s broadband proposal:

  • HSB 133 – approved by subcommittee, consideration by full IT Committee is next step.
  • SSB 1089 – approved by the full Commerce Committee and is now SF 390, next step would be consideration by the full Senate.

OCIO legislation regarding encouraging the use of cloud computing solutions.

  • HSB 111 – approved by subcommittee, next step full committee consideration.
  • SF 29 (Dawson) – approved by subcommittee, next step full committee consideration.

ICN legislation on billing for services on behalf of our customers.

  • SSB 1209 – referred to Senate Commerce.
  • No House version yet.

Other legislation we are tracking:

  • One call program.
  • 911 changes.

We are also waiting for Executive Director Goddard’s confirmation appointment to move forward.

Other Business:

ITTC Committee Updates – Staff/Commission

Personnel Committee – Mark Johnson
Meeting Date: February 1, 2021.
Attendance: Commissioner Holz, Chair Kniff McCulla, and Mark Johnson. 
Topics Covered:

  • Provided updates on positions being posted.
  • Outside counsel hiring process.

Customer and Services Committee – Mike Lauer
Meeting Date: February 10, 2021.
Attendance: Commissioner Olson, Lori Larsen, Ryan Mulhall, Mark Dayton, & Mike Lauer.
Topics Covered:

  • ICN’s authorized user requests. None.
  • New customers: Blessing Hospital Clinic.
  • Services: No new services.
  • New Waiver requests: No new requests.
  • Sales outreach as presented today.
  • Customer complaints and network outages.

Finance Committee – Mike Cruise
Meeting Date: February 15, 2021.
Attendance: Commissioner Wenzel, Commissioner Holz, and Mike Cruise.
Topics Covered:    

  • Review of January FY 2021 financials as presented today.
  • Presented a quick overview of the FY22 spring budget timeline.

Operations Committee – Scott Pappan
Meeting Date: February 11, 2021.
Attendance: Chair Kniff McCulla, Commissioner Wenzel, Scott Pappan, and Ryan Mulhall.
Topics Covered:

  • State Firewall.
  • Security at the edge for Whitebox.

Action – ICN Application for Rehearing – Commission

Application pursuant to Iowa Administrative Code rule 751—5.19 requesting that Commission rehear the ICN concerning certain aspects of its decision of January 21, 2021 in Case number 21ICN0001.

Commissioner Olson moved to dispose of oral arguments. Commissioner Holz seconded the motion. 

Commissioner Holz – Yes
Commissioner Lapointe – Yes
Commissioner Olson - Yes
Commissioner Wenzel – Yes
Chair Kniff McCulla – Yes

The motion passed unanimously.

Action – Securus Application for Rehearing – Commission

Application pursuant to Iowa Administrative Code rule 751—5.19 requesting that Commission rehear Securus
concerning certain aspects of its decision of January 21, 2021 in Case number 21ICN0001.

Chair Kniff McCulla said that all Commissioners should have a draft that was formulated by Brad Horn. Are there are questions or comments regarding the draft?
Commissioner Wenzel – I am comfortable with the draft.

Commissioner Lapointe – I read the draft and what was provided by Lori Larsen that had been reviewed by Chair McCulla and Commissioner Holz, and I am satisfied we can approve that draft without going into closed session and direct that the written response be communicated.

Commissioner Olson moved to delegate the authority to finalize the draft, and move forward for it to be circulated.

Commissioner Wenzel seconded the motion. 
Commissioner Holz – Yes
Commissioner Lapointe – Yes
Commissioner Olson - Yes
Commissioner Wenzel – Yes
Chair Kniff McCulla – Yes

The motion passed unanimously.

Alan Nagel (ICN) – Was the ICN’s request in the rehearing granted, denied, or not reached?

Brad Horn – The draft language that has been circulated will address both applications.


The ITTC meeting adjourned at 11:15 AM.

Barb Kniff McCulla - Chair, Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission

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

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