ITTC November 2019 Meeting

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Notice of Commission Meeting

Pursuant to Iowa Code, Chapter 21, the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission hereby gives notice to the public of its intended meeting on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. in the Grimes State Office Building, Des Moines, IA.  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.  The meeting will be accessible to members of the public through attendance at the Grimes State Office Building.

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

Meeting Agenda

Call to Order
Approval of Meeting 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
Other Business
  • ITTC Committee Updates
  • Action - 2020 ITTC Meeting Dates
    Lori Larsen
Public Comment
Notice Posted
November 20, 2019

Iowa Telecommunications & Technology Commission November 2019 Minutes

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

November 21, 2019

To ensure the most efficient use of State resources, the November 21, 2019 ITTC meeting was held via video conference pursuant to Iowa Code section 21.8. A video conference also ensured that more Commissioners were able to participate in the meeting and reduced the risk of delays caused by weather or other impediments to travel.  The meeting was accessible to members of the public through attendance at the Grimes State Office Building and via video conference.

Roll Call:

Commissioners Present:

Barb Kniff McCulla, Chair
Bob Holz, Member
Steven Olson, Member
Kelly Dolan Lange, Member (LightSpeed Plus video)
Timothy Lapointe, Member (LightSpeed Plus video)
John McCormally, Representing Rob Sand, Ex-Officio Member

Commissioners Absent:

Annette Dunn, Ex-Officio Member

Iowa Communications Network Staff Present:

Phil Groner, Executive Director
Deb Evans, Agency Division Administrator, Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Mark Johnson, Carrier Services Division Administrator, Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Mike Cruise, Finance Bureau Manager
Randy Goddard, Business Services Bureau Manager
Ryan Mulhall, Network Services Bureau Manager
Scott Pappan, Engineering/Operations Bureau Manager
Dave Marley, Field Services Officer
Lori Larsen, Executive Officer 2 (Recorder)

Guest Attendees:

Sean Cory, CenturyLink
Scott Golberg, Fiber Network Services (FNS)
Alan Nagel, Attorney General’s Office

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 October 17, 2019 Meeting Minutes:

Chair Kniff McCulla requested a motion to approve the October 17, 2019 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

Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Budget-to-Actual Report:

  • Monthly Revenues and Expenses:
    The month of October resulted in an operating margin of -$4,316.72 or -0.2%. This is favorable to the budget of -$202,388.67 by $198,071.95. There were no major variances in October.
  • Year-to-Date Revenues and Expenses:
    The October year-to-date operating margin was -$952,742.31, which is unfavorable to the budgeted margin of -$908,038.00 by -$44,704.31.
  • October Comparison to FY 2019:
    The operating margin for October FY 2019 was -$808,080.65, so FY 2020 is favorable by $803,763.93. As a note in October FY19, ICN had prior year Managed Voice Services expenses, along with Outside Plant expenses.
  • Year-to-Date Comparison to FY 2019:
    The October year-to-date margin of $952,742.31 is favorable to the FY 2019 margin of -$1,517,921.83 by $565,179.52. There were no major issues in October.

Billing System Vendor Status – Deb Evans

ICN Finance has been working on implementing a new billing system. Currently there are some concerns regarding the progress being made towards the completion of that project. We are currently working with the vendor to address those concerns. We will keep the Commission informed regarding the project as we continue to work towards resolution.


Business Services Update – Randy Goddard

Managed Voice System (MVS):

  • Completed migration, continuing with clean-up efforts (elevator phones, alarms, etc.).
  • New customers: Field offices for Iowa Lottery and Inspections and Appeals. There is also interest from two Area Education Agencies (AEA) and school districts.

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

  • Wireline - Finishing core connections. Continuing the discussions regarding the interface with CenturyLink to build the core for the Wireline network. ICN is assisting in communications with HSEMD vendors Comtech and Zetron.
    • An overview was provided regarding the ALI (automatic location identification) database. ALI is a secure database that contains the exact 911 address for given associated phone numbers. CenturyLink is the Wireline provider today, with a third-party company West. In the future that database will migrate to Comtech. Comtech is currently building their database to complete a transfer of data from West. After the verification of the transfer of address data then ICN can start migrating circuits.
  • Hosted PSAP Solution – Current service estimate is that 35 of the 113 PSAPs will transition to the Hosted Solution with Zetron. ICN provides the transport service.
  • HSEMD Support for 911 – ICN is working to strengthen the HSEMD solution. ICN provides the primary connection to the PSAPs. HSEMD is also asking for ICN to assist with procuring a second connection from another vendor to the PSAPs for diversity. HSEMD wants ICN to manage those connections so that HSEMD is able to make one call for troubles.

Public Safety: Department of Public Safety

  • Statewide Land Mobile Radio Connectivity – The State has a radio system with Motorola. First responder radios were upgraded to use Next Generation (NG911) technology. ICN provides direct connections for DPS to public safety sites to support NG911 initiatives.

Healthcare: Iowa Rural Health Telecommunications Program (IRHTP)

  • Work continues on the network upgrade for IRHTP.
  • New service connections to several healthcare facilities include: Franklin Medical Center-Dumont Clinic, Dyersville Clinic, and Arlington Family Medicine.
  • Working on bandwidth increases to several locations and contract renewals.

Education: E-rate

  • ICN is in the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC)/e-rate cycle for FY 2020. Applicants are submitting service requests for implementation on July 1.
  • 470 Applications - About 100 applications have been submitted, mostly from libraries. Every provider has the opportunity to respond with their best price. It is anticipated to see 2,000 applications filed each year from K-12 schools and libraries. Applications are due by the end of February, and an award to service providers is expected by the end of March.

New opportunities:

  • Several school districts are interested in a managed Wide Area Network (WAN) solution. We are working on several proposals for providing professional services for equipment, installation, and management of wireless networks.

Outreach Completed:

  • Iowa Hospital Association Annual Meeting.
  • Iowa Technology and Education Conference.
  • Cyber Security Roadshows.
  • ICN CFO and Business Services Bureau Chief met with the director of the Department of Corrections.
  • Attended the Iowa Homeland Security Annual Conference. The counties are asking for additional services that HSEMD can provide, such as connectivity.


Question: Chair Kniff McCulla – Are you hearing from multiple counties/PSAPs that are asking connectivity questions?
Answer: Randy Goddard – We are.

ICN Carrier Updates

Network Services Update – Ryan Mulhall

Outside Plant:

  • Dubuque Relocate Project: An update was provided on the Dubuque fiber relocate project that was discussed last month. The Department of Transportation (DOT) asked ICN to relocate a significant amount of fiber in Dubuque County along Highway 20. About half way through the project, it was determined that the vendor would not be able to complete it as designed due to more rock than anticipated. ICN then started looking into different courses of action. We were unable to obtain fibers from Windstream. ICN will be utilizing a shared solution with Verizon/MCI who included our requirements in their bid package, as they encountered the same issues. There may be some additional expenses. The fiber will be at risk in the construction zone for the next two years. Both contractors anticipate completing their work yet this year.
  • Fiber Cuts: ICN had four fiber cuts last month. Two of them occurred on the same link a few miles apart on back-to-back days (Johnston and Urbandale). In Urbandale the fiber was installed directly under a gravel road that has since been paved. In order to restore the service, a temporary solution was placing the cable across the ground (over 10 driveways, stringing along fences, and in construction zones). Fiber was exposed for about 2 ½ weeks until all the permitting could be completed in Urbandale and Clive. We were able to cut over to the permanent solution on November 18.

TAC Group:

  • Caucuses: A few of the major networks have been scouting sites. We anticipate continuing to provide the exemplary service that our lead Dan Schuchard and his team provide.
  • OCIO Relocation: The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) will be relocating offices in January to 100 East Grand. We will need to work ahead and complete the requirements needed.
  • In the future, ICN would like to look at how we can expand the cabling team to be utilized in e-rate bidding or outstate cabling projects.


  • Installed the Customer Service Management (CSM) module and began the configurations with INRY. We had two of our personnel attend and receive certification training with ServiceNow. It is anticipated in February to deploy the module to coincide with our license renewal. We hope to save a significant amount of money by removing modules that are not needed.

Windows 10:

  • We released a request for proposal to upgrade our patching infrastructure and help move our organization to Windows 10. We awarded that contract to Now Micro from Minnesota. They will be onsite beginning December 9. They plan to be done before Windows 7 goes end of life. We have done a lot of preparations with software inventory and testing policies.


Question: Commissioner Lapointe – With the Highway 20 project, what plans do we have in the future to better analyze the topography in the area?
Answer: Ryan Mulhall – We generally do a good job. We rely on the DOT for these types of situations, since they have a contracted design engineer. Moving forward having our own in-house designer review larger projects will be helpful.

Question: Commissioner Lapointe – Could you explain what the miscalculation was in this situation; too much topsoil or rock too close to the surface?
Answer: Ryan Mulhall – The miscalculation was in the grading. Usually it is 3 - 4 feet below, which is our standard. There was a lot of grading that needed to be completed, so we needed to shoot 20 feet deep.

Operations/Engineering Update – Scott Pappan

100GB Network Core Upgrade:

  • Over 50% of the 100GB core (Layer 2) has been installed. Currently designing Layer 3 Statewide IP infrastructure.
  • Updating Juniper router software due to new patch. In the future this software update may be scheduled quarterly.
  • We are now removing the old Brocade MLX core infrastructure. Removing this equipment frees up power and space.

E911 Multi-Node Hosted Platform:

  • Ten public safety answering point (PSAP) sites have been installed.
  • Seven sites are engineered and orders issued to FNS.
  • Total opportunity is approximately 20 locations with 15 to follow. Total sites equal to 35.

E911 Wireline Network Project (TDM/Ethernet Solution):

  • Currently installing TDM/Ethernet infrastructure
  • Two Network-to-Network Interface (NNI) circuits are connected to HSEMD data centers. (Cedar Rapids to Davenport & JFHQ to West Des Moines).
  • One of these two connections from West Des Moines data center to JFHQ is operational as of November 19.
  • AC Power Supply ordered for Davenport.
  • Waiting on DS3s ordered from CenturyLink.

TDM/Ethernet Network (Time-division multiplexing):

  • Network replacement incorporates customer equipment of Telco Systems 3312s and Ciena 3932s
  • TDM equipment purpose:
  • Replacement of TDM/ATM equipment (ATM Sunset) with TDM over Ethernet Network and services.
  • Frees up power for ICN Operations and IRHTP.
  • Removes legacy systems.

IRHTP/Hospital Ciena Upgrades:

  • All of the core orders are installed (22). Equipment installed, but circuits have not been moved.
  • Engineered aggregation sites - two installed (Ciena 5142s).
  • Clinics: 54 installed, 2 open orders, and 17 pending orders (Ciena 3930s).

VMware Platform:

  • Internal / ICN Facing – Virtualization Upgrade:
  • Circuits installed in Lucas, and will emulate that setup at JFHQ.
  • Purpose to support over 165 instances/servers internally.
  • Customer Facing – Virtualization:
  • Continuing to develop a customer facing solution for our education and healthcare customers.

Data/Network Integrity:

  • To fix or improve upon operational efficiencies.
    • Includes: TDM/ATM cleanup, legacy voice cleanup (establish/execute a hosted VoIP disconnect circuit cleanup process, MOD 80 decommission/removal, OSV decommission/removal, 4K decommission/removal), reclaim unused IP addresses, and re-groom Check Point infrastructure and services.


  • Our DDoS Mitigation servers and licenses were recently upgraded. We are averaging 125,000 to 150,000 flows per second. Flows are samples of information that provide Metadata. We use metadata to analyze our Internet traffic. We are running about 50-60% capacity.


Question: Chair Kniff McCulla – With your workload, do you feel like your group is going along in a good pace?
Answer: Scott Pappan – I was thankful that the Managed Voice Service migration came to an end, along with the Power upgrade. It is nice that we are getting projects started and we are finishing them, so we can reallocate resources. We also have two new positions which will help. I also give credit to Fiber Network Services (FNS). We need to maintain the healthcare network and 911 network, but our personnel is unable to receive overtime. The way we get assistance is to leverage our Vendors.

Other Business:

ITTC Committee Update – Staff/Commission

Customer and Services Committee – Randy Goddard
Meeting Date: November 13, 2019.
Attendance: Commissioner Holz, Lori Larsen, and Randy Goddard.
Topics Covered:

  • ICN’s authorized user requests. None.
  • New customers: several discussed previously.
  • Requests for waivers from certified users. None.
  • Services: Updated committee on LightSpeed Plus product, infrastructure as a service, and state firewall.
  • Sales outreach.
  • Customer complaints.

Finance Committee – Mike Cruise

Meeting Date: November 18, 2019.
Attendance: Chair Kniff McCulla, Commissioner Holz, Commissioner Olson, and Mike Cruise.
Topics Covered:

  • Review of financials as presented today.
  • Distributed and explained a corrected copy of fiscal year 2020 budget.
  • Notified the committee that the 5-year budget was completed and distributed.
  • Notified the committee that the report showing the fiscal year 2020 budget is allocated over 12 months was complete and would be distributed.

Personnel Committee – Mark Johnson
Meeting Date: November 5, 2019.
Attendance: Chair Kniff McCulla, Commissioner Lapointe, and Mark Johnson.

  • Received an update regarding the two back-fill positions in the engineering and operations area.


ACTION – 2020 ITTC Meeting Dates – Lori Larsen

Approval was requested for the proposed 2020 ITTC meetings which are scheduled for the third Thursday of every month to take place beginning at 10:30 AM. All meetings are subject to cancellation and additional meetings may be called as determined by the Chair.

Commissioner Holz moved to approve the proposed 2020 ITTC meeting dates. Commissioner Olson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


Network Maintenance Provider Contract – Phil Groner

Last year the Commission approved the ICN to renew our contract with Fiber Network Services (FNS), our maintenance provider. I would like to report to the Commission that we have completed that contract renewal. We have signed a new 5-year contract with FNS. I want to thank Scott Goldberg and Rob Smith with FNS for their help in negotiations. We feel like it is a benefit for both organizations to have this new contract. I wanted to report back to the Commission that it has been completed.

Chair Kniff McCulla – Thank you Fiber Network Services. I appreciate the association we have had in the previous years.

Public Comment:

Chair Kniff McCulla made an announcement that the December ITTC meeting will be changing from
Thursday, December 19 to Monday, December 16.


The ITTC meeting adjourned at 11:08 AM.

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

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