ITTC October 2019 Meeting

Thursday, October 17, 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, October 17, 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
      Mike Cruise
  • ICN Carrier Updates

    • Network Services Update
      Ryan Mulhall
    • Operations/Engineering Update
      Scott Pappan
Other Business
  • LightSpeed Plus Video
    Phil Groner
  • ITTC Committee Updates
Public Comment
Notice Posted
October 10, 2019

Iowa Telecommunications & Technology Commission October 2019 Minutes

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

October 17, 2019

To ensure the most efficient use of State resources, the October 17, 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:

Mark Johnson, Carrier Services Division Administrator, Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Mike Cruise, Finance 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:

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

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 September 19, 2019 Meeting Minutes:

Chair Kniff McCulla requested a motion to approve the September 19, 2019 meeting minutes. Commissioner Lange moved to approve the minutes. Commissioner Holz seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Old Business:


New Business:

Agency Updates

Finance Update – Mike Cruise

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

  • Monthly Revenues and Expenses:

    The month of September resulted in an operating margin of -$330,593 or -12.8%. This is favorable to the budget of -$350,102 by $19,509. There were no major variances in September.

  • Year-to-Date Revenues and Expenses:

    The September year-to-date operating margin was -$948,000, which is unfavorable to the budgeted margin of -$821,000 by $127,000.

  • September Comparison to FY 2019:

    The operating margin for September FY 2019 was -$198,000, so FY 2020 is unfavorable by $134,000.

  • Year-to-Date Comparison to FY 2019:

    The September year-to-date margin of -$948,000 is $238,000 unfavorable to the
    FY 2019 margin of -$710,000.  There were no major issues in September.

Final FY 2019 Budget Review

FY 2019 final budget-to-actual report shows an operating margin of -$1,202,688.This is favorable to the budget by $84,000. The period 13 postings resulted in a net gain on operating margin of $420,000.There also was a $71,000 correction to the budget.


Question, Commissioner Lapointe: A couple of meetings ago, there have been some difficulties with outside plant expenses. It was indicated that it was unfavorable to the budget. It appears that we are moving in the right direction. At the time it was stated it was not a concern, but we needed to keep an eye on the situation.

Answer, Mike Cruise: Yes, we are moving in the right direction. We are about 53% through the budget, after three months. The outside plant work will slow down in the winter months. I am working on a report that will show how the budget will be allocated for the entire year so we can view the coming month. We will be more favorable in the coming months.

Business Services Update – Mike Cruise

Managed Voice Service (MVS):

  • Recent migrations: Department for the Blind and Iowa Public Television.
  • New customers: Orders for four State Public Defender and two Lottery Field Offices.
  • Migration completed at end of September. Kudos to all staff at ICN and CenturyLink on completion of this major project.                                                                 

HSEMD and 911 Project:
Wireline and Hosted Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Equipment:

  • Wireline Solution – Finalizing orders for DS-3's from CTL and between lCN employees and Com Tech Data Centers. In planning phase of CAMA Trunks by CTL Selective Routers to ICN POIs (Points of Interconnection).

Iowa Rural Health Telecommunications Program (IRHTP):

  • Work continues on finishing network refresh with goal of having complete by end of November.          


  • Team providing responses to Form 470 forms. Window opens for Form 471 bid awards in January, and is projected to close at the end of March.

Department of Corrections (DOC): ICN is writing DOC’s inmate tablet Request for Proposal (RFP). ICN submitted the first version to DOC for their input.

New customer service locations added: Mercy Beaverdale Healthcare Clinic, Department of Public Safety (DPS) at Greene County Sheriff's Office for Land Mobile Radio, DPS at Ankeny Police Department for Land Mobile Radio, and Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) at Park Fair Mall in Des Moines.


  • Iowa Hospital Association Annual Meeting, October 8-10, Des Moines.
  • Iowa Technology and Education Conference, October 13-15, Des Moines.
  • Cyber Security Roadshows (open for all customers): September 26 - Cedar Falls AEA, October 3 - Ottumwa AEA, October 10 - Pocahontas AEA, October 22 - DSM, October 29 - Council Bluffs Library.

Marketing and Customer Support: Assisting with cybersecurity roadshows, developing a new intranet for Sales, customer location and contact updates.



ICN Carrier Updates

Network Services Update – Ryan Mulhall

Outside Plant:

  • ICN had two fiber cuts last month. We also had an outage on a last mile connection at the Air Guard location in Waterloo where an aerial cable was snagged by a dump truck. The provider needed to be pushed a little to remediate in a timely manner, due to the Air Guard’s drill starting the next morning. The provider did come through.

    We have a situation regarding a project to relocate fiber in Dubuque County along Highway 20 for a Department of Transportation (DOT) project. The contractor has encountered an issue with boring through rock, and has indicated they will not be able to finish the project as designed. Originally the design called for 20 feet deep burial into the rock to not conflict with the DOT’s project. ICN is currently pursuing options.                                                                                  


  • Installing the Customer Service Management (CSM) module and plugins in our Sandbox instance this week, and we will begin configuration. We will be completing a demo of the functionality in mid-November and then bring in internal staff and customers to obtain feedback. The deployment is anticipated to be in March when our initial license term ends. The goals of this initiative is to revamp our customer portal and make it easier for customers to interact with the ICN. Internally, we want to provide our staff better visibility over all of their work.


  • We will be meeting with the Federal Department of Homeland Security and their Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to see how ICN can better partner and leverage the federal resources. Currently, ICN participates in the Communications – ISAC (Information Sharing and Analysis Center) for threat intelligence sharing amongst network operations. They use a STIX and TAXII service that feeds technical threat information into our systems. We also receive threat information and alerts from the State’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO). The federal Homeland Security department is offering a risk assessment/audit geared towards critical infrastructure/network operators.



Operations/Engineering Update – Dave Marley

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 has been completed.
  • Aggregation systems upgrade of CES 2024s: Approximately 139 of 154 aggregation boxes have been upgraded. (Last 15 are scheduled.)

E911 Multi-Node Hosted Platform:

  • Currently waiting on approximately 15 new public safety answering point (PSAP) orders.
  • Seven PSAP sites are installed.

E911 Wireline Network Project (TDM/Ethernet Solution):

  • As of October 16, 2019, ICN has tested network design successfully.
  • Engineering is designing and now creating orders for network connectivity.

TDM/Ethernet Network (Time-division multiplexing):

  • A TDM/Ethernet solution has been tested and approved. Telco Systems 3312s are a specific piece of customer equipment.
  • TDM equipment purpose:
    • Replacement of TDM/ATM equipment (ATM Sunset) with TDM/Ethernet services.
    • Frees up power for IRHTP installations.

IRHTP/Hospital Ciena Upgrades:

  • All of the core orders are installed (22).
  • Engineering is designing 30 aggregation sites (Ciena 5142s).
  • Clinics: 47 installed and 26 are pending (Ciena 3930s).

VMware Platform:

  • Internal / ICN Facing – Virtualization Upgrade:
    • Circuits have been engineered and are being installed in JFHQ. Lucas building will follow.
    • Purpose to support over 150 instances/servers internally.
  • Customer Facing – Virtualization:
    • RFP for a Virtual Private Cloud issued to the public. Vendor questions have been answered, and responses are due 10/23.
    • Goal: Leverage our existing IP and Ethernet infrastructure. Establishing new services across the infrastructure and making these services available to our customers: storage, compute, backup, and disaster recovery.

Data/Network Integrity:

  • To fix or improve upon operational efficiencies.  
    • Project 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, and reclaim unused IP addresses.



Other Business:

Update on LightSpeed Plus Video – Mark Johnson

Last month it was indicated that we were in the process of evaluating our LightSpeed Plus Video service. We have been experiencing a dwindling number of customers using that service. Customers are primarily using it for the scheduling and the room auto launch features. At the conclusion of the evaluation, it was determined that we cannot cost effectively offer a service that would be able to compete with other two-way interactive video services.  One of the technical issues regarding the scheduling and room auto launch is, if we wanted to continue to provide the video service through the current vendor, that vendor is no long upgrading the service. If we have a break/fix, they would restore it as it was. There is no plan to enhance or upgrade the service.  As other vendors or customers upgrade their system(s), there is an inability to guarantee that our service would be compatible with other updates.

Our decision is to sunset the LightSpeed Plus Video service at the end of FY 2020 on June 30, 2020. Some of our larger customers have started to move away, since they understand the other issues that we are running into.

This is the one service that has come forward to the Commission for approval of the rates.  So there are no rates to approve this year, since we are in the last year and we are eliminating that service.



HSEMD and 911 Project Peer Review – Mark Johnson

ICN is very involved with Homeland Security and providing the 911 Network and converging the Wireline and Wireless Networks into one system. Iowa Homeland Security requested a peer review by the national 911 system. The peer review was based on guidelines established on the national level. Subject matter experts completed the review of the Iowa system. Iowa is the third state to request the peer review, and has been in the forefront of the 911 system. In that assessment there were some significant positive comments related to the ICN. Some of the comments included:

  • “Iowa has significant advantages over other states in the statewide coordination of 911 as well as the extensive ICN network.”
  • “ICN is an integral part of the 911 network, and they are proactively implementing strong cyber security practices.”
  • “The assessment team recommends that the ICN network be recognized as mission critical infrastructure and as an essential government service.”

Homeland Security has been open with the ICN about this assessment. There are some very positive comments that should benefit us in terms of the value of the Network.



ITTC Committee Update – Staff/Commission

Customer and Services Committee – Randy Goddard

Meeting Date: October 9, 2019.

Attendance: Commissioner Lange, Commissioner Holz, Lori Larsen, and Randy Goddard.

Topics Covered:

  • ICN’s authorized user requests. None
  • New customers: Mercy Beaverdale clinic fiber build and 30 Mb Ethernet, DPS Greene County Sheriff’s Office for LMR, Public Defender Ottumwa MVS, DPS Ankeny PD Fiber Build and LMR, IWD Park Fair Mall in Des Moines.
  • Requests for waivers from certified users. None
  • Services: Updated committee on LightSpeed Plus review.
  • Sales outreach.
  • Customer complaints.

Finance Committee – Mike Cruise

Meeting Date: October 14, 2019.

Attendance: Chair Kniff McCulla, Commissioner Holz, Commissioner Olson, and Mike Cruise.

Topics Covered:

  • Review of financials as presented today.
  • Made a clarification on the FNS contract analysis and it was requested that I provide the current FNS contract spending.
  • Announced that 5-year budget will be delayed until November. due to ongoing contract negotiations with a couple of vendors.

Personnel Committee – Mark Johnson

  • The Personnel Committee did not meet in October.



Public Comment:



The ITTC meeting adjourned at 11:03 AM.

ATTESTED TO: Barb Kniff McCulla - Chair, Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission

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

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