ITTC October 2020 Meeting

Date:
Thursday, October 15, 2020

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 15, 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 October 15, 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 lori.larsen@iowa.gov. 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 lori.larsen@iowa.gov. 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 lori.larsen@iowa.gov. Questions regarding the meeting agenda may be directed to Lori Larsen, at (515) 725-4713, or 877-426-4692 toll-free or e-mail lori.larsen@iowa.gov.

MEETING AGENDA

Call to Order
Chair
Approval of Meeting Minutes
Commission
Old Business
Commission/Staff
New Business
Commission/Staff
  • ICN Agency Updates

    • Finance Update
      Mike Cruise
      • WorkSmart/WordDay Presentation
        Mike Cruise
    • Business Services Update
      Randy Goddard
  • ICN Carrier Updates

    • Network Services Update
      Ryan Mulhall
    • Operations/Engineering Update
      Scott Pappan
Other Business
Commission/Staff
  • ITTC Committee Updates
    Staff/Commission
Public Comment
Commission/Staff
Adjournment
Commission
Notice Posted
October 8, 2020

Iowa Telecommunications & Technology Commission October 2020 Minutes

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

FINAL
October 15, 2020

To ensure the most efficient use of State resources, the October 15, 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

Randy Goddard, Executive Director
Deb Evans, Chief Financial Officer
Mark Johnson, Chief Operating Officer
Mike Cruise, Finance 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

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 10:30 AM. It was noted that a quorum of members was present for the meeting.

Approval of the September 17, 2020 & September 28, 2020 Meeting Minutes:

Commissioner Holz requested a few edits to the September 28, 2020 minutes. Chair Kniff McCulla requested a motion to approve the September 17, 2020 & September 28, 2020 meeting minutes. Commissioner Holz moved to approve the minutes as revised. Commissioner Lapointe seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Old Business:

None

New Business:

Agency Updates

Finance Update – Mike Cruise

Comments on FY 2020

FY 2020 is now officially closed. The final FY 2020 budget-to-actual and final financials have been sent to Chair Kniff McCulla and the ITTC Finance Committee.

For the year, ICN ended with an operating margin of -$385,245 which is $1.9M favorable to budget. Period 13 ended with a negative margin of $6,600, which is better than normal.  Revenues were $1.3M above budget affected mostly by increased voice revenue from the pandemic. ICN started to invoice for most of the 911 project with Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HSEMD).  

ICN’s Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) package was submitted as required by October 1. The Statewide Cost Allocation Plan (SWCAP) report is due October 30. Auditors will be working on the ICN FY 2020 audit the weeks of October 19, 26, and November 9.

The FY 2022 - FY 2023 budget was entered in the state budget system as required by October 1.  It was sent to the ITTC Finance Committee members for review.  This is the preliminary budget submitted in the fall and the final budget is submitted next spring, at which time it would be presented to the full ITTC for review and approval.

September FY 2021 Budget-to-Actual Report

Monthly Revenues and Expenses
The month of September resulted in an operating margin of $87,720. This is $365,757 favorable to the budget of -$278,037. Revenue was $218,689 favorable to budget and direct expenses were $24,496 unfavorable to budget.

Year-to-Date Revenues and Expenses:
The September year-to-date operating margin was $58,269, which is $720,341 favorable to the budgeted amount. Revenues and direct expenses are both favorable to budget summing to a gross margin that is $590,607 favorable to budget.

Comparison to FY 2020
The operating margin for FY 2021 is $418,312 favorable to September FY 2020.  The major difference is a favorable increase in gross margin of $163,977.

Year-to-Date Comparison to FY 2020: 
The September year-to-date margin is $1,066,695 favorable to FY 2020.  Adding to the gains mentioned for gross margin are favorable comparable totals in allocated Outside Plant and General, Administrative, and payroll expenses. There were no major issues in September.

WorkSmart Presentation

Mike Cruise presented on the topic of WorkSmart. https://worksmart.iowa.gov/ 

COMMENTS

Chair Kniff McCulla asked if managers would be able to see everything within the system?

Mike Cruise said yes. We would setup a hierarchy within the agency on how an organization would be structured. There will be certain roles and rights for users. Commission members will be able to complete travel requests through this new system.

Business Services Update – Randy Goddard

Healthcare Update

  • Iowa Rural Health Telecommunications Program (IRHTP) Network refresh update continues with the goal to be completed by the end of the calendar year.
  • Working on a contract review for IRHTP. 
  • Added Customer: Des Moines Pediatric Cardiology Clinic.
  • ICN started drafting contract language for a fiber build for Great River Health System in Southeast Iowa.

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.
  • Continued interest in Managed Voice Service for DHS and State Public Defender’s (SPD) field offices.
  • The Iowa House and Iowa Senate are updating their connections to the Network by installing wireless access points. This is a larger cabling project to connect wireless technology throughout the Capitol.
  • IPERS ordered a bandwidth increase.

Public Safety Update

  • ICN continues to provide DOC with one free call each week for the inmates. DOC is sponsoring this program.
  • Working with Judicial for their equipment racks for their datacenter relocation.
  • Received several orders for Department of Public Safety’s Land Mobile Radio (LMR) connections. The base station PSAPs are strengthening their connections.

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

  • 911 Wireline: ICN continues to work on the migration of all 911 wireline calls from local exchanges. All eight of CenturyLink’s Regional Routers are now connected to ICN’s Point of Interconnect. This is a key step.
    • PSAP Migration: 25 of the 113 PSAP have been migrated. HSEMD is working with local carriers to ensure Automatic Number Identification and Automatic Location Identification (ANI/ALI) database is updated for the calls to be routed properly.
  • 911 Wireless Secondary Connections: Iowa will be the first in the nation to utilize FirstNet to wirelessly connect the redundant selective routers to the PSAPs in the event the primary route that utilizes ICN’s fiber is damaged.
  • HSEMD’s annual conference is currently underway. It is a three-day virtual conference.

Education

  • USAC Update: The window for E-rate is open for the 2021-2022 school year. USAC also opened a second window for funding year 2020 due to COVID. Schools are seeing increased bandwidth needs for category 1 services only.  This special window is only for the current provider to the schools.
  • Consultations continue with community colleges. We are focusing on contract renewals.

Outreach

  • Statewide Youth Broadband Advisory Council (SYBAC) update.
  • Website development update: security and mobility are improvements for the website.
  • ICN Virtual Cybersecurity Roadshow is scheduled for October 20 using Zoom.
  • Scheduling meetings with customers’ executive leaders to build relationships and awareness of services and support ICN provides.
  • Met with Director Joyce Flynn (HSEMD) and discussed grant opportunities.
  • Meeting scheduled with OCIO.

COMMENTS

None.

Carrier Updates

Network Services Update – Ryan Mulhall

Fiber Cuts / Outages / Customer Issues

Reservationless Plus (9/22/20)

  • Multiple agencies/customers were calling in reporting issues with the 866 number. The ICN contacted the vendor and were given an alternate number to provide customers. The vendor stated there was a known issue with their service, but could not specify what caused the issue.

Muscatine Fiber Cut (9/26/20)

  • The NOC noticed a circuit go down at the Muscatine National Guard (NG) Facility. The building wasn’t staffed and we were unable to verify if it was Windstream or ICN fiber that was affected at first. Eventually it was found that a gopher had struck ICN fiber burrowing in the area. When we were able to contact the NG facility to confirm, we rolled FNS to complete the repair. Since this is natural cause we will submit a claim to the Executive Council.

Newton Fiber Cut (10/2/20)

  • A contractor cut us performing grading work. It was determined that the fiber was not properly located by our provider. This created a significant outage of about 70 customer connections in Grinnell, Marshalltown, and surrounding areas. We were able to restore services at 5 hours and 54 minutes, so just stayed within our SLA’s and also quickly performed a permanent repair earlier this week. This will be charged to USIC for recovery.

Outside Plant

USIC Issues

  • We have had a lot of calls from contractors and the City of Des Moines the last few weeks concerning our locate provider and the timeliness and accuracy of the work being performed on our behalf. This is a continued trend over the last couple years. We will be working closely with them to try and reverse this trend, and this is a wider concern than just the ICN as other utilities are facing the same problems.

Cost Recovery FY 2020

  • We are moving closer to closing out FY 2020 for our cost recovery efforts. So far we have recovered $441,000 with another $100,000 billed. One of those is about half of that $100,000 that is in negotiations where we are waiting for a proposal back from the contractor.

Projects

  • Our Outside Plant added another 27 projects in September. We continue to be on a pace to break last year’s record high. The majority (about 70%+) continue to be maintenance activities including reacting to fiber cuts, repairs, relocations, facility improvements, etc.

Information Systems/Security

ServiceNow Planned Timeline

  • We have moved our deployment of Customer Service Management into production on October 24. We pushed it out from early October to allow more testing and acceptance. We will not be able to push it out any longer due to needing to be off the current version to maintain ServiceNow support. We will be utilizing Customer Service Management by the end of October.

Asset Manager Upgrade

  • We completed a major upgrade of our Asset Manager application, which is what is utilized to provision circuits and track equipment across the network. We had a lot of work put into this from our developers, operations, and engineering, as well as TCR Consulting to perform the upgrade of the application. This will hopefully allow us to take a large percentage of the organization to Windows 10.

Oracle

  • We are installing new Oracle appliances and upgrade our database versions. The equipment is in and the internal network is being groomed to allow a contractor the ability to manage these appliances and the databases going forward. Oracle is important to us as Asset Manager, Netplus Billing, and other critical applications utilize it.

Security - DHS Colocation Move

  • We have spent a good amount of time helping out DHS in their preparation for their data center move. They have a lot of compliance requirements where they will rely on our security controls at our Colocation facility at JFHQ. After going through the audit, there is only one minor thing that needs to be fixed. Which is a testament to our facilities, operations, and security personnel (and of course the NG too) for our security posture at this facility.

COMMENTS

None.

Operations/Engineering Update – Scott Pappan

100Gb Network Core Upgrade

  • Lucas Building is online with Layer 2 and Layer 3.
  • Migrating circuits in Cedar Rapids and JFHQ.
  • Five sites need to be installed, focusing on Bettendorf. Twelve sites completed.
  • Priority in terms of the Network is split between IRHTP and Core.

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

  • All IRHTP orders have been entered into the system and passed to FNS.
  • Clinics: 131 sites installed and 44 pending orders with FNS.
  • 171 new network devices have been installed on IRHTP Network.
  • Five hospitals left to convert.

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

  • DS3s: 211 DS3s removed from the Network. We have 36 pending removal that are passed to FNS. There are 22 that need to be engineered and moved out of the network. When completed ICN will remove 6 CBXs, and the ATM network will be sunsetted.

Network Update

  • Ingress:  Moving from Dallas to Chicago: lower costs, improve latency (network performance), and to have a more dependable network.
    • Ingress: Location the Network receives Internet from interexchange carriers (IXC).
  • Working on HVAC for seven huts.
  • Colocation service for DHS: Four cabinets installed in JFHQ and contract sent to DHS. Deadline of November 20.
  • FirstNet: LTE 4G First responder connectivity: We are currently connected to 100 Mb today as a backup service for our PSAPs. Right now consists of 24 sites statewide, 21 will be fixed PSAP locations, 2 are Zetron aggregation sites, and one homeland mobile command unit. Seventeen sites are turned up.

Future Projects and Plans

  • Edge Services: Whitebox service to virtualize the edge to provide high performance, scalability, and security at the network edge. Testing will be next stage.

COMMENTS

None

Other Business:

ITTC Committee Updates – Staff/Commission

Personnel Committee – Mark Johnson

There were no topics to discuss. The committee did not meet.

Customer and Services Committee – Randy Goddard

Meeting Date: October 14, 2020.
Attendance: Commissioner Olson, Commissioner Lapointe, Lori Larsen, Ryan Mulhall, & Randy Goddard.
Topics Covered:

  • ICN’s authorized user requests.
  • New customers: Des Moines Pediatric Cardiology Clinic.
  • Requests for waivers from certified users. None.
  • Services: Reviewed whitebox solution.
  • Sales outreach.
  • Customer complaints and network outages.

Finance Committee – Mike Cruise

Meeting Date: October 9, 2020.
Attendance: Commissioner Holz, Commissioner Wenzel, and Mike Cruise.
Topics Covered: 

  • Review of final FY 2020 financials
  • Review of September FY 2021 financials as presented.
  • Review of FY 2022 – FY 2023 fall budget.

Operations Committee – Scott Pappan

Meeting Date: October 8, 2020.
Attendance: Chair Kniff McCulla, Commissioner Wenzel, and Scott Pappan.
Topics Covered:

  • Network Updates.
  • Whitebox presentation.
  • Direction and vision in regards to products.

Public Comment:

Commissioner Holz addressed the four candidates that sought the leadership position of executive director. He shared three thoughts: 1) We were pleased to see that you all were interested in taking the leadership position for the ICN. 2) We could only be more impressed with each of you and we were impressed with all of you. You made our life more difficult. 3) We have the highest respect for each of you and we congratulate each of you. Congratulations and our support to Randy Goddard as he goes forward as executive director.

Commissioner Olson agreed with the comments that Commissioner Holz expressed.

Chair Kniff McCulla thanked Deb Evans for filling in as Acting Executive Director. We are most grateful that you took that responsibility. You are all a solid leadership team. We look forward to seeing what the ICN will do moving forward.

Commissioner Lapointe said it was a very hard decision, because of the quality of all four candidates. I want to congratulate Randy, and thank you all for applying.

Randy Goddard said he understands how difficult it would be. We have a great group of leaders and the conversations are very open. We respect each other. Mark Johnson and Deb Evans have brought stabilization for ICN personnel and ICN finances. My thanks to this team, and we have one of the best teams that I have ever worked with.

Ray Warner congratulated Randy Goddard. At Aureon we look forward to working with you.

Sean Corey congratulated Randy Goddard. CenturyLink looks forward to working with you all.

Adjournment:

The ITTC meeting adjourned at 11:20 AM.

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

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