ITTC September 17 2020 Meeting

Thursday, September 17, 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, September 17, 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 September 17, 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 8/20/2020 Minutes
Old Business
  • MBAEA Waiver Written Decision
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
  • Update on Executive Director Search
Public Comment
Notice Posted
Sept 11, Updated Sept 16, 2020

Iowa Telecommunications & Technology Commission September 2020 Minutes

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

September 17, 2020

To ensure the most efficient use of State resources, the September 17, 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
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

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 August 20, 2020 Meeting Minutes:

Chair Kniff McCulla requested a motion to approve the August 20, 2020 meeting minutes. Commissioner Lapointe moved to approve the minutes. Commissioner Wenzel seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Old Business:

Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency Waiver - Chair

The written decision was sent to the Commission and the customer (Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency). There was no additional discussion.

New Business:

Agency Updates

Finance Update – Mike Cruise

Comments on Fiscal Year (FY) 2019

ICN received the Letter of Report of Recommendations from the State of Iowa Auditor’s office for the FY 2019 audit.  As reported in prior meetings there were no reportable findings in FY 2019.  Congratulations to staff and all ICN for their work in FY 2019.

Comments on FY 2020

FY 2020 is now officially closed for the state accounting system.  We will close our general ledger shortly and begin preparing final financial statements that are due October 1.

ICN Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) package is due to DAS-SAE (State Accounting Enterprise) by October 1.  The GAAP package is financial information to help create the CAFR which is the state’s comprehensive annual financial report.  The SWCAP for federal reporting is due October 31.  The SWCAP is the statewide cost allocation plan.

Auditors have continued the FY 2020 audit as they were remotely performing the audit the week of August 17.

FY 2022 - FY 2023

The two year budget is due in the state accounting system by October 1.  We’ve started working on this for the fall budget cycle.  This is also where we would request any appropriations for FY 2022. ICN will not be requesting any appropriations for FY22. Final budget cycle is in the spring at which ICN submits the final version to the ITTC for approval.

August FY 2021 Budget-to-Actual Report

Monthly Revenues and Expenses:

The month of August resulted in an operating margin of -$26,662. This is $259,990 favorable to the budget of -$286,653. Revenue was $314,787 favorable to budget and expenses were

-$27,675 unfavorable to budget.This did include the July monthly accrual for MVS not entered last month.

Year-to-Date Revenues and Expenses:

The August year-to-date operating margin was -$29,451, which is favorable to the budgeted margin of -$384,034 by $354,583. Revenues and direct expenses are both favorable to budget summing to a gross margin that is $396,413 favorable to budget.

Comparison to FY 2020:

The operating margin for FY 2021 is $220,152 favorable to August FY 2020. The major difference is a favorable increase in revenue of $370,686.

Year-to-Date Comparison to FY 2020:

The August year-to-date margin is $582,408 favorable to the FY 2020 margin. Adding to the gains mentioned for gross margin are favorable comparable totals in general & administrative and payroll expenses. There were no major issues in August.


Commissioner Lapointe – Can you explain the Colocation category, and how ICN had no expenses to report.

Mike Cruise – Most of ICN’s expenses for Colocation have already been expended. The racks and equipment are already installed, there is no direct expense, at the current time, until we add more racks or perform a buildout.

Carrier Updates

Network Services Update – Ryan Mulhall

Fiber Cuts / Outages / Customer Issues

  • Derecho: 8/10/20
    • We have one incident from the storm and that is non-service impacting. We have one customer in Cedar Rapids that is currently up as the Local exchange carrier (LEC) brought the service back up, but the permanent repair needs to be completed. The provider is still working this as the area was heavily damaged. ICN ended up having a total of 187 incidents related to the storm.
  • Fiber Outages
    • We had four fiber outages last month, but none of them were cuts of ICN fiber. The only damage we had to ICN facilities occurred in Ankeny on August 19 when a contractor hit a conduit and caused a temporary disruption to our primary link between JFHQ and Newton, which went down for a few minutes. The disruption lasted about 20-30 minutes for customers. ICN brought back some of the paths manually and services were restored. ICN received a few escalations from our State agency partners. The contractor that damaged the conduit repaired it.
  • MVS Outage on September 10
    • Phones were down for six hours for almost all customers. The softphone client of Business Communicator did continue to work as an alternative solution. It turned out to be a latency issue with a piece of equipment.

Outside Plant

Our Outside Plant team added another 32 projects in August.  Almost all were maintenance with only two being a construction/estimate. A lot of relocates and washouts occurred.

TAC – Structured Cabling

Our TAC Group continues to stay busy as they always are with Capitol Complex cabling projects for agencies. They have more camera projects ongoing that they are installing. They are also providing continued support of the HSEMD’s FirstNet cellular backup project by performing the site cabling and antenna installs for the project when necessary.

Information Systems/Security

There is a lot going on with internal systems and we have three internal projects that are starting to wind down/kick off. 

ServiceNow Planned Timeline:

We have moved our deployment of Customer Service Management to October 8. This will allow us to provide greater control and flexibility for customers in managing their users and services as well as provide our internal staff with better visibility over all of their assigned work. We will finish testing and acceptance with our Business Service and FNS NOC staff. We will also deploy some customized Project Management capabilities in November to help better track the big strategic infrastructure projects occurring.

Asset Manager Upgrade

We are in the middle of upgrading Asset Manager which is what is utilized to provision circuits and track equipment across the Network. We have completed all of the work in test and pushed out new clients to the machines in anticipation. We are waiting on internal resources to become available to upgrade the server that the production software runs on and then will be able to finish the full upgrade.


We are preparing to install new Oracle appliances and upgrade our database versions. 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 the ICN as Asset Manager, Netplus Billing, and other critical applications utilize it.

Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Relationship

ICN is starting to further enhance our relationship with CISA. We take part in the Communications Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISAC) which shares information as it relates to the communications sector as well as receive alerts from the OCIO who participates in the multi-state MS-ISAC. They have more services that the ICN will be taking part in. In December CISA will be coming onsite and performing a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment and a few other security-related reviews.

Phishing Test

ICN recently ran a simulated phishing security test through the OCIO to determine what our vulnerability would be if a real phishing attack were to happen to our users. It was tougher and more targeted than previous iterations.


Commissioner Holz – Did we have any economic impact from the storm?

Ryan Mulhall – We do have some facility damages and some battery plants that we will need to replace. Damages were not as high as we anticipated. We made the initial notice to the executive council.

Dave Marely – We were concerned about the battery plants, where they were extended all the way out and ran down. We have a list of those, and we will check on a FEMA reimbursement. We had 11 generators that ran full-time. The Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) ran as they were supposed to, seven did not run as long as they should have.

Operations/Engineering Update – Scott Pappan

100Gb Network Core Upgrade

  • Provided a Core Network overview explaining equipment installed and operational verses circuits being migrated for service to be online.

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

  • All IRHTP orders have been engineered.
  • Clinics: 128 sites installed, 4 open orders, and 39 pending orders with FNS.
    • 170 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: Retired 211 DS3s out of the Network, and disconnected another 200. We have 14 pending removal that are passed to FNS. There are 44 that need to be engineered and moved out of the network. 30 are customer circuits and the rest are network circuits. When completed ICN will remove 6 CBXs, and the ATM network will be sunsetted.

Network Update

  • Ingress:  Moving Dallas to Chicago, to lower costs, improve latency (network performance), and to have a more dependable circuit.
    • Ingress: Location the Network receives Internet from interexchange carriers (IXC).
  • Working on HVAC for several (7) huts.
  • OSV Voice Platform – Has been sunsetted.
  • The 4K Voice platform has been downgraded to 10 PDAs. We are keeping for Voice backup, customer emergencies, and for Coop/Cog.
  • Aruba platform and Wi-Fi platform has been upgraded.
  • Virtualization platform has all servers and instances migrated.
  • Aureon: – ICN had 1Gb connectivity into Independence, in cooperation with Aureon and ICN the circuit was upgraded to 10Gb.
  • Pulse Secure (VPN Client) – All licenses and service are upgraded.

Future 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.
  • ADVA: Fiber facilities has a Juniper box that is end-of-life and end-of-support.
  • Aggregation: Our Core network is 100Gb, that is only at the Core. When we push that out to the aggregation sites, ICN will have multiple 10Gb that can be pushed out to customer edge locations.
  • 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. Eight sites are turned up and are passing 11-13 Mb of upload speeds and 40-60 Mb download speeds to each PSAPs. ICN is working with AT&T for next steps.



Other Business:

ITTC Committee Updates – Staff/Commission

Personnel Committee – Deb Evans

Meeting Date: September 4, 2020.
Attendance: Chair Kniff McCulla, Commissioner Holz, and Mark Johnson.
Topics Covered:

  • Provided update for the two new staff positions now filled.
  • Discussed one upcoming retirement.

Customer and Services Committee – Randy Goddard

Meeting Date: September 9, 2020.
Attendance: Commissioner Olson, Commissioner Lapointe, Lori Larsen, Ryan Mulhall, & Randy Goddard.
Topics Covered:

  • ICN’s authorized user requests.
  • New customers: State Patrol Post in Fort Dodge using Managed Voice, Palo Alto County using Reservationless Plus service.
  • Requests for waivers from certified users. No new requests received.
  • Services - State 911 Platform.
  • Sales outreach.
  • Customer complaints and network outages.

Finance Committee – Mike Cruise

Meeting Date: September 14, 2020.
Attendance: Commissioner Holz, Commissioner Wenzel, and Mike Cruise.
Topics Covered:

  • Review of August financials as presented today.
  • Reminder of the FY 2020 reporting requirement and dates.
  • Distributed an adjusted 12 month allocation of the FY 2021 budget with payroll allocated by working days in a month.
  • Announcement of the FY 2022 – FY 2023 fall budget cycle.

Operations Committee – Scott Pappan

Meeting Date: September 10, 2020.
Attendance: Chair Kniff McCulla, Commissioner Wenzel, and Scott Pappan.
Topics Covered:

  • Legacy Network.
  • Brocade MLX Removal – Core.
  • 4K update - Legacy Voice.
  • Shared Drive Clean up.
  • SRX Maintenance.
  • InfoBlox upgrade.
  • Removal of OMI(HBOM) to Operations Bridge (NNMI).
  • ATM/TDM Sunset.

Executive Director Search – Chair Kniff McCulla

The Personnel Committee has completed the scoring of the candidates that applied. The interviews have been scheduled and will take place with the members of the Commission participating.

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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