ITTC September 2019 Meeting

Thursday, September 19, 2019

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

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
  • Update on LightSpeed Video
    Phil Groner
  • ITTC Committee Updates
Public Comment
Notice Posted
September 17, 2019

Iowa Telecommunications & Technology Commission September 2019 Minutes

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

September 19, 2019

To ensure the most efficient use of State resources, the September 19, 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
John McCormally, Representing Rob Sand, Ex-Officio Member

Commissioners Absent:

Timothy Lapointe, Member
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
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 August 15, 2019 Meeting Minutes:

Chair Kniff McCulla requested a motion to approve the August 15, 2019 meeting minutes. Commissioner Holz moved to approve the minutes. Commissioner Olson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Old Business:


New Business:

Agency Updates

Finance Update – Mike Cruise

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

Monthly Revenues and Expenses:
The month of August resulted in an operating margin of -$246,814.83 or negative 10.1%. This is favorable to the budget of -$346,835.00 by $100,020.17. There were no major variances in August.

Year-to-Date Revenues and Expenses:
The August year-to-date operating margin was -$612,000, which is unfavorable by $141,000 to the budgeted margin of -$471,000.

August Comparison to FY 2019:
The operating margin for August FY 2019 was -$21,000, so FY 2020 is unfavorable by $228,000.

Year-to-Date Comparison to FY 2019:
The August year-to-date margin of -$612,000 is $95,000 unfavorable to the FY 2019 margin of -$517,000. There were no major issues in August.

The final FY 2019 report will be presented in the October meeting.



Business Services Update – Randy Goddard

Managed Voice Service (MVS):

  • Recent migrations: Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), Fort Madison Corrections, JFHQ (Joint Forces Headquarters) Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management Department (HSEMD), and Mitchellville Corrections.
  • Upcoming migrations and new sites: Department for the Blind and IPTV.
  • New customers: Working with Newton and Clarinda Correctional Facilities, as well as Lottery Field Offices.
  • On-schedule to have migration completed by end of September.

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

  • Wireline Solution – Finalized contract with CenturyLink (CTL) for the CAMA trunk connections. HSEMD Architecture meeting held in Seattle, WA. The conference was attended by Mike Lauer for ICN. Next steps installing circuits from CTL and between ICN Points of Interconnect (POIs) and ComTech Data Centers.
  • Hosted Public Service Answering Point (PSAP) Solution – ICN is providing two data centers and transport for a hosted solution that has the ability to reduce equipment expenses for the 113 public safety answering points. Installation of five additional sites underway.

FEMA Communications Annex:

Working with Iowa HSEMD and FEMA to update State of Iowa’s Communications Annex that is vital for restoral of communications during disaster. ICN is a critical partner with Homeland Security. FEMA site visit was completed in August. A draft plan is to be presented for Stakeholder Review in November and to be finalized in December. This is FEMA’s version of the federal Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Continuity of Government (COG) plan.

Iowa Rural Health Telecommunications Program (IRHTP):

  • Continue to move forward with target date of completion of network core upgrade by the end of September. Remainder of network to be completed following core.
  • ICN continues to stay in communication with the IRHTP administrator regarding progress on this project.


  • On August 5, there was an online conference held for service provider training. Two ICN personnel participated in the conference.
  • Projected E-rate season form 470 filing period opened July 1 and closes in February. This is where schools and libraries request bids for services.
  • Form 471 process opens in January and closes in March. This is the process when schools and libraries make an award for services.
  • Early in the process, ICN currently has three opportunities that we are responding to, typical year ICN will respond to over 500 bidding opportunities.

Department of Corrections (DOC): ICN entered into an agreement to assist with Inmate Tablet Request for Proposal (RFP) and professional services. ICN currently is the service provider for inmate calling service to DOC.

Iowa National Guard: ICN is a primary service provider for Internet. They have recently increased to 1Gb Internet Service.


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

Marketing and Customer Support: Customer training videos to utilize ServiceNow and MVS customer portals. The group is working with the customer location and contact database. They are also providing additional assistance for account consultants to prepare customer materials.


Question: Commissioner Lange – With the tablet program, are all of the correctional institutions implementing it?

Answer: Randy Goddard – Yes. Their goal is that every inmate will have a tablet. The recommendation will be a staged implementation approach.

ICN Carrier Updates

Network Services Update – Ryan Mulhall

Outside Plant:

  • We responded to four fiber cuts in the last month. One of those was non-service affecting. We have seen three washouts with the recent flooding issues in western Iowa. We also have three relocate projects that have recently occurred. This has contributed to some outside plant costs that ICN was unable to forecast.


  • ICN had a roadmap discussion with our vendor (INRY) on how we can best start using the customer service management (CSM) plug-in. Internally two goals are: 1) give personnel a full view of visibility of work occurring, 2) build out workflows and processes to push down to end users. Externally we would like to revamp our customer portal. We would like to give customers the ability to enhance visibility to order services or view incidents. In March 2020, our initial license term with ServiceNow ends. We should be able to create cost savings and efficiencies in the next term.


  • ICN is planning to publish an ITB (invitation to bid) to upgrade our patching infrastructure, as well as create a Windows 10 image. Windows 7 will be end of life in January 2020, which the vast majority of our laptops and desktops use. This includes a path forward to Windows 10 and assistance with migration.
  • October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. During the month we will be completing the customer roadshows and we also present an all employee security meeting. This year the OCIO will be presenting a new awareness training.



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 has been completed.
  • Aggregation systems upgrade/reboot of CES 2024s. 101 of 154 aggregation boxes have been upgraded.

E911 Multi-Node Hosted Platform:

  • Currently working on new public safety answering point (PSAP) orders.
  • Five PSAP sites are installed and approximately 15 sites have been engineered.

E911 Wireline Network Project (TDM/Ethernet Solution):

  • The new equipment solution has been designed, tested, and approved.
  • 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.
  • TDM equipment ordered and received: Telco Systems 3312s.
  • TDM equipment purpose:
  • Replace TDM/ATM (ATM Sunset) with TDM/Ethernet services.
  • First installs will be in Northwest Iowa to free up power for IRHTP installations.

IRHTP/Hospital Ciena Upgrades:

  • All of the edge orders have been submitted to the field to be installed.
  • All of the core orders are in the field (22) to be installed.
  • All core locations are operational, except 5 sites waiting for optics.
  • Engineering aggregation orders (30 – Ciena 5142s).
  • 39 clinics are installed with Ciena 3930s.

VMware Platform:

  • Internal / ICN Facing – Virtualization Upgrade:
  • Circuits have been engineered in JFHQ.
  • Customer Facing – Virtualization:
  • RFP for a Virtual Private Cloud issued to the public.
  • Goal: Leverage our existing IP infrastructure. Apply services across the infrastructure to our customers: storage, compute, backup, and disaster recovery.



Other Business:

Update on LightSpeed Plus Video – Phil Groner

Normally this time of year is when we ask the commission to review and approve video conferencing rates for the next fiscal year. We will be holding off on that, since staff is taking a critical look at our services. One of the services being reviewed is LightSpeed Plus video. If you remember, we had an MPEG 2 platform, since the inception of the ICN, and in 2016 we sunset that technology and moved our video conferencing over to IP technology and relabeled it LightSpeed Plus. In the course of reviewing our services and how they are operating, one thing that came to light is that the LightSpeed Plus product may be ready for sunset itself.

Our plan is that staff is putting together a comprehensive and detailed report that will be presented to the Customer and Service Committee this following month. The plan will review the details, cost, usage, and services. We will then be ready to discuss in October the final decision regarding that product. One big driver is that the video scheduling software will go end of life and end of support on June 30, 2020. What the scheduling software allows is that the classrooms turn on automatically. Without this feature, the platform is not very useful. There are other technologies out there that can perform the service at less cost.

We will give the Commission a full report next month.



ITTC Committee Update – Staff/Commission

Customer and Services Committee – Randy Goddard

Meeting Date: September 11, 2019.

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

Topics Covered:

  • ICN’s authorized user requests.
  • New customers: Buchanan County Health Center (direct customer) and National Guard (Internet).
  • Requests for waivers from certified users.
  • Services: Storage and compute. LightSpeed Plus service under ICN leadership review.
  • Sales outreach.
  • Customer complaints. 1) Service issues; 2) Billing inquires; 3) Escalations from management team.

Finance Committee – Mike Cruise

Meeting Date: September 16, 2019.

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

Topics Covered:

  • Explanation of Outside Plant and tech labor expenses.
  • Review of financials as presented today.
  • Review of Network Operations expenses compared to possible in-house solution.
  • Final Fiscal Year 2019 reports will be provided in October.
  • 5-year budget will be provided in October.

Personnel Committee – Mark Johnson

Meeting Date: September 3, 2019.

Attendance: Chair Kniff McCulla, Commissioner Lapointe, and Mark Johnson.

Topics Covered:

  • Discussed vacant FTE/classifications and some adjustments that ICN might be making for those classifications.



Public Comment:



The ITTC meeting adjourned at 11:03 AM.

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

Downloadable Minutes (PDF):

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