ITTC December 2019 Meeting Minutes

Monday, December 16, 2019

Iowa Telecommunications & Technology Commission December 2019 Minutes

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

December 16, 2019

To ensure the most efficient use of State resources, the December 16, 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)
Drew Stensland, Representing Rob Sand, Ex-Officio Member

Commissioners Absent:

Annette Dunn, Ex-Officio Member

Iowa Communications Network Staff Present:

Phil Groner, Executive Director (LightSpeed Plus phone)
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)
Karen Alessio, Secretary 2 (LightSpeed Plus video)

Call to Order:

Chair Kniff McCulla called the meeting to order at 10:33 AM. It was noted that a quorum of members was present for the meeting.

Approval of the November 21, 2019 Meeting Minutes:

Chair Kniff McCulla requested a motion to approve the November 21, 2019 meeting minutes. Commissioner Olson moved to approve the minutes. Commissioner Lapointe seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Old Business:


New Business:

Agency Updates

Finance Update – Mike Cruise

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

  • Monthly Revenues and Expenses:

The month of November resulted in an operating margin of -$10,413.27 or -0.65%. This is favorable to the budget of -$366,040 by $355,626.73. Highlights are voice and Internet revenue being above budget and several expense categories are favorable to budget. There were no major variances in November.

  • Year-to-Date Revenues and Expenses:

The November year-to-date operating margin was -$962,517.59, which is favorable to the budgeted margin of -$1,301,172 by $338,654.41.

  • Comparison to FY 2019:

The operating margin for FY 2020 is unfavorable to the FY 2019 operating of $198,435.20 by $208,848.47. In November FY19, ICN invoiced over $700,000 in one-time installs for the 911 wireline project.

  • Year-to-Date Comparison to FY 2019:

The November year-to-date margin of -$962,517.59 is $356,157.35 favorable to the
FY 2019 margin of -$1,318,674.94. There were no major issues in November.



Business Services Update – Randy Goddard

  • Managed Voice System (MVS):
    • Continue to clean up phone numbers for elevators, tunnels, safe rooms, and alarms. These need to be lined powered, they cannot be on our VoIP system.
    • Working new opportunities for several locations for the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC), Iowa Lottery, and Iowa Department of Human Services’ (DHS) call center offices. Also working on cabling orders for Iowa Lottery in Storm Lake and Mason City.
  • Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HSEMD) and 911 Project:
    Wireline and Hosted Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Equipment:
    • Wireline Aggregation – ICN is working with HSEMD’s 911 Program Manager, CenturyLink and Local telcos on connectivity identification and communications for future Automatic Number and Automatic Location Identification updates.
    • Hosted Equipment Solution – Partnership with HSEMD and their contractor (Zetron).  New circuits installed at the Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) Johnston Communications Center at JFHQ.
    • ICN continues working closely with HSEMD and contractors for strengthening 911 ESInet solution. Discussion topics include secondary connections and adding ICN security services.
  • Healthcare: Iowa Rural Health Telecommunications Program (IRHTP)
    • Network equipment is mostly installed. We will begin phase 3 design and migration of circuits. New connections: Mercy Riceville Clinic and Mercy Rehab Services in Bellevue.
  • Education: USAC/E-rate
    • ICN is in the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC)/e-rate cycle for FY 2020.
      • Form 470’s (Applications) window is open until February 2020.
      • Form 471’s (Awards) begin in January and continue until March 2020.
    • FCC posted list of eligible services on December 9th.
      • Category 1 – No change. It includes services needed to support broadband connectivity to schools and libraries. FCC will begin to review security products for 2021.
      • Category 2 – Includes the internal connections, equipment, along with management, and maintenance needed for broadband connectivity within schools and libraries.
      • Category 2 Budgets – FCC has increased by 20% for FY2020 on initial awards 2015-2020.
    • 170 470 bids are currently posted. By the end of the window there will be close to 2,000.
  • Service Growth:
    • Discussion with Department of Education regarding adding sites back on to Part III contract.
    • Grant Wood AEA’s proof of concept based on professional services for two schools to assist in maintaining Wireless LAN.
    • Discussion with Mississippi Bend AEA. They are moving back to the aggregation model. They are inquiring about our Internet and Security services.
    • Security Products – Firewall opportunities for Mississippi Bend AEA, HSEMD’s 911 project, and DHS.
  • Other significant opportunities:
    • New internet and data circuits for OCIO move to new office at 200 E. Grand.
    • New internet connection for Governor’s residence at Terrace Hill.
    • DPS Land Mobile Radio (LMR) to DOC Ft. Madison.
    • Several new healthcare clinic connections.
    • Continuing to work with DOC on crafting the Inmate Tablet RFP.
    • Renewal of contracts and bandwidth increases for all sectors.
    • Dordt College fiber build and 1Gb Internet is completed.
    • Winterset CSD campus network between three buildings is completed. Service included a fiber build, equipment install, and network management.
  • Communications:
    • MAC (Move, Add, Change) freeze dates for the 2019 holiday season:
      1. Christmas and New Year’s Day: December 20 thru January 2.
      2. Caucus: January 29 – February 5.
    • CFO and Business Service Manager met with Iowa Association of Community Colleges at their annual gathering that included staff, community college presidents, trustees, legislators, and lobbyists.
    • Iowa Association of School Boards Annual Conference on November 20-21.
    • Released agency annual report on November 27.


Q: Chair Kniff McCulla – How many potential colleges are there within the State of Iowa?

A: Randy Goddard – community colleges, private colleges, and Board of Regents. There are 15 community colleges in the State. ICN currently provides services to all community colleges. Community colleges are certified users. We also provide services to multiple private colleges.

ICN Carrier Updates

Network Services Update – Ryan Mulhall

  • Outside Plant:
    • Fiber Cuts: ICN had two fiber cuts in November. Costs associated with both of them will be recoverable.
      1. Maquoketa to Dubuque, December 2
        1. Affected customers: 18.
        2. Reason: A farmer was working on an expired locate ticket to install a power line from property to the Right of Way. USIC is accepting responsibility due to locates being off by 36 inches.
        3. Outage Length: 5 hours.
        4. Restoral Action: Two temporary splice cases were set with a cable above ground to meet SLA followed by permanent repair on 12/6 with new cable and hand holes buried.
      2. Cedar Rapids, December 6 (DOT fiber)
        1. Affected customers: Iowa Workforce Development and Iowa Lottery (Cedar Rapids office).
        2. A contractor cut the fiber installing light poles for DOT along I-380 on an expired locate ticket.
        3. Length: 5 ½ hours.
        4. Restoral Action: Temporary fix. ICN rerouted customers to restore service. DOT had an I-380 lane closure set up for 12/10, and gave the go-ahead to perform the permanent repair.
  • ServiceNow:
    • We are working with our vendor INRY to implement the Customer Service Management (CSM) module within ServiceNow. We are unable to utilize our Service Catalog and all of the automation for our customer ordering on the customer portal portion of the CSM module. This presents an opportunity to rethink our customer portal and make it as customer-centric as possible. We will be paring down the amount of information that is required and only gathering information necessary for the order and that the customer should have readily available. Our goal is to drive more adoption to use the customer portal.
  • Windows 10:
    • We had NowMicro onsite to help upgrade our patching infrastructure. We will be migrating our machines and servers to the new patching server and begin testing across the organization. While this is going on, we have also been working with NowMicro to develop a Windows 10 image for the organization in preparation for moving to Windows 10. We will be testing the ability to push out the new operating system as well as receiving patches, and will look to have everyone on Windows 10 by January 10, as Windows 7 is set to be end of life on January 14.
  • Security Awareness Training:
    • The OCIO has finalized the purchase of the new security awareness training product, ProofPoint. They are in the process of creating the virtual learning environment and are beginning to test. They will be testing with agencies sometime in the near future as well, and when they complete their testing, we will work with them to implement the training across the organization. It is a policy of the OCIO and the ICN that all users complete yearly security awareness training, this includes the Commission, so expect to complete that sometime in the next month or two.



Operations/Engineering Update – Scott Pappan

  • 100GB Network Core Upgrade:
    • Over 60% of the 100GB core (Layer 2) has been installed. Currently installing new 100GB Native IP infrastructure on top of the 100GB Ethernet Network, which is operational.
    • All circuits are in the process of being moved off of the old Core to the new infrastructure.
    • Updating Juniper router software due to new patch. We are patching the Juniper equipment as we complete the Core upgrade.
  • E911 Multi-Node Hosted Platform:
    • Eleven public safety answering point (PSAP) sites have been installed.
    • Seven sites are engineered and orders issued to Fiber Network Services (FNS).
    • Opportunity is approximately 35 or more locations.
  • 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 in January.
  • 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. Circuits need to be moved.
    • Engineered 40 aggregation sites - two installed (Ciena 5142s).
    • Clinics: 58 installed and 15 pending orders (Ciena 3930s).
    • Total of 81 IRHTP equipment installations have been completed by FNS.
  • VMware Platform:
    • Internal / ICN Facing – Virtualization Upgrade:
      • Bringing up equipment for testing.
      • Purpose to support over 165 instances/servers internally.
    • Customer Facing – Virtualization:
      • Goal is to continue to develop a customer facing solution for our education and healthcare customers.
      • Currently have a ROI (return on investment) model being reviewed.  
  • 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, re-groom and decentralize our Check Point infrastructure and reevaluation of network facilities and huts.



Other Business:

Legislative Update – Mark Johnson

This is the last Commission meeting before the legislature goes into session. The legislature will convene on January 13.


Commissioner Olson made the Commission aware that Rep. Sorensen is proposing a bill to try to expand broadband, especially in Southwest Iowa. The bill is in the drafting stages, and no additional information was known.

  • ACTION – Maintenance Contracts Report – Mark Johnson

Under Chapter 8D the Commission is required to submit a Maintenance Contracts Report. It is a review of maintenance contracts and a recommendation for continued funding. This provision goes back to when the legislature was appropriating dollars for the operation of the Network. This report is something we have maintained, and it has been fairly static regarding the content and the review of the contracts.

Commissioner Holz moved to approve the proposed Maintenance Contracts Report. Commissioner Lange seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.



ITTC Committee Update – Staff/Commission

Customer and Services Committee – Randy Goddard

Meeting Date: December 11, 2019.
Attendance: Commissioner Lange, Lori Larsen, Ryan Mulhall, and Randy Goddard.

Topics Covered:

  • ICN’s authorized user requests. None.
  • New customers.
  • Requests for waivers from certified users. None.
  • Services: Firewall.
  • Sales outreach.
  • Customer complaints.
  • Service related issues: Ryan Mulhall covered fiber outages.

Finance Committee – Mike Cruise

Meeting Date: December 13, 2019.
Attendance: Commissioner Olson and Mike Cruise.

Topics Covered:

  • Review of financials as presented today.

Personnel Committee – Mark Johnson

Meeting Date: December 3, 2019.
Attendance: Chair Kniff McCulla, Commissioner Lapointe, and Mark Johnson.

  • Received an update regarding the two openings in the engineering and operations area, both offers were accepted.



Public Comment:



The ITTC meeting adjourned at 11:07 AM.