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Technology Working Group Minutes

Technology Working Group Minutes

February 16, 2006
9:00 A.M.


Chair Burtner called the meeting to order at 9:04 a.m.


Members Present:
Tony Anderson
Larry Iboshi
Roger Burtner, Chair
Gerald Lucas
Fred Canfield
Cameron McCune
Scott Carroll
Robb Port
Mike Carter
Paul Stover, Vice Chair
Helen Hall

Members Absent
Richard Hartman
Carl Samantello

Jack Marshall, Director of Information Technology
City of Huntington Beach


Chair Burtner asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of January 5, 2006. With no corrections to be made, Fred Canfield moved that the minutes be accepted. Larry Iboshi seconded, and the minutes were approved unanimously, with the exception of Gerry Lucas and Robb Port abstaining because they had not attended the meeting.

Chair Burtner asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of January 26, 2006. Mr. Lucas pointed out that he and Robb Port had been incorrectly listed as absent. Helen Hall referred to the attendance records and made notations of the corrections to be made to the minutes. Chair Burtner asked for a motion to accept the minutes with attendance corrections. Helen Hall so moved. Mike Carter seconded, and the minutes with the corrections to attendance were unanimously approved, with the exception of Messrs. Canfield, Iboshi, and McCune abstaining since they had not attended the meeting.


Based on discussions at the January 26 meeting, the TWG agreed to agendize the recommendation to contract with Columbia Telecommunications Corporation to prepare a conceptual design for a fiber optic I-Net. Chair Burtner asked for a motion to that effect. Paul Stover moved, Larry Iboshi seconded, and the motion was carried by unanimous vote.
Chair Burtner stated that he had been in touch with Mitch Kotler, Tropos, who has agreed to work on the connectivity problem that Apple computers seem to have with FullertonWireless. Documentation of the problem and contact information for Tony Anderson and Carl Samantello were forwarded to Mitch.


Discussion Item 1: Creation of an educational/municipal (institutional) fiber/wireless network, FullertonNet

Discussion Regarding Ventura's I-Net with Jack Marshall, Huntington Beach

Chair Burtner introduced Jack Marshall, Director of Information Services for the City of Huntington Beach. Mr. Marshall had been invited to share with the TWG his experience with implementation of an institutional network (I-Net) in the City of Ventura (Mr. Marshall was formerly Ventura's IT Manager). A set of Mr. Marshall's notes are attached to these minutes.

Creation of Ventura's I-Net was negotiated at the time of the City's cable franchise renewals and was constructed in conjunction with the required franchise upgrade/ rebuild of the cable television systems. The I-Net currently links 62 local public agency sites owned by four different agencies. The agencies paid the incremental cost of construction for the I-Net. This cost was only about 25% of what it would have cost for the City to build it alone.

In 1998 the City of Ventura contracted with the Buske Group to perform a comprehensive evaluation of the two cable systems serving the City in preparation for renewal of franchise agreements with the two firms (Adelphia and Avenue TV Cable Services, now Wave Broadband) that owned them. Miller and Van Eaton provided legal advice and Columbia Telecommunications Corporation provided engineering assistance. In 1999 the firms issued reports that jointly recommended that both cable systems be completely rebuilt to conform with modern standards that included greatly expanded channel capacity, a wide variety of new interactive telecommunications services, and an integrated voice, video and data network that would interconnect public sector facilities within the City (the I-Net).

In 1999 the City issued a request for proposal for the cable operators to define requirements for new subscriber networks and detailed requirements for a fiberoptic I-Net to serve public agencies. Later that year the two cable companies agreed to franchise agreements which committed them to the construction of a new high-capacity subscriber network along with a fiberoptic I-Net to serve municipal needs. Soon afterwards the cable companies upgraded their cable systems and created an I-Net that initially consisted of dark fiber.

An I-Net Committee was created as a joint powers agency which includes representatives from the City of Ventura, the County of Ventura, the Ventura Unified School District and the Ventura County Community College District. The I-Net Committee is chaired by the City of Ventura Information Technology Manager. The responsibilities of the Committee were to 1) develop the initial I-Net design, 2) generate and evaluate RFPs for I-Net equipment and integration, 3) select the network integrator, 4) provide joint oversight of the integration, and create the I-Net Technical Sub-Committee to work with network operational details (ongoing). In late 2002 an RFP was issued for I-Net switches, connectivity and related equipment. In early 2003 Pacific Coast Cabling of Chatsworth, CA, was selected as the I-Net equipment vendor to complete the system. About one year later the I-Net became operational. This fiberoptic network now connects 23 sites for the City of Ventura, 26 for the Ventura Unified School district, 1 for the Ventura County Community College District, and 12 sites for the County of Ventura.

The network consists of a central loop of 24 fibers between two hubs located at city hall and a public safety building. Six fibers then run to each of the 62 sites. Each agency owns and maintains its own switches and pays an annual service fee depending upon the level of service that it wants. The cable companies maintain the fiber. The fixed cost for maintaining the network core and associated equipment is shared proportionately by the agencies depending upon the number of sites that each has connected to it.

The total cost to build the I-Net was $1,334,603. Most of the network is buried underground. $813,163 was paid to the cable companies and $521,440 to Pacific Coast Cabling. The system cost was divided between the four agencies on a proportional basis depending upon the number of sites for which each agency receives service.

The I-Net is currently being used to 1) replace leased telephone data lines, T-3 circuits and short-haul wireless, and 2) implement voice over IP telephone and streaming video presentations to classrooms (Ventura Unified School District). Future I-Net applications are likely to be 1) backhaul for City/commercial wireless hotspot zones, 2) remote TV broadcasts of Ventura City Council and other meetings to transport video and audio to community access broadcast facilities using V-Brick technology, 3) expansion of the voice over IP telephone system, and 4) Ventura Unified School District and Ventura City police dispatch monitoring of school activity cameras.

Discussion with Jack Marshall Regarding Verizon's Fiber-to-the-Home System in Huntington Beach

Verizon selected Huntington Beach to be one of the first communities on the West Coast where it would construct a fiber-to-the-home network. It selected Huntington Beach because the City had a very high percentage of broadband connections to the Internet. In addition, the fiber installation is aerial rather than underground. Initially Verizon is offering voice and data service, but not video. Video service will be RF, but eventually will be IPTV. Three tiers of service are currently being offered: 2 Mbps upstream and 5 Mbps downstream, 2 Mbps up and 15 Mbps down, and 5 Mbps up and 30 Mbps down. The cost is $35, $45, and $180 per month, respectively.

Pathway to the Future, A Fiber Optic Partnership

Chair Burtner played a DVD with the above title that was produced by the City of San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly State University - SLO. It was sent to Chair Burtner by William Statler, Director of Finance/City Treasurer, City of San Luis Obispo.

In 1996 the SLO City Council adopted the goal of creating a fiberoptic network that would connect city facilities. That same year city departments began a coordinated effort to install conduit throughout the City when other projects made it possible to do so. The City also was able to acquire at no cost 8 miles of 24-strand cable which it stored for future use. Several years later the City teamed with Cal Poly to create a high bandwidth network consisting of a central ring and laterals that connect outlying city facilities to the ring. Because SLO did not have the funds to create a separate system, SLO opened its conduit to Cal Poly which agreed to pay for the fiber and the cost to install it in the central ring.

Five organizations were involved in the design and construction of the network. They were SLO, Cal Poly, the Cal State University system, CENIC, and the local contractor. Cal Poly was responsible for the project design, cabling, installation and contracts. Cal Poly also connected the central network to CENIC's Internet 2 backbone and the Asia Pacific fiber network making it a Point of Presence which is served by multiple carriers.

Although many problems had to be overcome, the benefits far surpass the problems that were encountered. The central ring now contains 168 strands of fiber, 24 of which are dedicated to SLO. Gaps in the conduit have been filled. The fiber that had been stored by SLO was used in the laterals to connect outlying facilities. 17 sites have now been connected to the network which supports data, voice, radio and telemetry services. 8.7 miles of the network fiber are shared by SLO and Cal Poly and 6.7 miles are used by SLO alone. The network was completed in 2003 and cost a total of $840,000. $770,000 of the project cost was paid by Cal Poly and $70,000 by SLO. Telecommunication costs have been significantly reduced and bandwidth has been greatly increased.

Because of the length of the presentations, the remaining agendized discussion items were tabled until the following meeting.




Scott Carroll provided a copy of an article regarding Verizon's Anaheim network. Helen Hall indicated she would have copies made for the TWG members.

Fred Canfield reiterated his offer to provide booth space at Railroad Days for demonstration of FullertonWireless the first weekend in May, noting that the Fullerton Parks & Recreation Department will have a booth there.


There being no further business, a motion for adjournment was made by Helen Hall and seconded by Cameron McCune, and was unanimously approved by the members present. The meeting adjourned at 10:32 a.m.


Jeff Marshall's Notes