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Technology Working Group Minutes

Technology Working Group Minutes

March 30, 2006
9:00 A.M.


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


Members Present:
Tony Anderson
Helen Hall
Roger Burtner, Chair
Gerald Lucas
Fred Canfield
Cameron McCune

Note: Mike Carter arrived after roll call.

Members Absent
Scott Carroll
Robb Port
Richard Hartman
Carl Samantello
Larry Iboshi
Paul Stover, Vice Chair


Chair Burtner asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of February 16, 2006. With no corrections to be made, Fred Canfield moved that the minutes be accepted. Gerald Lucas seconded, and the minutes were approved unanimously.

Chair Burtner asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of March 9, 2006. With no corrections to be made, Helen Hall moved that the minutes be accepted. Fred Canfield seconded, and the minutes were approved unanimously.


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

Status of contract with Lee Afflerbach and I-Net conceptual design

Chair Burtner pointed out that Joe Felz had previously confirmed to him that the contract had been signed, and asked Helen if there was anything more to report at this time. Helen indicated that she had not heard from Lee Afflerbach since their initial meeting. Chair Burtner reminded the group that it would be approximately six weeks from the contract date before the City could expect to see some initial drawings, and the six weeks should coincide with the TWG's next meeting date.

Power Users Group

Chair Burtner pointed out that Vice Chair Paul Stover had initiated a discussion at the last meeting regarding establishing a Power Users Group consisting of Fullerton students. At the March 9 meeting, Carl Samantello had indicated that he would meet with the school district superintendent to discuss the Power Users Group. Carl was not in attendance at this meeting, but Chair Burtner indicated he had received an email from Carl stating that he had met with the superintendent, and Carl had been directed to contact Chair Burtner and Helen Hall for more information.

Chair Burtner pointed out that at a meeting the previous day of the nonprofit group JDC (Job Development Council), of which he is a member, the JDC had indicated they are very amenable to having the TWG use the JDC's nonprofit status for fundraising to support a Power Users program.

Cameron McCune indicated that the Fullerton School District is in the process of establishing a foundation to support technology within the K-8 district, which may be of help to the TWG. Chair Burtner noted that the district's program was primarily directed at the district's laptop program, but Cameron indicated that the foundation is geared to supporting technology within all of the schools.

Creation of an I-Net

Chair Burtner suggested that the discussion pertaining to funding sources be postponed to a meeting when Assistant to the City Manager Joe Felz could attend. He indicated that Joe's presence was important for that discussion because of the various sources of funding - from transportation, redevelopment, e-rate differentials, to even the possibility of a bond issue.

Cameron stated that part of the interest he and Tony Anderson had of participating in the TWG is trying to bring Internet connection to Fullerton's lower, socioeconomic schools, and indicated that it is their hope to find a way of working together on that (the TWG and the school district).

Chair Burtner pointed out that one possibility of accomplishing this would be to create the fiberoptic network connecting the various sites, but until the backbone of the wireless system is installed, it becomes more difficult and expensive.

Fred Canfield indicated that he had read in the morning paper that Anaheim has signed an agreement with AT&T to implement Project Lightspeed that eliminates franchise fees, although Anaheim will receive a portion of system revenues. (Note: AT&T claims that as a teleco it is not subject to the requirement to pay franchise fees. Anaheim is the first city in California to break ranks with other California cities that have opposed Project Lightspeed because of the controversy regarding payment of franchise fees.) Helen noted that Anaheim had also signed the agreement with Earthlink to provide wireless Internet services to its citizens.

Chair Burtner indicated the franchise fees are a complicated area, and there has been discussion of having a master franchise agreement at the state level, which would probably still retain a 5-6% fee, which would presumably go to the cities. He further indicated that Verizon and AT&T have been lobbying hard not to have to go to the individual municipalities to negotiate everything, because they view it as an obstacle to accomplishing things in a timely manner. Yet the cable companies are more inclined to put obstacles in place, in a sense, to make it more difficult to compete. Competition over video services is really the issue.

Helen Hall mentioned that she had been contacted by a representative from Nextphase (Fullerton's ISP provider for the WiFi in the downtown area) indicating that Nextphase had another proposal for Fullerton regarding new technology that the City might want to consider. Nextphase is looking for a pilot city to test the technology. Helen indicated she would pass the contact info on to Chair Burtner for follow-up.

Item 2: Review of Action Items

Memorandum of Understanding. Chair Burtner asked the representatives from the educational institutions (Cameron McCune, Tony Anderson, and Mike Carter) to review the sample memorandum of understanding received from Santa Monica. Tony Anderson noted that they needed to begin to think how they might draft one representing their own organizations.

Speakers: Chair Burtner indicated that Paul Stover had proposed someone from his school, Wayne Smith or Tom Horan, for example, as a potential speaker to the TWG. Chair Burtner suggested John Galgay, founder and CEO of Metropoint, who he met recently. Mr. Galgay was apparently a part of the consultant team that worked with Jan McClintock in Fontana on its proposed project of a municipal-owned fiberoptic overbuild, which would bring fiber to all buildings in the City of Fontana. It was an aggressive program, with a feasibility study cost of $700,00, resulting in a project estimated to cost $90 million. Mr. Galgay subsequently founded his own company and was looking to do an open access system in a city - meaning that it would be a network neutral system in that any qualified ISP or provider would have access to the system. It would not be controlled by a Verizon or an AT&T, which might have different tiers or levels of service and promote their own service. UTOPIA in Utah created a similar open access network that has the capability of providing up to 100 megabits per second synchronous data rates, which means the same bandwidth in both directions.

Item 3: Status of Fullerton/Wireless

Chair Burtner noted that Helen had informed the group at the last meeting that Tropos had resolved the Mac connectivity problems by making changes in the firmware; however, it was reported that connectivity problems are still being experienced.

Tony Anderson suggested that members of the TWG needed to take a Mac and a wireless PC and drive throughout the city testing multiple access points with both platforms. He noted that he could walk into one of the City's libraries (which are wireless from another vendor) and have rock solid connectivity, so he did not believe it was a platform issue because both use the same international standards. Helen indicated the connectivity should be consistent, whether you're in the library or elsewhere in the city.

Helen volunteered to have her staff do the testing and report back to CDCE any issues they experienced, if Tony would lend her a Mac. Tony agreed.

Chair Burtner asked Helen if she was seeing any bandwidth problems in terms of it slowing down. Helen indicated that if there are a fair number of users (noting that there can be as many as 30 to 40 simultaneous users) using as much bandwidth as the City allows each user, one will see a slowdown.

Mike Carter stated that at Hope University they have an access point in their library (a Cisco), and after about 25 or so connections, they start having trouble keeping the connection - not just slowing down, but losing the connection. He was not sure if it was a result of everyone congregating in a certain spot or having too many connections.

Helen indicated that she suspected that the radio near Starbucks at Chapman and Harbor is probably the busiest. She stated that according to CDCE, the more connections one has at any given access point, the sooner one sees a degradation of service.

Tony Anderson asked Helen if the City had traffic analysis tools to determine where traffic had been. Helen indicated that the City does, and that she would pull up some of the reports and distribute copies to the TWG members for their review.

Chair Burtner pointed out that the City only has one backhaul connection to City Hall. The access points along Commonwealth can communicate directly with City Hall, but for the more remote locations, they only have one Motorola canopy backhaul from Villa del Sol to City Hall. Installing an I-Net with one of the drops at the museum, for example, would increase the number of gateway points and reduce the number of hops required to get back to City Hall, thereby improving bandwidth.




April 6 and 7 Paul Stover, Gerald Lucas, and Roger Burtner will be attending the Loma Linda Workshop on FTTP Networks.

March 22 and 23, Chair Burtner attended the FirstMile.US Spring 2006 Conference held at the new Calit2 building on the University of California San Diego campus. The Calit2 building has a 100 Gbps pipe. Chair Burtner reviewed the comments of a few of the speakers.

Larry Smarr, Director of the Calit2 program, regaled attendees with his description of the soon-to-be need for 1 Gbps to every home. At Calit2 they are experimenting with sending 1000 wavelengths at 10 Gbps on a single fiber and switching wavelengths not packets. He wowed attendees with descriptions of Gigapixel wallpaper made with organic light-emitting diodes and full 3D videoconferencing without glasses. He estimated that within 15 years we will need a terabit per second pipe into our homes.

Videoconferencing at 1 Gbps was demonstrated at the conference to a packed auditorium. Images of the CineGrid team at the University of Southern California were projected on a large screen at the front of the auditorium at a resolution of 4000x2000 pixels. The resolution was so high that the conferees nearly jumped off the screen. Other demonstrations of images sent at 1 Gbps were similarly striking. At one point project teams in Argentina, Chile, Brazil and the United States engaged in a real-time videoconference at 1 Gbps.

Bill St. Arnaud, CANARIE, spoke to attendees via videoconference. He has long promoted facilities-based competition in the last mile and open access, but admitted that they are hard to achieve. He proposed that the most successful business model for many will be the customer-owned network for the last mile. It is the one that the TWG has settled upon as the best model for the Fullerton I-Net.

Dewayne Hendricks, Dandin Group, reported that he is creating a wireless mesh that will cover all of Sandoval County between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM, with a combination of WiFi, WiMax and fiber that will provide primary Internet connectivity for an area of 3,700 square miles. Sandoval County set up a public/private corporation called ollagrande.net and issued an RFP in September 2004 for a feasibility study for a broadband network with data rates greater than the cablecos and telecos offer. Dewayne is building WiFi 802.11n radios that are capable of operating on at least 2 different frequencies, 2.4 and 5 GHz, at data rates of up to 100Mbps. The mesh network control software is open source. The network is expected to cost about $9 million. National Lambda Rail, the national high speed data network, is being used as the Internet exchange point. School children have been recruited to design the web portal, something that has been proposed that we do with regards to the FullertonWireless portal.

The final speaker was Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco, who stated that San Francisco has seen a lot of knowledge-based industries migrate out of San Francisco. To counter this San Francisco is setting up a digital media campus for workforce development. Cal State San Francisco is partnering with the City to develop digital media programs. Similar programs are being developed in the public schools. The Community College of San Francisco has set up programs to train persons in the skills needed to support the new telecom technologies. Mayor Gavin believes that all cities should have free WiFi connectivity to the Internet. The City is developing a two tiered system with Google and Earthlink in which Google supports free WiFi at a lower bandwidth than Earthlink's subscription service at 1 Gbps. San Francisco is establishing free WiFi in its public housing projects and setting up training sites with donated Dell and used PCs. The City is also setting up an industrial park for green technologies which will be given special tax breaks.

The next meeting of the TWG will be April 20.


There being no further business, Chair Burtner asked for a motion to adjourn. The motion to adjourn was made by Tony Anderson and seconded by Gerry Lucas. With unanimous approval, the meeting adjourned at 9:54 a.m.