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TWG Minutes - October 9, 2008

CITY OF FULLERTON

TECHNOLOGY WORKING GROUP

MEETING MINUTES

October 9, 2008

9:00 A.M.

 

 

CALL TO ORDER       Vice Chair Stover called the meeting to order at 8:58 a.m.

 

ROLL CALL                 Members Present

                                                Fred Canfield                        Thad Sandford

                                                Larry Iboshi                            Paul Stover, Vice Chair       

                                                Carl Samantello                   

                                               

                                                Members Absent

                                                Roger Burtner, Chair            Harry Lamberth

                                                Mike Carter                            Ed Smith

 

                                                Helen Hall and Madusha Palliyage arrived after roll call.

 

                                                Staff:

                                                Rob Ferrier, Assistant to the City Manager

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Vice Chair Stover asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of August 28, 2008.  With no changes, Fred Canfield moved approval of the minutes.  The motion was seconded by Thad Sandford, and the minutes were unanimously approved.

 

DISCUSSION ITEMS

 

1.         Creation of an educational/municipal (institutional) fiber/wireless network,

            FullertonNet

 

ISMS Evaluation Plan Update

 

Mr. Ferrier reiterated the information documented in the August 28 minutes, i.e., a subcommittee of the TWG, consisting of Chair Burtner, Thad Sandford, representatives of both the elementary and high schools districts, as well as Mr. Ferrier, had convened to review the proposals submitted in response to the evaluation study RFP.  The subcommittee had unanimously concluded that ISMS' proposal best met the needs of the parties involved.  Mr. Ferrier reported that the project pricing and scheduling details had been worked out with ISMS, and the contract was ready to sign, pending receipt of required insurance certificates.  Mr. Ferrier indicated that he had directed Administrative Services to prepare a purchase order for the contract, and the consultant can begin work upon the City's payment of the initial invoice, which should take place by the end of October.  Project completion is anticipated by mid December.  He further noted that the City would pay their $25,000 share of the consultant's $40,000 fee, and would invoice the school district for the remaining $15,000.

 

It was noted that completion by mid December is actually about a month behind the original project schedule, which results in Mr. Samantello not having the information available to him in time for his preparation of the 470 filing.  He pointed out, however, that the primary purpose of the study was to provide supportive information for the governing bodies to assist them in their decision making process.  Mr. Canfield noted that once the consultant started the project, communication with them might answer some of Mr. Samantello's needs.

 

Mr. Iboshi questioned whether the Memorandum of Understanding between the City and the School District contained any time constraints.  Ms. Hall reported there were no such constraints in the agreement between the two parties.

 

Ms. Hall noted that once the consultant begins work, her division (Information Technology) will become heavily involved, and asked who the designated contact person would be for the City.  After a brief discussion, it was decided that a project kickoff meeting should be convened with the consultant to identify all of the players and contact info for each of the agencies. 

 

 

ISMS Request for Comparison Matrix

 

Vice Chair Stover suggested that it might be useful if ISMS' work product include a comparison matrix to allow a more efficient look at all of the different options under consideration.  Mr. Sandford noted that the contract requires ISMS to evaluate the options and provide the pros and cons of each, and the clearest way to express that information would be in a spreadsheet format.  Therefore, the comparison is already a part of the contract, but the term "matrix" was not specifically used.  Mr. Stover requested that at the initial meeting with the consultant, for clarification purposes, a comparison matrix format be requested specifically.

 

 

Time-Warner Offer to FJUHSD

 

Mr. Samantello reported that he had been contacted by Time-Warner to discuss a proposal to build a fiber network for the school district.  Time-Warner has a SPIN and is an official FCC-registered telco provider, so their business model is very similar to the one proposed by Synesis, i.e., build the network to whatever design needs specified by the district, and then lease the network back to the district.  

 

Mr. Samantello met with the Time-Warner sales rep.  Time-Warner had recently completed a similar project for Downey Unified, which included a 10 meg point-to-point circuit between their schools and district office (cost:  basic rate of $1200/month).  Taking into consideration the $1200/month was a non-discounted rate, and considering the E-rate discounts FJUHSD would be eligible for, not including Teleconnect discounts (52% right now based on the national school lunch program numbers), the FJUHSD might be looking at $600/month.  Considering that is close to what FJUHSD is currently paying for four T-1s, it would be very difficult for the district to turn a blind eye to a 10 meg fiber network, especially since Time-Warner is proposing to build any kind of topology the FJUHSD would want.

 

Mr. Ferrier questioned whether the FJUHSD would remain involved in the I-Net project if they chose to move in the direction of Time-Warner.  Mr. Samantello clarified that he and the school board are very supportive of the TWG's proposed I-Net, but he would like to at least entertain the idea, if a decision is made (e.g., the current design for the I-Net is approved), and the City is still not ready to proceed, that the FJUHSD could take that design to Time-Warner and ask what it would take to build part of it and make it ready for whenever the City wanted to come on board.  Mr. Samantello indicated he would be very open to having that discussion with Time-Warner.

 

With that being said, however, Mr. Samantello stated that he has had a longstanding complaint for all of the cable franchises because he knows that they are supposed to be providing some level of free services to the schools out of the franchise agreement with the City.  Mr. Samantello suggested to the sale rep that he would be willing to meet with Time-Warner, but they should be prepared to discuss what Time-Warner is supposed to be providing to the schools for free.  In the follow-up meeting with Time-Warner, Mr. Samantello learned each school site is entitled to receive a single cable feed to the site's "head-in" device and a DSL-type circuit, at no cost to the school.  While Mr. Samantello found this very interesting, he expressed that he would like to see the actual franchise agreement between Time-Warner and the City to determine with certainty what Time-Warner is supposed to be providing to the schools, because if there are services available, Mr. Samantello wants the district to take advantage of every one.  Mr. Samantello also suggested that the City should be engaged in discussions with Time-Warner at this same level.

 

Mr. Sandford noted that the school district is in a very strong negotiating position, and when Mr. Samantello's 470 is published, the school district may receive a wide range of bids and approaches. 

 

Mr. Stover pointed out that Time-Warner has been aggressive with its tiered approach for services – essentially trying to get people to pay top dollar for faster speeds.  He noted that his concern is that we're in the process of creating a new-age digital divide as a result of this, because clearly not everyone will be able to afford the faster speeds, which will only result in the slower speeds getting slower.  And considering the changing demographics of the City (based on the national school lunch program figures Mr. Samantello had provided), the City may need to start looking at the community a little differently.  Where are these people?  Where are they being accounted for?  How are they getting their services now?  He stated that providing the best possible services at the best possible levels to everyone is the core mission of the TWG.

 

While Mr. Stover noted Time-Warner's aggressive approach with the school district, he questioned why Time-Warner was not just as aggressive with the City to get something done, and hoped that the process of this evaluation study would help in promoting such an across-the-table discussion.

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Anaheim Homeland Security Grant

 

Helen Hall reported that the City of Anaheim has received their Homeland Security funding ($389,000) to lay fiber between Anaheim and Fullerton, which will support a dedicated 911 system for Anaheim's police helicopters that are based at Fullerton Airport.   The route of the fiber will be 91 freewayàHarboràCommonwealthàFullerton P.D.àCity HallàFullerton Airport.  Ms. Hall reminded the TWG members that when this project was originally proposed, the TWG agreed it would be the perfect opportunity to lay in additional strands of fiber for the proposed I-Net.  Ms. Hall indicated that the project will be getting underway, i.e., Anaheim has already asked Fullerton what they need to do to trench the streets in Fullerton.  Ms. Hall and other staff will be meeting with Fullerton's Director of Engineering on October 10 to discuss the project requirements.

 

Mr. Samantello noted that the biggest cost of laying fiber is trenching the streets, so it would be advantageous to the City to just lay in empty conduit while the trenches are open.  He suggested that perhaps the City could bear that cost initially, noting that, depending on the contract with Anaheim, Fullerton workers might even be able to come in behind the vendor and lay the fiber themselves.

 

Mr. Stover suggested that this information be brought to the attention of ISMS, at the kickoff meeting, as an adjunct to the evaluation study for the I-Net.

 

Mr. Ferrier pointed out that this is Anaheim's project (their grant) and that Fullerton is a beneficiary of the project because of Anaheim's presence at the Fullerton Airport. 

 

Earthlink Radios

 

Mr. Stover asked Ms. Hall for an update on the Earthlink radios that might be available from their assets in Anaheim.  Ms. Hall reported that she had contacted Anaheim and was told that Earthlink is not currently doing anything in Anaheim, and it may take several months before she can get any information.  Mr. Stover suggested that she be a little more aggressive about getting the information, considering the radios are old, and if someone does not get them and put them into use, they will essentially rust on the pole.   Since Ms. Hall had reported that two radios in the downtown Fullerton area were not working, Mr. Stover suggested that this would be worth checking with Anaheim again, as Earthlink's radios would be suitable replacements at significantly less cost.

 

Golden Guardian – Shakeout Scenario

 

Mr. Samantello asked if the City would be participating in the Shakeout Scenario planned for November 13, noting that he had been informed that the school district would be participating. 

 

Note:  The "Great Southern California ShakeOut" is part of the Golden Guardian 2008 Exercise sponsored by the California Office of Homeland Security to be held November 13-18.  The ShakeOut will be the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history.  The full-scale exercise scenario focuses on a simulated, catastrophic 7.8 magnitude earthquake along the southern portion of the San Andreas fault, and will concentrate on Emergency Operations Center (EOC) coordination and communication response.   Over 4.5 million people in Southern California (752,000 from Orange County) are currently registered to participate in the ShakeOut Drill on November 13.  For more information and/or to volunteer, go to www.shakeout.org.

Mr. Ferrier reported that the City's EOC coordinator will be conducting an in-house run-through of assignments for City staff.  For the exercise planned for November 13, Fire Station 6 will be the City's EOC.   Ms. Hall pointed out that communication will be a critical piece of the exercise, and Station 6 has been set up with virtual servers with wireless redundancy. 

Mr. Stover suggested that this event be agendized for the next TWG meeting for further discussion, and requested that the TWG be somehow represented in this significant event or at least be informed of what is involved regarding the city's preparedness for communications during a disaster.  Ms. Hall stated she would contact the battalion chief to see if TWG members could be invited to observe the emergency training exercise.

Ms. Hall suggested that she ask her network specialists to attend the next meeting to discuss communications, wireless, and security.

Mr. Ferrier pointed out that government employees go through NIMS (National Incident Management System) and ICS (Incident Command System) training. 

Note:  NIMS was developed under presidential directive so that responders from different jurisdictions and disciplines can work together more efficiently to respond to natural disasters and emergencies, including acts of terrorism.  Through ICS training, NIMS provides a unified approach to incident management, standard command and management structures, and emphasis on preparedness, mutual aid, and resource management.

Mr. Stover suggested that it would be very advantageous to have the TWG members certified in this type of training.  Mr. Ferrier pointed out that the Fire Department is very proactive in training interested citizens for disaster preparedness through the CERT program. 

Note:  CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

Ms. Hall indicated that certification training is available for committee members.  She stated she would inquire on behalf of the TWG as to the next CERT training, and perhaps the entire committee could participate in the training program as a group and become certified.  She indicated she would email the TWG members with the information.

ITEMS FOR NEXT MEETING

ISMS/Time-Warner Update – Rob Ferrier, Carl Samantello

Anaheim/Earthlink Radios Update – Helen Hall

Anaheim's DHS (Dept. of Homeland Security) Funding for Fiber to Airport – Helen Hall

Emergency Preparedness Information Update – Rob Ferrier, Helen Hall

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

None

 

OTHER COMMENTS

None

 

ADJOURNMENT

With no further business, Vice Chair Stover adjourned the meeting at 10:05.

 

 

Next meeting scheduled for October 30.

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