Dec. 19, 2006
MOREnet Council Meeting Minutes
Council Member Attendees: Robert Stein, Chair, Gary Allen, Cheryl Bielema, Annie Busch - via conference call, Margaret Conroy, Jeanie Gordon, Rita Gulstad, Karen Hicklin, Debbie Hughes and Bill Mitchell
Alternates Present: Dave Byland, Glenda Hunt, Barbara Reading, Tom Stokes, Deborah Sutton and Jim Tom
MOREnet Staff Present: Jennifer Doll, Sherry Loyd and Debbie Rodman
Guest present: Nikki Krawitz, Vice President Finance and Administration
Public Present: Jeremy Kintzel, DHE, and Debbie Musselman, SOS
MOREnet Council Chair Stein called the MOREnet Council meeting to order. Those who were in attendance are listed above.
Project Overview, Status, Next Steps
Bill Mitchell gave an overview of the NGN project, status and next steps, which included a review of the key elements of the project.
He reported that MOREnet and key UM administrators have seen CENIC's preliminary report. The report validates the design team recommendation of one physical network with two virtual networks within it. The final report is expected in early January.
Recent information from members has indicated the 1 Gig backbone upgrade due in January, 2007 will need to be increased to 2.5MB along I-70 in the summer of 2007. With this plan there will be a cost increase in the FY08 budget.
Chair Stein suggested that there is a possibility that other network requests could be presented by other members. Mitchell added that MOREnet has not precluded the possibility of other members offering funding for dedicated capacity within the infrastructure.
Chair Stein and Rita Gulstad requested growth information explaining the need for the I-70 backbone increase for summer, 2007, and for growth projections for UM and for the MOREnet Consortium supporting the two parallel 10 gig networks in the NGN design proposal. Mitchell advised the detail will be presented at a future meeting. Jim Tom reminded everyone that a fiber-optic channel has up to 64 light waves, which allows some room for error and that equipment costs are low.
Gary Allen reported that from the University's perspective, they won't be in a competitive position nationally without this type of infrastructure for the administrative, academic and research operations of the University. This framework will eliminate the need to buy connections that might possibly only be needed temporarily for research projects. He also added that the University intends no change in the relationship between MOREnet, the consortium and the Council.
Jeanie Gordon asked if MOREnet was working with the State. The State is currently awaiting bids back on their NGN. There may be opportunity to work together to provide back up for each other, etc. Tom Stokes added that MOREnet and the State are working cooperatively in replying to SB 121. He reported that Dan Ross hopes to have the State's NGN discussions finalized and implementation underway during 2007.
Nikki Krawitz, Vice President of Finance and Administration for the University of Missouri joined the meeting.
CENIC Network Design Report
The report was addressed in the above discussion. Mitchell indicated that the Council members should read the section in the meeting packet as it contains more detail. He asked that they advise MOREnet if they have any further questions.
Recommended Network Design and Implementation Timeline
Mitchell reviewed the network design and implementation timeline. The intent is to have the fiber RFP on the street in the late January/early February timeframe with responses due back within 90 days. While the RFP is out, the design team will work through equipment issues.
Annie Busch asked if the timeframe is realistic. Mitchell indicated that it is, however, there is not a lot of slack time. MOREnet is very focused on meeting the timeline dates. A detailed project plan is being revised to meet this timeline.
Nikki Krawitz shared that the NGN project is a top priority of the University of Missouri president.
Preliminary Cost Projections/Funding Plan
Jennifer Doll reviewed the preliminary cost projections/funding plan and reported that the plan has also been reviewed with University senior management. The budget shown will be revised to reflect the move from a 1 Gig to a 2.5 Gig along I-70. The budget shown did not include that change. She added that if the July deadline isn't met, there will be an additional cost due to the expiration of the option to use SURA fiber. There may be some cost differences between vendors and MOREnet has tried to account for those possibilities in their preliminary plan. Mitchell added that if the schedule slips and more managed service is needed prior to NGN being implemented, an additional cost will also occur. The total project budget at this time is $16.4M and could go up to $17M as the budget is refined.
Allen asked Doll to share the general philosophy of using a 5 year term. Doll indicated that by entering into an IRU for 20 years but paying for it over 5 years would allow for any changes in technology or changes in consortium needs. UM and MOREnet will have the fiber for an additional 15 years with close to a fixed cost unless incurred capacity is needed, and capacity increases can be accomplished via one-time costs. The significant cost savings shown between FY08 and FY09 will occur as local loop costs we currently pay decrease as the fiber network goes into place.
The preliminary plan utilizes $1.5M from the Plant Fund reserve and $2.3M from the Shared Network reserve, resulting in $3.8M from reserve funds. The $6.5M deficit will be covered by the University. MOREnet has submitted an appropriations request ($1.1M) for one-time costs of equipment fiber and if granted, will help offset certain costs. Chair Stein raised concern with zeroing out the Plant Fund reserve. Krawitz suggested shifting a portion of any year-end surplus back into the fund at the end of the year. The Council agreed that this would be appropriate.
The Council took a lunch break at 12:25pm. The meeting was called back to order at 12:55. Busch and Krawitz left for other meetings. Prior to leaving, Busch advised the Council of her support of the network plan and financial recommendation.
The Council would like to begin rebuilding the Plant Fund reserve during the next 5 years. The reserve is reviewed twice a year; once in preparation for the fiscal year start and again for mid-year budget revisions.
Gulstad would like to understand the process and the factors involved in forecasting network growth. Mitchell indicated that would be provided at a future Council meeting.
Cheryl Bielema moved to accept the network design, implementation timeline and the proposed funding model as presented. Gulstad seconded and it passed unanimously.
Mitchell reported that Dan Ross's office assisted MOREnet in scheduling a meeting with the Governor's staff. Bill Mitchell, Dan Ross, Margaret Conroy and Donna Imhoff were in attendance representing MOREnet. The Governor's staff in attendance was Larry Schepker, Marty Drewel, Marianne Mills, and Judy Eggen. All were very attentive and engaged.
Chair Stein requested that MOREnet begin to create scenarios based on several appropriations funding alternatives for FY08.
SB 121 Fiscal Note Request
MOREnet has received a Request for Fiscal Note (SB 121). Last year this was SB 1115 and didn't specify MOREnet as SB 121 does. MOREnet and constituents have until January 15 to respond and are working in conjunction with the Office of Administration. SB 121 was filed by Senator Nodler.
Due to agreement on the NGN project, it was decided by the Council to cancel the January 17 meeting. The 2007 meetings are as follows:
- February 16, 2007
- April 26, 2007
- July 12, 2007
Open Time for the Public to Address the Council
Chair Stein announced that due to his new position as Commissioner for the Department of Higher Education, he may be unable to make all of the Council meetings. Jeremy Kintzel will be attending all meetings and will be his alternate.
There was discussion of who would assume the Chair as this meeting is Stein's last as Chair. It was decided that Stein, Conroy and Schulte will discuss the state agency rotation schedule. Dave Byland also reminded the Council that the MOU indicates there is to be a Vice Chair.
Gulstad moved to adjourn at 1:30 p.m. Deb Sutton seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Council Meeting Action Items
- Staff to educate the Council on bandwidth projections and percentages indicating the need for a 2.5 Gig versus the original 1 Gig network.
- Staff to educate the Council on the process and factors used to forecast network growth.