MOREnet Council Meeting Minutes - Dec. 12, 2013

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Time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
December 12, 2013

Place: MOREnet Offices

Members present: Jacque Cowherd, Vice Chair, Jim Brown, John Gillispie, Leigh Ann Grant-Engle, John Heard, Mary Lou Hines (via phone for Gary Allen), Joel LaReau, Rusty Monhollon, Barbara Reading, Archie Sprengel

Alternates present: Debbie Musselman

MOREnet staff present: Natasha Angell, Lynn Burgan, Chip Byers, Sherry Loyd, Hank Niederhelm, Nikki Witting

Vice-Chair Jacque Cowherd called the MOREnet Council meeting to order. Those who were in attendance are listed above.

Vice Chair Cowherd called for a motion to approve the agenda. Joel LaReau moved to approve the agenda as distributed. Rusty Monhollon seconded the motion and all were in favor and it passed unanimously.


Minutes of the August 29, 2013 MOREnet Council Meeting – Approval

Vice Chair Cowherd asked for a motion to approve the draft meeting minutes. Archie Sprengel moved to approve the minutes as distributed. LaReau seconded and all were in favor and it passed unanimously.

FY15 Work in Progress Budget and Fees

FY15 Work in Progress Budget Projection – Endorsement

Lynn Burgan reviewed the materials provided in the meeting packet. Barbara Reading added that the REAL MOU amount is contingent on the legislature. John Gillispie agreed and added that it also depends on network growth and stability. The FY15 budget projection is not as conservative as in the past as MOREnet would prefer to not have additional surpluses. However, any deficits will come from previous surplus reserve.

Vice Chair Cowherd solicited a motion to approve the budget as presented. Reading moved to approve the budget. John Heard seconded and all were in favor and it passed unanimously.

FY15 Member Fees – Endorsement

Burgan reviewed the FY15 member fees for the Membership Service Packages (MSP), Managed Connection Fee (MCF), Network Connection Fee (NCF) and For-Fee Services (FFS). MSP 1-year and 3-year fees have remained flat since FY12 but will increase by 4% and 2% respectively in FY15 for members without an existing 3-year term MSP that spans into FY15 and/or beyond. This increase will be to offset inflationary increases in the cost to provide membership services. The MCF will be reduced by $400 for all MOREnet-managed connections. The NCF revenue will be reduced by 11.6% due to bandwidth growth and lower backbone and Internet costs. NCF discounts will range between 2.98%-12.65%. The goal is to hold FFS fees static while covering direct costs of providing the services. Members with a network connection will see a decrease (626 members), members with only a MSP will see an increase (60 members) and 20 members will pay the same as FY14. Reductions in the NCF are December 19, 2013 primarily due to fixed costs that have been built into the network. Revenue growth isn’t correlating to expenses due to that fixed cost. MSP fees are subjected to inflation due to that expense being mainly salaries and with those fees being held flat since FY12. Even with this increase, MSPs will barely break even. This is a step to address the cross subsidization cost structure between MSPs and the network that is hard to manage. Jim Brown indicated that he believed members would appreciate the incremental implementation strategy as it helps members with future planning. If endorsed, the FY15 fees will be announced to members the week of December 16th.

Reading shared that Burgan and Nikki Witting having been working with the State Library to help them understand how the fee increases will affect the public libraries. Scenarios were created to show the impact on the REAL program members by tier. Due to the information provided, MOSL is planning to make a small adjustment to the subsidy of one tier level due to the number of public libraries in that tier that will incur an increase in fees.

LaReau moved to approve the FY15 MCF, NCF and FFS fees as proposed. Jim Brown seconded and all were in favor and it passed unanimously.


Investment Projects Update - Information

Chip Byers reported that project budgets and MOUs with all grant recipients (Fulton 58, Grandview R-II, and University City Public Library) are in place and that the first year of grant funding has been distributed. Representatives from each institution attended a MOREnet all staff meeting to explain their project and report to-date observations. Getting MOREnet staff involved and interested is important as there are many areas to be addressed before these projects generate possible services to support other districts and public libraries.

Staff met with a subcommittee of MERC to start discussions around a higher education Federated Identify Management (FIM) research project. Last February a national InCommon (part of Internet2) pilot began and InCommon asked how state and regional organizations can help scale the pilot. MOREnet, along with several other pilot state and regional organizations, is trying to determine how these pilot organizations take over responsibility for the FIMs. A workshop is scheduled for February to discuss further and MOREnet hopes it will provide us with a better idea of to proceed with a higher education FIM research project.

Educational Broadband Service (EBS) Project – Information

MOREnet successfully demonstrated “substantial service” or educational use of all 13 licenses and filed the appropriate paperwork. Four districts who contributed a license have not received their radio link for the use of that license as they have not decided what they’re going to do with the radio or they are waiting for a current commitment to expire. MOREnet will continue to carry forward that cost ($80-100K) until decisions are made.

Optical Equipment Replacement/Upgrade Update – Information

Hank Niederhelm reported that the project is nearing completion. The project is broken into four phases and will occur in four successive maintenance windows (midnight to 6a) beginning on December 14th at 12:01 a.m. Should the expected storm interfere with a maintenance window, that window will be rescheduled for Monday or tacked on to the end of the four successive maintenance windows.

On December 11th MOREnet received a second pair of fiber between UMSL and Rolla and in two hours’ time successfully migrated over the current optical equipment to that new pair of fiber and implemented the new equipment on the existing pair of fiber. MOREnet staff are cautiously optimistic the complex upgrade will go well.

This upgrade will make MOREnet one of few Research and Education Networks in the country to support 100Gb. As a part of this project staff will be turning up 100Gig connectivity in production for a research grant the University of Missouri received. More importantly, there is a partnership with Internet 2 and they are putting a node at the Mizzou Telecom Building which means that not only will MOREnet be carrying MOREnet traffic, but Internet 2 traffic for the national research backbone will be carried across MOREnet’s infrastructure. Niederhelm added that this says a lot about the staff that manage and maintain the MOREnet network that the National networks understand the skills and abilities that the MOREnet networking staff have.

OA/DESE School Readiness Project – Information

This project started through discussions with the Office of Administration (OA) and the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE) in early September. Through some previous surveys, DESE had identified 681 school buildings that may not be ready for some online testing that will come in the 2014-2015 school year. Over the course of the last eight weeks, a significant outreach effort took place with nearly half of MOREnet’ s staff members contacting more than 350 school districts. There was a very good response rate with more than 90% of the schools being assessed. The Office of Social and Economic Analysis (OSEDA) is now doing analysis of the data and should be done with their analysis by the end of next week. The project is scheduled to wrap up by mid-February. The information provided will be used by OA and DESE to determine the readiness of the school districts. Staff was excited to be part of the effort and it was a pleasure to work with the districts, as well as OA and DESE staff.

Open Time for Council Members to Share Items of Interest

Sprengel shared that there is a large teacher education program at Southeast Missouri State University and with all of the schools in their area rolling out 1:1 initiatives they’re rolling out a 1:1 program in the College of Education this fall to help ensure K-12 teachers are prepared. He also reported that the staff enjoy the MOREnet regional meetings in their area as it gives them the opportunity to network with other MOREnet members in the area.

Reading shared that Byers and David Drum had recently attended the Missouri Public Library Director’s meeting and would be attending the Secretary’s Council meeting on Friday, December 13th to share a presentation on a potential eBook service offering.

Meeting Schedule

  • Tuesday, March 4, 2014 – 1:00-3:00pm via audio
  • Friday, June 27, 2014 – 10:00-2:00pm at MOREnet Offices
  • Friday, August 22, 2014 – 1:00-3:00pm via audio
  • Thursday, December 18, 2014 – 10:00-2:00pm at MOREnet Offices

Meeting adjourned at 11:36 a.m.
Respectfully Submitted by Sherry Loyd