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January 24, 2007, 10:00 AM -12:00 Noon CT

Lincoln Executive Bldg, Suite 103, 521 S 14th St., Lincoln, NE
Columbus Public Library, Columbus Rm., 2nd Fl., 2504 14th St., Columbus, NE
Northeast Community College, MaClay Bldg.-Rm. 122, 801 East Benjamin Ave., Norfolk, NE
Educational Service Unit #16, Distance Learning Rm., 1221 W 17th  St, North Platte, NE
UNMC, Poynter Hall, Rm. 5014, Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE


Members and Alternates Present: Stacey Aldrich, Chris Anderson, Scott Bovick, Don Costello, John Jordison, Brandon Kelliher, Brad McPeak, Michael Nolan, Ted Smith, Max Thacker, Jerry Vap, Steve Williams and Duane Wycoff.

Members Absent: K.C. Belitz, Len Benson, Linda Fettig, Norene Fitzgerald, Donna Hammack, and Lynn Manhart

Opening Business


Co-chair Ted Smith called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m.  There were eleven voting members present at the time of roll call.  A quorum existed to conduct official business.  It was stated the meeting announcement was posted on the NITC Web site and on the Nebraska Public Meeting Web site on December 21, 2006,and that the agenda was posted on January 19, 2007. A copy of the Nebraska Open Meetings Act was located on the entry table.


A correction was made to the first sentence of “Broadband Services Task Force” under the “Updates” section to read as follows, “The next task force is meeting is scheduled for Wednesday morning and it has been meeting on a regular basis.”

Mr. Williams moved to approve the July 24, 2006 with the recommended sentence correction.  Mr. Vap seconded.  All were in favor.  Motion carried by majority voice vote.


There was no public comment.


The agenda item was tabled until later a future meeting.


Overview of Statewide Technology Plan Process, Brenda Decker, CIO for the State of Nebraska.  The NITC approves strategic initiatives as part of its planning process.  Currently, there are 8 initiatives:

  • Nebraska Statewide Telehalth Network
  • Network Nebraska
  • Statewide Synchronous Video Network
  • Community IT Planning and Development
  • Digital Education
  • State Government Efficiency
  • e-Government
  • Security and Business Resumption

The NITC's advisory councils are responsible for developing action plans to support these initiatives. The 2007 Statewide Technology Plan is under development.  At their February meeting, the NITC will review and approve the advisory councils’ recommendations and action plan items.  The NITC has expressed strong interest in eHealth.  Lt. Governor Sheehy has has recommended that this be a separate initiative and that an eHealth Council be established.

Mr. Nolan and Dr. Wycoff joined the meeting.

2005-2006 NITC Strategic Initiatives & CC action plans

IT Planning 2005-2006 Action Plan

Update on Podcasting Across Nebraska.  The NITC received 33 applications from communities to participate in the Podcasting Across Nebraska program.  All had innovative ideas and it was difficult to select only four communities.The four communities and regional groups selected to participate are South Sioux City, North Platte/Lincoln County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Highway 14 Association, and Panhandle Public Health District.  South Sioux City has received training and equipment and is ready to implement the project.  All other communities have scheduled their training.  Ms. Byers thanked the University of Nebraska partners, Nebraska Lied Main Street program, Apple Computer and the Division of Tourism.

Update on TIGER Mini Grants.  Last year 5 mini-grants were awarded.  Three grants were completed within 6 months of the award. Two grants are finishing up. The City of Aurora is done and received additional grant monies to re-energize the technology center. The Burt County Extension project was to create a business portal for community businesses.  It had some difficulty with a contractor at the beginning of the project but now the project is progressing.

Nebraska Statewide Telehealth Network 2005-2006 Action Plan

Mr. Thacker stated that a governing board for the telehealth network has been established.  The board consists of representatives of the hub site hospitals and the University of Nebraska (for Network Nebraska).  They held their first meeting this month.  Donna Hammack has been elected chair.  For the first meeting, discussions focused on the organizational structure of committees.  A Clinical Practice Committee was established.  The Governing Board will be meeting on a monthly basis.  Technical testing of the telehealth network continues. The overall infrastructure will be completed with the installation at Lincoln.

2007 NITC Strategic Initiatives

IT Planning - Proposed 2007 Community Council Action Plans

Members had no recommended changes and/or additions to the action plan.

Ms. Byers informed members that the podcast training is available to any community at $39/person. 

Kit Keller agreed to do an article on U-Tube.  Ms. Byers asked members to send ideas for TANgents newsletter and/or website.

The question was raised as to how the Podcasting Across Nebraska project will be evaluated.  Ms. Byers stated that all projects were asked to submit a plan of work, and were expected to provided completed dates and outcomes as part of their report. Ms. Aldrich suggested the “Chihuly” glass art project as a possible podcast project.  Another suggestion was to provide an award to a community who has implemented a podcast project.

Discussion and questions occurred regarding providing wireless services and hot spots to the general public.  Can the state assist businesses with any these types of services?  Ms. Decker stated that currently there are no state regulations regarding wireless hotspots in a private business.  Another question raised was, “Is there any regulations preventing communities providing WIFI capabilities for citizens?” The State of Nebraska provides wireless services in the state capitol to the public.  Our attorney interpreted the statute that if we provide it in a public place for free, we are not in violation of any laws. 

Mr. Jordison moved to approve the action items as presented.  Mr. Vap seconded. Roll call vote:  Aldrich-Yes, Anderson-Yes, Bovick-Yes, Costello-Yes, Jordison-Yes, Kelliher-Yes, McPeak-(Not present), Nolan-Yes, Smith-Yes, Thacker-Yes, Vap-Yes, Williams-Yes, and Wycoff-Yes.  Results: Yes-12, No-0.  Motion carried.

Telehealth - Proposed 2007 Community Council Action Plans

The NITC has been very supportive of the telehealth network. The telehealth action items reflect ways the NITC may continue to support the telehealth network.   A Telehealth Governing Board has been established.  Ms. Hammack serves as chair and recommended that the Governing Board have an opportunity to review these as well.

Discussions continue regarding the sharing of networks. The needs and requirements for a telehealth and education network are different.  The policy issues are different as well. The telehealth network is vital to the state and should be developed to its highest capabilities.  The telehealth network scheduling system will be demonstrated to the Technical Panel at its next meeting.  The federal USAC has regulations and requirements that need to be addressed. Commissioner Anne Boyle serves on the USAC board and was recommended as a contact person. 

Dr. Wycoff moved that the council work with the Telehealth Governing Board to further develop the action items for the telehealth initiative. Mr. Jordison seconded.  Roll call vote:  Wycoff-Yes, Williams-Abstain, Vap-Yes, Thacker-Yes, Smith-Yes, Nolan-Yes, McPeak-(Not present), Kelliher-Yes, Jordison-Yes, Costello-Yes, Bovick-Yes, Anderson-Yes, and Aldrich-Yes.  Results: Yes-11, No-0, Abstain-1.  Motion carried.

Proposed eHealth Council, Brenda Decker.  Over past several years, regional eHealth groups have formed, but there has been no statewide coordination of efforts. Lieutenant Governor Sheehy’s goal is for different groups from across the state to collaborate to address these issues.  The State of Nebraska has applied for federal grants but has not  been funded due to the lack of broad executive structure and support.  He believes the NITC can provide that structure and support.  He will recommend to the NITC that there be a separate eHealth Council.  The council itself will consist of a broad representation from the health industry. This council would serve as a clearinghouse of information and efforts for the state.  When the council has been approved by the NITC, the Community Council will need to determine changes to their charter. Members expressed concerns about duplicating efforts and/or initiatives and communication between the groups. The Office of the CIO would expect the Community Council and eHealth Council to collaborate. 


Broadband Serices Task Force Final Report. Anne Byers stated that the report has been completed and is on the NITC Web site (link above). 

IT Legislation. The NITC web site lists IT legislation that may be of interest to the NITC and its advisory councils.  If members are aware of any legislation that is not listed, please inform staff.  It is kept up-to-date and will include any legislative hearings.

NUSF 65 Docket. The docket was opened a week ago.  It will investigate to see if the USF fund can be utilized for broadband services.  Currently there is no requirement in place that states they cannot.  The docket is open for public comment.  The Public Service Commission will have a hearing before it takes action.

K-12 Distance Education Network (LB 1208 Implementation), Brenda Decker. The RFP1752Z1 (network services/Internet/networking equipment) was released on November 16, 2006. The Office of the CIO has issued an intent to award to Qwest and Windstream for Wide Area Networking, Qwest for Internet services, and MSI for equipment. Cisco equipment will be discounted at 41.5% off of list price by MSI and will be available throughout the term of the State purchase contract. All education entities defined in LB 1208 and all political subdivisions in Nebraska are eligible to buy off of the contract. The implementation of LB 1208 so far has been a very large undertaking. All Phase 1 schools and educational service units had to submit a Letter of Agency to the CIO. The USF Form 471 applications for these 2007-08 services must be submitted by all K-12 entities prior to February 7th. The next RFP that will be released will be for videoconferencing equipment.


Ms. Byers will poll the council members as to their availability for the next meeting.

Mr. Williams moved to adjourn.  Mr. Nolan seconded.  All were in favor.  Motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:59 a.m.


Minutes were taken by Lori Lopez Urdiales and reviewed by Anne Byers of the Office of the CIO.


Meeting Minutes