of the

Wednesday, August 21, 2013; 9:00 a.m. CT

SCC Continuing Education Center, Room 302

301 S. 68th Street Place, Lincoln, NE




Dr. Terry Haack, Bennington Public Schools, Co-Chair

Mr. Clark Chandler, Nebraska Wesleyan University

Mr. Matt Chrisman, Mitchell Public Schools

Mr. John Dunning, Wayne State College

Ms. Yvette Holly, UN-Medical Center

Mr. Steven Stortz, Alt. for Stephen Hamersky, Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School

Mr. Lyle Neal, Southeast Community College

Mr. Gary Needham, ESU 9

Mr. Randy Schmailzl, Metropolitan Community College

Dr. Bob Uhing, Educational Service Unit 1



Gary Targoff, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications


MEMBERS/LIAISONS ABSENT: Mike Carpenter, Doane College; Mr. Ed Hoffman, Nebraska State College System; Mr. Jeff Johnson, Centennial Public Schools; Dr. Mike Lucas, York Public Schools; Ms. Mary Niemiec, University of Nebraska; Ms. Brenda Decker, Office of the CIO; Dr. Marshall Hill, Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education; and Mr. Brent Gaswick, Nebraska Department of Education.




Dr. Haack, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order at 9:03 a.m.  There were 10 voting members present at the time of roll call.  A quorum existed to conduct official business. The NITC Education Council wishes to thank the SCC staff for helping host the August 21, 2013 meeting. The meeting Notice was posted to the NITC and Nebraska Public Meeting Calendar Web sites June 20, 2013.  The meeting agenda was posted to the NITC Web site on August 16, 2013.  The Open Meetings Law was located on the east counter of the meeting room.




Mr. Needham moved to approve the August 21, 2013 meeting agenda.  Dr. Uhing seconded.  Roll call vote:  Chandler-Yes, Chrisman-Yes, Dunning-Yes, Haack-Yes, Stortz-Yes, Holly-Yes, Neal-Yes, Needham-Yes, Schmailzl-Yes, and Uhing-Yes.  Results:  Yes-10, No-0, Abstained-0.  Motion carried.




Mr. Dunning moved to approve the April 17, 2013 minutes.  Mr. Neal seconded.  Roll call vote: Uhing-Yes, Schmailzl-Yes, Needham-Yes, Neal-Yes, Holly-Yes, Stortz-Yes, Haack-Yes, Dunning-Yes, Chrisman-Yes, and Chandler-Yes.  Results:  Yes-10, No-0, Abstained-0.  Motion carried.




There was no public comment.



Elizabeth Vornbrock and Tom Rolfes

Ms. Vornbrock provided a demonstration of the new NITC website, which went live an hour before the meeting started.  The NITC 15th Anniversary
Booklet and Video were highlighted.  The Website will be used as a means to disseminate information and update action items for the Statewide Technology Plan. Council members requested the ability for work groups to privately collaborate and work on documents in common, similar to Google Docs. Mr. Rolfes replied that a collaborative space is not possible, yet, with the current website, but will be considered sometime in the future.



Tom Rolfes, NITC Education Manager

Summer 2013 Network Nebraska Upgrade.  Two summers ago, Network Nebraska went through an upgrade of 150 circuits, as well as rerouting changes.  New members in Summer 2013 are as follows: 

·         Falls City Public Schools, ESU 4

·         Johnson County Central Schools, ESU 4

·         Dorchester Public Schools, ESU 6

·         Milford Public Schools, ESU 6

·         Waverly Public Schools, ESU 6

·         Educational Service Unit 6, Milford

·         Grand Island Central Catholic High School, ESU 10 and

·         Union College, Lincoln. 


Between July and August, these new institutions had to be up and running which did occur but not without a few issues.  Approximately 93% of all Nebraska public K-20 students interact with Network Nebraska on a daily basis.  Network Nebraska bandwidth increased from 1.7 gbps to 2.0 gbps on each segment of the backbone.  Network Nebraska is looking at different strategies for connectivity and a rebid of certain infrastructure could occur as early as this fall.

2013-14 Fee Memo.   In July, the Office of the CIO sent out the annual Network Nebraska letter which provided an update of Network Nebraska, a list of services, and announced this year’s fees.  The participation fee went up a bit due to additional services initiated.  The memo also contained a summary of the participants.  The Network Nebraska Advisory Group and Network Nebraska will have a new website and this information will be posted.

2013-14 Commercial Peering Service (CPS).  Commodity Internet is purchased for Network Nebraska through a statewide contract.  Network Nebraska will be bringing up an additional 3Gbps of CPS Internet this fall through its connection to Internet2 out of Kansas City. This commercial peering services include such companies as Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc. The net charge will be 25 cents per Mbps/month and will be shared among all entities that are currently purchasing commodity Internet through Network Nebraska.  This will be a pilot service for 2014 to determine its potential.

Network Nebraska Advisory Group Report (5/15/2013 meeting notes).  The meeting notes were provided as part of the meeting materials. The group meets by video conferencing and members were invited to attend if interested. John Stritt and Debbie Schroeder serve as the co-chairs.


Mr. Needham gave kudos to the Network Nebraska staff (Ben Mientka and Brad Weakly) for their efficiency and expertise of operations and for bringing up his ESU 9 schools this past summer, all with new providers.

NASCIO Cross-Boundary Collaboration and Partnerships Award Finalist; Nomination.  Network Nebraska as a self-funded and voluntary participation network has gained national recognition.   NASCIO (National Association of State CIO’s) gives an annual award to state I.T. Projects.  Network Nebraska is one of four finalists this year for the Cross-Boundary Collaboration and Partnership award out of 11 other entries.




2012-14 Action Items for Network Nebraska, Digital Education, E-Gov Strategic Initiatives.  Mr. Rolfes provided a brief overview to the new members about the NITC Statewide Technology Plan.  This year a new initiative was approved by the NITC which is the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) initiative.  The GIS Council will be developing action items for this initiative. 


The Council broke up into their action item work groups to discuss the following recommendations per action item assigned to the action items.

·         Continuation

·         Modification

·         Completion

·         Discontination

·         Also determine if any new action items need to be added. 


Network Nebraska Initiative Action Items Recommendations:


N1a Action: The CAP will work with communities that express an interest in aggregating their public sector data transport.

Recommendation:  Discontinuation


N1b Action: Education entities will act as primary tenants to encourage the aggregation of data transport by community anchor institutions through leased circuits.

Recommendation:  Continuation with minor modification


N2a Action: The Network Nebraska network design/support team will develop a service level agreement with local and regional education entities in order to develop a cooperative support system for the statewide education network that will insure data transport and synchronous video reliability.

Recommendation:  Completed


N2b Action: The Chief Information Officer will encourage the use of the State master purchase contracts for edge devices and monitor the local site purchases of such equipment in order to promote and encourage network equipment standardization.

Recommendation: Continuation with minor modification


N3 Action: The CAP will accept new orders for Internet service and continue to aggregate purchasing demand to secure a more economical price for statewide Internet service.

Recommendation: Continuation

N4a Action:
Develop appropriate participation criteria (e.g. type of entity, bandwidth expectations, differential fees) for Network Nebraska to serve all network participants (i.e. public/nonpublic K-12, public/nonpublic higher education, public libraries, others).
Recommendation: Continuation with minor modification

N4b Action: Develop a catalog of subscription services
for Network Nebraska participants.
Recommendation: Continuation with minor modification


N4c Action: Bi-annually reissue the Network Nebraska Marketing Survey and subsequent Report to help steer the strategic direction of Network Nebraska—Education.

Recommendation: Continuation with minor modification


N4d Action: Annually update the Network Nebraska Marketing Plan.

Recommendation: Continuation


N4e Action: Maintain an enterprise MCU bridging service for Network Nebraska participants.

Recommendation:  Completed


N4f Action: Facilitate the implementation and training of IPv6 routing on a timely basis across all Network Nebraska entities.

Recommendation: Continuation



Digital Education Initiative Action Items Recommendations:


D1 Action: Promote the usage of the National Repository for Online Courses (NROC) content by Nebraska educators.
Recommendation: Continuation


D2 Action: Set a deadline, and establish standard(s) related to the deployment, administration and maintenance of content management systems by K-12 schools.

Recommendation: Discontinuation


D3 Action: Fully deploy a statewide digital content repository interface that allows the assignment of digital property rights and the uploading, cataloguing, metatagging, searching, and downloading of digital learning objects by Nebraska educators.
Recommendation: Continuation with minor modification


D4 Action: Develop and deploy a statewide learning management system for every K-12 teacher and learner, grades 6-12, and train teachers in effective instructional design to integrate synchronous and asynchronous technologies.
Recommendation: Continuation


D5 Action: Develop and deploy Coordinate and facilitate a statewide directory services structure federation effort that will enable students and teachers a single sign-on to associated learning management services and content management resources.
Recommendation: Continuation with minor modification


E-Government Initiative Action Items Recommendations


E1Action:  Maintain the Education Portal on the State of Nebraska website.

Recommendation: Continuation



The NITC will be approving the 2014-2016 action items for the Statewide Technology Plan at their Fall/Winter meeting. 


Council members asked if the Network Nebraska Advisory Group could review these as well not only for content but to look at overlap and duplication of efforts.



Task groups met during the meeting to work on action items:  Emerging Technologies Task Group, Services Task Group, Governance Task Group and Marketing Task Group.




On July 19th the FCC announced a major request for proposed changes in the E-rate program.  The FCC is requiring comments to be submitted by September 16, 2013.  It would be a drastic change for Nebraska and for school districts if E-rate would go away. Approximately 69% of the backbone and Internet funding comes from E-rate.  Members were encouraged to submit comments on behalf of rural states like Nebraska.  


Excerpt taken from NPRM:

1.        As the agency charged by Congress with enhancing access to advanced communications services to schools and libraries, we seek ways to close the gap between the broadband needs of schools and libraries and their ability to purchase those services.  We start by proposing concrete goals aimed at closing that gap.  Specifically, we propose the following three goals: (1) ensuring that schools and libraries have affordable access to 21st Century broadband that supports digital learning; (2) maximizing the cost-effectiveness of E-rate funds; and (3) streamlining the administration of the E-rate program.  We seek comment below on the three proposed goals for the E-rate program and on defined objective, measurable standards to track progress toward meeting those goals. 



State College System.  Mr. Dunning reported that a shared services inventory within the state college system is underway.  The lack of a redundant transport pathway is a concern.


Community College System.  Mr. Neal reported that every year, the community college IT leadership group meets.   He will have more information at the next Education Council meeting.  

Independent Colleges.  Mr. Chandler reported that Union College has joined Network Nebraska.  


University of Nebraska.  Ms. Holly reported that there is a university-wide team that has been meeting to move forward with federated services in the Big 10.  Once local sites have been validated, they can access anywhere in the nation.  This will enhance collaboration.

K-12 Public and Private.  It was recommended that the Network Nebraska Advisory Group consider including libraries as participants.  Private and parochial schools could also benefit. 


UPDATE: BLENDED INITIATIVE.  Matt Blomstedt.  Topics of discussion recently have included federation, data dashboards, technical feasibility of connections for educational institutions and the progress of digital education.  The ESUCC is attempting to follow the Action Items set forth in the Statewide Technology Plan.  A Federated identity management pilot within Network Nebraska is putting Nebraska K12 districts ahead of the rest of the nation.  There is a need to explore what key investments we can make as a state that will benefit everyone.  The Data Dashboard system by the Nebraska Department of Education is aligning with the ESUCC but does not have the staff to make it happen. Mr. Blomstedt would like to present a business plan to the NITC for the next biennial budget.  There is a video about connecting educational resources at a level that has never been done before, produced by the US secretary of education.  He will send Mr. Rolfes information on the video to share with the Council.  Mr. Blomstedt is willing to work with the Education Council in developing the action items for the 2014-2016 Statewide Technology Plan.



Broadband Connecting Nebraska Conference.  The conference is scheduled for October 16-17 in Kearney.  Mr. Rolfes will check to see if the council would like to meet there for the next meeting.  Video conferencing would be available as well.  




·         Review and approval of the Statewide Technology Plan Action Items by the Education Council


Members were asked to send Mr. Rolfes agenda items.




Mr. Chandler moved to adjourn.  Mr. Stortz seconded.  All were in favor.  Motion carried.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:33 a.m.



The meeting minutes were taken by Lori Lopez Urdiales and reviewed by Tom Rolfes of the Office of the CIO/NITC.