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Nebraska Information Technology Commission

Friday, November 21, 2003, 9:00 a.m.

Southeast Community College-Energy Square Complex

1111 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska



Mr. Arnold Bateman, University of Nebraska

Ms. Linda Engel, Nebraska City Public Schools

Mr. Terry Haack, Elkhorn High School

Ms. Yvette Holly, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Jack Huck, Southeast Community College

Mr. Jeff Johnson, Centennial Public Schools

Mr. Joe LeDuc, Catholic Diocese of Lincoln

Mr. Chuck Lenosky, Creighton University

Dr. Jerry Moskus, Metropolitan Community College

Dr. Robin Smith, Chadron State College (via phone conference call)

Mr. Alan Wibbels, Educational Service Unit 10


Mr. Mike Beach, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission

Mr. Wayne Fisher, Department of Education

Ms. Brenda Decker, Division of Communications

Ms. Carna Pfeil, Coordinating Commission for Post Secondary Education


Mr. Dennis Linster, Wayne State College; Dr. Rob Manzer, Nebraska Wesleyan University; Mr. Michael Pate, Millard Public Schools; Dr. Ed Rastovski, Wahoo Public Schools; and Mr. Al Schneider, Educational Service Unit 5


Co-chair Mr. Alan Wibbels called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m. There were nine voting members present at the time of roll call. A quorum existed to conduct official business. It was stated that the meeting notice was posted to the NITC and Public Meeting calendar on October 14, 2003. The meeting agenda was posted to the NITC web site on November 19, 2003.


Mr. Bateman moved to approve the November 21, 2003 meeting agenda as presented. Mr. Haack seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Bateman-Yes, Engel-Yes, Haack-Yes, Huck-Yes, Johnson-Yes, LeDuc-Yes, Lenosky-Yes, Moskus-Yes, and Wibbels-Yes. The motion was carried by unanimous vote.


Ms. Engel moved to approve the September 19, 2003 meeting minutes as presented. Mr. Haack seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Wibbels-Yes, Moskus-Yes, Lenosky-Yes, LeDuc-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Huck-Yes, Haack-Yes, Engel-Yes, and Bateman-Yes. The motion was carried by unanimous vote.


There was no public comment.

UPDATE: Project

Tim Jones, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission

NETV, in partnership with PBS and the Discovery Channel, are providing Nebraska educators with an additional resource, the NET Digital Pilot Project, a video streaming project. Video Streaming is a technology with many capabilities; for example, videos are chunked alleviating bandwidth issues and the ability to do web text training. NET worked with Nebraska Department of Education on this endeavor.

Dr. Smith joined the meeting via phone conference and Ms. Holly arrived to the meeting at 9:18 a.m.

The Commissioner of Education, Dr. Doug Christensen, sent correspondence to each district and building level announcing the year-long pilot project. Included in the letter was a pass code to access and use the service. Each district and building media specialist received the letter. The current license, which is tied into Nebraska state standards, is for K-12 and home schooling educators. Usership is allowed as long as NET continues the license. Mr. Jones provided the council members with a username and password to access the service. NET negotiated licenses very affordably for the first year and will be looking at partnerships for the following years. The question was raised as to how long and if Higher Education can participate. Mr. Jones will follow-up on this question and get a response to Mr. Rolfes.

Mr. Jones entertained questions and comments from the council members.

UPDATE – Statewide Synchronous Video Work Group

Mike Beach,

The Education Council sectors originally recommended persons for membership on the work group. The following three documents were distributed: 1) meeting notes from the work group’s November 10, 2003 meeting; 2) the IP Communication Protocol Standard for Synchronous Distance Learning and Videoconference; and, 3) Contracting Guidelines for Upgrade for Distance Learning Services. As indicated in the Round One Recommendations, two contracts were recommended – one for procurement and maintenance of connective terminal hardware and another for transport. As contracts come up for renewal, they could be re-negotiated as determined by what is in place and what is needed in preparation for the IP standard. Communications have already occurred with providers regarding upgrade of JPEG technology.

The work group is now focusing on next steps such as funding for the replacement of equipment over time, scheduling issues and software.

Dr. Manzer arrived at 10:00 a.m.

Dr. Huck presided over the rest of the meeting.

UPDATE: Network Nebraska
Brenda Decker, Division of Communications

Rick Golden, University of Nebraska

Effective in February, Nebraska will have a fully operational backbone in place. A brief history of the development and collaborative partnerships for the past 18 months was provided. Phase I, connecting Kearney and Omaha, was awarded to Alltel for a MPLS (Multi-Protocol Layer System) network. This network is designed so that the customer utilizes and pays for only the bandwidth determined for their needs. November 16, Phase I was completed. Educational Service Units 10, 11, 15 and 16 are already on the network. ESU 10 is already seeing a 20% savings in costs. Phase II to connect Grand Island, Norfolk and Alliance was awarded to Qwest for an ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) network. The award is scheduled to be signed the week of November 19. The ATM network will be compatible with the MPLS network. Phase I and II contracts include an 18 month performance and price check and does state that the price would not increase. As the project progresses, it will need to provide for the administration of the network. So far, no group has been created or an entity named to manage the network. Although CAP (Collaborative Aggregation Partnership) was instrumental in originating the network, they don’t necessarily need to fulfill the administrative end. A schedule of the December 2nd press conference announcing Phase II was distributed and council members were invited to participate. In regards to billing, the Division of Communications will take care of billing and the network would use the division’s spin number. This number can be used for e-rate. Mr. Golden is working on the SEGP membership to begin July 1st. The University of Nebraska will have an RFP out for Internet 1 service possibly in February.


Steve Schafer, Chief Information Officer

The NITC met on November 13th due to possibility of deficit request but there were none relating to new IT projects. After the meeting there was a legislative briefing to the Transportation and Telecommunications committee. A briefing has not been scheduled yet with the Appropriations Committee. Lieutenant Governor Heineman would like more opportunities to meet with policy makers. Mr. Schafer emphasized the invitation to attend the December 2nd press conferences. There was no major progress to report on the Telehealth network. There is some bio-terrorism funding monies from Health and Human Service Systems to assist with a telehealth network. The Nebraska Hospital Association has hired a consultant to work on the telehealth network effort.


Tom Rolfes, Education Information Technology Manager

None of the task groups have met. There are council members that have not signed up for a task group. The membership sign-up sheet (Excel 17k) was passed around. One thought to consider is go with the bi-monthly Education Council meeting, the task groups would have an opportunity to begin meeting. Status report on the Education Council’s Action Items (Word 32k) is as follows:

EC1.1 – progress is occurring.

EC1.2 – NETCOM project is progressing.

EC1.3 – CAP has been successful with progress with the state backbone. The NITC has asked that the interim Network Policy Work Group wait to meet until the statewide network is fully operational.

EC2.1 – NEB*SAT Training grants reinstatement requires a needs assessment, no progress.

EC5.1 – No progress has been made due to no funding streams and the lack of leadership to champion this effort.

EC5.2 – Nebraska Online worked with the Council to develop the Education Portal and continues to work with the council to enhance the web site. The Office of the CIO has utilized grants from the State Records Board.

EC6.1 – No progress has been made.

The Council will need to decide whether to pursue all of the action items or to concentrate on a few. Mr. Rolfes stated the CIO’s office would be willing to submit a grant to the Records Board to assist with specific action items. The Council agreed to work on the following action items and assigned a member to be responsible to lead the group:

EC 2.1 – Jerry Moskus

EC 5.1 – Terry Haack

ED 6.1 – Robin Smith

If task groups are interested in a videoconference meeting, they are to inform Mr. Rolfes.


NET Distance Learning Report. Mr. Beach that he’ll be attending the council meetings due to staff changes and increased responsibility placed on Mr. Huber. The statistical report was distributed and reviewed. Mr. Beach entertained questions and comments from the council.

Update: Value-added Enhancements to the Nebraska Education Portal. Report provided earlier under Education Council Action Items.


There was no other business.


The next meeting of the NITC Education Council will be held on Friday, January 16, 2004 at 9:00 a.m. Nebraska Wesleyan University and Millard Public Schools were offered as sites for future meetings.

With no further business, Dr. Huck adjourned the meeting at 11:25 a.m.

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

Meeting Minutes