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Technology Working Group Minutes: April 22, 2004

CITY OF FULLERTON
TECHNOLOGY WORKING GROUP
MEETING MINUTES
April 22, 2004
9:00 A.M.

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Burtner called the meeting to order at 9:04 a.m.

ROLL CALL

Members Present:

Tony AndersonScott PriceNilo Niccolai
Roger BurtnerNorman ThornPaul Stover
Helen HallJohnson LewDick Bednar

Members Absent:

Johnson Lew David Bailey

Guests:

Fran McGrath, Color Broadband

APPROVAL OF MINUTES.

Chair Burtner asked for a motion to approve the minutes of 4/1/04. The motion to approve was made by Robert Port, seconded by Helen Hall, and unanimously approved by the members present.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The City Council has requested that City staff review the number of persons serving on each City commission with the intent of reducing many commissions to five persons. In the future each council member will be responsible for appointing one commissioner to each commission. At this time an exception is being made for the Technology Working Group (TWG).

Cameron McCune, Superintendent of the Fullerton School District, requested of Helen Hall that the Technology Working Group cooperate with the School District in the implementation of its program to provide each student at Nicolas Junior High and students in grades 3 and above at the Fisler school with wireless laptop computers. Creating a wireless network in the Main Library and Hunt Branch will nicely complement the School District's program. Helen Hall, Tony Anderson, and Scott Price will be meeting with Library personnel to plan for the implementation of that wireless network.

Bryan Wassom, Alcatel, invited Chair Burtner to attend the Pacific Northwest FTTP Summit that is being held June 8-10, 2004, in Wenatchee, WA and will extend invitations to others who are interested. Speakers at the Summit will be presenting recent developments in creating fiber-to-the-premise municipal networks. Wenatchee and Chelan County in which it is located have built a large publicly-owned FTTP network.

Chair Burtner reported that Narad Networks is still interested in conducting a field trial of its technology in Fullerton, but the TWG will have to convince the local Adelphia organization to cooperate with Narad in conducting the trial.

DISCUSSION ITEMS

Downtown Long Beach's Wireless Network

Fran McGrath, CEO, Color Broadband, met with the Technology Working group to describe the design and operation of the WiFi network in downtown Long Beach. Color Broadband is both an engineering design firm and a wireless Internet service provider (WISP). It is the largest WISP in Los Angeles County. Color Broadband has constructed a microwave canopy over Los Angeles County which it uses to provide telecom service to businesses and WiFi networks. It recently began providing service in Orange County using microwave connectivity and would be capable of providing service to Fullerton almost immediately. Seal Beach is another community that has a WiFi hot zone that was installed by Color Broadband.

The WiFi 802.11b wireless network in downtown Long Beach was created about two years ago. Because of its uniqueness at the time, several wireless firms contributed equipment at little or no cost. Color Broadband continues to operate and maintain the Long Beach network which has been expanded to the airport where it is sponsored as a free service by Jet Blue Airlines. The network either has been or is about to be extended into the harbor area. It was created for the purpose of supporting and encouraging the development of tourism, trade, and technology.

The downtown network covers a 6-block area around Pine Street. It was designed strictly to provide wireless Internet service outdoors. The signal can be detected indoors only to a distance of 5-10 feet from the street. A microwave signal with 2 Mbps bandwidth connects an access point at the head of Pine Street to Color Broadband's Los Angeles network. From the access point Pine Street is blanketed with a WiFi signal.

Downtown users enter the network through a locally designed portal page that contains information about downtown restaurants and businesses. Users must sign in and be authenticated by Color Broadband. Long Beach publishes a set of rules for use of the wireless network that are not enforced. Thus far, there have not been any security issues in operating the network. Furthermore, very little information is collected on who is using the system, for what purposes, and for how long. It has been observed that the network at the airport is about 10 times more active than the one in the downtown. The downtown network has about 5-15 users per day with spikes of up to 50 users.

Scope of Work for Design and Installation of Downtown Wireless Mesh

Minor modifications were proposed to the Scope of Work which defines specific attributes and applications for the wireless mesh pilot project that the City Council has agreed to support with Redevelopment Agency funds.

Chair Burtner will prepare the final draft of the Scope of Work document by April 27th in order that it may be posted on the City's website and at www.fullertontech.com by April 28th. Vendors and wireless service providers will be notified of the Scope of Work by e-mail. Responses are being requested by May 12th.

ITEMS FOR NEXT MEETING

Scope of Work pertaining to wireless network for downtown Fullerton.

Next steps regarding wireless implementation for downtown Fullerton.

Review of action items.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

None

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, Chair Burtner asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion to adjourn was made by Nilo Niccolai, seconded by Robert Port and unanimously approved by the members present. The meeting adjourned at 10:36 a.m.

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