Illinois Broadband Deployment Council (BDC)

May 2, 2007



Demetrio Maguigad – Benton Foundation; Marty Cohen – Director of Consumer Affairs; Katherine Dawkins – Digital Educator; Alderman Manny Floers – City of Chicago; Tony Hylton – Broadband Technology Associates; Melanie Ignjatovich – Adesta LLC; Peggy Jones – American Heart Association; Pete Knopf – Illinois Virtual High School; Alan Kraus – Regional Development Institue, NIU; Rob Plinl – Broadtech Solutions LLC; Joe Mambretti – International Center for Advanced Internet Research; Bruce Montgomery – Montgomery & Co, Inc; Frances Roehm – Skokie Library; Renee Daye – One Economy Corporation; Stelios Valavanis – onshore Networks, LLC; Ray Williams – DCEO; Charles Wu – CTI; Andy Freivogel – Residential Technology Services;


Staff Attendee: Bridget McCarte



Joe Annet – Alcatel – Lucent; Nancy Bradbury – Illinois School for the Deaf; Troy Brown – Shawnee Library System; Ed Cohau – Illinois Municipal Utilities Association; Bruce Cooper – NOW Wireless; Wendy Farley – Comcast; John Freitag – Illinois Electrict Cooperatives; Jeff Gerhardt – Focus on NASA/TEAM CHALLENGER; Kim Harber – Frontier Communications; Brad Housewright – Heartland Communications and Internet Services; Mark Hunt – Bi-State Regional Commision; Jody Johnson – University of Illinois Extension; Howard Keener – Illinois Finance Authority; Mark Kinkade – IDOT; Karen Lee – USDA Rural Development; Lynn Murphy – Illinois Board of High Education; Sara Nelson – Senator Durbin’s Office; Mayor Chet Olson – City of Rochelle; Deno Perdiou – SBC Illinois; Karen Poncin – Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs; Doug Power – Regional Development Institute; Deborah Seale – SIU School of Medicine; Lori Sorenson – Illinois Century Network; James Throgmorton – Dunn-Richmond Economic Development; Andrea Wingo – Illinois State Board of Education; Peter Wachner – ICC Springfield – Telecom; Cindy Bambini – Ameren Energy Communications; Timothy Bain – City of Rock Island; Eddy Boggs – City of East Moline; John Spring – City of Quincy.


Staff Attendees: Carolyn Brown Hodge (CBH), Katie Stonewater, Ryan Croke



Mike Glodo; Ken Terrinoni, Boone County; Swinburn, Woodstock; Kay Shipman, Illinois Farm Bureau; Wade LeBeau, Wifi Kankakee; Gerry Taylor, Quad Cities Online; John Hester ICC, Willie Cade, Computers for Schools, Jason Bird, City of Princeton, Kent Gross


Connect The Nation Act of 2007

Nelson: Senate Bill 1190, the Connected Nation Bill was introduced this week – it offers a nationwide version of connect Kentucky, has 7 co-sponsors including from the Senate Telecom Committee Chairman, and lots of support for this bill.

A 2nd broadband bill will be worked into the Farm Bill sometime during the summer.


CBH: HB754 in Illinois will make ConnectIL eligible for the funding created in SB1190.


Nelson: Mayor Spring from Quincy is in attendance


USDA Broadband programs update

Lee: Distance learning telemedicine program – notice of availably funding gone out, closes June 10. Change in program, now 4-1 ratio for electronic medical records. Max of $1million.

Rural guidelines: not for technical assistance, not for development.

Farm Bill-hoping that it passes and will receive funding for broadband and distance learning program.


CBH: Illinois needs to utilize these programs.


Glodo: Does grant money include for software development?


Lee: I’ll check on that. Thinking not.


LTG: Did you see the article about USDA money that went to non-rural areas?


Lee: being worked on by federal office. Try to help the most needy, each definition and program of rural is different.


Broadband over power lines

Bambini: A recent article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch profiles BPL. There are two kinds of this service. “Access BPL” requires utility company involvement for pole attachment and to provide Internet service, and a smart grid if deployed. Investor-owned utilities have been slow to move on this. In Texas, Goldman Sachs, Google, TXU and others have formed a BPL partnership. Ameren has an access BPL trial in Cape Girardeau.  The second type is “in-building BPL,” which best serves places like hotels, dorms and apartment complexes. It creates a backbone for the building – making it easier to equip the place with security cameras, credit card machines, Internet – anything you can do with an Ethernet you can do with broadband over power line.


LtG: What statutes would be necessary to promote access BPL?


Cindy: We are looking for guidelines.


Wu:  Ham radio operators have raised an outcry over this technology. How do you get around them?


Bambini: The FCC has required that BPL equipment has the ability to notch out ham frequencies so we aren’t interfering in unlicensed frequencies.


Bird: In Princeton we now pass 2,000 homes with BPL and in a couple of months we will have it available throughout the whole city.


FCC Rural Health Pilot funding

Mambretti: FCC announced a program inviting proposals for $100 million in funding for broadband implementation for health care in rural communities.


Issues that have arisen:


1. Partner states…..


2. If Illinois’ FCC Rural Health Pilot application is funded it will provide for nice capability for some critical care facilities. I’m talking about a specialized facility that can handle high volume of data flows without meter charging for individual bits.


3. IL in general, lacks infrastructure it needs to provide appropriate services.  We need in IL a policy to ensure infrastructure.


Kraus: IL rural health net – NIU, IL critical access hospital network, tri-rivers health network – Cinespiy center, Delnoor community hospital, ISU, SIU, Carle Foundation, and more…have managed to identify fiber and wireless available to critical care hospitals over 85 locations utilizing existing fiber (some public/private) have put in grant to FCC for $21 million.


Power: Gave proposal to LTG that was given to FCC. Will be doing some follow-up – thanks for helping us to organize people.


CBH: This coalition came together in part because of the BDC.


CBH: Indiana’s legislature sponsored a bill to support their proposal.


LTG: The Rural affairs council identified connectivity and health care as a key issues for IL. This ties those themes together.


Perdiou: What hospital connectivity needs aren’t being met today?


Power: Part off the challenge was to make sure there was enough bandwidth available for real time communications between urban and rural areas.


Perdiou: So hospitals with adequate connectivity were not included?


Chicago: All hospitals can participate - this initiative has idea that both urban and rural hospitals can work together in a common infrastructure. This program is being funded to tie even the most advanced Illinois hospitals to the national networks. If you put infrastructure in remote places, you bring in education, health care, and quality of life that doesn’t exist there today.


TIPP – Technical Immersion Pilot Project


Barnhart: Hoping to receive more funding for next year – teachers and students are waiting to receive laptops. School districts input; May 17th bringing school districts together to met and discuss past year.


Woodstock school district – Affordable home Internet access for low-income families is a challenge.


3 or 4 buildings are Apples, the rest are Gateways. As they applied for either windows or Mac. 


If IL doesn’t move kids in the realm of technologies, we are going to lose them to other states.


Friendship School kids are online, they can download their homework and not have to worry about having internet at home.


Wu: A school in Phoenix eliminated their text book budget and used it for laptops.


What is the liability for equipment? – Insurance on device and tracking software and 24/7 service. This is included in the $1,500 cost per laptop. For 3 year program. 6th graders will get to keep them through 8th grade.


Tele-health update

Seale: Five initiatives for the twenty county ConnectSI region –

1. Create electronic master patient index.

2. Workforce education on doctor awareness

3. Linking hospital and doctor offices

4. Mental health primary care consulting

5. Tacking system for drug seeker.


 Should be complete by end of June


Legislation that would provide Medicaid reimbursement for tele-psychiatry (SB6 Sen. DeMuzio) has been modified – the Governor wants it to cover veterans only.


LTG: What is the estimate of cost?


Seale: under $20,000 per patient. I would be amazed if in first five years we get more than $200,000 in bills. Tele-psychiatry is already reimbursable to veterans.



Brad: GIS mapping helps show where demand is. can get all this information.


Kim: Need to look at content side of delivery.



We have 18 primary stroke centers in Illinois – but not one south of Bloomington and Peoria.  Senate Bill 1585 sponsored by Sen. Garret and Rep. Biggins would require stroke centers through IL. The American Stroke association wants to shape the legislation using what have learned through efforts to promote telemedicine. This will benefit not only strokes, but also mental health, neurology, etc.


Broadband service map update

Loomis: I’m pleased to report that we’ve gotten our final data yesterday from cable providers regarding broadband service offerings in Illinois – at the end of the month we should have a preliminary report.

It will help us focus on areas in the state that don’t have broadband providers.


Bill update

CBH: HB754, Rep. Howard (State ‘e-champion’)

Passed unanimously through the House, but it is now in rules

SB678, Sen. Bond, Rep. Washington (Trains)

Passed unanimously through the Senate, but is now in the House Rail Safety committee

HB1458, Rep. Miller (Bonding)


Kenner: This is in house Rules. It would provide $50 million in state guaranteed loans. I’m optimistic, but the bill will probably need to be drafted as an amendment or to a bigger bill like these: SB57, SB66, SB1317, SB1327.


LTG: Why do broadband companies need financing?


Howard: Organizations around table looking for financing to expand programs.


LTG: We can’t have capitalism without capital.  


Carbondale Main Street Wireless

Throgmorton: If I had to do this again, I would separate wireless infrastructure and software proposals. Our captive portal shows user traffic levels. Carbondale has started the structure to grow the city by providing public Internet. Advice: use a good captive portal system.


LTG:  We have four Main Street wireless initiatives. Could you go through the traffic study and share how things have grown.


Throgmorton: 600 people have logged in. Monday is the busiest day. This is a way to enhance “the brand” of Carbondale.


Springfield wireless


Perdiou: Still waiting for the city to come forward with comments on AT&T’s contract. We haven’t heard anything negative, but the City of Springfield must approve the contract before the wireless equipment is deployed.


LTG: We want to push the city along in time for the Lincoln Bicentennial and the Rural Telecom Conference.


BroadTech solutions


Pliml: A few obstacles for rural broadband providers include – bandwidth to the area – we are looking for funding, because it’s more expensive to add bandwidth in rural areas than in suburban or urban areas. We’re in the middle of Bloomington and Springfield.

Dougherty: Is Broadtech Solutions -- and other wireless ISPs like it -- submitting data to Dave Loomis? If not, it will hurt our ability to accurately map.



Mayor Olsen: NITT is working with IDOT on I-39, finalizing toll way on I-90 and 98. Thanks to LTG and Sen. Durbin for their help.


Kinkade: A contract has been awarded to start the project for I-39 project.


LTG: one of the first projects of BDC.


Perdiou: How is leasing for fiber going to work?


Kinkade: IDOT will own the fiber but will be used by the city of Rochelle and others. Some details have not been worked out. 


Vince DeMuzio Broadband Pilot

Power: Currently access to any speed above T1 level difficult in Macoupin and Montgomery counties. The RFP addressing this issue was extended because many vendors requested it. Also, we are working with two counties to develop a non-profit that will ensure local connection to the project. The state funding available in the RFP will be turned over to the non-profit.


Harbour: Has a new RFP been issued?


Power: Not yet, but there will be a re-issue to clarify some points in the existing RFP. For example, bidders are not limited to serve only the two counties. Further information will be released soon.


Quad Cities fiber & wireless efforts


Boggs: One of our priorities was to connect Moline, Rock Island, Silvis, East Moline first responders with fiber-based technology. Help doesn’t get to callers as fast as it should.

The Raytheon pilot project will get broadband in squad cars. This will help not only public safety but public works employees.


Dougherty: Wouldn’t it be cheaper to sync up Quad City first responder radio frequencies?


Rural libraries

Brown: People are turning to libraries for jobs and to continue education. Rural libraries would like to see more grants from the state. The BDC is a great way for us to connect.


Williams: The DCEO Digital Divide program hasn’t seen many libraries apply, though they can. What are the requirements for library bandwidth?


Sorenson: A minimum of T1 and schools are looking at 10megs. Libraries are eligible at 8megs. People want more…


Farley: It is our policy to offer Internet for free to libraries. Most cable companies offer free access.


Clark County project

Macke: Applying for a Main Street wireless grant started us in the process of addressing the lack of broadband in our county. Our goal is to have access for all of our county’s residents.


CBH: This shows that everyone is looking at the digital divide in different ways. Funding sources like USDA, DCEO, Bonding bill are important


Other business

Croke: Any contributions to our catalog of state broadband projects are welcome. Copies are available by request.


CBH: The Rural Telecom Congress conference has extended the call for presentations. We want Illinois projects to shine at this conference. We’ve gotten over 50 proposals already. IL people can take the lead.


Roehm: HB16 will provide $200,000 for the online citizen’s library of IL. We need help to pass the bill; please call legislators to come on as co-sponsors. It is still in the appropriations committee.


W2i Digital Cities Convention: May 22, 23rd Digital Cities convention. June 15th in Chicago Benton Foundation sponsoring community media summit – open the invitation to participate in the summit at Columbia College.


Community Media Summit


Chicago Digital Access Alliance: Put together by community advocates in Chicago to see their interests represented between city of Chicago and vendor.


Tech 2007: Coming to the capitol on May 8th. Laptop program with kids.


HB3605: Have any questions, call Doug Dougherty…important piece of legislation.


Next meeting


The meeting adjourned at 4.27pm.