Southeast Central Executive eTeam Meeting
Attending – Jean Anne Grunloh, Pam Crisman, Lee Spaniol, Brett Gillsinger, Chris Watkins, Ryan Whitlock, Ed VanHoose, Travis Farley, Tiffany Macke, Mike Sullivan, Ken Larimore, Barbara Webster
Research/Provider Report: The meeting began with an update from Ed VanHoose from the Coops. He and Jay Bartlett, CEO of Prairie Power, had met with Drew Clark and Bob Flider from Broadband Illinois to discuss possible fiber build outs in the middle section of the state. Ed stated that the Coops were not looking to overbuild, but hoped to partner with other for-profit providers and non-profits to get service to their customers. Ed also mentioned that when the coops replace electric wire, many are hanging fiber. Possible trade agreements may be developed. More information will be available at a later date.
Barb gave a brief update on the new regions that were established for Broadband Illinois/PCI. The regions will mirror the DCEO regions. East Central will now be known as South East Central to Broadband Illinois/PCI. It was discussed that the region has 13 counties and that there was a loss of a couple of the ECIDC counties and a gain of a couple others that are not within the ECIDC region. After short discussion, it was decided that it was workable and that the regions of ECIDC would still be able to come to the table to discuss broadband. This will likely assist them in getting their own Broadband Illinois Region started.
Barb stated that Ryan Croke, the governor’s aide, expressed his support of the Broadband Illinois project during a dinner meeting the prior week. Pam suggested that Barb contact Ryan to ask if our DCEO regional representative would soon be replaced. Josh Weger, who had been on the executive eTeam, is now working with a different state agency, and his DCEO position has yet to be replaced. Josh covered the South East Central region. Barb will contact Bob Flider.
It was discussed that it is important for the region to continue to consider providers when looking to advance broadband. Some concerns about the grant winners competing for service areas were expressed. It was also discussed that ICN monthly connections need to be at a good price so that providers will be able to utilize the middle mile so that it truly is a benefit to them. It was discussed that the pricing range was likely a part of the grant application. Lee stated that he felt the ICN fees were competitive. Barb will express the concerns over pricing to ICN.
A discussion ensued about promoting training classes that are being offered around the region in order to encourage adoption. The web site had been updated to show libraries, their times open, and the number of computers hooked to the Internet. We will also promote free or almost free Internet training that is offered by libraries, colleges, etc. The importance of having paper promotion was discussed as those not using computers will not be checking the web site. Barb and Community Awareness Committee will continue to work on it.
It was discussed that we need to talk to community leaders about the different products available. It was asked how we can help providers, and the first response was to educate the public. Barb will continue to meet with community leaders. Community Awareness Committee will continue to develop materials and on setting up training next year. Barb and Andrea will also work on promoting other training available. Pam mentioned that we needed success stories. Members were asked to send pictures and/or success stories.
It was mentioned that online classes need good connections for students. Ed stated that he once was asked to do an online class about “How to use a computer” which “failed miserably.” The group and Ed had a good chuckle about it.
Community Awareness Report: Tiffany Macke discussed the work of the Community Awareness Committee. One of the major tasks will be to help organize the December 1st Broadband Summit at Sarah Bush Lincoln Hospital.Committee will continue action items.
Jean Anne had attended a tri-state summit in Quincy and the Director of the Missouri Broadband Initiative, Damon Porter, was there. He was a very dynamic person and there are a lot of free resources available on their web site. www.mobroadbandnow.com was their web site.
One section was about “Why Broadband is Important.” Jean Anne will forward the toolkit to eTeam.
Ken mentioned that the Newton Schools are looking into doing a survey of students. Travis said that the superintendent’s goal is that every person in the school has access at home.
It was discussed that the high schools need to show the Broadband Illinois web site so that parents are aware of what access is available to them. The Learning Technology Centers were mentioned as good go-to organizations to involve the high schools. Barb will contact LTCs.
Ed mentioned the Coop Illinois Country Living Magazine. He needs information for the broadband article by November 1. Barb will get information to Ed for article.
Ed also mentioned a monthly meeting of Coop managers. Barb will attend in November. Committee will continue action items.
The Region’s Broadband Action Plan was used to discuss items in process and action items needed completed.
We discussed the provider meeting and decided to have it from 11:30 to 12:30 on December 1. A small box lunch will be served to all who pre-register with Barb. The importance of ICN being available was discussed. Chris will not be available on that date. Barb will keep track of those providers who register and will contact food service. Barb will contact ICN to see who can attend. Community Awareness will help. Members will promote the meeting.
It was discussed that Clearwave needs an invite to provider meeting. Chris said they were selling well in Southern IL. Barb will make sure Clearwave gets an invite.
The need for press releases on project activities was discussed. At this time, there were not any volunteers to take on the task of press releases. The need for marketing outside of web site was also discussed. Barb will express the need to PCI.
We reviewed the changes to the web site. It was suggested that we might add businesses who offer WiFi. It was also mentioned that we should ask first if a business is okay with being added to the list. Barb will work on with Andrea.
A few other suggestions were made about web site. All approved.
It was decided to have the next eTeam meeting in January, since the summit is in December. The Community Awareness Committee will pick a date and email it to eTeam.
SPECIAL NOTE: This recap was typed from my notes and memory. I admit that I did not document all discussions, and I apologize if I missed anything significant. If there is anything that you feel should be included in the notes or if there are any corrections, please feel free to email me. Thank you! Barb Webster
Southeast Central Executive eTeam Meeting
Lakeland College, Neal Hall
Posted in eTeam Regional Meetings