Executive Director's Report
January 12, 1998

Technology Update
Capacity Building
Dept. of Commerce/TIIAP Grant
Monthly Data
Budget/Fiscal Report

I. Technology Update:

  1. The existing Kellogg grant has allocated $4000, for Equipment , for use with Capacity Building and Community Development. We placed an order for 3 HP Brio Pcs, 2 for the TLC and 1 for managing the new digital phone lines and system. The old 486 Pc will be placed in the ThC. The TLC will then have an inventory of 7 PCs and 4 Macs. The replaced Macs will be cleaned up and reconfigured. The staff recommended having a contest for youth who do not have a computer at home, to write an essay why they want a computer and giving one or two away. We also want to place one at the Ancianos Center for public access and taaining of the Senior Citizens.

  2. Questa Community: A meeting to discuss Questa service and connectivity was held on Friday, January 9, 1998 with Chris Gillespie, engineer from State Office of Communications. In attendance was Mats Wichman and Chris Gunn, Board members; Joe Aragon, Questa Schools; Mike Bearden, Dan Pruitt, and myself, La Plaza staff. To summarize Chris Gillespie's position: The State of New Mexico, General Services Department, Information Systems Division, Office of Communications plans to replace the existing state analog microwave system with modern digital microwave technology equipment to address these telecommunication needs in the state. The total cost for the project is 25.7 million dollars and the Governor has asked for half that amount from the Legislative Finance Committee. Thus, digital microwave technology is in the future p! 1:lning for the Office of Communications.

    Chris Gillespie proposed partnering with the Office of Communications but the solutions are contingent on the Legislative Finance Committee approving the 12.3 million dollars, which if approved, will not be made available in Northern New Mexico for at least two years. The one option Chris offered at the cost of $13,500 to La Plaza, is to purchase hardware, 2 digital antennas and radio modems to use with the Department of Public Safety's tower on San Antonio mountain. Chris proposed using the Village of Questa offices for the point of presence in Questa and La Plaza would install one of the antennas on our roof. The cycle of service would be the point of presence in Questa, to the DPS San Antonio mountain tower, to the DPS office in Taos, to the La Plaza wireless antenna and then send the Internet service to the user. Using this option there would be one circuit, which would be similar to a 56 Kbps line, at a monthly cost of $153.

    The proposed $13,500 costs are over and above the existing $400 monthly cost for the 56 Kbps line and the 5 dial in lines. These costs will not enhance the Questa services and are only a short term solution rather than a long term solution meeting the entire needs of the communifies in the Questa area.

    Daniel, Mike and I discussed this offer and recommend we not pursue this avenue of connectivity for Questa. La Plaza can assume the existing monthly costs of the 5 dial in lines and the 56 Kbps line in June, 1998 to maintain the existing services to Questa. We have a meeting on Thursday, January 15 with Nelson Lopez, Assistant Superintendent at Questa Schools, to discuss contracting with them to develop their Technology Plan for informafion technology and connectivity to the Internet. We will also discuss with USWEST the logistics of installing a Ti line to Questa and a possible installation date. If La Plaza can assist Questa Schools with the Technology Plan and it be approved by the

    FCC, much of the cost of the T-1 line would be absorbed by the schools. This would pay for the monthly fee and the community users would receive efficient ,quality service for their monthly charges. This provides the long term solution and meets the needs of all the communities rather than a few users who are demanding metropolitan services.

    One last short term option is that La Plaza has the ability to provide an 800 dial in number to users. The cost per minute would be passed on to the user who wishes to use this option.

  3. Peñasco community has similar concerns; however, the School District is much more involved. Arnold Lopez is on the La Plaza Board, is the Technology Director with Peñasco, and has been the leader of information technology with the schools and community for the past several years. Arnold wrote into the Peñasco Technology Plan to assume connectivity costs. Again, this is short term but is being realized immediately. I will meet with Arnold to discuss a similar solution with the purchase of a T- 1 line for Peñasco.

  4. 1 received a letter from Centinel Bank, declining the request for donation of $6900 to purchase 3 Pcs and software for the ThC.

  5. The T-l lines were installed on December 29, 1997. USRobotics has given us an install date of January 22, 1998 for the access hardware. The digital phone lines will be ready for service on February 1, 1998.

II. Capacity Building:

  1. Nancy Montano, Kellogg Content Development, is now offering web page design classes in the TLC for individuals at a cost of $30.00. She will continue to offer classes to nonprofit organizations at no cost through May, 1998.

III. Community Development:

  1. Managing Information with Rural America: worked with Bill Swan in organizing a Taos Team and a Questa Team to prepare the proposal for the Kellogg RFP, Managing Information with Rural America. An Organizing Committee has been developed which will be contacting the communities of Peñasco, Dixon, Red River, Costilla, and Angel Fire/Eagle Nest; and possibly Taos Pueblo and Picuris Pueblo, for developing Community teams. Kellogg Foundation will chose 10 Community Clusters in rural America, visit the sites in February and then chose 5 of the 10 for funding. If Northern New Mexico is chosen there must be 6 - 10 teams, with 10-15 team members on each team, committed to attending 6 training sessions and developing a project using information technology. Again, if Northern New Mexico is chosen, La Plaza will submit a proposal to be a Community Support Organization for the 6-10 teams. We will focus on: 1) training; i.e., basic Internet services and usage, web design, Train the Trainer; 2)assessing community needs for information technology equipment; and 3) assisfing with the community project using information technology.

    The RFP for the Community Support Organization is due April 30, 1998 and will be submitted if Northern New Mexico is chosen as one of the 5 clusters throughout the United States.

  2. I will be attending the Business Day in Santa Fe on January 26-27, attendees will be briefed by the Governor, House and Senate leaders, and lobbyists on business topics including taxation, economic development, tourism, health care, etc. The Taos Chamber of Commerce will have a reception at the Sweeney Convention Center on Tuesday, January 27 from 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM and la Plaza has been invited to be one of 15 participants at this reception. We will have a booth to display the la Plaza organization! I requested a phone line so we can be on-line and let the attendees 'see' La Plaza.

IV: Department of Commerce/TIIAP Grant

  1. The TIIAP grant was closed on December31, 1997. Barbara Hau, project director, will complete the final TIJAP report by January 30, 1998. She was invited by TIIAP to present 'lessons learned' in Dallas, Texas at a TIIAP funding workshop on February 9, 1998. We will have used most of the 1997 funding dollars, the final bookkeeping will be done. There is a possibility of indirect costs being collected from this grant even though it was not included in the original grant budget. The CPA is working with Betty Cassidy, fiscal officer for TIIAP, to determine if the indirect costs will be an allowable line item for reimbursement.

V. Monthly Data:

  1. The La Plaza website had approximately 12500 hits to the homepage in December. After that, the top ten most popular places were:

    1. The Search Page
    2. Text Version of the Homepage
    3. Sauce
    4. Visitors Section
    5. Business and Employment
    6. Arts and Leisure
    7. About La Plaza
    8. Taos Outdoor Recreation Association
    9. Community
    10. Carson National Forest

  2. La Plaza Dial-In User Stats for 12/97

    Total # Users: 1684
    Total # Dial-In: 1229 (72% of Total USERS)
    Total # PPP User: 1012 (82% of Total Dial-In)
    Total Connect: 12246.73 (hours)
    Total PPP Time: 10708.78 hours
    Total PPP Sessions: 33101
    Avg PPP Session: 19.41 (minutes)
    Avg Num Sessions: 34
    Avg Ses. Length: 17.60 (minutes)
    Avg Total Connect: 9.96 (hours)
    Peñasco # Users: 47
    Peñasco # Sessions: 1565
    Peñasco Total Time: 395.98 hours
    Questa # Users: 80
    Questa # Sessions: 2511
    Questa Total Time: 1055.17 hours
    Taos # Users: 1117
    Taos # Sessions: 37663
    Taos Total Time: 10795.58 hours

  3. TLC Monthly Stats:

    1. Public Access Site Users:
      La Plaza: 1061 users 1191.31 hrs
      San Cristobal: 52 users 52. hrs
      Peñasco: 187 users 254.hrs
      Questa: no data

    2. New Registrations:
      Taos - 64
      Questa - 9
      Peñasco - 4
      Other - 2
      Total - 79

    3. New Members: - 4, Renewal of Membership - 2

    4. Classes: 9 classes with a total 43 attendees

    5. Closed Accounts: 165 - most are email users at public access sites who were not paying prior to the implementation of the $15.00 monthly email account fee; thus, no loss of income with these closures.

VI. Budget/Fiscal Information

  1. I engaged Pamela Alfred, CPA, to complete the 1997 audit. Ms. Alfred will have the audit completed by March 1, 1998. This is an improvement, as the 1996 audit was completed in November, 1997.
  2. Approval of 1998 Budget (see attachment)

Submitted by:
Judith Pepper
Executive Director
La Plaza Telecommunity Foundation