La Plaza Telecommunity
Executive Director's Report
December 8, 1998
The Questa Demonstration Project in conjunction with the State Radio and
Communications Department is completed except for testing. The tests,
which were scheduled for Monday, December 07, 1998, were cancelled due
to inclement weather and have been rescheduled for Wednesday December 9,
1998. Once the tests are completed, then the project "switch" will
be thrown and the 4 municipal agencies will have microwave service equivalent
to a T-1 line. Those 4 agencies include the Questa School District,
Questa Health Clinic, Questa Youth and Family Center, and the Questa Village
To alleviate the busy signals in Questa, we will be moving the server,
56 Kbps line,and 5 modems to the Questa Youth Center. We will add
3 modems to the existing modem bank and will have a total of 8 modems to
serve the 96 users. The Youth Center will provide a much more efficient
location for the server and the Center will be accessible to the Technology
staff all year. Once the Questa Demonstration Project is implemented,
we will contact USWest for the move of the phone lines. The cost
for the move includes the construction material and labor of a small closet
to house the server and modem bank, and the move and install of each line.
The projected cost for the move is $1000.
Penasco users remain in the fifties and seldom do they experience busy
signals. Until the number of users grow, we do not have any plans
to increase modems.
Regional Development Corporation received a 20 million-dollar grant from
the Department of Energy to provide more backbone Internet service in the
northern part of New Mexico. This was primarily done to accommodate
the needs of LANL, as USWest has no future plans to lay more cable in northern
New Mexico. RDC hired a private consultant to develop service plans
for the designated area. Albert Cota and I attended a meeting in
Espanola hosted by LANL to learn about the project. A private corporation
has been formed and will provide frame relay to the area. It will
be done in two phases, the first phase in Santa Fe and Espanola, the second
phase in the smaller communities. We will continue to meet with the
company representatives and stay informed of the progress. A frame
relay cloud does not provide the same fast and efficient service as a point-to-point
T-1 line, and the only service they will be providing is frame relay.
I met with Susan Herrera, LANL Foundation director, on December 4, 1998.
I proposed a donation from the foundation to purchase new web and mail
servers and PCs for the lab. Ms. Herrera was very interested in the work
La Plaza has done with outreach and training. She suggested I submit
a proposal for the January, 1999 cycle of funding for educational needs.
The grant which was submitted to the National Cancer Institute for the
Healthy Communications request for papers, was not approved. However, the
two collaborating agencies have recommended the same proposal be submitted
under a different funding mechanism with NCI by February 1, 1999.
This proposal does not have a funding cap and the revision for La Plaza's
section will include more hardware, connectivity, and personnel costs.
Dr. David Buller with AMC in Denver will revise the entire proposal
with recommendations from the partnering agencies.
The Benton Foundation read and approved the first application we submitted
for funding the Open Studio: The Arts Online project. They
sent an invitation to La Plaza to submit a final application form to become
one of the of the ten Mentor sites in the United States. Briefly,
the grant requires the receiving agency to provide free ongoing Internet
access and basic Internet training to underserved artists and arts organizations,
and to build a communications network among them. The final application
is due December 15, 1998 and the selection announcement will be made by
January 5, 1999. The budget is limited to $25,000 with a 1:1 match.
We have partnered with Artesanos de Questa and La Jicarita Enterprises'
arts program for implementation. Nancy Montano will be the coordinator
of this 6 month grant. After this grant there will be another cycle
of funding which will entail expanded training to include more advanced
Web page building.
LANL Foundation – see #5 above.
School and Libraries Corporation/ Universal E-Rate: I received the
directions for completing and submitting the billing forms to SLC for Internet
service provided to the 3 school districts in Taos County. As soon
as the approval from SLC is received for billing the schools, we will begin
the billing process.
Thanks to Dan Bayless for the assistance to the presentation
and luncheon for our 19 visitors from Norway. The 3 hour presentation
was extremely informative to them and the 70+ community attendees for the
luncheon was very impressive. There were two articles in the Journal
North, one prior to and one after the event. An article will be published
in the Taos News on November 10, 1998. This event was extremely successful
and very well received by the visitors. They were so impressed by
the community spirit that was exhibited at the luncheon.
Projects for Board Consideration
Dollars are needed to provide a more productive package of
benefits to the La Plaza staff. I would like for the Board to consider
a fund raising event to provide a retirement plan and more coverage for
medical and health insurance. Currently, La Plaza pays 50% of the
premium for only the employees' health insurance and there is no provision
for retirement funds.
November Monthly Statistics
Public Access Users
|La Plaza (Taos)
Note: 183 of the 996 Taos public access signins were from registered
||# of Classes
||# of Participants
|Intro to Email
|Intro to WWW
|Marketing Your Web Page
|New Primary Accounts
|New Secondary Accounts
|Past due balances of >50 days
|Per User Request
(6 not using)
(3 unable to access)
(3 no reason given)
(4 opened in error)
(5 secondary accts)
(1 change to primary)
Net Change In Accounts: 60 gained
|Tech Support Calls
||Connect Time (hrs)
(78% of total users)
Judith Pepper, Executive Director, La Plaza Telecommunity