La Plaza Telecommunity
Board of Directors Meeting
Executive Director's Report
September 14, 1999
AOL Foundation: La Plaza was chosen by AOL Foundation as one of
4 agencies in the United States to receive the Rural Telecommunications
Leadership Award, a new initiative in partnership with the National Center
for Small Communities. La Plaza will be presented a $10,000 check at the
Rural Telecommunications Conference in Aspen on October 12, 1999. The money
will be allocated to the Questa Wireless project, once La Plaza receives
permission from the State Radio and Communications Division to lease the
hardware and maintain the wireless service in Questa.
Senator Pete Domenici was in Taos and Questa on August 20, 1999. I was
asked to present in Questa the concept of the Questa Demonstration Project
during his visit to Questa. Approximately 50 Questa citizens attended the
presentation and applauded the efforts of all the involved parties: La
Plaza, State Radio and Communications Division, the 4 Questa agencies -
Village Administrative Offices, Health Clinic, School District, and the
Cisneros Youth and Family Center. The Senator was impressed with the creative
project and the coordinated efforts to provide the high-speed bandwidth
service to the remote rural community.
I met with Senator Jeff Bingaman's Washington telecommunications aide Randy
Sorquest, and Santa Fe aide, Ocean Munds on August 20, 1999. They are very
interested in the impact La Plaza has had on the community with free public
access and introduction classes in email and searching the WWW. Randy will
be contacting me to discuss telecommunications reforms the Senator will
Two small rural communities have contacted me for development and implementation
information for community technology centers. Tom Isabell from Anson, Texas
visited La Plaza and we spent an hour discussing the lessons learned with
La Plaza in the past 5 years.
Okmulgee County Electronic Village (OCEVnet), a small community network
in a rural area of Oklahoma. The Board of Directors of OCEVnet is planning
a strategic planning session and has invited me to inform, challenge, and
motivate the Board. We are negotiating the dates for my visit and they
will pay all expenses and a daily fee.
Public Access Sessions
Location Sessions Hrs Avg Sess
La Plaza 837 704.55 0.84
Penasco 156 199.50 1.28
Questa 135 75.75 0.57
Classes: No Classes were held in August
New Primary Accts 95
New Secondary Accts 19
Reactivated Accts 15
Closed due to past due balances of >50 days
181 past due notices sent - 135 users responded with payment
Closed accounts per user request 102
Users Moving 18
Not Using 3
Unable to access 7
Can't afford 1
Temporary acct while visiting 1
No reason given 3
Moving to Taosnet 3
Modem not working 3
Opened in error 3
Returning to college 3
Secondary Accts 57
There were 480 secondary accts on 9-1-99 registered with La Plaza. The
closure of 57 is 11.88 % of the 480 - of those 57 only 3 family secondary
accts were closed.
Tech Support 359
New Accts 77
Web Site 25
Penasco Users 8
Questa Users 18
The 1998 audit is completed and the Executive Committee and I will need
to Schedule a meeting date for a presentation by Nezbit Haygood, CPA. I
will provide each Board member with a copy of the audit at the board meeting.
I have amended the 1999 budget and will discuss each item of amendment
during my report.
Oban Lambie will present a full report of the Y2K status of La Plaza hardware
and software. He will also provide a complete report of the new SUN Solaris
system hardware and the installation and transition from the old to the
I submitted the proposal to the State Information Services Division, Radio
and Communications Department for La Plaza to lease the radio equipment
in Questa. I received a letter requesting clarification of several of the
items stating response is due by 12:00 PM Wednesday, September 15, 1999.
Once the Evaluation Committee reviews the responses, La Plaza may be required
to then present orally to the Evaluation Committee.
If La Plaza is selected to lease the equipment, the Questa server
and modems will be networked to the radio system and the dialin users will
experience faster more efficient service with T1 speed.
La Plaza, Penasco Schools Tech Director, Arnold Lopez, and engineers from
Integrity Networking are working diligently to complete the installation
of the wireless connection from La Plaza to Penasco. The Penasco project
consists of installing high frequency radios at La Plaza and going up to
Picuris Peak, which provides line of sight into the community of Penasco.
The School District will install high frequency radios, which provide T1
speed for their Internet connection; also, La Jicarita Enterprises will
install radios for their career development program and administrative
To provide better and faster service in Penasco, La Plaza will network
our server to the radio system and install 3 additional modems to the modem
bank. This service will be similar to the wireless service in Questa, the
Penasco users will be on the T1 wireless connection and hopefully the 3
additional modems will provide more access to them.
Our projected date for completion is October 31, 1999.
Judith Pepper, Executive Director, La Plaza Telecommunity