La Plaza Telecommunity
Board of Directors Meeting
Executive Director's Report

September 14, 1999

Community Development/Outreach

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 be endorsing.

  4. 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.


Monthly Statistics

  1. Public Access Sessions
  2. Location  Sessions  Hrs  Avg Sess
    La Plaza   837     704.55   0.84
    Penasco    156     199.50   1.28
    Questa     135      75.75   0.57
  3. Classes: No Classes were held in August

  4. August Registrations
  5. New Primary Accts       95
    New Secondary Accts     19
    Reactivated Accts       15
    Total                  129
  6. Closed Accounts
  7. 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
    Total                  148
    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.

  8. Telephone Statistics
  9. Tech Support           359
    Billing                 96
    New Accts               77
    Hours                   23
    Classes                 26
    Web Site                25
    Penasco Users            8
    Questa Users            18
    Other                  409
    Total                 1041

Fiscal Management

  1. 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.

  2. I have amended the 1999 budget and will discuss each item of amendment during my report.

Technology Report

  1. 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 new equipment.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 offices.

  5. 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.

Respectfully submitted,

Judith Pepper, Executive Director, La Plaza Telecommunity