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  OIT Home > Committees > ITPG > Meetings > ITPG Meeting Minutes 09/17/99
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ITPG Meeting Minutes September 17, 1999


Present: Art Battson, Glenn Davis, George Gregg, Phil Handley, Rick Johnson, Elise Meyer, Alan Moses, Joan Murdoch, Deborah Scott, Jamie Sonsini, Bob Sugar

Not Present: Debbie Anglin, Kevin Barron, Ken Bowers, Bill Doering, Sonia Johnston, Bill Koseluk, Tom Lawton, Pam Lombardo, Tom Marazita, Bill McTague, Ed Mehlschau, Larry Murdock, Kevin Schmidt, Vince Sefcik, John Vasi

The group discussed the final draft of the Context Paper that was forwarded to ITB for discussion at their meeting on Monday, 9/20. The first item on the ITB agenda will be a continuation of the OIT discussion, but we hope to have time to introduce the Context Paper and convey our reasons for producing it.

A central topic of the OIT discussion will be the responsibilities envisioned for the new unit. Whether the centrally supported data networking group's responsibilities should end at the wiring closet or be extended to the wall plate is an example of an issue that will be relevant in this discussion. A problem with the present arrangement is the restriction it places on optimum use of space - units or individuals who depend on wiring cannot be moved into places that don't have it without funding increments that can be prohibitive.

Bob Sugar asked the ITPG to consider making recommendations on the use of the core funding that has been provided for network maintenance and augmentation. We have been working down the list of priorities coordinated through the Campus Networking Committee last year and we have been able to fund most of the items on the list. Now we should look at what has already been spent and what should be the priorities for spending the remaining funding that we have available. ITPG seems to be the group operating at the right level of detail to evaluate the priority of possible projects. Occasionally, an issue would emerge that should go to ITB, but many projects could be prioritized by ITPG.

As detailed in the Context Paper, we have over $250K to spend on maintaining and augmenting the network infrastructure during the next nine months. This consists of $150K in 99/00 Network Augmentation & Maintenance Core Funding, $45K unspent from the same fund in FY 98/99, $44K remaining from the original $120K provided by Communications Services and approximately $15K remaining from the FY 98/99 allocation for FDDI maintenance.

The group discussed the process by which proposals for using these funds should be considered. Examples of how foundations and businesses generate and review proposals were discussed. It was noted that, in our case, many of the proposals might come from those around the table or from subcommittees of ITPG. It was agreed that proposals should be presented to the ITPG in writing and that projects should be subjected to mid-point progress reviews (in which progress toward goals would be presented) and end-point reviews (in which the expenditure of funds would also be detailed).

We need a template to gather uniform information about projects such as whether they would upgrade basic functionality or add new functionality, which would be the main departments or groups responsible for the implementation and how much the projects would cost. ITPG could then review scope and recommend increasing or decreasing to better fit the "big picture". ITPG would be expected to go beyond a simple "yes/no" by collaborating with the proponents on how a project might fit into the overall infrastructure. Similarly, the ITB or the management hierarchy might inject priorities as they review IT proposals in light of other campus initiatives and priorities.

We also need a set of goals and criteria against which to evaluate projects. In the present case, money was allocated to maintain and extend the network and time is short. Thus, it was proposed that we solicit projects from among those items outlined in the "Infrastructure & Connectivity" section of the Context Paper.

It was noted that we need to be mindful of the ongoing costs of anything that we recommend and that we already have maintenance commitments for the FDDI and CalREN-2 networks.

Further, it was suggested that ITB might welcome a more general statement of priorities regarding the evolution of the IT infrastructure and the general priorities for allocation of the funds generated through telephone recharges, IP address fees, core funds and Housing & Residential Services contributions. It would be helpful to ITB to have our opinions regarding which are the most pressing projects.

It was noted that several ITB and CNC faculty are included on the ITPG discussion list. We could also notify the members of the Computer Support Forum (csf) list about our process so that participation might widen. In addition, we might want to invite Todd Lee, the campus Budget Director, to attend an ITPG meeting to give us advice on how to work toward funding the major unfunded needs that we have outlined. We might also be able to help Todd assemble the piecemeal requests that he gets for disparate parts of the IT network into an overall plan.

Finally, we decided that we needed proposals by October 15 to have time to review, scope, fund and get something accomplished before the year is over.

Moving on to subcommittee reports, Alan conveyed a recommendation from BEG to change the standard fiber bundle for new links to campus buildings to:

  • 24-Pair Multi-Mode, 24-Pair Single-Mode when the building is part of a ring.
  • 6-Pair Multi-Mode, 3-Pair Single-Mode when the building is on a spur.

The recommended quantity of fiber for a spur should be considered a minimum. Each case of a building on a spur should be analyzed for potential additional need. This recommendation was unanimously approved by the BEG and accepted by the ITPG. The immediate effect will be to change the material specification that Communications Services uses in estimating new building connections.

A meeting with Earthlink to explore their ISP offering was related. In short, Earthlink's added value at UCLA includes coverage (2500 cities) and authentication. The authentication service, however, required UCLA to provide a directory feed and suitable proxy servers. Once UCSB has the latter in place, the added value of Earthlink might be minimal. The Earthlink representatives also reported that $17.95/month for unlimited access is as low as they could go.

An update on the status of return-address "filtering" by GTE was provided. After a series of telephone calls to GTE experts, the issue remained "a good question" and will require testing to unravel.

A warning was issued to those who set up roving laptops for access to UCSB - DON'T INCLUDE THE AREA CODE in the automatic dial-up configuration. A poor soul who traveled afar and dialed home for long sessions was surprised by a $600 telephone bill at the end of the month.

A UCOP draft outlining Online Service Provider Provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was circulated and discussed briefly. It was noted that the suggested response (immediate blocking on the occasion of a complaint) might put the service provider in jeopardy with respect to the rights of the accused. More discussion will undoubtedly be required.

The campus has been asked to respond to two surveys of IT related matters, the Kenneth Green "Campus Computing" questionnaire and an update of the UC workstation/classroom/lab cost study.

Jamie Sonsini reported that he is planning a presentation on email client software choices that have been shown to work with our IMAP mail hosts. The presentation is being prepared for Computer Center Simeon customers and ITPG members are invited. The use of these alternative clients and the introduction of CorporateTime around the UC system reflect the success of the CNC/ITPG subcommittee process in making technical evaluations.

The final topic of the meeting was a discussion of the draft Electronic Communications Policy circulated by UCOP. Meta Clow from Vice Chancellor Sheldon's office, who coordinates policy reviews at UCSB, joined us for the discussion. Several committee members had issues to relate:

First, Communications Services noted that requiring a student to acknowledge the s/he has received, read and understood a forty-seven page document when signing up for a telephone at move-in is not realistic.

Next, the group agreed that developing criteria to distinguish official from unofficial web pages will be difficult. Further, monitoring and enforcing such posting would be problematic in our decentralized environment. Segregating web pages and services onto separate servers would require an unrealistic and expensive unbundling of services.

The requirement of disclaimers on personal pages is also problematic. It is not clear when a faculty member's web page is official and when it is personal. Faculty members are not likely to welcome the requirement of disclaimers on their web pages. Where one would post such a disclaimer to meet the criterion of "prominent website" (Section III F.2.c) is also not clear.

The "Endorsements" section (III D.5) raised further questions along the same lines. Would a disclaimer such as, "Pointers on these pages do not represent endorsement by The Regents of the UC", be required on a web page that points to a publishing house selling a faculty member's textbook?

Copyright issues are another area of general concern. If someone alleges copyright infringement, can a web site be blocked without due process? As noted above, the draft guidelines regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright act suggest that review should occur after the blockage. Concern was expressed that we do not have a good process for blocking self-administered host web sites.

How a university official would respond to allegations that a student's web page contains links to an inappropriate site or a faculty member's page contains links to his/her for-profit enterprise was also an issue. In general, the policy raises several issues that might make the formulations of implementation guidelines difficult.

Meta needs all comments on the draft policy by November 1 to be able to respond to UCOP by the (extended) deadline.

It was generally agreed that we need to meet every two weeks for the next three meetings to be ready to recommend priorities for expenditure of the network augmentation and maintenance funding.

Please remember to review the draft Electronic Communications Policy.

Back to ITPG Meeting Schedule

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