Indiana Community Network Association Minutes, 6.4.96

The latest philosophy for round two of Access Indiana was presented by Mark Whitman, who explained that the Intelenet Commission would set up POP sites in communities and negotiate with ISP's for dialup, thus allowing community network teams to focus primarily on content.

Jerry Sullivan noted this would create some management issues at the community level.

Ray Ewick reported that the state library was looking for 100 local libraries that were well enough along in their own datafication and networking to be sites for state-provided 56K lines. Grant money would also be available for servers, which in some cases could do double duty as the community server.

Sullivan said the library plan would use existing community networks for connectivity.

Ewick also reported on the NPTCN small server package that is still available. He said NPTCN would like to make a presentation to ICNA. (ICNA board needs to extend invitation).

Kent Champagne presented the outline for Intelenet's marketing plan on behalf of Access Indiana. He reported that an evaluation team has been established to review marketing proposals from Borshoff Johnson & Co., Montgomery, Zucherman, Davis Inc., Asher Agency, and Parallax Communications Group. The team is comprised of Kent Champagne and Phil Bruce from Intelenet, David Dawson from Executive Communications Consultants, Lisa Hendrickson from Ameritech, Marti Miller from Carrollnet, and Michael Wilson from Access Indiana Information Network.

The proposal calls for the final plan to be in place by the 3rd quarter so that marketing can begin at that time. $400,000 is available for the effort, which will range from TV to speakers bureaus. Champagne said he hoped the plan would not be too heavy on TV, as that eats up $400,000 pretty quickly.

Champagne was grilled heavily as to how much input community networks would have into the plan and also as to just how specifically the plan would support community networks.

Ray Ewick noted there were many different issues and constituencies that needed addressing.

It was suggested the ICNA poll its members for specific needs they felt a marketing plan needed to address. Champagne said an ICNA member would be on the advisory board. That member needs to be able to speak for the membership. (Action by ICNA on this suggestion needs to be quick.)

Champagne was asked to publicize to the networks what the marketing schedule would look like so that the local network could gear up accordingly.

Mark Whitman suggested that ICNA have a marketing committee, with that chairperson advising Intelenet as to the broad scope of community network marketing needs.

Pamela Sandstrom from Ft. Wayne Infonet discussed difficulties they were having with the IRS getting 501c3 status. She said the IRS has presented a long shopping list of questions back to them. Discussion was held concerning whether or not 501c3 status was needed. Some networks reported they are not going that route and others reported the are piggybacking off of other organizations.

Whitman suggested that ICNA have a legal affairs committee.

ICNA mission statement - no new comments, but Whitman reported that there is definitely state money available to help get the organization off the ground but only if it can show a business plan to become self-supporting.

Network reports:

The following ideas surface from individual network reports:

  1. a strong desire for an interactive community calendar. Seems to be a software issue, and the hope was expressed that software could be found, or developed, and shared. Michael Chui from HoosierNet said he was working on such a calendar and would be glad to share the software. Pamela Sandstrom from InfoNet suggested that the calendar include indexing from several points of view and a search engine.
  2. each area of a community web site should have a co-ordinator who would work with the community to set policy in that area and to further the development of that area's content.
  3. put on network demonstrations for potential content providers.

Requests from Jerry Sullivan

  1. ICNA needs to help set a policy for who gets to be on the linked AI map of community networks. (this needs to be done soon). He's getting requests fro purely commercial entities.
  2. ICNA needs to help develop mechanisms and rationales to energize local government in content providing. Eventually this will become a legislative issue, and ICNA can help identify hot spots and possible solutions.

Next meetings: 2nd Tuesday of July (9th) and 2nd Tuesday of August (13th), State Library, 1 p.m.

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