Voice and Data Networks : Voice and Data Networks in Government
Updated: 12/22/2004; 8:56:27 AM.


Voice and Data Networks


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I met with the executive board of the Utah Communications Agency Network for 4 1/2 hours yesterday.  UCAN provides 800 MHz trunked radio service to over 100 state and local agencies in Utah.  With so many agencies involved, the governance can be real tricky and there have been a number of rumors being proliferated that needed to be dispelled.  UCAN provides the most advanced, integrated component of UWIN and the Omnilink that ties together the other networks resides at the VECC facilility where UCAN is located.  The board voted yesterday to reduce the state rate by $2 per radio per month.  One of the rumors suggests that the state is working on an IP radio system that would completely replace UCAN in the short term.  That would be a mistake, but I do feel that it is important to continue to review technology to see how we can improve the way we operate.  The UCAN infrastructure is a valuable asset for both state and local members of UCAN and should be leveraged along with other public communications infrastructure operated by ITS and UEN to maximize benefits to the citizens and government agencies throughout the state.

The FCC is expanding the availability of funds for telemedicine.  I hope we can take advantage of this to benefit the Utah Telehealth Network while expanding the cooperative efforts of UTN with other network infrastructure providers.

8:56:09 AM    comment []

Friday, December 03, 2004

The UWIN Governance Board met this morning.  We reviewed progress from the first year which has been substantial in almost every one of the initial action item list.  I prepared a proposed list for 2005 to stimulate thinking in areas like grid computing, wireless application development, PDA services, mesh networking, etc.  After members have a chance to review them and add many of their own, we'll review and vote on an aggregated list in January.

5:23:18 PM    comment []

Friday, November 26, 2004

Rural Utah now has a new online resource.

Last Friday, the FCC approved the first software defined radio.  I tried to order one of these devices so that we could begin testing it in the UWIN area, but no one from Vanu was available today.

The state's SONET ring in the Salt Lake Valley is supported by XO Communications.  Here's an interesting map of their nationwide network.  Indiana University provides the NOC for the Abiline Network and has some interesting online monitoring capabilities that may be of interest to states as they continue to expand their network capabilities.  The Weathermap shows how the system is operating.  UEN has been coordinating with Pacific Northwest Gigapop and CENIC to get NLR through Utah.

8:57:17 AM    comment []

Thursday, July 29, 2004

I spent yesterday morning at the State information security conference.  Governor Walker (video stream coming) announced an increased focus on cybersecurity and asked for each department to appoint a Chief Security Officer that will be part of the State Information Security Council.  She was followed by Rob Clyde, CTO of Symantec, who gave an excellent presentation.  While hunting around, I found these video / audio streams of several recent conferences that have some interesting information on current trends. Simple registration is required.

Yesterday afternoon, we signed off on the Omnilink installation at UCAN.  I learned that Indiana and Ohio are using the same technology to support their statewide wireless initiatives.  Indiana's Project Hoosier SAFE-T is at a similar stage and is being coordinated between all levels of government.  Here's a map of their current and planned implementation.  The terrain makes the task very different from Utah where we have the mountains to deal with.

7:12:47 AM    comment []

Monday, July 19, 2004

The National Conference of State Legislatures begins its annual meeting in Salt Lake City today.  Recently, NCSL published two studies discussing the negative impact of electronic commerce on state revenues.  The report estimates that the loss for 2003 to state and local revenues was $21.5 and $33.7 billion.

Twenty-five states now have some kind of public affairs network.  Although Utah is not officially represented here, there is regular coverage of the legislative session on the two major university-supported stations with KBYU providing daily coverage of legislative news during the session and KUED provides periodic coverage of state government issues on its Civic Dialogue series.  This report summarizes the status of public affairs networks.

Interesting rundown on Rock Regan's dismissal as CIO of Connecticutt:

Virginia is creating a new statewide radio network called STARS (Statewide Agencies Radio System).  They just awarded a $329 million contract to Motorola.  The first phase becomes operational in December 2005.  The system was funded partially by $159.3 million in bonds approved by the Virginia legislature.

8:29:03 AM    comment []

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

News coverage of Governor Walker's UWIN press conference:

8:38:57 AM    comment []

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Remedy, best known as a help desk solution, has a new product called "Citizen Service".  Since we own the help desk product, we may want to look into this as a way to extend the value of Remedy to the state.  I have also asked that we look into the value of NextPage's GetSmart for Remedy product.

I missed this interview with Val Oveson in Baseline magazine.  Val discusses ROI and metrics.

The Western CIO Forum 2004 is scheduled to be held in Santa Fe on August 1-3.  Utah's enterprise architect, Randy Hughes will be on a "Web Services in e-Government" panel. 

I think with the changes in Western Governors leadership that we will see less focus on information technology and more on the Greater Sage Grouse.  Not a bad thing, just different.

Pennsylvania is still having problems with their statewide voice (radio) network.  Reports say it has cost about $240 million and is still far from complete.  In Utah, we have made a lot of progress with UWIN and are now really pushing the 700 MHz mobile data component with much of the voice solution now in place.

Coverage of Governing magazine's recent Governing Technology 2004 conference.

7:40:55 AM    comment []

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Just returned from Washington, DC, where we met with Dr. David Boyd, program director for Project Safecom.  We discussed finding funding opportunities for using RTLS and RFIDs as a UWIN-supported project.  Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS) are fully automated systems that continuously monitor and track the locations of assets and personnel.  In the homeland security context, we would have vehicle-mounted RTLS systems that could form a grid in responding to a given homeland incident or natural disaster.  These mobile RTLS systems would convey data to incident management through the 700 MHz statewide data network and or broadband 4.9 GHz and 802.11 access points depending on the location.  Check out this presentation (Reality Online) from Accenture.

Boyd is also involved in supporting the federal government's Integrated Wireless Network project. Perhaps UWIN should look at ways to partner with IWN.  Another agency to keep an eye on is HSARPA.  HSARPA is a homeland security agency fashioned after DARPA that was created last year.  I don't see much activity there yet.

Boyd also told us that Tom Ridge is planning to create a new program management office to create greater interoperability and innovation among the first responder community.   Here are a few more details.  Dr. Boyd has only been with Homeland since 2003 (that's right, it was only created then).  Here's more on his background.  His testimony to the House Reform Committee is a very clear statement of what Project Safecom is about.

NIST provides this interesting list of organizations, companies, and technologies associated with public safety wireless.  Their Advanced Network Technologies Division is interested in Wireless Ad Hoc Networks, an area where the latest Utah proposal seems to fit.

8:01:13 AM    comment []

Friday, May 07, 2004

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge meets with Utah emergency responders. He was very complimentary of the UWIN project and stressed the importance of integrated communications systems.
John Kavanaugh was just promoted to vice president of Northrop Grumman, state and local public safety solutions, Commercial, State and Local Solutions business unit responsible for public safety command and control centers, highway transportation management centers, statewide wireless communications systems, automated identification systems, criminal justice systems, and other public safety solutions in the state and local marketplace.  Kavenaugh received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Weber State University.  NG also has an RFID implementation support center.

Tom Ridge will be in town today.  He will be giving the commencement speech at the University of Utah and then visiting with a small group of state and local government homeland security officials.

The May issue of Capitol Connections is online.

The Utah Wireless Integrated Network governance board meets today.

Accenture has a new eGov report.  I'm having a little trouble accessing it.

Wow, New York State just awarded their wireless network contract to M/A-COM.  Some say that the contract may be valued as high as $2 billion.  Utah's approach (UWIN) is certainly less costly - and hopefully just as well integrated.  The contract is the largest technology contract in New York's history, but will not include any coverage in wilderness areas of the Adirondacks or Catskills.

Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, just announced the Arkansas Wireless Information Network (AWIN).  Phase I alone is projected to cost $27 million.  What we could do with that kind of money....  Arkansas passed several bills to develop statewide wireless back in 1999.  This is one of several collaborative projects for the state.

NENA will be holding a wireless E-911 conference here in Salt Lake City on May 23-25.  NENA also has a couple of E9-1-1 presentations on how to deal with VoIP:

We are analyzing the benefits of VoIP in conjunction with a new building that is nearing completion.

Governor Ernie Fletcher, the new Governor of Kentucky, held his first online chat the other day.  Governor Leavitt did that a few times here.  Here is the transcript from Fletcher's online session.  He discusses a few technology issues.

7:06:21 AM    comment []

Friday, January 30, 2004

This just in from Community Broadband Networks:

In a letter to mayors and city councils of the 18 UTOPIA cities, a group, TechNet, representing the leadership of much of America's high tech industry strongly advocated the cities back the multi-city UTOPIA FTTH (fiber to the home) project:  "We strongly endorse the UTOPIA city fiber project and wish you well in bringing it to a successful launch in 2004"

This week, West Valley City became the first member of UTOPIA to vote in support of the bond to fund the initial rollout.

10:44:53 AM    comment []

Monday, January 26, 2004

Boyd Webb, in the Jan. 26th edition of his Wireless Planning Newsletter reports:

On January 16, 2004, the UWIN Technical Steering Committee created four technology teams to address specific issues and make recommendations back to the UWIN TSC.

·         Mobile Data Team Leader:  Forrest Roper, Millard County.

·         Narrowband Migration Team Leader:  Boyd Webb, State ITS.

·         802.11x Team Leader:  Tim Cornia, State DPS.

·         Incident Command Proposed Team.

6:43:18 AM    comment []

Monday, January 19, 2004

Boyd Webb, network planner in ITS, is now producing a periodic newsletter with news and information regarding the development of wireless voice and data in the state.  Here's issue #2.
1:20:53 PM    comment []

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Business 2.0  reports a new fiber-to-the-home project in Truckee, CA.  The article mentions that Utah's UTOPIA project is the biggest such project in the country.

11:13:51 AM    comment []

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Al Bonnyman does a great job of covering news of municipal broadband developments around the country and he's been giving a lot of ink to Utah lately.  He points to an article by Karl Bode of Broadband Reports that states that Utah is at the center of the nation's largest broadband political debate.  Al also pointed out this article in today's issue of New Utah discussing Lindon's participation in the UTOPIA project.
9:28:13 AM    comment []

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Mayor Gerald Sherratt of Cedar City is calling the decision to join UTOPIA "the most important vote in the city's history."  Sherratt is the former president of Southern Utah University.  The new library at SUU is named after him and is an excellent online source of information. 

Roger Black was in Cedar City last night as residents debated the merits of the proposed fiber network.  Read more about it in The Spectrum or the Salt Lake Tribune.

I came across the Mountain West Digital Library which I had seen before, but has expanded since then.  It looks like an excellent service with access to 88 active CONTENTdm collections at universities in Utah and Nevada.

8:08:41 AM    comment []

© Copyright 2004 David Fletcher.

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