Coordinators’ Meeting 2013-12-16

(Written by Dennis Domer)


December 16, 2013


  • Marge Skubic (MU)
  • Dennis Domer (KU)
  • John Shreve (KU)
  • Eric Humes (Keystone IT Consulting)
  • J.T. Thompson (Keystone IT Consulting)
  • Cathy Boyer-Shesol (MARC)
  • Gene Wilson (MARC)

The meeting opened with a discussion, led by Eric Humes and J. T. Thompson of Keystone IT Consulting, on the need for a fiber-based infrastructure system with sufficient broadband width to provide multi-site telephone and Email communications as well as the collection and storage of data from all the connected universities, senior housing communities, and IT companies that choose to affiliate along the I-70 corridor. The electronic data storage site would be cloud-based and managed in accordance with HIPPA regulations for privacy, security, breach notification, and patient safety rules.

Humes and Thompson discussed the possibility of partnering with a network provider that already owns a fiber network in Kansas and Missouri along the I-70 corridor, such as Bluebird Network headquartered in Columbia, Missouri. Bluebird is a leading telecommunications company that provides high-speed broadband connections to communities across the Midwest and is very interested in the I-70 project. Bluebird has created a 6,000 mile robust high-speed telecommunications network with over 100 Points of Presence (POP) that support the 100 Gbps capable MPLS and DWDM equipment used to provide data services on its fiber. Bluebird Network’s fiber connection spans Missouri, Illinois, eastern Kansas, northwest Tennessee, and has a national reach made possible by their strategic partners. Bluebird, for example, already has fiber on the campus of the University of Kansas. Bluebird also funds projects and would be open to working with us and receiving proposals from the I-70 network. Michael Morey, CEO of Bluebird and Tony Schiber who offices in Kansas City, know what fiber is already installed along the corridor as well as high speed copper connections that reach out to smaller sites at some distance from the corridor fiber.

Keystone will map the fiber and copper infrastructure along the corridor. To map the density of infrastructure at specific locations along the corridor, Shesol-Boyer will provide addresses of senior housing facilities in Kansas City. Skubic will provide addresses in Columbia, including a MU address, and Domer will provide addresses in Lawrence, including a KU address. Shreve will work with Keystone and MARC to integrate additional technology infrastructure and aging information into MindMap and Google-map platforms that can be updated as information is added.

We agreed to set up an I-70 Corridor Steering Committee composed of one individual from each participating university and company. We agreed to further consider the duties of this committee.

We agreed that Domer would work to hire a firm to create a database driven website. This website might be hosted at the University of Missouri.

We agreed to ask all conference participants to submit a two-page biography according to examples usually submitted to the National Science Foundation. Skubic agreed to send such a biography as an example.

Skubic agreed to have her staff create a ListServ email protocol that all members of the network may use. Shreve agreed to provide names and email contacts for this ListServ from the conference.

We agreed that we would test multi-site telephone systems on January 14, 2014, at 10 am between the following sites: St. Louis (Keystone), Columbia (MU), Kansas City (MARC), Lawrence (KU), and Manhattan (KSU). We will test the Skype Professional Version and Web X that Keystone will share with us.

Cathy Boyer-Shesol and Gene Wilson discussed MARC and its interest in helping the I-70 corridor regional network by providing meeting space and potentially partnering in grant proposals. Boyer-Shesol agreed to coordinate with Shreve to identify other MPOs (metropolitan planning organizations) similar to MARC that we could contact that might become partnering communities along I-70. MARC is also willing to help us connect with community-based organizations, as appropriate.

We discussed the possibility of adding other institutions of higher education along I-70 to our network, including the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg that has a social gerontology department and Ft. Hays State University in Western Kansas.

There was a discussion about the best way to involve private industry in the I-70 network. We were concerned that we not favor any one company over another, yet we want to remain open to collaborative engagement. In particular, Keystone (Eric and JT), Proactive Sense (George) and Telecare Global (Katie and Greg) have been helpful partners who have advanced our technology considerations. One idea is to have an industry representative on the steering committee. Another idea would be to establish an advisory committee of non-academic partners.