April 6, 2020 AZBSN COVID-19 Digital Access Task Force
Teleconference Report Attendees Steve Peters, Oris Friesen, Henry Goldberg, Mark Goldstein, Michael Amick, Melissa Armas, Jerry Crow, Steve Eller, Terence Ford, Tim Harrington, Holly Henley, John Kelly, Alan Kost, Larry Light, Brian Louderback, Janet Major, Derek Masseth, Brian Monarrez, Mala Muralidharan, Lea Marquez Peterson, Alan Pruitt, Daniel Schwiebert, Steve Smith, Jeff Sobotka, Dan Stormont, Graham Taylor, Nicole Umayam, Scott Ward, Nan Williams, Karen Ziegler (and others not captured)..
Insight Direct USA, Inc. Offerings for COVID-19 Task Force Steve Peters stated that Commissioner Lea Marquez Peterson and her Policy Advisor Daniel Schwiebert referred the company Insight Direct USA, Inc. to speak to the AZBSN COVID-19 Digital Access Task Force about the potential assistance they could provide in its mission. Steve stated Insight has offered to provide such assistance at no charge. Terence Ford and Brian Louderback gave an overview of Insight for the task force. Insight is a global provider of IT hardware, software, and service solutions to the education, business, health care, and government sectors. They are based in Phoenix, had sales of $7 billion in 2018, have about 8000 employees, and operate in 19 countries. They partner with about 3500 digital hardware/software/services companies, including Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, Symantec, and VMWare.
Insight has worked with a number of K-12 school districts. Brian stated the change in E-rate funding policies for the COVID-19 crisis offers new opportunities for gifts of equipment and services. They work with all levels of education: K-12, community colleges, and universities.
Terence explained Insight structures solutions based on 30-day/60-day/90-day timelines typically. They perform a gap analysis to identify and prioritize needs, and then construct appropriate solutions. For this task force they would determine contributions that could be made by different partners in the required areas.
John Kelly commented there are 230 school districts and over 500 charter schools in Arizona, and the challenge is how to plan solutions for all of them. The K-12 school districts are required to report to the state government their own gap analyses by April 15th, and the state government may set priorities as opposed to the current situation where school districts are competing for resources. Lea Marquez Peterson added Sophia Mayberry of the Arizona Dept. of Education is conducting a statewide survey of school districts to understand their needs. Jeff Sobotka noted that Milan Eaton has reached out to 3000 school-related entities in Arizona on their needs, and has only received responses from about 170 so far. Brian responded Insight would take these gap analyses and priorities into account in their work for the task force. Nan Williams remarked that large school districts are further ahead in their planning for the COVID-19 crisis than small or rural school districts, which are struggling with how to handle this situation.
John Kelly asked Insight about supply chain delays in providing hardware. Brian responded that the COVID-19 crisis has created major new supply chain issues never seen before and they expect these to persist for the next 4-5 months. The average lead time for major OEM’s is currently about 21 days, with lead times varying depending on the type of equipment.
Jeff Sobotka stated he has had discussions with companies like AT&T and Cisco about what they can contribute, and is considering that in relation to federal government funding rules. Jeff sees Insight as a great company for this task force to work with to help integrate solutions from various partners. It will be important to focus on what can be done in the short-term vs. mid-term solutions for the next school year.
Lea Marquez Peterson added that Cynthia Zwick of the Wildfire organization, which assists people in poverty in Arizona, may be another useful resource for this task force.
Steve stated he would arrange another meeting of selected people from the task force to meet with Insight to discuss next steps.
COVID-19 Digital Access Task Force Website and Subcommittees Steve noted he has been working on the COVID-19 Digital Access Task Force website (hosted on the ATIC website). He has created an “About” page for the website. The website will likely include webpages for “Meetings”, “Resources”, “Updates”, “Contacts”, “Plans”, and “Leadership”.
Steve noted the AZBSN has had a Leadership Team. He would like to construct a spreadsheet of all people participating in the COVID-19 Digital Access Task Force. Henry Goldberg suggested this Task Force be kept separate from the original AZBSN Leadership Team, and the team members should be listed for each Subcommittee (Education, Libraries, Telemedicine, Communities, Service Providers, Funding).
Janet Major remarked this task force should work in close coordination with Jeff Sobotka’s activities, particularly broadband requirements in different regions. Jeff stated he supports the task force’s overall meetings that have been held so far and will discuss with Steve how the formation of the subcommittees should be handled and could support his work. Steve emphasized he does not want to duplicate what Jeff is doing.
Karen Ziegler explained the State government has not formed subcommittees like the task force is proposing. Karen stated Jeff Sobotka of the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), the Arizona Dept. of Administration (ADOA), and the Governor’s Office are going through the great amount of information coming out and transmitting relevant information to those with various needs. For example, the ACA has published a document on connectivity resources (which was distributed to the task force) and ADOA is summarizing information on devices. Karen emphasized this task force can bring key players to the table and make appropriate recommendations to the State government.
Steve remarked the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation is partnering with Data Doctors, Cox Communications, and AZ StRUT to provide laptops for K-12 students. He is talking with Omar Alam of Viasat on identifying the locations where their hotspots will be available for public access.
Mark Goldstein remarked the AZBSN Newsletter can distill key information from this task force to a broad audience of stakeholders across the state, and his “Arizona Tech Events Calendar” also will note key aspects of this task force for its large e-mail list.
Steve noted he has spoken with Brian Jung, Consulting Service Director of MSS Management Consulting Services, about assisting with the planning process for the task force subcommittees. Steve will discuss further with Brian Jung and Insight how they can work with this task force to do the necessary planning and recommendations in the short period of time required. MSS and Insight have offered their services at no charge to the task force. Mark Goldstein stated it will be valuable for this task force to bring together different stakeholders and coordinate recommendations in the subcommittees.
Next Steps The next AZBSN COVID-19 Digital Access Task Force meeting will be on Monday April 13th at 7:30 am. Further task force meetings will be arranged after the subcommittees’ issues are resolved and possibly after the subcommittees have begun operating.
Henry Goldberg and Oris Friesen will write up a summary report of today’s task force meeting.
Appendix: Chat from Zoom From Mark Goldstein to Everyone: (07:39 AM): Here's some recent articles I'm tracking and have found of interest/use. Benton Institute for Broadband & Society: Affordable Broadband Now and Later (4/1/20) - https://www.benton.org/blog/affordable-broadband-now-and-later
Benton Institute for Broadband & Society: How Does the CARES Act Connect Us? (4/3/20) - https://www.benton.org/blog/how-does-cares-act-connect-us
Cooley LLP: CARES Act Provisions That Impact Telecommunications Industry (3/29/20) - https://www.cooley.com/news/insight/2020/2020-03-29-cares-act-provisions-that-impact-telecommunications-industry
Covington & Burling LLP: CARES Act Will Support Internet Connectivity for Remote Education, Healthcare, and Work (3/27/20) - https://www.globalpolicywatch.com/2020/03/cares-act-will-support-internet-connectivity-for-remote-education-healthcare-and-work/
Finley Engineering: FCC Announces Plans for COVID-19 Telehealth Fund (4/2/20) - http://finleyusa.com/fcc-announces-plans-for-covid-19-telehealth-fund/
FierceHealthcare: As COVID-19 isolates patient FierceHealthcare: As COVID-19 isolates patients, telehealth becomes lifeline for behavioral health (3/30/20) - https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/tech/telehealth-taking-center-stage-to-treat-behavioral-health-needs-amid-covid-19-outbreak
From Janet Major to Everyone: (07:41 AM): Distance Learning Resources: https://usdla.org/distance-learning-coronavirus-covid-19-information/
From Janet Major to Everyone: (07:42 AM): Telehealth Resources https://southwesttrc.org/resources/covid19
From Dan Stormont to Everyone: (07:50 AM): We launched our TEALS Program Remote Teaching Best Practices Guide last week: https://www.tealsk12.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/RemoteBestPractices-TEALSProgram.pdf
From Malavika Muralidharan to Everyone: (07:50 AM): I am working with the E-rate steering committee in getting the rules and guidelines in place for E-rate for homes and students
From Lea Marquez Peterson to Everyone: (08:05 AM): Sophia Mayberry - AZED School District contact - statewide survey - Sophia.firstname.lastname@example.org
From Janet Major to Everyone: (08:25 AM): thanks Steve!
From nanwilliams to Everyone: (08:29 AM): Through ISTE we have developed these sub committees: Centering Equity; Connectivity; Personalized Learning; Social & Emotional Learning; Safety, Privacy & Digital Citizenship I am on the Connectivity group
From Lea Marquez Peterson to Everyone: (08:30 AM): Arizona Republic article today on Sunnyside School District putting wifi on school buses!
From Janet Major to Everyone: (08:30 AM): Steve - could you please copy and share the chat?