Tina Nerat – brief history of RTC and telecom issues over the last 4 years. Details later. Too fast.
Runnette Allans from at&t:

Our area articulates its needs as far as broadband more clearly than in any other region.
at&t will continue to evolve and merge and acquire and grow. However, it will never diminish its attention to smaller markets: Our people live here, our CO is here, our network is here.

Gary Mandella, John Thomson, Dave Edmonds from at&t to discusss the network diversity.

Gary Mandella: Since the fiber went in, at&t has diversified using two radio signals out of the area. If the fiber gets cut, we will not be isolated because of the radio signal backup. Those signals will stay in place until there is some fiber redundancy.
CENIC asked at&t looked at redunany over high powered lines. But right of way costs were prohibitive. But if together we (RTC, RCRA, etc.) approach the state to remove roadblocks, extra fees, hard to justify building a redundant fiber to the corporation.

Because of Katrina, at&t has 84 tractor trailers that can be deployed as backup central offices in the light of some catastrophe.

Since it’s been up, there haven’t been any failures on the fiber. (Not what I understood regarding circuit issues that caused the Cox network problems a few weeks ago. Maybe he means a total failure of the fiber as opposed to partial network problems).

Dave Edmonds: Have taken considerable steps to harden the existing fiber route and though there have been a dozen near misses, there have been no failures. I guess that what he meant. The fiber has stayed intact.

John Thoms(?): Covered what positive things have happened recently. Increased bandwidth to the schools. If a corp. moved in and wanted an OC 192, they could do it. Reasserted that at&t is not going anywhere. He is aware that bandwidth needs and technology is going to explode. And planning is underway. Expanding 6 DSL sites. DSlams going in to many rural areas. Hoping we can all work together as a community to keep moving ahead.

Very interrsting. These gentlemen brought up a lot of issues I was unaware of. Good to hear we are not so isolated.