Blue Mountain Lake

A T-1 line, videoconferencing okayed by ILCS Board of Ed


Staff Reporter

INDIAN LAKE-Indian Lake Central School will soon have a T-1 telecommunication line and the technology for videoconferencing, which means specialized and advanced courses could be offered in a variety of subjects

During the Board of Education meeting of Tuesday, Sep. 17, Computer Specialist Michael Miller answered questions concerning a proposal made by Questar III to provide instructional videoconferencing and an Adirondack Area Network (AANet) T-1 telecommunication line. Included is technical support and program coordination for college level courses and staff development workshops.

Financing for the project is complicated. It hinges upon receiving a grant of $54,000 from Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), a national organization that seeks to bring better health care to rural areas

Under the terms of the grant, $18,000 is earmarked for Hudson Headwaters Health Network (HHHN) in Indian Lake and Indian Lake Volunteer Ambulance Corps must be connected to the T-1 line.

The balance may be divided between the school and the Town of Indian Lake, to include Town Hall, Indian Lake Library and Indian Lake Museum.

This one-time grant would cover the cost of installing the T-1 line and the videoconferencing unit. Initial costs to the school would be $2,700, to HHHN $2,100 and to the town $600.

During school year 2003/04, when the grant will have expired, the cost to the school would be $5,757, to HHHN $4,200 and $1,200 to the town.

School Superintendent Lawrence Patzwald pointed out these rates are lower than what is currently being paid Telenet for 56k modem

service. The school is now paying $900 per month for Internet service.

Miller explained the difference between a T-1 line and the regular phone lines now in use. He said transmission speed and reliability are the main advantages.

Miller said the difference would be especially noted when more than one computer was accessing the Internet at the same time. He pointed to how often teachers and students are forced to wait 10 or more minutes while a web site is being downloaded. The T-1 line would eliminate this wasted time, he said.

The board took its time reaching a decision because of the complicated nature of the financing and the total cost. They could easily see the advantages of a T-1 line and the ability to videoconference, but found it difficult to believe all this could be had for a lower yearly cost.

Patzwald went over the figures several times before the board gave unanimous approval.

The next meeting of the Board of Education will be Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 7:30pm.