www.RMIUG.org
January 10th, 1995
Internet Provider Panel

01/10/95 RMIUG Meeting Minutes - Internet Provider Panel

The 12th meeting of the Rocky Mountain Internet User's Group was held January 10, 1995. The auditorium was overflowing, and approximately 60 people had to be turned away due to fire code restrictions. Per our previous Email, the RMIUG volunteers apologize for having to turn people away, and we are working on trying to ensure that this won't happen again. Randy Holt (rholt@rmiug.org) MC'ed the meeting.

First, general administrivia issues and announcements of interest were presented:

  • Alek Komarnitsky (alek@rmiug.org) proposed having an RMIUG Ski Day. It will almost certainly be at Winter Park/Mary Jane. Alek be monitoring snow conditions (via http://www.aescon.com/ski) and "announce" this a few days before we do it (it will be on a weekend). Nothing formal, Alek will just set up some meeting times for lunch and afterwards - one RMIUG'er has tentively volunteered his condo (and community pool/jacuzzi!) if people want to hang out afterwards. Please contact Alek if you have any suggestions, want to volunteer your place, etc.

  • Alek also mentioned an article in the January/1995 Boulder County Business Report titled "Employees on the Net: A Productivity Dilemma" Written by Hilary Lane, it discusses how the Internet can be useful, but also can be a sink-hole of time and negatively effect people's professional and personal life. BCBR is available free at most King Soupers/Safeways/etc. and Alek recommends you check this out; it illustrates the "dark side" of the Internet.

  • As an update to our last meeting, at which Lt. Governor Sam Cassidy spoke:

    The Lt. Governor's telecom report is now available online. Using a Web browser, you can access the report using the URL: http://www.emporiumone.com/Governor/TelecommReport

    Also, Jeff Nieusma (nieusma@InternetOne.com) has setup an Email alias of co-gov@InternetOne.COM which you can send an Email to and he will then snail-mail this on a weekly basis. Senders should put all name/address information in the message body, just as with a business letter. Be sure to mention that you want your government to be on-line! RMIUG thanks Internet One for their help in setting this up.

  • Will Clurman (will@rmiug.org) announced the winners of the RMIUG logo contest. There was a tie between two logos. One (a picture of a "RMIUG" (the animal!) by Erin Hooley, age 12) is suitable for T-shirts, golf club covers, ties, etc., and the other (a logo with mountains in the background with smiley faces by Dave Eisler) is appropriate for letterhead and business cards (if we ever get them!). Thanks to all that submitted entries.

  • Robert Skrobe is looking to talk to any individuals who found their current job or a previous work assignment through job hunting on the Internet. He is considering a future RMIUG Job Search Action Group topic centered around this. Anyone fitting the above profile can send E-mail to Robert at skrobero@student.msu.edu.

  • On January 19th, the Internet Chamber of Commerce is meeting at the Ramada Inn in Westminster at 7pm. The chamber helps businesses and non profits gain advantage through Internet service providers, consultants, and others trying to use the net in their business. Contact Llyod Brodsky (lbrodsky@rocksolid.com) for more information. To subscribe to the chamber's mailing list, send mail to majordomo@xor.com with 'subscribe intercom' in body of message. There is a $10 fee to cover the cost of the meeting room.

  • The Colorado Web Coalition is an interactive clearing house of information for the development and use of the World Wide Web in Colorado. It is committed to indentifying the needs of Web users and the issues involved as use of the Web evolves. The currently URL for the Coalition is http://128.138.144.71/cwc/cwc.html

RMIUG wants to thank Karl Sierka for video taping this meeting. The video tape will be available for checkout from the RMIUG library at the next meeting.

This meeting was extremely difficult to take minutes for. The panel first introduced themselves, and then were asked a series of questions from the moderator (Randy Holt) and the audience. The "introductions" read for each provider were:

Angel Prouty
info@dash.com
Denver Area Super Highway (DASH)

DASH is a commercial Internet provider offering an internal fiber backbone, a T1 external connection with plans to offer v.34 connections by Q295. They offer basic email to full throughput high speed digital and WWW access through their Point of Presence provider, Shaman Exchange, to 100% of the Denver Metro area with 800 service by Q295. Users can log in using a range of connect styles from basic command line access to sophisticated web browsers with support 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Their customer service representatives receive on the average of 50 email messages a week. They are an independent Internet provider with no ties to any large corporations.

Daniel M. Winokur
info@usa.net
Internet Express, Inc (USA)

Internet Express connects directly to the ANS/NSF T3 backbone via a T1 from Colorado Springs to Denver. Their backbone is T1 and 56K depending on POP location, as follows: Denver - 768K, CSprings - T1, Pueblo - 56K, Phoenix - T1, Albuquerque - 56K, Seattle - 128K (opening Jan. 19) POPs serve the local calling areas of each city above. Customer service is available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Independent, but closely affiliated with Telephone Express, a leading regional provider of telephone long distance services.Customer service handles approximately 750 calls per week. They plan v.34 services within six months.

Jim Welch
info@rmii.com
Rocky Mountain Internet Inc. (RMII)

RMII currently uses has T1 (1.54Mbps) Internet connectivity. POPS are located in Colorado Springs, Denver, Loveland/Fort Collins and is currently looking for a home in Puelbo, installation targeted for Q195. Network Operations Center staffing hours 09:00a-8:00p Mon-Fri and 10:00-1:00 Sat. Locally owned and operated. In response to How many calls/emails does your customer service department receive each week: "Unknown at this time; we never bothered to count them up." RMII plans to have v.34 facilities in the first quarter of 95.

Guy Cook
info@csn.org
Colorado SuperNet

CSN has POPs in Alamosa, Boulder,Colorado Springs, Durango, Fort Collins, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Greeley, Gunnison, Pueblo, Sterling, Telluride, and provide 800 service. They will be upgrading modem pools to V.34 over the next 18 months. SuperNet provides T1 connectivity to the new NSF program. They are also evaluating higher bandwidth service offerings of 3Mbps, 6Mbps, 9Mbps, and 45Mpbs. CSNs Network Operations Center staffing hours are from 8:00 - 6:00 with a7x24 pager. SuperNet is an independent company, and receive between 500 - 600 calls and 700 emails per week to their customer service organization.

Terry Morreale
coop@coop.net
Colorado Internet Cooperation Association (The COOP)

All new dialup connections are provided with V.34 facilities, with upgrades of existing connections are in progress. The Coop only provides dedicated services (dedicated SLIP, 56k, T1, etc). The primary Coop POP is in Boulder with local calling in the Denver, Boulder, and Longmont areas. In addition, Coop members provide dialup services (many with value added) in the calling areas of Fort Collins, Steamboat Springs, Vail, and Durango. The Coop does not have a NOC, per se. All member/customers are responsible for monitoring / managing their connection all the way to the Coop interface. The Coop has technical staff on-call 24 hours/day and 7 days/week to respond to problems with Coop-side hardware or networks. The Coop backbone and primary Internet connection are monitored with staff notified electronically for emergencies. The Coop is an independent organization incorporated under CRS Title 7 Article 55 Cooperative law. In response to How many calls/emails does your customer service department receive each week: "On average, zero. Our network is reliable. Any problems are usually on the member side and resolved by the member."

Joe Ilacqua
spike@indra.com
Indra's Net

Indra's Net, Inc. is a new, independently-owned Internet access provider based in Boulder. They expect to be fully operational by February 1st, providing dial-in and WWW services to individuals and organizations. A member of the Colorado Internet Coop, Indra's Net is connected to the Internet via a T1 connection. All dial-in modems are V.34. Technical support and customer service by will be available Monday through Friday 9AM to 9PM, Saturday 10AM to 6PM, and Sunday noon to 5PM. Email support will often be available outside of normal support hours.

Dan Reifsnyder
ryfe@tesser.com
Tesser

All modems are V.34. Their pop is in Boulder, and our calling area covers Denver, Allenspark, Erie, Longmont, Lyons, Nederland, Niwot, and Ward. NOC hours are officially 8am to 6pm, but someone is usually in the office until 8 or 9. Beeper support 24 hours a day. Tesser is an independent Limited Liability Corporation. Tesser is currently in the final stages of beta-testing before opening. They offer the "Pipeline" all-in-one Internet software.

Out of all the questions asked, these were some of the general comments conveyed:

On "Appropriate use policies":
Most providers have some type of appropriate use policy. They generally expect their users' activities to be legal and "Internet correct". People can be cut off for "spamming the network" (sending out mass email, annoying other users, etc.). They reserve right to terminate users' accounts.

On "Why pick a specific provider":
It's an issue of bandwidth and customer service. You can always get cheaper access, but need people that will provide support to help you get things done when you want them done. If you're happy with the customer support, them you will, in general, be happy with the service.

On "Technical challenges in the coming year":
Providers are experiencing tremendous growth, and with that they need to balance their resources to meet the increasing demand. Dealing with USWest was one of the biggest challenges. Also educating users who don't understand what the net is all about - getting them up to speed quickly and efficiently.

For more information about Internet providers, look at RMIUG's Internet Provider List, maintained by Tom Bresnahan (tbrez@csn.org). It's available via ftp (ftp.rmiug.org/rmiug.org/rmiug.inet.providers), Gopher (gopher.rmiug.org), and the Web (http://www.rmiug.org/rmiug).

The next RMIUG Meeting will be Tuesday, February 14th; same bat-time, same bat-channel. The tentitive title is "Using the Internet for Job Placement; an Employer's presespective" It will feature a panel composed of an Engineering Manager, Recruiter, and HR specialist who all use the Internet to fill positions. They will talk about their experiences, what works & what doesn't, and there should be a lively Q&A session.

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