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I-Net Connectivity Initiative

The MHCRC created a funding initiative within the Community Access Capital Grant program to advance I-Net stakeholders’ ability to access communications services being made available by ComNet (the City of Portland’s network division) through the interconnection between the I-Net and IRNE (the Integrated Regional Network Enterprise). The MHCRC provided funding to stakeholders under this initiative in three phases including funding from Capital Grant FY2001-02 to FY2004-05 funds.

The initiative was designed to fund two primary aspects of connectivity:

  • New I-Net connections for stakeholder priority sites not yet connected; and
  • Stakeholder edge devices to access the I-Net/IRNE delivered services.

The initiative was later amended to include new I-Net connections for sites that wished to use the I-Net for live origination video.

Funding Process

Eligibility criteria, an application and a funding approval process developed specifically for this funding purpose was approved by the MHCRC in 2002 in consultation with AT&T/Comcast, ComNet and participating stakeholders.

Funding for edge devices was implemented through an interagency transfer process between ComNet and the MHCRC (via the MHCRC’s staff services agreement with the City of Portland Office of Cable Communications and Franchise Management (OCCFM) (OCCFM became the Office for Community Technology effect 9/23/11), however once purchased, ownership of the edge devices was transferred from ComNet to the stakeholder applicant.

Funding for new I-Net connections was initially implemented through a contract agreement between the MHCRC and AT&T/Comcast. The funding agreement was amended for Phase II of the initiative. New I-Net connections approved under Phase III of the initiative were funded by the I-Net Capital Fund.

I-Net Connectivity Initiative funding was made available:

  • To applicants that are designated access providers, educational institutions and government agencies located with Multnomah County; and
  • For capital expenses related to High Capacity site connections to the I-Net.

Awards

Phase I of the initiative resulted in grant awards to 24 sites for I-Net construction costs and 83 sites for end-user edge devices to acc I-Net/IRNE delivered services. Phase II of the initiative resulted in grant awards to 33 sites for I-Net construction costs and 60 sites for end-user edge devices. Phase III of the initiative resulted in grant awards to 19 sites for I-Net construction costs and 80 sites for end-user edge devices.

Future Funding Requests

As a result of a staff assessment of stakeholder needs in December of 2004, the MHCRC has concluded that the I-Net Connectivity Initiative purposes were fulfilled under the three separate initiatives and is therefore no longer making grant program funds available for end-user edge devices. The MHCRC encourages I-Net stakeholders to include the cost of edge devices (approximately $2,324 for the device and installation) for sites not yet accessing I-Net/IRNE delivered service into organizational strategic planning processes.

Funding for new I-Net connections continues to be available on site-by-site basis through I-Net Capital Funds. To request MHCRC consideration of a new I-Net connection, please contact MHCRC staff.

I-Net Connectivity Initiative

Award recipients include:

  • City of Portland
  • Portland Public Schools
  • Multnomah Education Service District
  • City of Gresham
  • Multnomah County
  • Mt Hood Community College