MInutes of the Meeting

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Participating
1.Alberto Escudero-Pascual
2.Dorothy Okello
3.Louise Berthilson
4.Frank Kitumba

Absent with Apologies
1.Nelson Tashobya

Proceedings

1. Tax bill for SmartBridges equipment
The import of radio equipment from SmartBridges in Singapore ended up with a huge tax bill of approx. 60% of the total value of the goods. CWRC have since last week been working on a solution to the problem by contacting the tax authority.

A letter was written to URA through UPS describing the nature of the CWRC project and the equipment. Dorothy informs the meeting that the latest word from UPS is that we shall likely have to foot the tax bill. However UPS is to deliver documentation received from URA to the CWRC office within the morning. A number of queries and suggestions were made, including:
* Whether the CWRC would be reimbursed for the tax bill: This is not likely and hence the bill would be an additional cost for the project – in the range of 7,000 – 8,000$
* The reason for the high taxes and whether this would be applied to all goods to be shipped to Uganda: The reason is not known but it is hoped that a review of the documentation from URA will reveal the cause as well as the likely impact on future shipments
* Whether high ranking personnel at the University could assist: Again, there is need to first assess the documentation from URA. However, this documentation is also to be reviewed with the IDRC Accountant at Makerere
* What happens if the equipment is owned by the University: But the equipment is actually being installed at telecenters, and if this is to be university it could also open up the can of who then is paying for the internet access

Action: Dorothy to post information about this situation to the Wireless Africa Group (once the position of URA is known). Louise, Alberto, Dorothy to have skype meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss way forward (once URA documentation has been received)

2. Procurement in Sweden
Last week, Alberto informed that the equipment from NoWire (the radio equipment) had arrived. The procurement of goods is completed by IT46 and ready for shipment. However, IT46 and CWRC have agreed on postponing the shipment until CWRC has sorted out the tax issue for the imported equipment.

Action: Status remains the same, no further shipments until taxes issue is resolved. IT+46 to use the time to do some testing and pre-configurations.

3. Wireless/VoIP network in Nakaseke (by the Ministry of ICT)
Frank was to obtain a soft copy of the proposal from the Ministry to establish a wireless/VoIP network in Nakaseke. This would enable the team address questions such as what is the scope of the project and who will run/maintain the network.

Frank reported that he was yet to get a copy of the proposal.

Action: Frank to get copy of proposal. Discussion on this topic adjourned till proposal available.

4. Outdoor Ethernet Cable
At the previous meeting it had been agreed that a local supplier should be used since the Swedish delivery time is over 60 days. Frank to place an order of the outdoor cable with local supplier.

It was noted that this may require purchasing through the University system which would extend the order time to up to six weeks, especially since the cable supplier would not be pre-qualified.

In general status of local procurement is still pending. UPSs need to go through the local procurement system while the poles and brackets are to be sourced directly. UPSs do need to be available before site installations can begin.

Action: CWRC to continue with the local procurement issues

5. SLA and Time/activity Plan
Frank has prepared and distributed an SLA and time/activity plan for discussion. Comments have been received on the time/activity plan, and expected for the SLA.

CWRC agrees with the IT+46 proposal to have a phase approach to the installations whereby only a few clients are setup for each telecentre in the first round.

Regarding local procurement, this will need to be done mindful of the space requirements for storage. Some bulk purchases, procurement time allowing, may need to be purchased as needed to minimize storage requirements.

For the SLA, this is a contract to between the telecentres and the partners and not the CWRC and the clients. The CWRC will just build the networks, not own and maintain them.

Action: Frank will incorporate comments received from IT+46 and Dorothy and share new versions of the SLA and Time/Activity Plan later this week. Additional comments from Alberto to be received by Tuesday.

6. SmartBridges equipment
IT+46 has training material for how to configure SmartBridges equipment and Compex equipment. This equipment is very sensitive to power fluctuations during bootup and re-process and so it is of great importance always to use a UPS when powering them on.

IT+46 has prepared three documents: configuration of Smartbridges and Compex equipment, and advanced features for outdoor wireless links.

Action: Louise to send all three documents during course of this week.

7. IT+46 second visit
A pending issue from last week’s meeting was deciding a suitable time for the second visit by IT+46.

The first two weeks have been considered favourable for both IT+46 and CWRC.

Action: CWRC and IT+46 to mark first two weeks of September for IT+46 second visit

8. AOB
Frank raises query about the connectivity at the telecentres, in particular, the issue of uplink to the telecentres and whether VSAT connections would be appropriate.

Alberto recommends that we start with what is currently available, then re-evaluate as we go and expand.

Prepared by CWRC