A panel of broadband experts, including WNC Broadband Project’s Bill Sederburg, discussed how to embark on a program – either on their own or with partners – to implement broadband infrastructure to benefit residents.
Moe Davis | Democratic Nominee 11th Congressional District
Danny Bottoms | Vision Cashiers; Public WiFi Project
Mike Hawkins | Transylvania County Board of Commissioners Chair
Hunter Goosman | ERC Executive Director/CEO
William Sederburg, Phd. | WestNGN Chair
Federal and state policy issues were discussed in the ‘Vote for Moe Davis’ YouTube video link below.
DISCLAIMER: The WNC Broadband Project, a Western North Carolina community group; is not connected with the ‘Vote for Moe Davis’ campaign. We advocate for the non-partisan expansion, education, and inclusion of high speed internet in our WNC communities.
The need for better broadband is clear. On the Asheville City Schools homepage, the tagline is ‘Excellence with Equity.’ The Asheville Citizen Times article linked below references that kids can not function without broadband in our current COVID environment.
Positive Opportunities Develop Success, or PODS are locations throughout our Asheville City School communities that provide broadband-available and socially distanced desks for students to connect to the internet and perform school work.
Because of PODS, the pandemic, in a strange twist, has actually become a boon to Asheville’s Black and brown students, Wynn said and other organizers say.
While there are not yet numbers to quantify it, the students appear to not only be surpassing their performance during the early part of the pandemic, but during times when they were in the regular classroom, they said.
“We’ve seen some dynamic change in our students, attitudes and confidence, and we just no longer want our Black and brown students to make up this opportunity gap,” Wynn said.
Asheville Citizen Times – Joel Burgess, on the behalf of Kidada Wynn – City Schools Student Support Services Executive DIrector
What about our future for students? Broadband or high-speed internet is necessary for digital inclusion and equity. Our community needs stewards of broadband and the Western North Carolina Broadband Project Team is here to help with the associated strategies including:
Federal, State, Regional, and Local Broadband Priorities
Funding & Foundation Leadership
Education & Healthcare
We can make a digital WNC that is inclusive.
Please consider supporting the WNC Broadband Project objectives. Our 2021 Policy Priorities will be released soon.
Today many tools are available hold ‘virtual events.’ Google Meet, Zoom, WebEx and others provide software for anybody to broadcast their virtual event.
The Asheville Chamber of Commerce’s WNC Career Expo – Virtual Job Fair was held Wednesday, October 14th through Friday, October 16th with dozens of employers and hundreds of job seekers. The virtual ‘Main Floor’ job fair was divided into employers with job opportunities and ‘Employment and Training’ representation; including Asheville 50+ Works. With this virtual online-event, those that have high-speed internet or broadband; job seeking is enabled virtually.
Businesses, individuals, and community groups can post broadband-heavy content including:
Broadband is high speed internet that connects you to the world and the opportunities that it beholds. Economic opportunities are changing as a result of broadband.
This Wednesday, Marc Czarnecki will hold a Livestream event with the Asheville Chamber of Commerce’s WNC Career Expo. It’s virtual, so you need internet access. Plan your internet access!
WNC CAREER EXPO
REGIONAL VIRTUAL JOB FAIR
At 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 14 – the Experienced Workforce Initiatives very own Web Tech Czar – Marc Czarnecki is inviting you to join his Google Livestream event on broadband and how to leverage it for your employment.
Angela Siefer, Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) speaks for our nation on digital opportunities. Her message provided to congress earlier this year:
Residential internet service in the US is expensive.
Analytic reporting of the cost of service throughout the nation are not available. We need the FCC to gather this data and make it publicly available.
In the US digital training is undervalued and underfunded.
1/3 of manufacturing workers lack proficient digital skills
1/2 of all construction, transportation, and storage workers lack proficient digital skills
No dedicated funding is available towards digital training in the US
Local governments, libraries, non-profits have been left to piece-together to needed recourses to address the basic digital skills training. Piecing together is the wrong strategy for a strong workforce.
Angela Siefer, Executive Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance
Our Western North Carolina communities need to continue to provide and grow:
Guidance to low income parents on how to connect to their children’s teachers.
Leadership for seniors on how to use electronic communication and telehealth.
Help Veterans and disadvantaged individuals with digital skills for employment.
Support the State of North Carolina in developing digital equity.
Digital equity refers to whether people can access and effectively use the technology necessary to participate in modern society. Digital equity planning is the opportunity for the rural areas of North Carolina as Representative Jake Johnson discusses.
Support the WNC Broadband Project’s goals to advocate, educate, and engage our communities in the needed awareness of these digital opportunities.
Digital Inclusion Week (DIW) aims to raise awareness of solutions addressing home internet access, personal devices, and local technology training and support programs.
DIW2020 is sponsored by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance representing more than 450 affiliated organizations in 44 states working toward digital equity.
The ability of individuals and groups to access and use information and communication technologies.
The condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy.
Digital equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment lifelong learning, and access to essential services.
This is the best time in our history of the continental US is that we stay connected. This is this is a time where individuals need to be informed. The internet is a great tool to use to stay informed and you can do it
Digital inclusion week continues with an interview with Reverend Louis Grant. Reverend Grant has been in the radio broadcast business for over 50 years including FM 106.9 the Light and Dr. Billy Graham’s Blue Ridge Broadcasting Company. Additionally, he mentions his personal angst when the radio broadcast world shifted from analog to digital. With this change also came the ability to broadcast content to an even larger global audience with the internet, a win for leveraging digital communication.
“We’ve been slow to get the word of the Lord out” [ on digital media ]
Reverend Louis Grant
Now Rev Grant provides video conference chapel services to local communities, leveraging high-speed internet.
The internet: “So much of the world that we did not know was out there. It’s mind-blowing. It opens more doors.”
Reverend Louis Grant
This week is Digital Inclusion Week and DIW aims to raise awareness of solutions addressing home internet access, personal devices, and local technology training and support programs. DIW2020 is sponsored by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance representing more than 450 affiliated organizations in 44 states working toward digital equity.
Western North Carolina Broadband Project appreciates Rev Louis Grant’s expanded knowledge and stewardship of the internet to leverage digital inclusion of content and communication in his communities.
Telehealth is a process of healthcare where a remote patient can use computer applications, telephone or computer audio, or video conferencing technology for healthcare assistance.
Representative Jake Johnson references retirees, COVID, and telehealth in the video snippet below.
How will telehealth and broadband integrate into our Western North Carolina future?
The WNC Broadband Project (Project) aims to support communities interested in ensuring access to reliable, truly high-speed internet service. It develops tools to empower individuals, communities, and area leaders in advocating effectively for their digital needs. As a community-supported initiative building on the work of West Next Generation Network (WestNGN), it is not owned or controlled by any affiliate of WestNGN. The WNC Broadband Project is also not financed by any corporate entity, as such financing would be inconsistent with the Project’s independent community engagement focus. The views, opinions and products of the WNC Broadband Project are the sole responsibility of the Project team and its advisory board, acting in their personal capacity and not in any capacity related to WestNGN, UNC Asheville, or any other WestNGN affiliate.
Another bonus, travelers and their lodging bring tax revenue says Representative Jake Johnson.
The WNC Broadband Project aims to support communities interested in ensuring access to reliable, truly high-speed internet service.
It develops tools to empower individuals, communities, and area leaders in advocating effectively for their digital needs.
As a community-supported initiative building on the work of West Next Generation Network (WestNGN), it is not owned or controlled by any affiliate of WestNGN.
The WNC Broadband Project is also not financed by any corporate entity, as such financing would be inconsistent with the Project’s independent community engagement focus.
The views, opinions and products of the WNC Broadband Project are the sole responsibility of the Project team and its advisory board, acting in their personal capacity and not in any capacity related to WestNGN, UNC Asheville, or any other WestNGN affiliate.