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.
Is broadband on your mind with the upcoming Buncombe elections?
Who mentions broadband in their campaign?
Cal Cunningham | Priorities: Lower-cost, accessible healthcare; equitable economy + living wage; investing in rural broadband; raising teacher pay; spreading solar energy; protecting Roe v. Wade; common-sense gun reform; expanding voting rights + more
Thom Thillis (incumbent) | Priorities: Helped pass the Farm Bill; increase broadband access for rural communities; expand + maintain export markets for agricultural products; “right-sizing” solar tariffs; help with national park maintenance; secure borders and use merit-based immigration system; roll back wasteful Obama-era regulations; combat the opioid crisis
NC Commissioner of Agriculture
Jenna Wadsworth | Priorities: Farmland preservation; building resiliency into farm plans to address climate change; promoting hemp and cannabis legalization; increasing opportunities for farmers + rural communities; food science research; rural broadband access + more
Buncombe County Commission District 1
Terri Wells (D) | Priorities: Improving access to high-quality broadband internet; building more greenways + recreational assets; improving local education and increasing access; mitigating the effects of climate change; using tax dollars raised from tourism to improve the lives of residents. DYK: Terri is a ninth generation farmer in Sandy Mush. She serves on the Buncombe County Agricultural Advisory Board and was a creator of the Farm Heritage Trail.
Boosting your Wi-Fi signal is a multi-pronged approach.
Here are six ways you can boost your Wi-Fi signal to receive better Wi-Fi speeds:
1 – Upgrade your router to 802.11ac or 802.11ax 2 – Move your router to boost Wi-Fi signal 3 – Switch to wireless mesh for greater Wi-Fi signal coverage 4 – Upgrade your Wi-Fi receivers and antennas 5 – Use a Wi-Fi extender (AKA repeater) 6 – Make a DIY Wi-Fi antenna booster
City of Asheville IT staff is investigating possibilities to provide free broadband in Asheville and Buncombe County.
Free broadband internet would be available in public spots throughout Buncombe County under a proposal by the local government’s information technology department.
“Information Technology staff continue to work with internet providers to explore opportunities for internet connectivity throughout the County (Buncombe Broadband Workgroup) to help those who do not currently have access to high speed internet”
With COVID-19, the world of online communication has significantly changed in 2020. Communicating with technology has significantly increased with video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, etc..
As a further extension to video conferencing, live streaming video content is appropriate for when an individual or panel of speakers needs to broadcast information to many people during an event. Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube are some of the frequently used tools for live streaming.
Live Streaming Defined
Live streaming the internet process of holding a live event. Facebook, YouTube, Zoom, and other tools allow an individual or small group to present content through the use of a webcam and a microphone. Computer laptops and smartphones both have a built-in microphone and camera. Newer computers are needed for the RAM or Random-Access-Memory and CPU or Central Processing Unit demands. To live stream, broadband or high speed, dependable internet is also needed.
Additionally, a third party can support hosting a live streaming event with an EMCEE, online transitions, callouts, background music and more services. These services require even more broadband; including fast download, fast upload, and low-latency internet connections. Ideally, a FTTP or Fiber To The Premise broadband (home or business) is ideal.
WordCamp, a Global Event
On Saturday September 12th the local WordPress community held a live streaming event with the Word Camp community leadership. This event is traditionally held at a large venue location like AB Tech or UNCA; however, social distancing caused the leadership team to plan and implement an online solution for this 2-day event that typically sells-out with in excess of 300 attendees. Word Camp is a global event where throughout the year businesses, website developers, coders, and marketers get together at various global locations to promote WordPress website ideas, concepts, training, and more.
WordCamp Asheville or #WCAVL (# is a taxonomy symbol grouping like words or phrases for various social media channels). The 2020 theme was a county home setting with a Front, Back Porch, Kitchen and more. These virtual rooms were live stream rooms where attendees could hear a WordPress subject matter expert present various business and technical topics.
Diversity, Ethnicity, and Inclusion in Tech
In the Front Porch or ‘Track 1’ there was a discussion titled ‘Diversity in Tech’ Panel with Sarah Benoit, Aisha Adams (both from Western North Carolina), Aida Correa of Atlanta, Georgia, and Joe A. Simpson Jr. from Los Angeles, California. During this live stream event they discussed DEI or diversity, ethnicity, and inclusion in the technology world for the benefit of ages of children through older adults. Additionally, Aisha mentions how Asheville ‘still has areas without broadband access.’
About the Author of This Article
Marc Czarnecki or Web Tech Czar was an EMCEE for #WCAVL and is a community member of:
EveryoneOn.org is a government initiative that partners with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to bring internet access in every household.
Freedom Pop is a great platform that offers free internet access for your computer as well as your smartphone. Freedom Pop is exceptional for users who cannot justify their internet expenses because their usage is too low.
Many thanks for Western Carolina University, Smokey Mountain News, Blue Ridge Public Radio, Mountain Xpress for hosting the NC Congressional candidate debate on September 5th with Republican Party Nominee Maidson Cawthorn, @Cawthorn2020; and Democratic Party Nominee Moe Davis, @MoeDavisforCongress on the Facebook livestream.
Yes, in Western North Carolina we also have an appetite for broadband. School-age kids have a real hunger for the internet. Area restaurants not only serve meals, but also WiFi for those in need of connectivity for their internet functions including school work. Surprisingly, some of the fastest broadband can be found at common eateries.
A Necessity of Life
The CNN article below cites a viral picture of two children at a Taco Bell working on their laptop. They were having to use available and free broadband to fulfill educational expectations.
Technology is so critical and we cannot view it as a luxury, it’s a necessity of life, it should be seen as a utility like water, electricity and gas.
Very similar to California, WNC students have internet connectivity needs; but likely due to finances, many have to leave home to find available life resources, including internet technology.
Because is critical for all to have available internet for education, healthcare, social, and economic development; please consider supporting your community hubs, including educational institutions through the WNC Broadband Project.
Nutrition for Our Future
The reality is: broadband provides nutrition for our future.