An Assurance smartphone is free for qualified individuals it comes with 10 Gigs of of monthly internet data for a laptop hotspot.
Periodically the Assurance phone tent can be found in Asheville.
If you qualify, Assurance Wireless periodically sets-up a tent in Asheville and provides a free smartphone for life’s needed communication from friends, family, employers, and more.
Weather forecast checks
Additionally, if you are 60+ years old and you are a Buncombe County resident… and have questions or need help in using an Android or Apple smartphone for employment or careers, please contact a member of the Digital Literacy Network for assistance.
A member of our tech team will setup an appointment in-person or virtually.
As a digital literacy instructor, I commonly get students that don’t understand the big-tech silos and the applications or apps that are associated with each of them, so I’ve authored a new acronym GAMY which could be expanded to GAAFMY:
Yahoo / Verizon
The primary significance is that each big-tech silos needs a security-key to get into their silo. A security-key is a unique combination of an email, username, password, phone number, location, and possibly other multifactor authentications. If you are a Google Business listing, you would also receive a snail-mail post card sent to your physical address; which is yet another piece of security-key data.
Each laptop, desktop, smartphone, tablet, IoT, smart TV, smart car or other computer device; individually requires device sign-in security. This device is yet another unique identifier to our profile. When individuals need to change a password, email, or device for an GAMY app; each device must be changed. Ouch!
BTS – Big Tech Silo
These security identifiers are data points held and managed by each big-tech silo (BTS). Is it safe to say, BTS know more about us than our own government? Our government most commonly knows us with only a combination of a name, address, email, phone, social security number.
BTS are the highly profitable growth superstars. Do they keep the best interest of all users when it comes to digital policy making?
Government vs BTS
As users, we really have little recourse to most BTS applications, but to accept their user license agreement or ULA. As individuals, we grant a lot of permission to the will of the BTS. So, who is our advocate of the software and hardware that uses broadband to transport digital information?
So if the Amazon superstar silo says they want new laws, who becomes the effective consumer advocate?
WNC Broadband project is your advocate for high-speed internet to use these big tech services.
Who is your big tech silo advocate as a consumer? Especially when is comes to GAMY policy and procedures?
Is our advocate the United States government?
Can policy makers be influenced BTS, including big tech Amazon; without the best interest of the consumer?
Telehealth is the use of communications technologies to provide health care from a distance. These technologies may include computers, cameras, videoconferencing, the Internet (ideally high-speed internet or broadband), and satellite and wireless communications.
Some examples of telehealth include
A “virtual visit” with a health care provider, through a phone call or video chat
Remote patient monitoring, which lets your provider check on you while you are at home. For example, you might wear a device that measures your heart rate and sends that information to your provider.
A surgeon using robotic technology to do surgery from a different location
Sensors that can alert caregivers if a person with dementia leaves the house
Sending your provider a message through your electronic health record (EHR)
Watching an online video that your provider sent you about how to use an inhaler
Getting an email, phone, or text reminder that it’s time for a cancer screening
What is the difference between telemedicine and telehealth?
Sometimes people use the term telemedicine to mean the same thing as telehealth. Telehealth is a broader term. It includes telemedicine. But it also includes things like training for health care providers, health care administrative meetings, and services provided by pharmacists and social workers.
What are the benefits of telehealth?
Some of the benefits of telehealth include
Getting care at home, especially for people who can’t easily get to their providers’ offices
Getting care from a specialist who is not close by
Getting care after office hours
More communication with your providers
Better communication and coordination between health care providers
More support for people who are managing their health conditions, especially chronic conditions such as diabetes
Lower cost, since virtual visits may be cheaper than in-person visits
What are the problems with telehealth?
Some of the problems with telehealth include:
If your virtual visit is with someone who is not your regular provider, he or she may not have all of your medical history
After a virtual visit, it may be up to you to coordinate your care with your regular provider
In some cases, the provider may not be able to make the right diagnosis without examining you in person. Or your provider may need you to come in for a lab test.
There may be problems with the technology, for example, if you lose the connection, there is a problem with the software, etc.
Some insurance companies may not cover telehealth visits
What types of care can I get using telehealth?
The types of care that you can get using telehealth may include
General health care, like wellness visits
Prescriptions for medicine
Dermatology (skin care)
Mental health counseling
Urgent care conditions, such as sinusitis, urinary tract infections, common rashes, etc.
For telehealth visits, just like with an in-person visit, it is important to be prepared and have good communication with the provider.
The North Carolina House unanimously approved legislation on Wednesday that aims to spend $750 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to install high-speed internet in rural and remote areas lacking it.
$350 million in discretionary American Rescue Plan funds earmarked for North Carolina to expand a relatively new state broadband installation matching funds program with internet providers and electric cooperatives.
$400 million in the funds from Congress on a new program that gives counties the ability to put out bids for broadband expansion in underserved areas. Federal aid going to counties also would pay for those projects.
The measure, which now goes to the Senate, meets goals of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper in his proposal last week to spend $1.2 billion of America Rescue Plan money on improving internet access.
The G.R.E.A.T. Broadband Expansion Act
Here is the link to the language of the bill as reported by the committee. The WNC Broadband Project Team is not aware of any floor amendments as reported out of committee, not what we are aware of or not.
A community leadership playbook is here from the North Carolina Information Technology Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO).
Planning Committees – recruit a dedicated group like the WNC Broadband Project and your Council of Governments (COG) to achieve your community’s broadband goals.
Assets & Needs – Identify broadband assets to meet our community needs. In Buncombe, Madison, Transylvania, and Henderson County, the Land-of-Sky Regional Council of Governments here here to help.
Building the Network – Form partnerships and roles to build you community’s broadband network. Who are your internet service providers (ISPs). What Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP) do you have available? Are cellular and satellite viable options?
Connecting with Partner Providers – Make long-term relationships with broadband provides and your community. Shoot to implement a fiber optic solution, if possible.
Policy & Broadband – Create strategie and incentives to make you community attractive to broadband providers.
American Rescue Plan – Recommendation Investing $1.2 billion
Closing the Digital Divide
The recommendation invests $1.2 billion in broadband access and affordability to close the digital divide in North Carolina. While North Carolina’s economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the gap between residents enjoying economic growth and those struggling to secure jobs, find housing, and pursue educational resources is widening. The funds will provide access to affordable, high-speed internet in every corner of the state and will ensure high-speed internet is equitably adopted and residents are able to access education, healthcare, and business opportunities.
7th of the top 10 National Parks with the Fastest Mobile Download Speeds
A Park to Work Remotely or Digitally Disconnect?
Why are the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky National Park some of the most visited national destinations in America? Climate, scenery, outdoor activities, family-friendly and other attributes are likely at the top of the list.
Did you know the Great Smoky Mountains National Park of North Carolina is listed as having one of the fastest mobile download speeds in? In fact is it listed as 7th.
Visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park
When you travel or vacation in Western North Carolina, are you here to work remotely or digitally disconnect? Likely there is a flavor of both.
Camping with Water, Electricity, Cellular Data and WiFi
A feature of some national campgrounds is public WiFi. With the availability of WiFi or cellular data, connecting to work is likely to happen. Premium camping sites likely have cellular data connectivity. How does available broadband affect your camping location decision?
Broadband for Emergency and Operations
Emergency personnel also depend on broadband to provide services with the volumes. If the law enforcement, medical, or fire personnel need the use of video, broadband speeds are needed. Broadband is considered high-speed internet of at least 25Mbs down and 5Mbs up. Good broadband also means low latency. Not having sufficient broadband can affect park operations negatively with associated services include fuel, food, and logistical topics.
Plan Your Summer Trip
During the spring many folks plan their summer trip. If you trip is to a national park, ask yourself and family; how important is it to be internet connected? Likely if you are sharing photos and videos during your trip, you will need available broadband.