Categories
Broadband access Broadband in WNC Co-Ops Community Development Economic Development FTTP Madison

Rural Electric and Telephone Co-Ops

“Cooperatives Meet the Needs of People They Serve”

Laying fiber optic cable underground is expensive. Additionally, fiber networks are needed to support community networks. What is a potential solution towards getting fiber to the premise?

In Madison County, the French Broad River Electric Membership Corporation starting implementing fiber internet service for future needs.

FBEMC will provide Fiber To The Premise (FTTP) of:

  • 4056 people
  • 189 farms
  • 64 businesses
  • 2 fire stations

Also See

https://www.frenchbroademc.com/fiber/

https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/madison/2020/07/31/federal-grant-key-internet-expansion-madison-county/5556412002/

http://broadbandbreakfast.com/2020/10/national-rural-education-association-advocates-for-universal-home-broadband-access-to-assist-rural-students/

Categories
Advocacy Broadband in WNC FCC Policy

Biden To-Do List

Net Neutrality

The FCC is expected to restore Obama-era net neutrality rules when the agency returns to Democratic control next year.

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to move to restore net neutrality rules after President-elect Joe Biden takes office, undoing the agency’s deregulation of the broadband industry during the Trump administration.

The key regulatory underpinning would be a reclassification of broadband as a service under Title II of the Communications Act. That reclassification would enable the agency to reinstate rules requiring that companies like AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. treat all internet traffic equally, and take other actions to regulate broadband providers’ business practices amid the pandemic.

Bloomberg Law

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/tech-and-telecom-law/net-neutrality-tops-to-do-list-for-fcc-democrats-in-biden-era

Support the Western North Carolina Broadband Project Team, advocating for broadband improvement for our future.

Categories
Broadband in WNC IoT M2M Speed Test Upload WiFi Wireless

Broadband Upload

Internet Speed Isn’t Just Download

When you take an internet speed test you are provided with 1) Upload, 2) Download, and 3) Latency/Ping data speed information.

Children at home that connect to schools, play games in the cloud, video share via cell phones; and, home workers that have files to upload and video conferences; these are upload uses of available broadband.

Additionally, Machine to Machine (M2M) is the data of connectivity for your home’s Internet-of-Things (IoT) connected devices. This upload data continues to consume growing upload bandwidth with our devices.

Global Device/Connection Growth by Type by 2022 – Cisco. Note the RED line indicating strong growth of M2M or IoT device that demand more internet upload resources.

But did you know the Federal Communications Commission and many ISPs did not anticipate the significant degree of bandwidth use and upload speeds necessary for these our current COVID environment?

More at NC Broadband Matters Tech Topic Video

The Upload Crisis from NC Broadband Matters

What are your download and upload speeds? Take the WNC Broadband Project Speed Test today.

Benchmark your service at different times during the day.

Are you getting sufficient upload speeds for your needs at home?

Also See

Your Advocates

The Western North Carolina Broadband Project Team continues to advocate for improving high speed internet. Current FCC broadband standards of 25Mbs down and 3Mbs up will not sustain our future of economic growth and education.

Your voice is our future!

Categories
Broadband in WNC Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Digital Literacy Education

Digital Literacy

Computers & K-12 Students

The American Library Association (ALA) defines digital literacy as:

the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills

American Library Association

The heartbeat of digital literacy is broadband applied in classrooms on different computer hardware tools including smartphones, tablets, gaming devices, and desktop computers.

This classroom environment prepares young adults to become a digital citizen or individual who applies the internet to participate responsibly in social and civic activities.

Examples of Digital Citizenship

  • Using a computer, mouse or trackpad, audio, etc.
  • Avoiding harassment
  • Critical thinking
  • Ethical use of content

At the Western North Carolina Broadband Project, we advocate for digital inclusion and equity of broadband for all.

Share your digital citizenship stories by emailing digcit@wncbroadband.org.

Categories
Affordability Broadband access Broadband funding Broadband in WNC

Digital Divide, Biden

$20B Rural Broadband Infrastructure

Biden’s plan for rural America specifically references spending $20 billion in expanding rural broadband infrastructure, tripling funding for Community Connect broadband grants to expand access in rural areas, and reforming the Lifeline program, which subsidizes internet and phone services for low-income participants.

Universal Access

the Biden administration could expand universal access by subsidizing service in underserved rural and urban areas and helping those without access purchase the connections they need. He noted that this should be a high priority because people cannot apply for jobs, make online transactions, or access government services without high-speed broadband

Darrell West, VP & Director at the Brookings Institution

Nearly one-fourth of Americans who live in rural areas lack access to fixed broadband services, according to the Federal Communications Commission’s Eighth Broadband Progress report.

https://www.inc.com/amrita-khalid/biden-broadband-plan.html

The Western North Carolina Broadband Project Team advocates for high-speed internet for education, healthcare, economic growth, and more. Can your internet service become better? Let your community policy makers know.

Also See

2021 Policy Priorities

Hello President Elect Biden

Categories
5g Broadband in WNC Broadband Technology Data FCC WiFi Wireless

Learn About 5G

1G, 2G, 3G, 4G and coming soon 5G.

Wikipedia says 5G is the 5th generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, which cellular phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019, and is the planned successor to the 4G networks which provide connectivity to most current smartphones.

Our future will see the growth of 5G small cells that are lower to the ground and will cover smaller areas. Thus rural America will see less of 5G and it will take longer to be able to leverage 5G benefits.

Wireless technology is the ability to communicate between two or more entities without the use of wires or cables. Encyclopedia indicates “wireless technology involves transmitting electromagnetic signals over the air. Interference and obstacles that block RF signals are common problems with wireless technology. Wireless technology allows users to communicate simultaneously over the same medium without their signals interfering with one another.”

With 5G wireless stations reaching >20 times more of the workload of the predecessors and beamforming for signals directed to the receiver; 5G will provide full duplex abilities to speak and listen with much greater efficiency allowing expansion and acceleration; provided volumes of 5G networks are available.

Additionally 5G will reduce latency, handle large digital transfers, and provide for security. As Ryan Spence indicates in the LinkedIn Learning module noted below, the value of 5G is not a new wireless technology, but as a ‘change agent’ for what it will enable in our futures.

Additionally, the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) has taken actions to make additional wireless high, mid, and low spectrum and unlicensed bands available with the ‘5G FAST Plan.’ Included with this plans is the modernizing of regulations including one-touch make ready, IP transition, business data, and supply chain regulations. 5G product manufacturers are also building the hardware and security solutions for smartphones, Internet of Things, and home WiFi. And, unlike current WiFi systems, 5G WiFi can associate with unlimited devices.

FCC Chairman Pai explains the FCC’s work on the 5G FAST Plan.

5G in WNC

5G will likely have the greatest impact in the fabric of IoT, AR/VR, and AI. In Western North Carolina, industries including manufacturing (example – jet engines), retail (example – Amazon logistics), transportation (examples – Uber, Lyft, city/state municipalities), utilities (example – French Broad Electric Coop), and entertainment (example Asheville’s music scene) could be some of the forerunners of the future of 5G. A future of 3D models for real estate will be possible. Healthcare with tremendous amount of information exchanged is yet another evolution. Your home’s grocery stock will be efficiently stocked through IoT.

LinkedIn Learning – Free in Buncombe County

In addition to LinkedIn Learning providing a free 1-month trial for new subscribers, Buncombe County Public Libraries offer free, unlimited access to Lynda.com; now called Learning from LinkedIn.

Complete this course and earn a certificate for your professional development.

5G Technology Strategy

Next-Generation Mobile Networking

https://www.linkedin.com/learning/5g-technology-strategy-next-generation-mobile-networking/welcome-to-5g

5G Topic Email in WNC

Stay abreast with 5G topics in Western North Carolina.

Request to be added to our 5G Google email group 5G@WNCBroadband.org.

Please state your location and why you are interested in joining this email group.

Categories
Broadband Technology SpaceX Starlink

SpaceX Starlink Train

The WNC Broadband Leadership Team has had dialogue with Rosman North Carolina’s Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI); and they mentioned SpaceX Starlink’s light pollution. We take for granted the view of stars on a clear night, but with low earth orbit satellites, there are some brighter objects visible.

LEO – Low Earth Orbit

Wikipedia defines Starlink as a satellite internet constellation being constructed by SpaceX providing satellite Internet access. The constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), working in combination with ground transceivers.

SpaceX ‘Satellite Train’ Recordings

Recorded in the UK

Train of SpaceX satellites passing over the UK

Recorded in Europe

Train of SpaceX Starlink satellites visible from Europe

Initially there will be three to four thousand satellites in orbit with plans to have approximately 30,000 in the future. Because each satellite will be limited to service a certain number of dishes, the more satellites in orbit, the more users can be served. The more satellites, the better the broadband experience; and, the fewer users the better. More users will put more demands on the limitations of the available satellites.

https://www.space.com/spacex-starlink-satellites.html

Please email spacex@wncbroadband.org and share your SpaceX experiences, photographs, videos, stories, and more.

Categories
Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Broadband Technology FCC Fiber Gigabit Latency

Future-Proof Tech

As funds are planned for improving high-speed internet or broadband, policy makers will want to ‘future-proof’ technology and service investments.

Putting a priority on network development with faster downloads & uploads speeds, but also lower levels of latency; the time it takes for data to be transferred between its source and its destination, measured in milliseconds. Network latency affects satellite internet, cable, and some WiFi connections.

This will ideally create forces toward more fiber technologies to “ensure that those benefiting from the networks will be able to use tomorrow’s internet applications as well as today’s.”

The FCC or Federal Communications Committee uses a weighted scale of internet performance tiers with the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) funding.

RDOF Broadband Tiers

  • Minimum > 25/3
  • Baseline > 50/5
  • Above baseline > 100/20
  • Gigabit > 1 Gbps/500 Mbps

Read more about the tier details at: An Overview Of The FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Community Development Economic Development Education Policy

Call-To-Action

WNC Broadband Activism

Western North Carolina has a ‘Call-To-Action’ from our recently published ‘2021 Broadband Policy Priorities.’

Your WNC Broadband Project team continues to be engaged in community, city, WNC county, and regional broadband topics. Our activism needs your support. How?

The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate the critical need for universally available and affordable high-speed broadband internet access for delivering quality remote education, telemedicine, and work-from-home capability.

Policy makers must lead an initiative to solve the WNC “digital divide” between the wealthy and the under-resourced and between our urban and non-urban residents.

Given the importance of broadband and the growing digital divide in our region, policy makers must create enabling legislation and policy that will ensure universally available and affordable broadband now.

Your Broadband CTA

A broadband policy maker is someone who sets the plan pursued by a government or business.

For broadband topics, your Call-To-Action or CTA is to communicate and follow-up with your network of policy makers including:

  • Government Officials in the City, County, Region, or State
  • Community Leaders in Education, Economic Development, Healthcare Professionals
  • Business Leaders

All policy makers need to effectively create plans. The acceptance of a plan is based on the feasibility including the financial and legal considerations.

What are the broadband issues that should be on a policy-maker’s radar?

Top 5 WNC Broadband Issues

The WNC Broadband Project Leadership team has summarized the top five WNC broadband issues.

Learn more at our 2021 Broadband Policy site.