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Broadband in WNC Dogwood Trust Education Healthcare Telemedicine

Dogwood Trust

Broadband in the Annual Report

Community broadband is needed for every resident in Western North Carolina for economic growth, education, and telehealth as some primary reasons.

Expand Broadband Access

Dogwood Trust – Grants approved in 2020 for strategy to expand broadband access

The Dogwood Trust annual report notes approved grants in 2020 totaling $552,450 as a listed strategy to:

Retain or catalyze +5000 jobs and to diversify the regional economy through advanced manufacturing and other suitable sectors

Dogwood Trust Annual Report Strategy

Economic Strategy

Broadband expansion is part of the strategy listed in the annual report linked below.

The Western North Carolina Broadband Project advocates for high-speed internet in our area.

Contact a member of our WNC Broadband Project Team with any questions.


https://dogwoodhealthtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/DogwoodBOLDAnnualReport1120-v5.pdf

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Broadband access Broadband funding Transylvania

Transylvania County

Additional $4.2M Funding for Broadband Access

The WNC Broadband Project Team recognizes and celebrates high-speed internet growth funding for Transylvania County.

Congratulations Comporium!

In part thanks to state funds, Comporium will have $4.2 million to expand rural broadband access in Transylvania County. 

Transylvania Times

The Transylvania Times. (2020). Comporium Receives Funds To Help With Broadband Access – Transylvania County, NC. The Transylvania Times. https://www.transylvaniatimes.com/story/2020/12/28/news/comporium-receives-funds-to-help-with-broadband-access-transylvania-county-nc/47588.html

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Broadband access Broadband funding NC General Assembly Policy

Legislative Priority

Broadband Connectivity

January 13th brings the next North Carolina General Assembly session.

In the Carolina Journal article linked below, it suggested lawmakers should consider the following solutions:

  1. Leave broadband service and investments to private providers.
  2. Streamline permitting, remove unnecessary regulations.
  3. Remove obstacles to building wireless infrastructure on public property and public-rights-of-way, allow lease agreements for pole attachments that encourage developing infrastructure.
  4. Find solutions through open markets and competition, rather than government take-over.
  5. Offer a direct consumer subsidy, much like a voucher, that rural residents in unserved and underserved areas can use to purchase discounted broadband or devices.
  6. Put guardrails around the GREAT grant program to encourage innovation, focus on unserved areas, leave room for advancing technologies, provide grants instead of ongoing funding streams.
  7. Minimize and modernize fees at local and state level to avoid duplicative billing and keep costs low.
  8. Protect jobs and investment by upholding the state’s 2011 Level Playing Field Act, which regulates local government competition from private business.

The Western North Carolina Broadband Project team is advocating for high speed internet improvements. Contact a member of our WNC Broadband Project team with any questions.


Broadband tops list of legislative priorities for upcoming session  – Carolina Journal. (2020, December 28). Carolina Journal. https://www.carolinajournal.com/opinion-article/broadband-tops-list-of-legislative-priorities-for-upcoming-session

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Categories
Broadband funding Economic Development Education Telehealth

$7 Billion for Broadband

United States Relief Package

Funding to help improve broadband in the US is coming. States, communities, counties, and cities need to have a framework to apply for this opportunity.

In North Carolina these frameworks can include:

  • NC Broadband Infrastructure Office
  • NC Councils of Governments or county COGs
  • Tribal Groups
  • Rural Electric Cooperatives
  • Tele & Cable Companies
  • Wireless Internet Service Providers
  • Local Broadband Providers
  • Internet Satellite Providers
  • Universities and Colleges
  • Cities and Municipalities

In the Metro Asheville area, there are two entities that advocate for broadband improvements for our economic future:

  • WestNGN for Buncombe, Madison, Henderson, and Transylvania Counties
  • WNC Broadband Project for North Carolina’s western counties

Learn More About the $7B for Broadband

Margaret Harding McGill. (2020, December 21). COVID relief bill provides $7 billion for broadband access. Axios

https://www.axios.com/broadband-access-covid-relief-bill-7-billion-5be48439-c1a4-4927-a0c4-515312a1d281.html

Kelly, M. (2020, December 21). US relief package provides $7 billion for broadband. The Verge.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/21/22193133/us-coronavirus-covid-relief-stimulus-package-broadband-huawei-zte

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Buncombe Rural

Governor Cooper Announces $30 million to Expand Internet Access in Rural Areas

Project Expected to Connect Households and Businesses to Broadband in Buncombe County

Buncombe County and the French Broad Electric Membership Cooperative will benefit from this supplementing round of the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) program funds.

“This pandemic is shining a light on the need for better high speed internet access in rural communities. These projects will the make sure the internet can connect people to the education, health care and jobs they need.”

GOVERNOR ROY COOPER

NC Gov. Cooper: Governor Cooper Announces $30 million to Expand Internet Access in Rural Areas. (2020, December 17). Nc.Gov. https://governor.nc.gov/news/governor-cooper-announces-30-million-expand-internet-access-rural-areas

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Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Event

WNC Digital Inclusion Planning Summit

When: January 13th from 10:00 – 12:00 p.m.

Learn about what’s going on in your county, state, country, and how you can be a part of a more digitally equitable North Carolina.

We will start the planning at this event, so share with all your interested partners in digital equity.

Contact Sara Nichols at sara@landofsky.org for more information.

Digital Inclusion Event Registration

This project is made possible by the generous support of BAND-NC Institute for Emerging Issues.

BAND-NC, Building a New Digital Economy in North Carolina

Also See

Digital Inclusion DANCE
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Broadband access Hotspot WiFi Wireless

WiFi Hotspot

Internet access is available different forms, for those that can afford access.

In light of the COVID pandemic, WiFi hotspots have become a temporary hardware patch to deliver internet to students that did not have broadband connectivity.

Benefits of Mobile Hotspot

  • Faster speeds than personal hotspots on a smartphone
  • Signal stability
  • Mobility to move the unit easily
  • Typically more secure
  • Several users and devices can be connected

Cons of Mobile Hotspot

  • Speed is dependent on the proximity of the tower
  • Speeds are dependent on the build-out of the carrier in rural areas
  • Weaker signal requires more power
  • Low data caps, when exceeded will cause data throttling

Also See


“What Is a WiFi Hotspot? | CenturyLink.” Centurylink.com, 2020, www.centurylink.com/home/help/internet/wireless/what-is-a-wi-fi-hotspot1.html . Accessed 12 Dec. 2020.

Guzzardo J. Pros and Cons to using Wi-Fi and Cellular Internet – Resource. Resource. Published January 9, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. http://resourcemagonline.com/2020/01/pros-and-cons-to-using-wi-fi-and-cellular-internet/181390/

Categories
Broadband access Smartphone WiFi

Smartphone Personal Hotspot

Individuals that can afford internet are likely to have terrestrial (land) or fixed wireless internet access at home or at public locations. Internet access can also be acquired using a smartphone when the personal hotspot option is turned-on.

Holiday travels and sometimes the need for faster internet maybe available using a smartphone’s hotspot feature. Also, in Western North Carolina with winter weather potential of wind, snow, ice; understanding how to use a smartphone hotspot can an provide internet connectivity alternative provided the smartphone has data time available through the mobile phone provider. Cellular data speeds are dependent on the the proximity of a cellular tower and the network traffic.

With the majority of smartphones run either an Apple iOS or Google Android, how do you use a smartphone’s personal hotspot feature?

Example of an iPhone Personal Hotspot Screen

Consider a practice session and running a speed test to see how it compares to your home’s service. Again, be aware of your cellular providers limitations of usage as they vary by provider and the level of plan that you are using.

Also See

Speedtest Best Practices

WiFi Hotspot

Categories
Broadband in WNC Digital Inequality Policy

No Internet

Many in NC Can’t Adequately Learn, Get Healthcare

Locked out: Without internet, tens of thousands of North Carolinians can’t adequately learn, get health care

Nearly a third of all North Carolina households lack high-speed internet, essentially cutting them off from crucial education and health care services; most of these areas are rural and often in communities of color.

Report by the Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force

Sorg, Lisa. “Locked out: Without Internet, Tens of Thousands of North Carolinians Can’t Adequately Learn, Get Health Care.” NC Policy Watch, 7 Dec. 2020, www.ncpolicywatch.com/2020/12/07/locked-out-without-internet-tens-of-thousands-of-north-carolinians-cant-adequately-learn-get-health-care/. Accessed 8 Dec. 2020.

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Asheville Asheville City Schools Broadband in WNC Buncombe Digital Equity Economic Development Education Henderson Madison Speed Test Transylvania

Connect K-12

Classrooms no longer have chalk boards. Children do have technology everywhere. Technology requires bandwidth. Digital tools are important for tech-infused educational growth. Adequate high-speed internet is needed for our schools future.

The homework gap is personified when there is digital inequality.

Broadband Speeds / Student

To enable digital learning in every classroom every day, the FCC recommends 1Mbps per student.

How do our bigger K-12 compare?

Connect K-12 has some current, free data for review:

Connected Nations Podcast

Learn more about digital equity for our WNC children.

Listen to this Connected Nations podcast.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/connected-nations-podcast/id1508008735#episodeGuid=Buzzsprout-6692588

Advocate for Broadband

The Western North Carolina is advocating for broadband for all residents.

Digital inclusion is critical to our economic future!