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Broadband in WNC Digital Equity Survey

Digital Inclusion Survey

DIW2020 is October 5th – October 9th

Digital Inclusion Week 2020 (DIW2020) is Monday, October 5th – Friday, October 9th.

With your help, we all can move closer to our common goal: that all people have access and use of the Internet and the tools they need to use it.

Social Media Callouts

You can join the conversation on social media, with any of these hashtags:

  • #digitalequityNOW
  • #digitalinclusion
  • #DIW2020

WNC Broadband Project Survey

What digital inclusion in WNC?

Please take our survey

Categories
Affordability Community Development Relevancy

Across North Carolina, the barriers — and solutions — to broadband internet access for students and families are multi-layered

Digital access requires more than a physical connection.

There are factors of:

  • Affordability
  • Relevancy

A multi-faceted, short-and long-term approach to eliminating the digital divide in Western North Carolina.

Categories
Broadband in WNC Healthcare Rural Telemedicine

Broadband & Community Health

Referencing several Western North Carolina counties, broadband adoption is corelated to health disparities.

A disproportionate number of individuals in the study area live without access to basic health care services and access to specialists, such as cardiologists, because of distance and limited provider availability.


Health care access is improved in areas where broadband and telehealth services exist.


Patients are more aware of their conditions and equipped with self-management techniques to seek medical care when concerns arise.

https://muninetworks.org/content/what-lack-broadband-and-telehealth-doing-western-north-carolina

How can WNC improve healthcare with broadband adoption?

Categories
Broadband access Buncombe Education

Stories of Buncombe Internet

Buncombe County stories of the lack of reliable internet:

  • Pamela Smith’s household – not enough bandwidth for her four high-school-age daughters
  • Amanda Anderson’s household – satellite internet that proved insufficient for online learning for sons age 11 and 14

Barry Pace, director of technology for Buncombe County Schools, said teachers are helping families who have ongoing access issues by giving students hands-on learning kits, thumb drives loaded with assignments and alternative assignments as needed.

All public school students in Buncombe County receive an iPad or a Windows laptop, depending on their grade level, so the key issue is proximity to reliable internet.

But for students who are not in range of a cell tower or whose families can’t afford home internet, there is no quick fix.

#digitalinclusion #digitaleducation #digitaldivide #buncombe

Categories
Buncombe Elections

Buncombe, Broadband, General Elections

Is broadband on your mind with the upcoming Buncombe elections?

Who mentions broadband in their campaign?

US Senate

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.

#votebroadband #buncombe #generalelections

Categories
Router WiFi

Boost Your WiFi

How can you boost your Wi-Fi signal?

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

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-boost-wifi-signal/

#router #wifispeed

Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Community Development Digital Divide Economic Development Education Federal Efforts Rural

A Conversation on Rural Broadband Internet

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.

Speakers

  • 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.

https://youtu.be/mml2kgBprw8

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.

Categories
Broadband access Broadband in WNC Buncombe Community Development Digital Divide Economic Development WiFi

Free Broadband in Buncombe

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”

Read More: https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2020/09/15/buncombe-looks-build-free-broadband-throughout-county/5810639002/

Also See:

Support, educate, advocate for digital inclusion with our WNC Broadband Project Leadership Team.

Categories
Broadband access WiFi

Free/Low Cost Internet, Wifi

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.

NetZero allows you can access the World Wide Web for free if you have a phone line at home to connect your computer to the internet.

Wi-Fi Map is an app that enables you to find all the free WiFi hotspots near you.
– iOS Apple Store – https://apps.apple.com/us/app/wifi-map-find-internet-vpn/id548925969
– Android Google Play Store – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.wifimap.wifimap

https://readwrite.com/2020/09/04/how-to-get-access-to-free-internet-tv-and-phone-services/

Also See

WiFi Lots in WNC

#freewifi #lowcostwifi #wifihotspots #internetoptions

Categories
Broadband access Broadband in WNC Community Development Economic Development Education

Broadband Vision – NC Congressional Candidate Debate

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.

https://www.facebook.com/106899724356809/posts/160683622311752/

Yes, #broadband needs to be an essential utility for all.