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Advocacy Broadband access Broadband in WNC Event North Carolina

the NC Broadband Goals

By the Year 2025 – NC Governor Roy Cooper

What are the year 2025 broadband goals as define by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper?

Improve % of NC Households with Broadband

Governor Roy Cooper wants to increase the percentage of North Carolina households with high-speed internet subscriptions:

  • From 73 % to 80 %.

Boost Broadband for all NC Households with Children

Additionally, the Governor wants to boost the percentage of North Carolina households with children with high-speed internet subscriptions:

  • From 81 % to 100 %

Close Racial Disparities

The plan is also focused on closing racial disparities in access to high-speed broadband and seeks to increase adoption rates to 80 % across racial subgroups including:

  • Native American (currently 57 %)
  • Black (currently 64 %)
  • Latinx (currently 68 %)
  • White populations (currently 76 %)

How will these NC broadband goals be achieved?

Connect WNC with Broadband for All Event

In Western North Carolina on Thursday, July 29; the Land-of-Sky Regional Council of Governments over Buncombe, Madison, Hendersonville, and Transylvania Counties with the Council of Governments west will learn more about the “funding and funneling for WNC broadband connectivity event.

Featured Event Speaker – Topics

  • Stacey Hughes, Impact Officer at the Dogwood Health Trust
  • Nate Denny, Deputy Secretary of Broadband and Digital Equity at N.C. Department of Information Technology – State Program and Policy Update
  • Sara Nichols & Paul Moon – Land of Sky Region B – Digital Inclusion Plan
  • Blair Levin, Non-resident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, Washington, District of Columbia – Watching for Federal Changes

Join Us Virtually


Goldstein P. North Carolina Unveils Digital Equity Office to Help Close Divide. Technology Solutions That Drive Government. Published 2021. Accessed July 28, 2021. https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2021/07/north-carolina-unveils-digital-equity-office-help-close-divide

Categories
Advocacy Broadband access Careers Digital Inclusion Employment LinkedIn Remote Work

Remote Work for Everyone

Internet-Priviledged

Are we a divided nation when only the internet-privileged could be considered for remote work?

The infusion of technology into more industries is one factor that has led to a division of the American work force between promising jobs with good salaries and low-wage work with less possibility of advancement.

NY Times with Shira Ovide

New Hybrid of Work From Home Jobs

What Asheville jobs could have a new hybrid of some degree of working from home?

Every job has opportunity for self-improvement.

Could time be allocated for an employee to ‘upskill’ the job traits important to their industry?

LinkedIn Learning

I must confess that I do feel empowered to learn with LinkedIn Learning. It is a premium learning service that is ad-free and composed with many details including current updates and new content with over 16,000 LinkedIn Learning courses taught by credible industry experts and 60+ new courses added every week.

Also, a newer feature is to upload your organization’s own custom videos, documents, and links.

As a ‘Digital Literacy Network‘ and ‘Experienced Workforce Initiative‘ member for Buncombe County, Marc Czarnecki supports digital inclusion with tools for all.

Advocate for true high-speed internet in your community. Engage with the WNC Broadband Project and other digital inclusion content.


We Need Remote Work for Everyone. (2021). The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/06/technology/remote-work-for-everyone.html

LinkedIn Learning Product Overview | LinkedIn Learning Solutions. (2021). Linkedin.com; LinkedIn Learning Product Overview | LinkedIn Learning Solutions. https://learning.linkedin.com/product-overview

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Advocacy Broadband access Broadband in WNC Devices Digital Citizenship Education IoT Speed Video Conferencing Work From Home (WFH)

Bandwidth Growth

Requires Future Proof Fiber

What is are the projected peak bandwidth requirements for a household of 4 through 2030?

A family of 4 should ask how to they use the internet:

  • How many and when are the internet devices connected?
    • Tablets, smartphones, desktop, laptops, IoT devices (Internet of Things) like a Ring doorbell with video.
    • Live streaming events?
  • Who uses the internet at home?
    • Students
    • Work from home adults
    • Business – entrepreneurial
    • Telehealth
  • What types of applications use the internet?
    • Gamers
    • Movie streamers
    • YouTube / Vimeo
    • Video conferencing
    • Data file exchanges for employment
    • Social media

Internet Speed Test

Learn more about speed tests and periodically run a speedtest on your computer devices; especially the laptop, tablet, and smartphones.

Sample demo of an Ookla speed test, video is accelerted.
  • Cellular 4G / 5 G speed test
  • WiFi speed test at home vs at work through wired networks

Be aware of the time of day that you are running a speed test as the evening will generally see slower speeds than the rest of the day because of other that maybe on your network locally or in your internet service provider coverage area.

The WNC Broadband Leadership team is receptive to your feedback.

Contact a member of the WNC Broadband Leadership team today.

Also See

Best Practices for Speed Tests


FBA Sees $100 Billion Cost for Nationwide Fiber Broadband – Telecompetitor. (2021, June 22). Telecompetitor.com. https://www.telecompetitor.com/fba-sees-100-billion-cost-for-nationwide-fiber-broadband/

Categories
Advocacy Broadband in WNC Digital Policy Federal Efforts Local Government State Efforts

Suggestions for Policy Makers

Broadband advocacy includes making recommendations to federal, state, local, and community leaders.

Here a some solutions to consider adopting and ideas to avoid.

Solutions Policymakers Should Adopt

  1. Invest in Unserved Areas
  2. Improve Permitting
  3. Increase Adoption

Ideas Policymakers Should Avoid

  1. Moving the Digital Goalposts
  2. Government Owned Networks: Policymakers should avoid establishing government owned networks (“GONS”), particularly in areas of the country that already have service.
  3. Rate and Public-Utility Regulation
Advocacy Blog Posts

Additional thoughts or comments for the Western North Carolina Broadband Initiative?

Contact a member of the broadband leadership team.

Read More

What Policymakers Should and Shouldn’t Do to Connect All Americans. U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Published June 21, 2021. Accessed June 27, 2021. https://www.uschamber.com/series/above-the-fold/what-policymakers-should-and-shouldn-t-do-connect-all-americans

Categories
Broadband in WNC Fiber FIber Act GREAT Program Haywood County Local Government NC General Assembly Skyrunner

Broadband In Haywood County

The WNC Broadband Project is happy to see ~300 locations in Haywood on the list to get broadband thanks to Skyrunner and broadband advocates in Haywood County.

Article Highlights

  • Public-private partnership between Haywood County and local internet service provider Skyrunner will soon result in broadband service for more than 300 locations in some of the county’s most underserved areas.
  • Haywood County’s rugged mountain topography can sometimes be cost-prohibitive in terms of expanding internet service, wireless or not. The $1.7 million Skyrunner project will result in a fiber-only buildout on Haywood EMC poles in Crabtree, Fines Creek, on Rush Fork Road, ending near Lake Logan.
  • Skyrunner’s cost per location is a staggering $5,600, highlighting the financial challenges of providing reliable high-speed internet to everyone in the county, however, the gigabit-capable, “future-proof” fiber can carry the capacity to serve others, once it’s complete.

Article – Milestone moment for broadband in Haywood

Smoky Mountain News

Vaillancourt, C. (2021, June 23). Milestone moment for broadband in Haywood. Smokymountainnews.com; Smoky Mountain News. https://smokymountainnews.com/news/item/31624-milestone-moment-for-broadband-in-haywood

Categories
Advocacy Affordability Broadband access Digital Equity Digital Literacy NC BIO North Carolina www.DigLit.net

Achieving Digital Equity Is Within Our Reach

Gov. Roy Cooper proposes investing $1.2 billion in federal American Rescue Plan funds in these key pillars necessary to close the digital gap:

  • Infrastructure and access
  • Affordability
  • Digital literacy. 

By investing in these key pillars, North Carolina can achieve digital equity for all.

The Digital Divide | Broadband Infrastructure Office. (2021). https://www.ncbroadband.gov/digital-divide

Digital Equity Resources

Categories
Advocacy Amazon Apple iPhone Digital Citizenship Digital Literacy Digital Policy Facebook Google IoT Microsoft Tech Companies

Big Tech Silo Advocacy

GAMY Security Acronym

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:

  • Google (Alphabet)
  • Apple
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Microsoft
  • 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.

Device Security

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?

Perhaps we should hold the tech superstars to an even higher standard because of their power over our lives and their influence on policymakers and public perception.

Emily Stewart, writing for Vox’s Recode

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?


.Amazon Wants a Lot of New Laws. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/03/technology/amazon-laws.html. Published 2021. Accessed June 6, 2021.

Categories
Broadband access Buncombe Community Development Digital Inequality Local Government Senate Bill Terri Wells Tim Love

Buncombe Government Can Not Help

The reality, the needed broadband infrastructure to reach all homes; is not in Buncombe County and other Western North Carolina communities; and our local government can’t currently build and lease the infrastructure to providers. Could Senate Bill 689 pass to allow local governments to help?

Love, Wells and others hoping to tap the arriving federal aid are watching various legislative proposals, especially Senate Bill 689, which would allow local governments to build the infrastructure and lease it to providers. The bill would also allow the use of grants, such as the rescue plan.

Citizen Times

In the mountains with low populations density and a low customer count, like when rural electrification was implemented; our state needs to allow local governments to create the needed infrastructure where it is geographically too expensive to build broadband networks.


Burgess, J. (2021, May 6). 35,000 Buncombe homes, businesses don’t have broadband, and NC law says the county can’t help. The Asheville Citizen Times; Asheville Citizen Times. https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/2021/05/06/state-law-stops-buncombe-county-helping-households-broadband/4958393001/


‌Also See

2021 Broadband State Legislation

Categories
Advocacy Broadband access Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Digital Inclusion Digital Literacy House Bill Municipalities NC General Assembly Senate Bill

2021 Broadband State Legislation

North Carolina Broadband 2021 Legislation

HB 79
Passed House 2/24/21

Requires the state board of education to maintain a digital learning dashboard updated annually by public school units and requires recommendations to the joint legislative education oversight committee based on information on student digital learning access during COVID-19.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

HB 196
Signed by governor 3/11/21, Chapter 3
SB 172

Makes modifications to COVID-19 relief legislation and provides additional appropriations for the expenditure of federal COVID-19 pandemic relief funds., includes student connectivity funds for complimentary internet service.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

HB 289
Passed House 4/1/21

Appropriates funds to the department of information technology for the preparation of statewide broadband maps and establishes the department as the sole source of broadband mapping for state agencies.

Funding and Mapping

HB 384

Fosters infrastructure for broadband expansion and resources in North Carolina by authorizing counties and cities to install and lease broadband infrastructure to increase adequate broadband services to attract investment in local economies, provide for educational and career opportunities, modernize farming technologies, and to provide for improved health care.

Infrastructure

HB 476

Enacts the North Carolina Broadband Consumer Protection Act to provide oversight of broadband service by the North Carolina utilities commission.

Consumer Relations and Governance

SB 517

Appropriates funds to the department of information technology for the preparation of statewide broadband maps and to establish the department as the sole source of broadband mapping for state agencies; relieves regulatory burdens to expedite broadband expansion; allows for use of existing easements for broadband expansion; expands distribution of state surplus computers and computer hardware for nonprofits; allows local government leasing of existing broadband infrastructure; expands funding for G.R.E.A.T. program broadband grants; and provides stopgap internet access for classroom access, health care access, and job creation.

Education and Schools, Funding, Infrastructure, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

SB 523

Establishes the North Carolina broadband assistance program to provide funds to eligible low-income families to help make broadband access more affordable.

Rural and Underserved

SB 547

Fosters infrastructure for broadband expansion and resources in North Carolina by authorizing counties and cities to build and lease facilities and equipment of broadband services to increase adequate broadband services in rural areas of the state where the need for broadband is great due to many factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Municipal and Rural and Underserved

SB 642

Appropriates funds to the technology and data institute to operate a pilot program to expand high-speed internet access to students of low-income families in central North Carolina.

Funding, High Speed and Rural and Underserved

SB 689

Facilitates the expansion of broadband service in unserved areas of the state by ensuring timely and nondiscriminatory access to municipal and electric membership cooperative utility poles, ducts, and conduits at just and reasonable rates; authorizes counties to provide grants to high-speed internet access service providers and to build facilities and equipment of a broadband service and to levy taxes for those purposes; further defines the term “city utility pole”; prohibits certain fees for the collocation of small wireless facilities; and makes related changes.

Funding, High Speed, Infrastructure, Rural and Underserved and Taxes


Broadband 2021 Legislation. (2021). Ncsl.org. https://www.ncsl.org/research/telecommunications-and-information-technology/broadband-2021-legislation.aspx

Categories
Advocacy Broadband access Broadband in WNC Digital Inclusion Economic Development Education FCC William Sederburg

Broadband Future in WNC

by Dr. William Sederburg

Western North Carolina Broadband Project Chair Dr. William Sederburg talks about broadband and the situation of broadband maps from the FCC and the actual situation of broadband service as detailed in his letter to the FCC.

WNC Broadband Future – Dr. Sederburg

YouTube Video Outline

00:00 – Organized through University of North Carolina Asheville
01:36 – Former FCC Officials Stagg Newman & Greg Voyt in WNC
02:21 – FCC Presentation
03:00 – WNC Broadband Project’s start
04:42 – ‘Future Proof’ Broadband
06:11 – ‘Lack of broadband infrastructure is NOT just a rural problem’
07:19 – Buncombe County Map – No Services offered in red, white areas do not have adequate broadband
08:21 – Conclusion, Federal policy changes, WNC short-changed services, WNCBP offer to help FCC with maps (see the letter below)

Because broadband is a critical need for economic growth, education, tele-health, and more; the WNC Broadband Project is here to advocate for broadband improvements for our communities.