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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!

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Asheville Broadband access Broadband in WNC Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Education Relevancy

Digital Equity

What comes to mind Philip?

Digital equity is ensuring students have equal access to technology and that students and their support network receive the training necessary to use the technology toolsets.

Philip provides a shout-out to CiCi Weston, Executive Director of the Christine W Avery Learning Center – http://cwalearningcenter.com/ for their support of inner-city youth, fatherless homes. They went above and beyond to get hotspots for children that needed the internet connectivity.

Also, Philip mentions the Francine Delany school where Chromebooks and additional WiFi Hotspots were provided to do homework.

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Asheville Asheville Housing Authority Broadband access Digital Equity Digital Inclusion

Housing Authority

No Cost Internet Access

WNC Broadband Project applauds Asheville City Schools partnering with the Asheville City Schools Foundation, Buncombe County Government, the City of Asheville and the Asheville Housing Authority to works towards bridging the digital gap.

By the end of this year the following family development residents will have internet access at no cost:

  • Southside Community
  • Deaverview Apartments
  • Hillcrest Apartments
  • Klondyke Homes
  • Pisgah View Apartments

According the Asheville Citizens Times Skyrunner, an Asheville-based wireless and fiber broadband internet company, offered the winning bid of $520,000. Skyrunner’s proposal also includes four years of ongoing services charges. Buncombe County has pledged $100,000 in Coronavirus Relief Money, while Asheville has pledged $50,000.

Minimizing the digital divide and providing digital equity are attributes that will provide for a healthier and more economic-vibrant future in Western North Carolina.

More at the Asheville Citizen Times:

https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/2020/11/02/housing-authoritys-five-family-developments-get-free-internet/3742985001/

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Asheville Broadband access Digital Divide Education Philip Cooper Rural

Broadband Privileged

Broadband can easily be assumed as a given for those that live in the City of Asheville, but as an individual is further in the countryside of Western North Carolina and in the Appalachian Region, high speed internet may not be available.

Philip Cooper talks about his collaboration with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and how is he privileged to have high speed internet available.

Learn More About Philip Cooper

#appalachiastrong

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Affordability Asheville Asheville Housing Authority Broadband access Broadband in WNC Community Development Digital Divide

Bridge the Digital Divide

As our communities continue to become more digitally-oriented there is a growing digital divide. As governments, businesses, physicians, schools, individuals, move to more electronic and online processes; it is expected the citizens will have internet access, computer devices, and knowledge on how to use technology.

Computer availability is usually with a smartphone with expensive cellular bills. If a home can afford home broadband, Wi-Fi becomes more readily available. For most education, business, and government online transactions a the small screen on a cellular phone is inadequate for transposing needed information; thus, a desktop or a laptop is needed with a larger keyboard, mouse navigation, and larger screen-monitor.

When the internet is available with devices to connect, users need to be skilled to effectively leverage these technology tools. But what happens when there is a bridge between those that do and don’t have internet, smartphone, and a computer? The digital divide develops and grows.

Asheville is leveraging community assets outside the physical school buildings to narrow the bridge of the Western North Carolina digital divide, initially by making Arthur R. Edington Education and Career Center a wireless hub. This hub will provide the Asheville Housing Authority’s Southside Community to potentially have wireless internet access before the end of 2020 through a local internet service provider, Skyrunner.

With the WNC Broadband Project, consider advocating today for broadband, high-speed internet for all. It is a timeless investment for our future.

WLOS Article

Asheville City Schools Article

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Asheville Asheville City Schools Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Education

Excellence with Equity

the PODS Project is Working

The need for better broadband is clear. On the Asheville City Schools homepage, the tagline is ‘Excellence with Equity.’ The Asheville Citizen Times article linked below references that kids can not function without broadband in our current COVID environment.

Positive Opportunities Develop Success, or PODS are locations throughout our Asheville City School communities that provide broadband-available and socially distanced desks for students to connect to the internet and perform school work.

Because of PODS, the pandemic, in a strange twist, has actually become a boon to Asheville’s Black and brown students, Wynn said and other organizers say.

While there are not yet numbers to quantify it, the students appear to not only be surpassing their performance during the early part of the pandemic, but during times when they were in the regular classroom, they said.

“We’ve seen some dynamic change in our students, attitudes and confidence, and we just no longer want our Black and brown students to make up this opportunity gap,” Wynn said.

Asheville Citizen Times – Joel Burgess, on the behalf of Kidada Wynn – City Schools Student Support Services Executive DIrector

What about our future for students? Broadband or high-speed internet is necessary for digital inclusion and equity. Our community needs stewards of broadband and the Western North Carolina Broadband Project Team is here to help with the associated strategies including:

  • Federal, State, Regional, and Local Broadband Priorities
  • Funding & Foundation Leadership
  • Policy Recommendations
  • Education & Healthcare

We can make a digital WNC that is inclusive.

Please consider supporting the WNC Broadband Project objectives. Our 2021 Policy Priorities will be released soon.

https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2020/10/20/pods-pandemics-virtual-learning-students-get-much-needed-help/3711013001/

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Asheville Community Development Digital Divide Digital Equity Digital Inclusion

Virtual and Broadband

Today many tools are available hold ‘virtual events.’ Google Meet, Zoom, WebEx and others provide software for anybody to broadcast their virtual event.

The Asheville Chamber of Commerce’s WNC Career Expo – Virtual Job Fair was held Wednesday, October 14th through Friday, October 16th with dozens of employers and hundreds of job seekers. The virtual ‘Main Floor’ job fair was divided into employers with job opportunities and ‘Employment and Training’ representation; including Asheville 50+ Works. With this virtual online-event, those that have high-speed internet or broadband; job seeking is enabled virtually.

Businesses, individuals, and community groups can post broadband-heavy content including:

  • Company Profile
  • Videos
  • Downloads
  • Links
  • Social networks
  • Banners
  • Posters
  • Webcasts
Easy Virtual Fair screenshot
Easy Virtual Fair – Asheville Chamber of Commerce’s virtual job fair software

As part of Asheville 50+ Works (the Experienced Workforce Initative of WNC) hosted a couple of virtual webcasts, including a ‘Google Tools for Job Search Productivity – the more you know Google, the better you get.’

Video recording of Marc’s virtual webcast held during the WNC Career Expo.

Businesses, communities, educational institutions, non-profits, individuals, entrepreneurs, and more depend on the internet to have an online presence. Broadband is the high speed internet framework.

Content needs to be deployed and consumed. Both require growing appetites for broadband; especially has 4K+ video resolution becomes more prevalent .

Is WNC ready for the growing economic need for broadband?

Advocate for fiber, a timeless investment for our future. Fiber optics are the foundation for our terrestrial and wireless WNC future.

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Asheville Broadband access Broadband in WNC Community Development Digital Equity Digital Inclusion

Make Internet Available

Digital Inclusion Week (DIW) aims to raise awareness of solutions addressing home internet access, personal devices, and local technology training and support programs.

DIW2020 is sponsored by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance representing more than 450 affiliated organizations in 44 states working toward digital equity.

Kenneth Merritt – “number one is making the internet available for everyone, making it accessible for everyone”

Digital Inclusion

The ability of individuals and groups to access and use information and communication technologies.

Digital Equity

The condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy.

Digital equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment lifelong learning, and access to essential services.

Stay Connected

This is the best time in our history of the continental US is that we stay connected. This is this is a time where individuals need to be informed. The internet is a great tool to use to stay informed and you can do it

Kenneth Merritt