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ART Bus Asheville Broadband access Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Mobile Data

ART Bus Station WiFi

As a regular City of Asheville bus rider, Marc Czarnecki is happy to see that the ART (Asheville Redefines Transit) bus station now has free public Wi-Fi. Riding the bus now really requires an individual to check the schedule frequently. There are multiple different scheduling tools available online for planning your bus trip departure time, which bus to get on, arrival time, etc.

Some of Marc’s smartphone apps to assist in effectively riding the ART bus public transportation include the following. They can now be downloaded at the bus station.


ART Website Transit Maps and Schedules

City of Asheville ART Transit Maps and Schedules

Transit Mobile App

Transitapp.com

Google Maps

Google Maps – Transit & Food – App Store

FCC Speedtest Results

When any individual travels, their time is important. Understanding how internet the ART Bus Station public Wi-Fi is listed below with a screen shot of the speedtest results using the FCC Speedtest App.

If you are in a hurry at the Asheville ART Bus Station; I would not consider the above results acceptable to quickly download apps and check bus statuses.

Charge Your Phone

The newly updated interior bus lobby does have a few plugs to charge your mobile device if needed.

Helpful WNC Broadband Links

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Advocacy Broadband funding Digital Inclusion Economic Development Lamar Owen PARI Transylvania

Broadband as a Rural Utility

REA Brought Electricity to Rural America

The availability of power can be taken for granted. As Lamar Owen, Chief Technology Officer at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) relates to the Rural Electrification Act (REA).

The Rural Electrification Act of 1936, enacted on May 20, 1936, provided federal loans for the installation of electrical distribution systems to serve isolated rural areas of the United States.

The funding was channeled through cooperative electric power companies, hundreds of which still exist today.[1] These member-owned cooperatives purchased power on a wholesale basis and distributed it using their own network of transmission and distribution lines. The Rural Electrification Act was also an attempt made by FDR’s New Deal to deal with high unemployment.

Wikipedia

Rural Broadband Implementation Act

Shouldn’t broadband also become something similar to REA?

A Rural Broadband Implementation Act?

Lamar Owen discusses the topic and how it relates to rural and mountainous Transylvania County, NC in the video below.

Broadband as a Utility in Rural America

Broadband at PARI Series

PARI Website

https://www.pari.edu/

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Broadband access Broadband in WNC Community Development Devices Digital Divide Digital Inclusion

Bridging the Digital Divide

IEI BAND-NC Broadband Initiative

First in Digital Inclusion

While Western North Carolina continues to strive for opportunities to maximize our broadband growth, the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI), BAND-NC, and NC Broadband Infrastructure Office have a goal of increasing the number of North Carolinians with internet in their homes, making NC “first in digital inclusion.”

Community Challenges

The program outlined four challenges communities have in including all families in broadband services:

  1. Access—getting broadband into homes
  2. Subscriptions—helping families afford broadband services. In all, just 59% of North Carolina families subscribe to broadband services
  3. Devices—ensuring that children and adults have the equipment they need to take classes, work from home, or access health care
  4. Technical Assistance—assisting families in learning how to effectively use high-speed access

BAND-NC asks communities to develop solutions that address each of these issues. Data from the NC Broadband Infrastructure Office shows wide disparities in adoption of broadband services, with both a rural-urban and an income divide. The ultimate goal of the program is to make North Carolina the first state in the nation where every county has a digital inclusion plan in place.

Join the WNC Broadband Initiative in making Western North Carolina more ‘digitally inclusive.’


Corning Optical Communications joins IEI BAND-NC broadband initiative to bridge digital divide. (2021, January 22). Institute for Emerging Issues. https://iei.ncsu.edu/2021/corning-optical-communications-joins-iei-band-nc-broadband-initiative-to-bridge-digital-divide/

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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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Advocacy Broadband access Broadband in WNC Digital Divide Digital Inclusion Digital Inequality Economic Development Education

Homework Gap

Now a Learning Gap In Rural America

I am already shocked. As a father of two digitally-connected children, I know first hand of the significant value of having broadband available. The digital value is having computers available, the knowledge of how to apply computers, with broadband being available on demand, to engage with society for knowledge, communication, health, and more.

Additionally, having volunteered at several area schools and community centers, I see the digital divide. If students don’t have broadband available at home, immediately the student is disconnected from our digital world of learning opportunities.

The pandemic has made getting computers and internet connections to households with school-age children a priority. The “homework gap” is sizable. Before the pandemic, some 16.9 million children under the age of 18 lived in households without wireline internet service and 7.3 million live in homes without a desktop, laptop, or tablet computer. What was a homework gap is now a learning gap.

John B. Horrigan

Digital Tools & Learning. (2020, December 10). Benton Foundation. https://www.benton.org/blog/digital-tools-learning

Also See


The author of this article, Marc Czarnecki; helps to minimize the rural divide in America by supporting the WNC Broadband Project.

The WNC Broadband Team advocates for the necessary broadband improvements for our #digitallives.

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Advocacy Broadband in WNC Digital Inclusion

Digital Inclusion

Broadband Planning

Digital inclusion is the ability of all Western North Carolina individuals, groups, and businesses to access and use information and communication technologies. At the heart of communication technology is the the availablabilty of fast and dependable internet.

How should WNC plan for our broadband future?

  • Define our WNC digital inclusion project
  • Organize legislative caucuses to advocate for rural North Carolina’s broadband needs, current state, and future state.
    1. Inventory our broadband assets, digital literacy/skill opportunities, internet access points, computer devices
    2. Future needs of broadband availability, subscription options, affordability, literacy/skills
  • Analyze business case options
    1. Strategies, timelines
  • Set goals and objectives
  • Determine digital inclusion deliverables
  • Assign tasks to achieve inclusion
  • Carry-out and follow-up on actions

Are you interested in supporting the WNC Broadband Digital Inclusion planning?

Please email digitalinclusion@wncbroadband.org

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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.

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Broadband access Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Broadband Technology Digital Divide Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Economic Development Education Policy Telehealth YouTube

Broadband, Biden

Broadband Breakfast Live

The election is behind us. What does the future of broadband have in the future with the Biden Administration?

Listen to the discussion on broadband and the FCC policy future:

  • Drew Clark – Telecom Attorney, The CommLaw Group; Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast, Washington DC-Baltimore Area
  • Scott Wallsten – President and Senior Fellow at Technology Policy Institute, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Mark Jamison, Ph.D. – Research & Education Director, Gainesville, Florida
Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, November 11: Broadband and the Joe Biden President-Elect Administration
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Broadband in WNC Digital Inclusion Economic Development Philip Cooper

Appalachia Strong

What is Philip Cooper’s most powerful hashtag with the environment of the Appalachian Regional Commission‘s contributions toward economic development?

#AppalachiaStrong

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region, including Western North Carolina. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.

Togetherness and a calls-to-action to improve the Appalachian areas.

Philip Cooper
Appalachia Strong – Philip Cooper

More from Philip Cooper on Broadband

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Digital Divide Digital Inclusion Economic Development Philip Cooper

Economic Development

‘That’s what you call digital inclusion baby’

A simple laptop with broadband connectivity provides economic development opportunities for employment, businesses, and nonprofits. Philip Cooper talks about his business, ‘Hire Powered Staffing’ and it’s future evolution to ‘Hired Power WNC.’

But those that are socially and economically disconnected from opportunities, there is no digital inclusion. For entrepreneurs like Philip, no office is needed. A computer, smartphone, and internet access are Philip’s office.

Philip also introduces Amanda Jo Murphy, Executive Director and her program at Reconnecting – https://www.facebook.com/reconnectingreentry – Laptops for Reentry, a non profit that she started – https://www.reconnectingreentry.com/ ,

To help with digital inclusion, please consider donating laptops for Zoom meetings, job search, soft skills training through Goodwill, and NC Works.

Philip Cooper talks about how laptops and internet connectivity provide economic development opportunties.

#ApplachiaStrong