Categories
Contribution Factor COVID 19 FCC Maps RDOF Reverse Auction

Infrastructure Bill, Broadband, and the 7 FCC Steps

What are the 7 Steps the FCC should take on broadband?

  1. Enable stakeholders to debate (and the FCC to analyze) what COVID-19 taught us.
  2. Survey whether there is a critical mass of states interested in using the reverse auction mechanism.
  3. Anchor institutions to the mapping process.
  4. Postpone the second Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction
  5. Lower the contribution factor to reflect congressional appropriations
  6. Accelerate the RDOF review process and detail staff with expertise in that process to the NTIA
  7. Commence a process for stakeholders to debate, and the FCC to resolve, how best to reform the universal service mandate

More at: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2021/08/16/seven-steps-the-fcc-should-take-on-broadband-in-response-to-the-infrastructure-bill/

Broadband really is a major topic with major funding coming.  The WNC Broadband Project is here to advocate for future-proof broadband for all Western North Carolinians. 

Contact any member of the WNC Broadband Project with any questions.


Levin B. Seven steps the FCC should take on broadband in response to the infrastructure bill. Brookings. Published August 16, 2021. Accessed August 23, 2021. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2021/08/16/seven-steps-the-fcc-should-take-on-broadband-in-response-to-the-infrastructure-bill/

Categories
American Community Survey (ACS) Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Data FCC Form 477 Maps Measurement Lab (M-Lab) Microsoft Ookla Speed Test

New Broadband Map

Federal Maps on Broadband are still wrong & threaten Buncombe County funding

Buncombe County, NC – No broadband need???

Our broadband leadership team continues to advocate for quality broadband in Western North Carolina and we get excited when new ‘Indicators of Broadband Speed’ data becomes available to further assist in making objective decisions for our communities. However, we question the integrity of the data, including for Buncombe County, NC.

Indicators of Broadband Speed

The Indicators of Broadband Need map was created by the United States Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). 

The map uses several different data sources to show information on broadband availability within the United States. 

Layers in this map were created using data sourced from the American Community Survey collected by the U.S. Census, Measurement Lab (M-Lab), Ookla, Microsoft and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

A description of each data set is given in the map linked at the bottom of this blog as well as information on how to download the county, census tract and census block level data used in the map.

Comments from our WNC Broadband

  • New federal maps are an important small step in the right direction that point out the real extent of the problem.
  • New federal maps are still woefully inaccurate and show many areas as covered that are not because of the Swiss Cheese network with many small holes (see map below).
Buncombe Swiss Cheese Broadband
Buncombe Swiss Cheese Broadband Network
  • It will take years for the federal government to develop accurate maps given the mandate processes and the IT work involved
  • Therefore, the federal maps should not drive funding in the near term.
  • Near term funding must be driven at the local (county) and state level where local knowledge and feet on the street can determine where funding and build-out is critically needed.

Please contact a member of the WNC Broadband Leadership Team with any additional thoughts or comments.


New federal broadband maps show stark differences in access, affordability. Nbcnews.com. Published June 18, 2021. Accessed June 20, 2021. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/rcna1220

NTIA Creates First Interactive Map to Help Public See the Digital Divide Across the Country | National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Ntia.gov. Published 2021. Accessed June 20, 2021. https://www.ntia.gov/press-release/2021/ntia-creates-first-interactive-map-help-public-see-digital-divide-across-country

Categories
Broadband in WNC Broadband Playbook Economic Development Education Infrastructure Maps NC BIO

Broadband Community Playbook

NC Broadband Infrastructure Office

A community leadership playbook is here from the North Carolina Information Technology Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO).

Playbook Outline

  • Planning Committees – recruit a dedicated group like the WNC Broadband Project and your Council of Governments (COG) to achieve your community’s broadband goals.
  • Assets & Needs – Identify broadband assets to meet our community needs. In Buncombe, Madison, Transylvania, and Henderson County, the Land-of-Sky Regional Council of Governments here here to help.
  • Building the Network – Form partnerships and roles to build you community’s broadband network. Who are your internet service providers (ISPs). What Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP) do you have available? Are cellular and satellite viable options?
  • Connecting with Partner Providers – Make long-term relationships with broadband provides and your community. Shoot to implement a fiber optic solution, if possible.
  • Policy & Broadband – Create strategie and incentives to make you community attractive to broadband providers.

Review of the Playbook by Marc

Marc narrates the NC BIO Community Broadband Planning Playbook

Contact any member of our WNC Broadband project team today.


Community Broadband Planning Playbook | Broadband Infrastructure Office. (2021). Ncbroadband.gov. https://www.ncbroadband.gov/technical-assistance/playbook

Categories
Broadband in WNC Maps Polk

Broadband Development in Polk County NC

Public-private partnerships

Overlaying map data is part of Polk County’s broadband expansion business plan of a county-private partnerships.

Being able to pay for the next mile of internet through the business plan is a foundational element for the county.

Additionally, there is ‘no one-size fits all for Western North Carolina.’


Disclaimers

The WNC Broadband Project aims to support communities interested in ensuring access to reliable, truly high-speed internet service.

It develops tools to empower individuals, communities, and area leaders in advocating effectively for their digital needs.

As a community-supported initiative building on the work of West Next Generation Network (WestNGN), it is not owned or controlled by any affiliate of WestNGN.

The WNC Broadband Project is also not financed by any corporate entity, as such financing would be inconsistent with the Project’s independent community engagement focus.

The views, opinions and products of the WNC Broadband Project are the sole responsibility of the Project team and its advisory board, acting in their personal capacity and not in any capacity related to WestNGN, UNC Asheville, or any other WestNGN affiliate.

Categories
Broadband in WNC Data Maps Survey

Maps, Survey, Data

Broadband aspirations start with plans that are developed from data. As Representative Jake Johnson indicates in the video below, reliable service coverage data is needed for state, county, city, and community maps.

One of the layers of map data can be from your periodic speed-test survey on your home computer or mobile device.

For Homes & Businesses Without Internet Service

To report locations without internet service, participants can take the survey by phone. NC residents without internet service but with phones capable of text messaging can text “internet” to 919-750-0553. Standard text messaging rates will apply.

Can’t Text?

NC residents with landlines or cellphones that do not have texting capability may place a voice call to 919-750-0553. An interactive voice response system will guide them through a series of short questions to obtain the caller’s address and register it in the database as having no internet capability at all.

Rep Jake Johnson aspires “reliable service coverage maps”

Disclaimers

The WNC Broadband Project aims to support communities interested in ensuring access to reliable, truly high-speed internet service.

It develops tools to empower individuals, communities, and area leaders in advocating effectively for their digital needs.

As a community-supported initiative building on the work of West Next Generation Network (WestNGN), it is not owned or controlled by any affiliate of WestNGN.

The WNC Broadband Project is also not financed by any corporate entity, as such financing would be inconsistent with the Project’s independent community engagement focus.

The views, opinions and products of the WNC Broadband Project are the sole responsibility of the Project team and its advisory board, acting in their personal capacity and not in any capacity related to WestNGN, UNC Asheville, or any other WestNGN affiliate.