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Broadband in WNC North Carolina Satellite Starlink

Satellite Broadband Alternative

Starlink in North Carolina

When an individual or business needs high-speed internet beyond a copper wire or DSL, there is cable and fiber. But what if your community is not served by terrestrial internet? Starlink enters as a consideration for future connectivity.

Low Earth Orbit Satellites

LEO or low earth orbit satellites are notable because when compared to traditional satellite internet service providers, improved latency is a major benefit. Latency is the time it takes for data to be transferred between its source and its destination, measured in milliseconds. So having a satellite closer to earth has the attractive feature of being more responsive in sending and receiving internet data.

North Carolina Starlink Service

WRAL Tech Wire reports Starlink opportunities are being implemented in Eastern North Carolina (see the article linked below).

Starlink in WNC

Our Western North Carolina Broadband leadership team is eager to hear personal stories of Starlink in our mountainous region.

Please email your WNC Starlink comments our leadership group at marc@wncbroadband.org.

More About Starlink

Scroll through our articles about the category of Starlink.


“Tired of Broadband Choices? Elon Musk’s Starlink Offers Alternative | WRAL TechWire.” 2021. WRAL TechWire. September 6, 2021. https://www.wraltechwire.com/2021/09/06/tired-of-broadbandchoices-elon-musks-starlink-offers-alternative/.

Categories
Economic Development North Carolina Rural

Rural Broadband Week

NC’s Highlight of Digital Inclusion & Innovation

What is notable about this week?

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has declared a proclamation of Rural Broadband Week for August 16th through August 20th.

Why a Rural Broadband Week?

The need is urgent for rural broadband access and adoption across North Carolina. It is critical to allow residents to participate in today’s digital economy.

High-speed internet is essential infrastructure for everyone, from students and teachers to small business owners, workers, doctors and farmers and we need to improve access for rural communities across our state.

In the wake of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to empower every household in North Carolina to use fast internet service to link to new skills, global markets, education and healthcare.

NC Gov. Roy Cooper

Closing this digital gap requires transformational investments in infrastructure, affordability and digital skills by the state of North Carolina and strong collaboration with private and nonprofit partners.

We’re making great strides expanding rural broadband infrastructure. We now are aiming beyond infrastructure to achieve digital equity. That requires us to keep innovating new ways to increase affordability and promote digital literacy skills.

Jim Weaver, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Information Technology

It is wonderful that the Governor is highlighting this fundamental need in rebuilding our Western North Carolina communities and economy.

Dr. William Sederburg,
Retired College President & WNC Broadband Project
Chair

WNC Broadband Advocacy

Eighty-eight percent of counties in western North Carolina are designated as “rural” according to the 2010 US Census.

The Western North Carolina Broadband Project is advocating for dependable high-speed internet for all residents.

Please contact a member of the leadership team with your WNC internet questions / comments.



Governor Cooper Declares Rural Broadband Week to Highlight Digital Inclusion, Innovation | NC Gov. Cooper. Nc.gov. Published 2021. Accessed August 17, 2021. https://governor.nc.gov/news/press-releases/2021/08/16/governor-cooper-declares-rural-broadband-week-highlight-digital-inclusion-innovation

WNC Healthy Impact | Hospital & Public Health Agency Partnership Network | About. WNC Health Network. Published July 11, 2021. Accessed August 17, 2021. https://www.wnchn.org/wnc-data/about-wnc-2/

Categories
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
Broadband access Broadband in WNC Nate Denny NC BIO North Carolina Stacey Hughes

Connect WNC

Broadband for All

Updates on Funding and Funneling Broadband

When Land-of-Sky, WestNGN Broadband, and the WNC Broadband Project team identified and starting working in broadband; we had dreams of getting everyone in Western North Carolina connected.

Over the years we’ve had wins that helped keep us motivated, but with limited resources we moved slowly towards our goals. It is now clear that likely upcoming changes to policy, programs, and funding are going to be giant disrupters to how we move forward broadband issues in the region.

We’ve been on pins and needles waiting on answers on how these changes will work in WNC, and we’re looking locally and the state to help fill in the learning gaps.  

One thing that is clear- in order to get everyone connected we’re going to need to deepen our relationship with partners.

Virtual Event Agenda

  • Introduction to Nate Denny, the new Deputy Secretary of Broadband and Digital Inclusion
  • NC Department of Information Technology Staff
  • First draft unveiling of the region’s digital inclusion plan from Land of Sky
  • Stacey Hughes from Dogwood Health Trust
  • Sara Nichols & Paul Moon from the Land-of-Sky Regional Council of Governments
  • More broadband leaders

We hope you can join us virtually July 29th, 2021 from 10-11:30 EST to get updates from leaders on how we CONNECT WNC. 

Register Today

Categories
Broadband access Broadband in WNC Digital Equity Digital Literacy GREAT Program Jeff Sural North Carolina

Nation’s First Office of Digital Equity and Literacy

Established by NC Governor Roy Cooper

Closing the digital divide in North Carolina can only happen with collaboration from:

  • Federal
  • State
  • Regional Councils of Governments
  • Counties
  • Cities
  • Communities

The WNC Broadband Project and the Digital Literacy Network are happy to hear this announcement from Governor Roy Cooper.

“The pandemic showed us more than ever the importance of digital equity in North Carolina,” said Gov. Cooper. “Creating the Office of Digital Equity and Literacy will enable us to accelerate the critical work of bringing all North Carolinians up to speed with the digital society so they can live more equitable, prosperous, educated and healthier lives.”

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper

NC Office of Digital Equity and Literacy

The office of Digital Equity and Literacy will execute Gov. Cooper’s plan to expand digital literacy offerings and partnerships across North Carolina, as well as lead the Digital Equity and Inclusion Collaborative and promote the NC Digital Inclusion Playbook for local municipalities.

Read More

Governor Cooper Establishes Nation’s First Office of Digital Equity and Literacy | NCDIT. Nc.gov. Published 2021. Accessed July 4, 2021. https://it.nc.gov/news/press-releases/2021/07/01/governor-cooper-establishes-nations-first-office-digital-equity-and-literacy

Categories
Basics Computer Basics Digital Inclusion Digital Literacy North Carolina Teacher Standards

Digital Literacy

Digital Citizenship

Digital literacy has been defined in many different ways by many different people.

First, let’s put digital literacy in context starting with digital citizenship.

Digital Citizenship Defined

Digital citizenship can be defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use, including broadband or high-speed internet.

Digital Citizenship Nine Elements

  1. Digital Access: full electronic participation in society
  2. Digital Commerce: electronic buying and selling of goods or services
  3. Digital Communication: electronic exchange of information.
  4. Digital Literacy: process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology.
  5. Digital Etiquette: electronic standards of conduct or procedure.
  6. Digital Law: electronic responsibility for actions and deeds
  7. Digital Rights & Responsibilities: those freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world.
  8. Digital Health & Wellness: physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world.
  9. Digital Privacy & Security: electronic precautions to guarantee safety.

Definition of Digital Literacy

Digital literacy represents a person’s ability to perform tasks effectively in a digital environment

Source: Barbara R. Jones-Kavalier and Suzanne L. Flannigan, “Connecting the Digital Dots: Literacy of the 21st Century,” Educause Quarterly 29:2 (2006)

North Carolina Digital Literacy

Standards for Teachers

The chart below shows the relationship between North Carolina Evaluation Standards and the Information & Technology Education Standards (ITES) of:

  • Sources of Information
  • Information Text
  • Technology as a Tool
  • Research Process
  • Safety & Ethics
Interconnectedness of the NC Teacher Evaluation Process and the Information & Technology Standards

The Digital Literacy Network is a start for digital inclusion in Buncombe County and Western North Carolina thanks to the Land-Of-Sky Regional Council of Governments.

Supporting Posts

Digital Citizenship Archives – WNC Broadband Project. (2020). WNC Broadband Project. https://wncbroadband.org/blog/blog/category/digital-citizenship/

Learning Digital Skills – WNC Broadband Project. (2021, June 24). WNC Broadband Project. https://wncbroadband.org/blog/blog/2021/06/24/learning-digital-skills/

Defining Digital Literacy. (2021). Rt3nc.org. http://rt3nc.org/objects/modules/diglit/1-1-DefiningDigitalLiteracy.html

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
Broadband access Broadband funding House Bill North Carolina

$750M in NC broadband expansion Passed by House

The North Carolina House unanimously approved legislation on Wednesday that aims to spend $750 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to install high-speed internet in rural and remote areas lacking it.

Broadband Legislation

  • $350 million in discretionary American Rescue Plan funds earmarked for North Carolina to expand a relatively new state broadband installation matching funds program with internet providers and electric cooperatives.
  • $400 million in the funds from Congress on a new program that gives counties the ability to put out bids for broadband expansion in underserved areas. Federal aid going to counties also would pay for those projects.

The measure, which now goes to the Senate, meets goals of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper in his proposal last week to spend $1.2 billion of America Rescue Plan money on improving internet access.

“This is a huge step forward. The flexibility given the counties is a major step in helping fill in unserved parts of all parts of the state. It should help our WNC counties considerably.”

William Sederburg, Chair of the WNC Broadband Project
The G.R.E.A.T. Broadband Expansion Act

Here is the link to the language of the bill as reported by the committee. The WNC Broadband Project Team is not aware of any floor amendments as reported out of committee, not what we are aware of or not.

https://www.ncleg.gov/Sessions/2021/Bills/House/PDF/H947v2.pdf


Also See

NC - Closing the Digital Divide
NC – Closing the Digital Divide

American Rescue Plan – Recommendation Investing $1.2 billion –
Closing the Digital Divide

$750M in virus aid for NC broadband expansion OK’d by House. (2021, May 26). AP NEWS; Associated Press. https://apnews.com/article/nc-state-wire-business-technology-health-coronavirus-pandemic-e757ca933053b92918480a039e53d44d

Categories
American Rescue Plan Digital Divide North Carolina

Closing the Digital Divide in NC

American Rescue Plan – Recommendation Investing $1.2 billion

Closing the Digital Divide

The recommendation invests $1.2 billion in broadband access and affordability to close the digital divide in North Carolina. While North Carolina’s economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the gap between residents enjoying economic growth and those struggling to secure jobs, find housing, and pursue educational resources is widening. The funds will provide access to affordable, high-speed internet in every corner of the state and will ensure high-speed internet is equitably adopted and residents are able to access education, healthcare, and business opportunities.

NC Governor Roy Cooper

NC Gov. Cooper: Governor Cooper Releases American Rescue Plan Investment Recommendations. (2021, May 19). Nc.gov. https://governor.nc.gov/news/governor-cooper-releases-american-rescue-plan-investment-recommendations

Broadband, education atop Gov. Cooper’s $5.7B virus aid proposals

Broadband, education atop Gov. Cooper’s $5.7B virus aid proposals – Asheville Citizen-Times. (2021). Newsmemory.com. https://ashevillecitizentimes-nc-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=286829201_1345d7d


‌Also See – Digital Divide WNC Broadband Blog Posts

Categories
Advocacy Broadband access Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Broadband Technology Dan Gerlach Education Federal Efforts Greg Vogt Jeff McDaris Jeff Sural Local Government Local Government North Carolina Paul de Sa Stagg Newman Walter Johnson

WNC Broadband Leadership Summit

March 2, 2021

Meet the Experts, Get Broadband Industry Updates, and Closing The Digital Divide in 2021


You’ve been asking questions- we’re paying attention. 2021 will bring a host of changes to policy, funding, technology, and more.

Join us on March 2nd for our annual broadband leadership summit as we hear from local, state, and national leaders on what those changes will bring.

We will be hearing from:

Paul de Sa- “Perspectives on the new FCC directions and Internet Policy and Funding in the Biden Administration”

Paul was part of the leadership team at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2009-12 and 2016-17, serving as Chief of its Office of Strategic Planning, with a focus on merger reviews, spectrum policy, and broadband, including work on the National Broadband Plan. He is now a senior partner with Quadra Partners consulting and a member of President Biden’s Broadband Transition Team.

Walter Johnston- “Broadband Technology in 2021”

Walter was Chief of the Electromagnetic Compatibility Division of the FCC from 2009 to Jan. 2019. He is now a senior partner with Danu consulting. He is a leading expert in new broadband technologies.

Dan Gerlach- “Foundations and funding questions”

Dan has served the public for 25 years as a budget advisor to Gov. Easley, President of the Golden Leaf Foundation, and interim Chancellor of East Carolina University. He currently is president of Dan Garlach LLC and a consultant to the Dogwood Health Trust.

Jeff Sural- “What to expect at the state level”

Jeff earned his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill and his J.D. from Western Michigan University. Since January 2015 he has been the Director of the Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO). BIO leads the statewide initiative to expand high-speed internet access for all North Carolinians.

There will also be information from several providers in the region including Charter, Skyrunner, ERC, and French Broad Electric Co-op.

And more……

This event will be held from 10-noon with optional breakout sessions from noon-1pm.

Breakout Sessions

  • Education – led by Jeff McDaris – will hear what K-12 and colleges have done to meet the pandemic and respond to the digital divide. Barry Pace of Buncombe Schools will provide an update on their experience.
  • New Technologies – led by Stagg Newman and Walter Johnston will continue the conversation about 5G expansion, satellite services, and the future.
  • State & Local Funding for Broadband – led by Jeff Sural and foundation partners – will look at the potential for state and local funding for broadband.
  • Federal Policy Changes – Greg Vogt and Paul de Sa will continue the conversation about what the Biden administration and Democratic control of Congress means for broadband improvements and regulations.

Register for this virtual event today! Spaces are limited.

Date: March 2nd
Presentations: 10-12
Breakout sessions: 12-1
Cost: Free

Zoom Registration Link

For questions related to this event reach out to


Does your organization have a digital inclusion activity it offers?

We want to know!

2020 escalated the conversation around digital inclusion and we want to make sure we know what’s going on across WNC. Please let us know who you are and what your organization is doing by completing this brief survey. We will present an update to this project at the March 2nd Summit. 

Digital Inclusion Survey Link