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Affordability Assurance Wireless Communication Computer Basics Digital Equity Digital Literacy Hotspot Internet Phone Service

Smartphone

Digital Literacy

An Assurance smartphone is free for qualified individuals it comes with 10 Gigs of of monthly internet data for a laptop hotspot.

Periodically the Assurance phone tent can be found in Asheville.

Assurance Wireless Phone Tent in front of the Department of Health & Human Services Building on Asheville’s Cox Avenue (across from the bus station)

If you qualify, Assurance Wireless periodically sets-up a tent in Asheville and provides a free smartphone for life’s needed communication from friends, family, employers, and more.

  • Phone calls
  • Text messages
  • Weather forecast checks
  • Web search
  • Video content
  • Laptop hotspot
  • Telehealth

Additionally, if you are 60+ years old and you are a Buncombe County resident… and have questions or need help in using an Android or Apple smartphone for employment or careers, please contact a member of the Digital Literacy Network for assistance.

A member of our tech team will setup an appointment in-person or virtually.

Assurance Wireless Phone

Learn More About Assurance Wireless Phone
https://www.assurancewireless.com

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Asheville Content Live broadcasting Pixel 4a T-Mobile Hotspot

Go FB Live

Facebook Live with Cellular Broadband

A business, a cause, and a reason to go ‘live.’

Tell a story, be real and sincere.

Nowadays anybody can be a content broadcaster.

Going ‘live’ means having a mobile phone, tablet, or webcam laptop with fast, dependable internet; i.e. broadband (download speeds in excess of 25Mbs down and 3 Mbs up; with low latency).

On Location: WAKE by Mel Chin

Using my T-Mobile 5G hotspot and a WiFi connected Google Pixel 4a (5G) phone, and a lapel microphone; these are the Facebook live results from a ‘southside slope area’ of Asheville.

WAKE Facebook Live Event

Here are the results for a local RN Patient Advocacy business posting:

https://fb.watch/4IurhjQBKL/


Prepare you content, test the video/audio equipment including broadband, and you or anybody can broadcast ‘live’ to the world.

The WNC broadband has a speed test available at: https://wncbroadband.org/survey/speedtest.php

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Apple iPhone Free WiFi iOS Mobile Data Wireless

Broadband and Mobility

Asheville is Sunny and 58 degrees

Marc Czarnecki – AB Tech Continuing Education Technology Instructor

As an instructor at Asheville-Buncombe Community College Continuing Education, I see students mostly in the 50+ demographic who don’t have technology support readily available to them. During this week’s Apple iPhone class at the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Ferguson Workforce Building; students shared stories and I answered several questions related to broadband.

Asheville Cell Tower

iPhone is Cellular-Data Dependent

The smallest computer that most of us own is a smartphone. It depends on broadband to connect to cloud-based services; including location-sharing features such as weather forecasts and timing information. Our mobility with the smartphone requires data from cellular towers, as pictured.

These cell towers require infrastructure including electricity and fiber optic cables to connect to internet servers. Although cellular data provides internet connectivity, usually at slower speeds than a home or business wired terrestrial broadband connections; with the topography of Western North Carolina, can wireless services provide more digital inclusion?

WiFi Smartphone Connections

With mobility comes the awareness that a user’s cellular data plan is expensive and can have data caps. Additionally, ‘unlimited data plans’ usually have data-throttle thresholds where cellular connectivity speeds are lowered. Thus a mobile device user is attracted to ‘free WiFi.’ Speed testing a ‘free WiFi’ location will also give you a indicator of how fast data is exchanged at the location, thus making a pleasant or not-so pleasant experience.

Free WiFi Pros / Cons

Security and privacy become pro & con considerations where ‘free WiFi’ is located.

  • Is the available network valid? Don’t trust just the name of the network. Ask an employee.
  • Public networks may provide opportunities for data details to be captured. As a general rule DO NOT use ‘free WiFi’ for financial or other personally sensitive information. Consider using a Virtual Private Network or VPN.
  • How reliable is the network? Is there trusted Information Technology staff maintaining the network?
  • Advertisements may be presented to you in exchange for the free service.
  • Generally lower broadband speeds can be expected.

Advocating Broadband for WNC

The Western Carolina Broadband leadership team is here to advocate for ‘future-proof’ broadband investments.

Please email the WNCBP team with questions or comments.

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Broadband access Smartphone WiFi

Smartphone Personal Hotspot

Individuals that can afford internet are likely to have terrestrial (land) or fixed wireless internet access at home or at public locations. Internet access can also be acquired using a smartphone when the personal hotspot option is turned-on.

Holiday travels and sometimes the need for faster internet maybe available using a smartphone’s hotspot feature. Also, in Western North Carolina with winter weather potential of wind, snow, ice; understanding how to use a smartphone hotspot can an provide internet connectivity alternative provided the smartphone has data time available through the mobile phone provider. Cellular data speeds are dependent on the the proximity of a cellular tower and the network traffic.

With the majority of smartphones run either an Apple iOS or Google Android, how do you use a smartphone’s personal hotspot feature?

Example of an iPhone Personal Hotspot Screen

Consider a practice session and running a speed test to see how it compares to your home’s service. Again, be aware of your cellular providers limitations of usage as they vary by provider and the level of plan that you are using.

Also See

Speedtest Best Practices

WiFi Hotspot