Categories
A-B Tech Broadband access Broadband in WNC Education

Essential Instrument of Equity

Broadband is the Key Instrument

I found 8 members for my band on the Facebook Business Insider article linked below; and, they all have broadband.

If each of my band members wanted to learn or upskill their musical talent, they could use broadband as their instrument to upskill their musical skills by reading and watching online content.

But as Dr. John Gossett references, broadband at home is a resource that could be scarce if multiple individuals needed to connect.

My analogy is that if I wanted to grow my band during COVID, finding students to learn and practice their musical instrument, could be very very hard to facilitate; even if you had broadband.

Broadband internet access contributed [to a decline in attendance at A-B Tech Community College] as did access to internet-capable devices.

Dr. John Gossett, A-B Tech President

No Broadband, No Learning Opportunity

So the thought that I’m trying to communicate is Western North Carolina has a lot of potential musicians or professions that could be upskilled with broadband.

Not having access to high-speed internet or broadband instantly put these community members at a severe disadvantage in life.

What musical talent would you upskill to be considered my band?

  • accordion?
  • acoustic guitar?
  • bagpipes?
  • banjo?
  • bass guitar?
  • bongo drums?
  • bugle?
  • cello?

Hah. Although I played the oboe in high school, I need to start somewhere to improve my ability to plan to play in a concert.

Broadband would be my instrument of initial choice to facilitate a more knowledge and learnings to make myself a better candidate for a band.

Marc Czarnecki, an Experienced Worker Initiative of WNC Team Member, WNC Broadband Project Team Member, & Digital Literacy Network Community Tech

#digitalinclusion #digitalequity


http://www.facebook.com/businessnc. (2021, June 30). Round table: Western North Carolina, rising higher. Business North Carolina. https://businessnc.com/round-table-western-north-carolina-rising-higher/

Categories
Broadband Technology Ookla Speed Test Video Video Conferencing

Video Speedtest For Android

Broadband for Video

OOKLA Video Testing for Android – Now Available on WNC Broadband Marc Czarnecki’s Google Pixel 4a Smartphone

Speedtest Your Network for Video

Speed testing your video broadband is now available on the Android app and iOS app.

Understanding your home and mobile internet broadband speeds will he you understand why you may be experiencing buffering, video or audio issues with streaming a movie or watching YouTube or video conferencing on apps like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, GoTo Webinar, and others.

Your Android phone is only as good as the network it’s connecting to. Find out how fast the internet is anywhere in the world with the free Speedtest Android app and the help of our massive global server network.

Discover your download, upload and ping
Real-time graphs show connection consistency
Mobile carrier coverage maps
Troubleshoot or verify the speed you were promised
Track past tests with detailed reporting
Easily share your results

https://www.speedtest.net/apps/android
OOKLA Speed Test Results – Marc’s Google Pixel 4a 5G on Grove Street in Asheville, NC at about 9:45 a.m. on Monday, July 12th

Video Speedtest Results

The speedtest in the above screenshot indicates:

  • Load Time 1949ms
  • Buffering 0%
  • A maximum resolution of 2160p (4K) is good for video on:
    • Large phones
    • Large tablets
    • Large laptops
    • Large TVs

If you have multiple broadband access points, try connecting and running a speedtest on each access point. Also try running a test early in the morning, evening rush hour, and in at night on various days. These will produce differing broadband speed results with the demands of your access points, including but not limited to; day of week, time of day, other internet connected devices in your home and on the network.

Also See

FCC Speedtest App

OOKLA Speedtest for iOS

Screen recording of OOKLA Speedtest for iOS on an iPhone 7
Categories
Broadband funding Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) FCC NC BIO Older adults

Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)

Help spread the this information of funding for the broadband benefit for qualified individuals.

$50 per month for internet service is available

How can you spread information about EBB?

The FCC provides a toolkit to help you marketing with:

  • Offline Marketing
  • Social Media Postings
  • Pairing with other digital inclusion efforts in WNC
  • Public access Wi-Fi locations
  • Device lending locations

A Quick Introduction to EBB

AARP, the Older Adults Technology Services (OATS), and Aging Connected have this short YouTube video on ‘A Quick Introduction to EBB.’

Digital Literacy Network

The Digital Literacy Network of Buncombe County was initiated to help provide technology support for the 60+ year-old.

Join the community efforts today by:

Other Resources

WNC Broadband Blogs Posts on the EBB

How to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit

Harnessing the Power of Technology to Change the Way We Age | OATS. (2021, May 20). OATS. https://oats.org/

Categories
Advocacy Broadband access Careers Digital Inclusion Employment LinkedIn Remote Work

Remote Work for Everyone

Internet-Priviledged

Are we a divided nation when only the internet-privileged could be considered for remote work?

The infusion of technology into more industries is one factor that has led to a division of the American work force between promising jobs with good salaries and low-wage work with less possibility of advancement.

NY Times with Shira Ovide

New Hybrid of Work From Home Jobs

What Asheville jobs could have a new hybrid of some degree of working from home?

Every job has opportunity for self-improvement.

Could time be allocated for an employee to ‘upskill’ the job traits important to their industry?

LinkedIn Learning

I must confess that I do feel empowered to learn with LinkedIn Learning. It is a premium learning service that is ad-free and composed with many details including current updates and new content with over 16,000 LinkedIn Learning courses taught by credible industry experts and 60+ new courses added every week.

Also, a newer feature is to upload your organization’s own custom videos, documents, and links.

As a ‘Digital Literacy Network‘ and ‘Experienced Workforce Initiative‘ member for Buncombe County, Marc Czarnecki supports digital inclusion with tools for all.

Advocate for true high-speed internet in your community. Engage with the WNC Broadband Project and other digital inclusion content.


We Need Remote Work for Everyone. (2021). The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/06/technology/remote-work-for-everyone.html

LinkedIn Learning Product Overview | LinkedIn Learning Solutions. (2021). Linkedin.com; LinkedIn Learning Product Overview | LinkedIn Learning Solutions. https://learning.linkedin.com/product-overview

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 Broadband access Broadband in WNC Devices Digital Citizenship Education IoT Speed Video Conferencing Work From Home (WFH)

Bandwidth Growth

Requires Future Proof Fiber

What is are the projected peak bandwidth requirements for a household of 4 through 2030?

A family of 4 should ask how to they use the internet:

  • How many and when are the internet devices connected?
    • Tablets, smartphones, desktop, laptops, IoT devices (Internet of Things) like a Ring doorbell with video.
    • Live streaming events?
  • Who uses the internet at home?
    • Students
    • Work from home adults
    • Business – entrepreneurial
    • Telehealth
  • What types of applications use the internet?
    • Gamers
    • Movie streamers
    • YouTube / Vimeo
    • Video conferencing
    • Data file exchanges for employment
    • Social media

Internet Speed Test

Learn more about speed tests and periodically run a speedtest on your computer devices; especially the laptop, tablet, and smartphones.

Sample demo of an Ookla speed test, video is accelerted.
  • Cellular 4G / 5 G speed test
  • WiFi speed test at home vs at work through wired networks

Be aware of the time of day that you are running a speed test as the evening will generally see slower speeds than the rest of the day because of other that maybe on your network locally or in your internet service provider coverage area.

The WNC Broadband Leadership team is receptive to your feedback.

Contact a member of the WNC Broadband Leadership team today.

Also See

Best Practices for Speed Tests


FBA Sees $100 Billion Cost for Nationwide Fiber Broadband – Telecompetitor. (2021, June 22). Telecompetitor.com. https://www.telecompetitor.com/fba-sees-100-billion-cost-for-nationwide-fiber-broadband/

Categories
Broadband Availability Broadband in WNC Cellular Work From Home (WFH)

Work From Home

A New Normal Here to Stay?

As a previous tech worker from three Fortune 50 companies, I’ve adapted to ‘the new normal’ of having a hybrid of working from a brick and mortar location, home, and various mobile locations.

I concur with Laura Miller from the Broadband Breakfast article linked below: these are good reasons why working from home is a ‘new normal’ that is like to stay.

  1. The world has become the connected place to find resources to help with my projects or for me to work for another with broadband providing high-speed internet.
  2. Flexibility is a benefit that allow various degrees of balancing professional and personal aspirations including volunteering for the benefit of my communities.
  3. Childcare/eldercare needs.
  4. Eliminating the commute, minimizing my carbon footprint to the world. Riding the Asheville public bus can get me to many places and ride-hailing fills-in additional points of connectivity. I also feel that I am more productive with less time in a vehicle; allowing more time for the work/life balance. Fixed, mobile, cellular broadband provide the fuel to make working from home possible.
  5. Diversity / inclusion of my communities and how I can serve them.
  6. Casual dress has become a norm for me during the multitude of video conference calls. A nice collar shirt is the top half presentation on a video call with shorts or my favorite comfortable pants on the bottom.
  7. Quality broadband is coming with more fiber-connected locations. Additionally, fiber provides the necessary connectivity for cellular towers. The 5G wave will make milestones ahead of 4G.

Broadband Breakfast Staff. (2021, June 23). Laura Miller: 7 Reasons Working From Home Might Be Here to Stay. Broadbandbreakfast.com. https://broadbandbreakfast.com/2021/06/laura-miller-7-reasons-working-from-home-might-be-here-to-stay/

Categories
Affordability Broadband access Broadband as a Utility Satellite Starlink

Starlink for Rural Broadband

Starlink is a potential solution for broadband for rural America that provides low-earth orbit or LEO satellites that are connected in a sequence and are networked with a grid. The LEO network of satellites provides improved speeds when compared to traditional satellite service. New technologies including Starling promise to bring broadband speeds to remote and sparsely populated communities. Can it work in the rolling hills of Western North Carolina?

Traditional internet service providers, such as cable and telecommunications companies, have provided service to these potential customers; but due to the cost of extending the infrastructure to them, providing fiber high-speed service is not economically feasible. Copper telephone lines do not provide the future-proof speeds that are needed for our connected world. Is the sky the potential internet service for some?

Furthermore, North Carolina law has prevented city and county governments from trying to fill the internet service gap; forcing residents to find creative internet solutions that work for their community.

Highlights of Starlink

  • Researchers are testing several wireless internet technologies in remote areas of North Carolina.
  • The new services are bringing broadband to places that traditional internet vendors rejected.
  • The cost of Starlink — $499 up front plus $99 per month — could be too high for some families.

Other Starlink WNC Broadband Blog Posts

If you have Starlink service in WNC, please contact a member of our leadership team a with your personal feedback and comments about the Starlink or other low-earth satellite internet provider service.


Woolverton P. Elon Musk’s Starlink service helps wrestlers, school kids with high-speed internet at home. The Fayetteville Observer. Published June 25, 2021. Accessed June 27, 2021. https://www.fayobserver.com/story/news/2021/06/25/twitter-elon-musk-starlink-satellite-internet-service-spacex-tesla-north-carolina-matt-hardy/5091546001/

Categories
Advocacy Broadband in WNC Digital Policy Federal Efforts Local Government State Efforts

Suggestions for Policy Makers

Broadband advocacy includes making recommendations to federal, state, local, and community leaders.

Here a some solutions to consider adopting and ideas to avoid.

Solutions Policymakers Should Adopt

  1. Invest in Unserved Areas
  2. Improve Permitting
  3. Increase Adoption

Ideas Policymakers Should Avoid

  1. Moving the Digital Goalposts
  2. Government Owned Networks: Policymakers should avoid establishing government owned networks (“GONS”), particularly in areas of the country that already have service.
  3. Rate and Public-Utility Regulation
Advocacy Blog Posts

Additional thoughts or comments for the Western North Carolina Broadband Initiative?

Contact a member of the broadband leadership team.

Read More

What Policymakers Should and Shouldn’t Do to Connect All Americans. U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Published June 21, 2021. Accessed June 27, 2021. https://www.uschamber.com/series/above-the-fold/what-policymakers-should-and-shouldn-t-do-connect-all-americans