Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding Transylvania

Transylvania County

Additional $4.2M Funding for Broadband Access

The WNC Broadband Project Team recognizes and celebrates high-speed internet growth funding for Transylvania County.

Congratulations Comporium!

In part thanks to state funds, Comporium will have $4.2 million to expand rural broadband access in Transylvania County. 

Transylvania Times

The Transylvania Times. (2020). Comporium Receives Funds To Help With Broadband Access – Transylvania County, NC. The Transylvania Times. https://www.transylvaniatimes.com/story/2020/12/28/news/comporium-receives-funds-to-help-with-broadband-access-transylvania-county-nc/47588.html

Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding NC General Assembly Policy

Legislative Priority

Broadband Connectivity

January 13th brings the next North Carolina General Assembly session.

In the Carolina Journal article linked below, it suggested lawmakers should consider the following solutions:

  1. Leave broadband service and investments to private providers.
  2. Streamline permitting, remove unnecessary regulations.
  3. Remove obstacles to building wireless infrastructure on public property and public-rights-of-way, allow lease agreements for pole attachments that encourage developing infrastructure.
  4. Find solutions through open markets and competition, rather than government take-over.
  5. Offer a direct consumer subsidy, much like a voucher, that rural residents in unserved and underserved areas can use to purchase discounted broadband or devices.
  6. Put guardrails around the GREAT grant program to encourage innovation, focus on unserved areas, leave room for advancing technologies, provide grants instead of ongoing funding streams.
  7. Minimize and modernize fees at local and state level to avoid duplicative billing and keep costs low.
  8. Protect jobs and investment by upholding the state’s 2011 Level Playing Field Act, which regulates local government competition from private business.

The Western North Carolina Broadband Project team is advocating for high speed internet improvements. Contact a member of our WNC Broadband Project team with any questions.


Broadband tops list of legislative priorities for upcoming session  – Carolina Journal. (2020, December 28). Carolina Journal. https://www.carolinajournal.com/opinion-article/broadband-tops-list-of-legislative-priorities-for-upcoming-session

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Categories
Broadband access Broadband funding Latency RDOF Rural Satellite Starlink

WNC Red-Green?

FCC Broadband Opportunity Map

RDOF Phase 1 Results

Is your rural Western North Carolina community striving for broadband?

Is Starlink low earth satellite a possibility for your internet needs?

The Federal Communication Committee has developed a drillable map of ‘Rural Digital Opportunity Funding‘ or RDOF – Phase 1 results by:

  • Gigabit: low latency
  • Above baseline; low latency
  • Above baseline; high latency
  • Baseline; low latency
  • Minimum; low latency
  • No Winning Bidder

https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/rdof-phase-i-dec-2020/

Contact a member of the WNC Broadband Project Team to learn more about getting dependable, high-speed internet in your community.

Also See

5G in WNC

Challenges Facing Satellite-Based Internet

Frequently Asked Questions About Broadband

Latency and Satellite for Internet Service…

Delay is the time that it takes for the bits of information or data to get across the network and back. Delay is typically measured in milliseconds (msec) or 1/1000th of a second. Two-way applications, such as conferencing, are sensitive to delay. Minimal delay is also very important in interactive gaming applications. For today’s Internet access, 20 msec is excellent. Most applications can tolerate delay of two to three times this length without an adverse effect.

Broadband Latency

Nelius, J. (2020, December 11). Here’s Where SpaceX Has Promised to Provide Starlink Internet. Gizmodo; Gizmodo. https://gizmodo.com/heres-where-spacex-has-promised-to-provide-starlink-int-1845850942

Federal Communications Commission. (2020). Federal Communications Commission. https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/rdof-phase-i-dec-2020/

Categories
Communication Family Video Chat

Holiday Video Chat

Communication to Your Network

Broadband facilitates communication in the form of email, text messages, videos, and more to your network. Broadband is the carrier electronic of communication to coworkers, friends, and family. The faster the broadband, the better your communication experience when it comes to video. The more individuals on your video chat, the more broadband resources are needed. If your electronic devices support 4K or even sharper video images, the broadband demands become even greater.

Video Chat Services

For family holiday communication you will also want to use the easiest video conference tool; a tool that most everybody will feel comfortable in using. Sometimes the decision to which video software tool to use is based upon the available hardware. Based on Review Geek and my personal favorites, here are some suggestions:


Crider, M. (2020, December 20). What’s the Easiest Video Chat Service to Use With Your Family? Reviewgeek.com; Review Geek. https://www.reviewgeek.com/64315/whats-the-easiest-video-chat-service-to-use-with-your-family/

Categories
Broadband funding Economic Development Education Telehealth

$7 Billion for Broadband

United States Relief Package

Funding to help improve broadband in the US is coming. States, communities, counties, and cities need to have a framework to apply for this opportunity.

In North Carolina these frameworks can include:

  • NC Broadband Infrastructure Office
  • NC Councils of Governments or county COGs
  • Tribal Groups
  • Rural Electric Cooperatives
  • Tele & Cable Companies
  • Wireless Internet Service Providers
  • Local Broadband Providers
  • Internet Satellite Providers
  • Universities and Colleges
  • Cities and Municipalities

In the Metro Asheville area, there are two entities that advocate for broadband improvements for our economic future:

  • WestNGN for Buncombe, Madison, Henderson, and Transylvania Counties
  • WNC Broadband Project for North Carolina’s western counties

Learn More About the $7B for Broadband

Margaret Harding McGill. (2020, December 21). COVID relief bill provides $7 billion for broadband access. Axios

https://www.axios.com/broadband-access-covid-relief-bill-7-billion-5be48439-c1a4-4927-a0c4-515312a1d281.html

Kelly, M. (2020, December 21). US relief package provides $7 billion for broadband. The Verge.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/21/22193133/us-coronavirus-covid-relief-stimulus-package-broadband-huawei-zte

Categories
Buncombe Rural

Governor Cooper Announces $30 million to Expand Internet Access in Rural Areas

Project Expected to Connect Households and Businesses to Broadband in Buncombe County

Buncombe County and the French Broad Electric Membership Cooperative will benefit from this supplementing round of the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) program funds.

“This pandemic is shining a light on the need for better high speed internet access in rural communities. These projects will the make sure the internet can connect people to the education, health care and jobs they need.”

GOVERNOR ROY COOPER

NC Gov. Cooper: Governor Cooper Announces $30 million to Expand Internet Access in Rural Areas. (2020, December 17). Nc.Gov. https://governor.nc.gov/news/governor-cooper-announces-30-million-expand-internet-access-rural-areas

Categories
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
Categories
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.

Categories
Broadband access Hotspot WiFi Wireless

WiFi Hotspot

Internet access is available different forms, for those that can afford access.

In light of the COVID pandemic, WiFi hotspots have become a temporary hardware patch to deliver internet to students that did not have broadband connectivity.

Benefits of Mobile Hotspot

  • Faster speeds than personal hotspots on a smartphone
  • Signal stability
  • Mobility to move the unit easily
  • Typically more secure
  • Several users and devices can be connected

Cons of Mobile Hotspot

  • Speed is dependent on the proximity of the tower
  • Speeds are dependent on the build-out of the carrier in rural areas
  • Weaker signal requires more power
  • Low data caps, when exceeded will cause data throttling

Also See


“What Is a WiFi Hotspot? | CenturyLink.” Centurylink.com, 2020, www.centurylink.com/home/help/internet/wireless/what-is-a-wi-fi-hotspot1.html . Accessed 12 Dec. 2020.

Guzzardo J. Pros and Cons to using Wi-Fi and Cellular Internet – Resource. Resource. Published January 9, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. http://resourcemagonline.com/2020/01/pros-and-cons-to-using-wi-fi-and-cellular-internet/181390/

Categories
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