Getting High Speed Connection – MCBA and YOU!

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I. MCBA Activities since March 2007
• Mapped residences from Navarro Ridge to Caspar to get residential densities
• Conducted an interest and needs Survey to obtain more detailed local information (see Executive Summary Handout)
• Reached out to the local business community to inform, inspire, and listen in person and with the Why NET Connect? newspaper articles plus participation with the Fort Bragg Economic Development Action Committee
• Strategized a public awareness outreach campaign which included three coastal community meetings (Gualala and Pt. Arena got involved as a result), collaboration with KZYX on programming and news features, booths at local events, and an hour-long program on KZYX on the future of broadband
• Experimented with possible connection solutions to fill the need locally
• Drafted an initial feasibility study for a business plan
• Set the wheels in motion to become a 501c6 entity to get grants/funding
• Collaborated with RCC since November 2007 on regional analysis/surveys and were greatly helped in our work to figure out what to do and how to do it
• Partnered with Kathy Moxon of Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF) and RCC to continue regional coordination work toward deployment
• Partnered with Mitch Sprague of MCN on solutions and local needs
• Partnered with County CEO Mitchell, County Superintendent of Schools Tichinin, County Supervisors and Deputy CEO Of Technology Phan to move Broadband connection project further – Voila! This meeting is the result!
• Introduced more comprehensive language for revised County General Plan to have broadband be considered a utility and basic infrastructure for all residences and businesses, most of which has been accepted for next draft
• Forged relationships with Federal and State legislators and feel supported by Field Representatives from the offices of Senator Feinstein, Senator Boxer, Representative Thompson, Senator Wiggins, and Assemblyman Chesbro
• Met with CPUC Commissioner Chong’s Chief of Staff relative to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) and attended CPUC meetings on the Stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
• Attended broadband conferences in Fortuna (CA), Newport, (OR), Los Angeles, and Washington DC

II. MCBA Current activities
• Building relationships with a number of associations, advocacy groups, and foundations to share information and create a stronger rural voice
• Researching providers to deploy broadband connections – AT&T applied to connect a number of communities on the Coast but Comcast challenged it and knocked it out. Comcast has not applied however. Comptche survived and AT&T will install DSL service there this year. Randy MacDonald and his group did a masterful job of advocacy for four years to get that.
• Considering public/private partnership possibility if the community needs to set up its own company
• Coordinating regionally with Kathy Moxon of HAF to get the necessary source of bandwidth (backhaul) installed which makes local connection possible – she has made a blanket application to California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) for the four counties in the RCC project to put in this vital backhaul
• Preparing to launch another public awareness campaign to aggregate the demand and get pre-registration for a new high speed Internet service
• Initiating a new partnership with Access Humboldt to work more regionally on marketing, advocacy and deployment strategies
• Offering mentoring to other community demand aggregation and advocacy groups since each community in the County will need to take responsibility

III. YOU can help by doing these things – please sign the email list so we can send details, or visit http://www.mendocinocoastbroadband.org
• Community and neighborhood collaboration groups must form to better define the local density statistics, create an advocacy voice, and get people “pre-registered” for service so potential providers know there is sufficient demand
• Businesses need to write Letters of Support to legislators and agencies about the broadband need on the coast, quantifying the local and County benefits to the economy as well as the possible losses without it
• Individuals are encouraged to write letters to Federal and State legislators requesting their support as well as Letters to the Editor to educate on need and to encourage people to be counted as wanting/demanding connection
• Individuals will be invited to write their stories of challenges without high speed Internet and quality of life issues to present to the CPUC and other agencies along with the applications
• Financial resources are necessary if we need to form our own entity to provide service since we need to come up with matching funds to the Stimulus funds
• Stay connected with the Broadband Leadership team Facebook site – http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=48919381810&ref=ts

THIS IS OUR GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY AND WE NEED TO SEIZE IT TOGETHER.
The Mendocino Coast Broadband Alliance thanks you for coming!

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