ACTION ALERT: REGISTER A “BROADBAND DEAD ZONE”

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Residences and businesses without high speed Internet access (greater than 4 Mbps download) are in what is termed a “Broadband Dead Zone” by the Federal Communication Commission. FCC has a new Broadband Plan called Connect America to make sure no residences get left out of this vital communication vehicle by funding infrastructure for the unserved areas. The current FCC map of broadband availability shows most of the Mendocino Coast as being 81-95% served with broadband. MCBA believes that is not true. If the government thinks our area is served, there will be no funding coming this way. Without funding for the very expensive infrastructure, our area might not get it. It is vital to correct the data and this takes community action.

To prove that our communities on the Coast have large unserved portions (MCBA estimates about 50% of the population), each household on dial up, DSL, or satellite is encouraged to register on the www.broadband.gov website. Look in the middle column for “Consumer Broadband Test” and then look at the bottom of that section for “Report a Broadband Dead Zone”. It is also interesting to take the Broadband Test to see what your download speed really is.

Those on dial up who cannot register (many on dial up have said they cannot make the site work), send your physical address (not PO Box) with zip code to either carol@oakgrove.com or sfreriks@mcn.org. Give permission for them to enter your data on the website. You can maximize this effort by getting friends and neighbors to do it too. Either Carol or Shirley can send a Registry Form for you to circulate to other “Dead Zone” folks in your area to give their permission to have their addresses entered. You can put the Registry up at the local store, Grange, local meeting hall, church, Post Office, or walk it around the neighborhood. Send it to the email addresses noted or to MCBA, PO Box 12, Albion, 95410.

It is important to get as many households to register as possible to achieve critical mass to change the false broadband availability data and increase the chances of all the residences and businesses on the Coast getting connected to this vital communication vehicle. Future generations will thank you.

PS – A New York Times article states that “high speed Internet is on its way to replacing the telephone as the nation’s primary means of communication.” Read the whole article.

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