Archive for the ‘Reference’ Category

2008 Survey Results

April 8, 2009

Mendocino Coast Broadband Alliance

Results of Survey on Broadband Interest

Executive Summary, April 30, 2008

Survey Logistics

A survey titled “Request for Information on Broadband Interest” was conducted from 3/1/08 to 4/25/08, administered through both paper and online survey instruments. A total of 800 paper surveys were distributed door-to-door and to central pickup points along the Mendocino coast from Albion to Westport. Directions to the SurveyMonkey site: were published in local newspapers, emailed to local mailing lists, posted on bulletin boards and included with the printed survey. A total of 185 responses were collected (44 paper, 141 online). The largest cluster (42%) of respondents was in the town of Albion. The survey was designed to assess current and future broadband access needs for homes and home based businesses.

Key findings

Regardless of current access, respondents want more reliable, higher speed access at an affordable cost. High speed could lessen the physical isolation and economic limitations of coastal living. Many pointed to the inequity of urban vs. rural access and called for mandated broadband availability.

In this largely rural population, the average respondent lives 1065 feet from the county road.

  • 90.5 % agreed “High speed Internet should be available to every home.”
  • 85.8% agreed “My property is more valuable or marketable with high speed Internet.”
  • 93.5% agreed “High speed Internet will make Mendocino County stronger economically.”

Most favored uses included

  • 97% Reference and research
  • 88% Communications
  • 81%Comparing and shopping
  • 80%Mapping & Google Earth
  • 76% Travel planning
  • 75% Media: Images
  • 73% Business & Banking
  • 72% Computer Support
  • 70%Education

55% respondents reported a current home based business. 83% of those estimated growth in income given broadband access. The 11 individuals who reported current home based business annual income are charted to the left. 59% of those without a home based business would be interested in starting one given broadband access. Over 76 different types of home based businesses were reported, ranging from accounting to yoga therapy and including art, construction, design, engineering, finance, medical, music production, private investigation, real estate, sales, teaching, and web production.

Sample Quotes

“I am disabled and having to drive all the way to the Ft. Bragg library to get a decent, fast connection is almost impossible. I am isolated and out of touch. I live right on State Hwy. 1 and I might as well be in Timbuktu — there is NO cable, NO DSL, NO nothing here.”

“I drive 3 days a week almost 70 miles round trip to access a wifi location to do my online work.”

“We are just handicapped when it comes to anything on the internet…Updates for drivers or programs; sometimes a new version of a program can a day or longer to download.”

“We currently have three computers sharing one dialup connection. The lack of a workable high speed connection has impacted us severely.” — “I am very tired of being unable to download new programs and/or upgrades”

“It’s no longer feasible for many people to spend at least $10.00 for gasoline to a larger city where high speed hot spots might be available or where long lines waiting to use computers in some libraries eliminate their usefulness. Amazing how one can travel to a rural part of a third world country and get better Internet speeds there than parts of Mendocino not serviced by cable or DSL!”

“Dial up causes unnecessary stress in my life.” — “with only dial-up, we feel left out and left behind”

“High speed internet access is absolutely critical to the survival and growth of rural communities like the Coast as well as the rest of the county.”

“I have broadband now but the speeds are nothing like what they are in the city. The coast deserves to have service as good as the city,” — “time for us rural types to have 21st century tools like the urbans”

“I feel like I am in the stoneage. It is impossible to do taxes on line for example. I can’t share photos with my family in Germany”

“I am a high school teacher and would like to be able to do research at home. Unfortunately, it takes way too long with dial-up. We were one of the last areas to get private phone lines. We had party lines in the 1970s. Let’s not repeat this travesty. We need high speed internet.”

“high speed internet would enable telecommuting and online educational opportunities for our high school children”

“I sell on ebay and I have found that, on my s-l-o-w dial-up connection I often must wait until the wee hours of the night/early EARLY morning to effectively post items with photos”

“…considered moving to a more remote coastal location… High speed internet ranks up there with water, septic, land for gardening, and good air as essential homesite requirements” — “ Having high speed internet means that we could move to Mendocino (sooner) and not have to rent an office space in town.”

“My wife is a lawyer who telecommutes now and when we move to Mendocino a broad band connection will allow her to retain her profession”

“We are a husband and wife company working out of our home studio for the last 25 years here in Mendocino. We want to launch a website but worry about maintaining it with a dial up connection”

“one airline uses people in Utah for their flight reservations. Retirees, handicaped, stay at home moms, etc. are hooked up by HIGH SPEED INTERNET to the company. The company saves millions of dollars a year by having this highly reliable source of labor right here in the US without going to India for their employees. The Mendocino Coast with its highly educated population would be a great source for a company to use for this type of operation if it were not so removed FROM the mainstream by the lack of HIGH SPEED INTERNET.”

“The era of separate and unequal should be no longer tolerated. Our children, our businesses, and our personal freedom to participate in the global communication network is being limited by our lack of access to high speed internet.”


“Need it bad. Need it now.” –“Please get this for all of us as soon as possible for a reasonable monthly fee.” — “Hurry up !!”

“Were something better available, I would switch in a heartbeat. “ “I very much look forward to broadband services and would sign on immediately if it were available and remain a valued customer.”

“Just like the rural electrification project this needs to be done for everyone” — “Affordable broadband should be available to every American!”

“Irrespective of its tangible utility, the internet is an essential part of our present day culture. A fast connection is essential for participating in it. It is comparable to having a telephone service.”

“PLEASE, GET AT&T TO BRING ALL OF US IN THIS RURAL COMMUNITY HIGH-SPEED INTERNET. THANKS!!” — “The coast as a region from point Arena to Westport needs to for a non-profit corporation to “mandate” access thru the state to “POWER-LINE INTERNET ACCESS” –“ ATT and other phone corporations must be made to provide broadband to ALL areas, whether it be a wired or wireless connection”


Getting High Speed Connection – MCBA and YOU!

April 7, 2009

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
• 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 –

The Mendocino Coast Broadband Alliance thanks you for coming!

People who have access to high speed Internet can have enhanced:

March 27, 2008


  • Email family and friends
  • Instant message online or send text messages to a phone
  • Share articles, news, pictures, videos, music with others
  • Send information (documents, pictures, maps, plans, sound files, etc.) around the world in minutes

Social Networking

  • Reconnect with old friends and classmates
  • Connect with people of similar interests worldwide; Meet new people and date
  • Interact via social networking sites or virtual worlds like Facebook, MySpace or Second Life
  • Arrange carpools or rideshares

Community Networking

Reference & Research

  • Search the County library catalog & request items:
  • Find and share recipes
  • Research any item of interest like genealogy, health concerns, political issues, candidates, or wave energy
  • Look up the answer to almost any question & find more information than any encyclopedia could hold
  • Ask for expert advice on any topic
  • Download and read whole books:
  • Track legislation or follow climate change or bird migrations
  • Search for job postings

Mapping & Google Earth


  • Play educational children’s games
  • Play games (solitaire or multi-player) like Scrabble, poker, chess or puzzles
  • Play massively multiplayer online games like WOW or DnD or simulation games like SIMS
  • Play fantasy sports like football, basketball, golf, hockey or auto racing

Media: Music & Audio

Media: Video & YouTube

Media: Images

  • Upload digital pictures & order prints through a local photo shop or to be mailed directly to the home
  • Design and publish a hardcopy book of images like
  • Comparing and Shopping
  • Shop at a local bookstore:
  • Shop online at Harvest Market:
  • Learn more about products and services where the ad says “see website for complete details”
  • Compare reviews on any item before purchasing – Consumer Reports
  • Shop for items that otherwise might require a long distance drive to find
  • Find items on eBay or sell items online directly to collectors
  • Arrange to barter goods or services or find free items on
  • Locate local food producers or arrange to trade saved seeds
  • Track down the perfect used car, truck or farm equipment

Travel Planning

  • Compare prices, offerings and reviews of restaurants and hotels. Make reservations.
  • Research and shop for best deals on rental cars and flights or arrange home swaps for vacations

Activism & Advocacy

  • Participate in local, regional, national & international activism
  • Advocate or petition for community resources
  • Donate to or support causes worldwide or fundraise online with Paypal
  • Locate and apply for grant funding
  • Attract volunteers from all over to support a cause
  • Leverage local volunteer work with published work by similar interest groups
  • Become a citizen monitor for water quality:


  • Blog; keep a public journal or write a newsletter
  • Become known as an online writer and then become a professional journalist
  • Promote an interest, cause, hobby or event

News & Weather


  • Complete homework assignments at home; collaborate on projects with other students
  • Communicate with your students’ teachers
  • Share home school curricula, lessons and projects
  • Find and share student projects in many formats: written, audio, visual, slides
  • Learn about the Mendocino High School SONAR program:
  • Attend child or adult online classes through distance learning
  • Earn a high school, undergraduate or graduate degree online
  • Learn to type, to speak a foreign language, or to do animation

Medical Info & Healthcare

  • Have medical information analyzed remotely or arrange second opinions
  • Research medical conditions or register as a living organ donor
  • Maintain your medical history or join a support group

Emergency Services

Government Services

Volunteer Distributed Computing

  • Share personal computer processing to support projects like SETI@home, Rosetta@home

Computer Support

  • Download software upgrades
  • Request service support from your hardware manufacturer
  • Maintain current virus protections
  • Remotely store and backup data


  • Telecommute part time or full time
  • Work for a business in another city, state or country

Business & Banking

  • Start/expand a home business; access business support via online companies
  • Work a second job online; improve employability and employment opportunities
  • Collaboratively edit documents, spreadsheets and slides and “sign” documents online
  • Conduct business, sell goods and services, find clients, or advertise
  • Bank and pay bills online or manage a 401K or portfolio
  • Bank online with a local credit union like: