Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

ACTION ALERT: REGISTER A “BROADBAND DEAD ZONE”

May 6, 2010

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.

One Step Forward for Countywide Broadband

March 12, 2010

[reposted from the Community Foundation of Mendocino County]

Susanne Norgard, Executive Director, writes in the Ukiah Daily Journal about people and organizations improving lives in our community.

It has long been recognized that “giving back” most effectively involves helping people and communities to help themselves. Whether it is supporting projects that teach someone a new skill, or providing resources that allow people to use the skills they already have, effective philanthropy acknowledges that everyone has something to contribute.

This theme underlies “rural development philanthropy,” which was a topic of discussion at the Community Foundation’s recent board retreat. “Rural development philanthropy” is a philosophy that unites the tools of community, economic and resource development and builds a community’s ability to shape a better future.

…on February 9th, several board members from the Community Foundation, the Mendocino Coast Broadband Alliance, Rural Broadband Now, AccessHumboldt, and others joined the County CEO’s office in urging the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to adopt a Resolution to “support the development and capacity build-out of broadband connectivity throughout the County.” The Resolution, which was passed unanimously by the board, calls for the mobilization of resources for rural economic development efforts supporting broadband development, assistance to all broadband projects, and convening and facilitation of community and agency information sessions.

[Read the rest of this article]

Broadband update as of February 10, 2010

February 10, 2010
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors took a giant step forward at their February 9 meeting to adopt a Resolution to “support the development and capacity build out of broadband connectivity throughout the County”. The Resolution calls for the mobilization of resources for rural economic development efforts supporting broadband development, assistance to all broadband projects and convening and facilitation of community and agency information sessions.This Resolution was brought to the Supervisors by the Community Foundation of Mendocino County. The Community Foundation has chosen economic development as a key issue for the County this year, and broadband as an important piece. They want to stimulate business while preserving the rural character and beauty of our County and know having ubiquitous broadband for businesses and citizens is critical to job creation and economic health.

The County will mobilize resources for the rural economic development efforts and provide assistance to projects, and join the Community Foundation and Mendocino Coast Broadband Alliance to form a partnership to work toward the goal of high speed Internet for all. This is a bold and much appreciated step.

Rural Broadband Now is putting in a second round application for federal stimulus funds to deploy broadband fiber to the unserved residences in the inland valley north of Ukiah to Leggett and Percy. It is unclear what will be in the application for the Coast.

This Resolution is important for the future of broadband in the County and details will follow on how it will play out. The Supervisors are to be commended for this positive action.