Let's Get Connected!

A website dedicated to bringing better broadband (for some) and ANY broadband for many in Clay, Calhoun and Roane Counties, WV.

Wow!

Frontier may file for bankruptcy! Significantly impacts our broadband development.

 

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/01/frontier-an-isp-in-29-states-plans-to-file-for-bankruptcy/

 

 

Here's The (feasibility study) Plan!

Broadband Plan      Link
Implementation Phases Link
Survey Results Roane County Link
Survey Results Clay County  Link
Survey Results Calhoun County Link

    

 

 

Check this box for the latest update!

11/21/19: CCRBDC met by conference call

John

  • Reported the ROC has not had meeting yet, will probably meet Jan 2020.

  • Mentioned FaceBook fiber project.

  • Power companies working on attachment fees; lots of last mile projects popping up

  • AEP submitted their utility feasibility study in October to WVBEC

  • AMI metering, to read power meters automatically; they have already done this in VA

  • There’s a pilot in McDowell and Wyoming counties.

  • 1st energy trying to overlap underserved area, using sub stations as pick up points for middle mile connections

  • Tuggle said we should identify last mile project that is eligible for funding

  • Get close to back haul or middle mile source, get close to bulk fiber = cheaper

  • Ref our feasibility study, page 49 fiber routes.

Roane submitted for 500K CBDG grant

  • Roane meets 1300 hours tomorrow

  • goal to come up with 2 or 3 projects for last mile projects, build out from there;

  • we may go forward with RFP/selection without funding in place

Calhoun

  • Horst attended a commission meeting; had questions about ROC memo, they keep memo

  • PBS Charleston came to interview high school students about BB; Horst was there.

  • Shows during legislature session?

  • Maybe start with Grantsville, but it's not HUD area

Barry for Clay

  • Barry's running it; Terry applied for HUD $360K, ARC $1.4 Million, about $1.8M

  • They should hear back in FEB; sure it will be approved

  • Clay meets tomorrow

  • Will draft for engineering study announcement for paper working

  • Want returns by deadline of 20 DEC, evaluated 1st of year, pick vendors for interviews in Jan

  • Feb sign contracts, get going.

  • Connie asked John to ask ROC if they need anything from county commission or received anything

CCRBDC meets 16 JAN regular date

Maybe again in December. CCRBDC invited to attend Clay’s review of vendors.


 

 

 

11/13/2019: The Clay committee met after the Clay County Commission meeting. They assigned some work tasks and set a couple of meeting dates: 1/15 at 10:00 and 2/26 at 10:30 AM after Clay County Comission meeting.

10/17/2019: The CCRBDC met by phone. We'll continue to meet with conference calls as needed; the group is staying together.

Monday is Roane's meeting, Clay has a meeting on the 23rd.

 

Did you know West Virginia is one of eight pilot states for the National Broadband Availability Map (NBAM)?

map

Read more:     https://broadbandusa.ntia.doc.gov/map

To all,

The Clay County Commission will be pursuing HUD-Broadband and ARC-Broadband Designated Distressed Counties grant funding to design and construct Broadband Connectivity in Clay County. Our first Public Hearing is set for Wednesday August 14th at 10:05 a.m. as part of the County Commission meeting. It is our intent to begin this process and answer as many questions to the residents and businesses as possible at this time. Many questions will be answered by the design and type of service selected after a consulting engineer has been acquired. Please attend if you are interested.

Terry Martin
Project Coordinator

 

7/25/2019

CCRBDC met at 6:00 PM. John Norman reported on a summit between AEP and First Energy, where the companies discussed attaching fiber to their power poles. This is perhaps the best solution for the middle mile, given the power companies have a direct path to every home, business, and school; more importantly, the power companies are authorized “cost recovery”, meaning they can increase everyone’s power bill proportionally, to recover their cost of installation. Given the power companies have a connection to every building (unless you’re off grid!), and they provide electricity (a necessary ingredient to things using broadband), this seems like the optimal solution for middle mile connectivity. There’s still a lot more to getting connected, but fibre on the poles is both a no brainer, and a significant accomplishment. Of course, this is no overnight solution, but it is good we’re talking about it!

So, what’s next for CCRBDC? Josh (an attorney from Steptoe & Johnson, LLP) discussed some options and provided some legal advice. The CCRBDC was formed by memoranda of the three county commissions. At some point along the journey, a legal organization needs to be formed to channel efforts, manage monies, and connect ISP’s to consumers. Whether we form a non-profit organization, a regional co-op, or individual county co-ops, or some kind of governing board, or a combination of these elements is a difficult question. Perhaps a thorough reading of the feasibility study would help?

Currently, CCRBDC is examining “joining” the ROC (Regional Optical Communications) non-profit organization. What does “joining” actually mean from a legal perspective? How does this impact the CCRBDC? How does it impact our individual counties?

Matt Erb proposed a ROC Oversight process, where projects and groups step through Identification, Qualification, Initiation, Implementation, and Operation. The process reflects program management thinking – a necessary component to any project of this magnitude.

One of our biggest obstacles in this effort is the “human factor”; it’s tough to get people to volunteer their time, talents and efforts for this project. Never mind the well deserved skepticism, fiefdom mentality and unavoidable politics.

Here is one idea for moving forward:

  1. Obtain operational funds from County Governments ($2500 from each county)

  2. Form Non Profit

    1. Write a white paper/case study/briefing report

  3. Form Coop

    1. Write a coop overview/presentation document

    2. Appoint Board of Directors

    3. Write a white paper/case study/briefing report with legal input

  4. Write a 5 year Vision Statement (aligned with county goals)

  5. Write Short Term Goals

  6. Write Long Term Goals

  7. Get Funding: Form Grant Sub Committee

    1. Research Types/Availability of Grant Funding

    2. Apply for grants

    3. Write/Develop a Long Term Funding Strategy (white paper)

  8. Form Awareness Sub Committee

    1. Build web site, social media, logo, merchandise

    2. Write Marketing Plan, Presentations, Outreach

  9. Stay connected to the legislature/State level BEC (attend their meetings)

  10. CCRBDC Meets twice/month

    1. 1st = committee business

    2. 15th = outreach (in the counties, 911, Businesses, ISPs, county commissions)

  11. Identify three First Phase Projects (one per county)

  12. Write/Develop Tower Plans

    1. Large Tower (discussions, meetings, plans)

    2. Community Poles (small cell broadband)

  13. Stay connected/Support Middle Mile Fiber Efforts

  14. Connect/meet/solicit Public Safety Partnerships

    1. Free wifi to police/ambulance/fire when in range of our towers

  15. Connect/meet/solicit Service Providers

    1. We pitch them, they pitch us

  16. Recruit People!

 

Bottom Line

A project of this magnitude requires effort, time and sacrifice; it requires hundreds of man-hours of work split across numerous skillsets: creative (writing plans/goals), political, interpersonal communication (marketing/outreach), managerial (forming coop/non profit) and technical.

 

We need people to produce! How does this happen with an all volunteer group, with a handful of broken promises from previous Telecoms, and especially in the absence of a profit motive (reward/paycheck)? Leadership.

Here's (some of) what the Plan says:

 theplan

 

7/11/2019

CCRBDC met with Regional Optical Communication, "ROC" - we'll have a write up of this meeting soon.

 ------------------------------------------- LET'S GET CONNECTED!

 

FAQ Added

We added a list of frequently asked questions about this project. Use the menu buttons above or click here.

What about speed?

What kind of connection is best for WV?

Why won’t the telecoms bring me better Internet?

How much will it cost?

What about SpaceX, or Internet over Power Lines?

What happens if all of these companies emerge at the same time? Won’t your efforts be for naught?

What about Frontier and “high speed” Internet?

What is CCRBDC trying to do?

What are the steps?

When will I get a better connection at my house?

 

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