News Items (24)
CCRBDC met on 6/22/19. Motion to approve the release of final payment to Design9 approved, contingent upon Clay County Commission’s approval of the Feasibility Study. Next up: 6/26/2019 Clay County Commission Meeting at 1000 AM, and Roane County Commission Meeting, 6/28/2019 at 1100 AM.
Well, Shucks. We got the time wrong in our last post about the Clay County Commission meeting; they meet at 1000 AM (not 6PM). No worries, mate! There was an agenda mix up, so the event was postponed until the next meeting, 6/26/2019 at 1000 hrs, same place. The Feasibility Study will presented, discussed and the Clay County Commission will take up a vote for approval. See you there? LET’S GET CONNECTED!
The Clay County Commission is the fiscal agent for the Clay, Calhoun and Roane County Broadband Development Committee (CCRBDC). The Commission is located at 246 Main St. in Clay (in Clay County), West Virginia 25043. On Wednesday, 6/12/2019 at 6:00 PM, the Commission meets and on the agenda is consideration to approve the Broadband Feasibility Study, authored by Design9. The final documents are already approved by the CCRBDC. Approval by the Commission is the next step forward to building the infrastructure needed to get our regional communities connected to a fast and reliable Internet. As always, the public is invited to the Commission meetings. LET’S GET CONNECTED!
Request For Proposal Draft Underway
The CCRBDC is actively working to write our very first request for proposal, a document seeking applicants to bid for services surrounding a feasibility study for Broadband services in our communities. View the RFP tab of this site, and stay tuned for further announcements.
On 2/1/2018, our grant application was approved and funded for $125,000. Stay tuned to the news tab for more announcements!!! Thank you to everyone who contributed an effort in the grant application request, and a special thank you to everyone who wrote a letter, placed a phone call, sent an email, or who took the speed test. The data we received indicated a real need for Broadband in our areas. Please keep the information coming in and be on the lookout for other advertisements and requests for information. Our project is complex, the need is dire, and the effort is monumental. We are working on a RFP, so stay tuned for that announcement, too.
Melissa Gilbert, Director of Roane County 911, joined the Roane County Broadband Development Committee. She brings a wealth of information about mapping, addressing and is an invaluable asset to our efforts.
Thank you, Melissa!
Release No. 0143.17
USDA Invests in Broadband Infrastructure in Unserved and Underserved Rural Areas
Residents and Businesses in North-Central West Virginia to Get Internet Access with USDA Assistance
Buckhannon, W.Va., Nov. 6, 2017 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is investing more than $200 million in infrastructure projects to bring broadband to hundreds of unserved and underserved rural communities.
“Broadband infrastructure is vital to our economy and quality of life in rural America. Yet, today nearly 40 percent of rural residents and businesses lack access to the same quality service available in urban centers,” Hazlett said. “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is working hard to bridge this gap. From access to health care to workforce training and connection to global markets, broadband is truly a lifeline to prosperity in rural communities.”
Hazlett discussed USDA’s work to expand broadband access in rural areas during a visit today to Upshur County, W.Va. She announced that USDA is awarding a grant to the Central West Virginia Development Association to provide broadband to more than 3,600 households, businesses and community facilities in Barbour, Randolph and Upshur counties.
Hazlett and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) met with local officials at Buckhannon-Upshur High School and discussed how the grant will help students with educational and career opportunities. They also met with business officials who welcomed USDA’s assistance as a great partnership to expand broadband infrastructure to underserved areas.
“The availability of high-speed internet is an absolute necessity for West Virginia students and businesses to be able to compete in a global digital economy,” Sen. Capito said at Monday’s event. “This investment by USDA is a critical step in connecting West Virginia, and I can’t wait to see the opportunities that will result from this project. I will continue working to provide similar opportunities across the state, because if given the tools, West Virginians can compete with anyone.”
The Buckhannon project is expected to increase economic opportunities for rural West Virginians. Area officials say the USDA grant will build on recent transportation infrastructure improvements that are providing growth opportunities to local and regional businesses. Also, three area colleges will be able to provide expanded educational and career opportunities to their students.
While in West Virginia, Hazlett announced that USDA is awarding eight additional grants in Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, as well as 10 loans to expand broadband in rural areas. The loans will provide new or improved broadband access for more than 71,000 residents and businesses in 74 counties in rural parts of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
These awards are being financed through USDA’s Telecommunications Program, which has provided financial assistance to more than 500 telecommunications providers nationwide. USDA is announcing $207 million in loans and grants today.
Previous awardees, such as the Moultrie Independent Telephone Company in Illinois, have used USDA funding to expand broadband availability and make dramatic service improvements. Moultrie is using a USDA loan to increase network speed by almost tenfold in Lovington, Ill. Faster speeds can mean a significant increase in profits for area businesses that need real-time access to futures and options exchanges such as the Chicago Board of Trade.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; homeownership; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visitwww.rd.usda.gov.
According to the article from Government Technology Magazine, Link, Taylor, Monongalia, Preston, Marion, Harrison and Doddridge counties are collectively applying for a $125,000 grant from Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) with Taylor County Commission as the lead applicant.
Electric Cooperatives Are Powering Rural Broadband Expansion
Nearly two generations ago, electric cooperatives played an important role in closing the rural electricity gap. Today, electric co-ops are on a similar mission to deploy broadband to help close the digital divide. Why are electric co-ops well positioned to expand broadband?
- Electric co-ops have an extensive history serving rural communities.With over 80 years of experience, electric co-ops have a deep understanding of the population and geographic challenges associated with providing service in remote places.
- Electric co-ops can leverage their existing infrastructure.Electric co-ops can use their existing distribution networks, infrastructure assets and rights-of-way to more efficiently and economically deploy broadband services.
- Electric co-ops understand local broadband needs. Co-ops exist to serve their members, most of whom are community residents and businesses,and their members know firsthand the gaps in coverage.
- Electric co-ops have strong community ties. Electric co-ops can spur deeper conversations with their members about the value of broadband and pave the way for increased adoption and use.
- Electric co-ops need broadband too. Broadband allows electric co-ops to make “smart grid” updates, integrating advanced technologies that increase efficiency and reliability, more effectively use resources and better serve members.
Broadband News and Updates
- The President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee will hold a call on November 16 to deliberate and vote on the final draft of the Report to the President on Internet and Communications Resilience
- The deadline for submitting comments on NTIA and NHTSA’s proposed rules for the 911 Grant Program is November 6
- The Department of Commerce awarded $30 million in support of economic diversification and workforce development in coal communities
- California’s Governor Brown signed the Internet for All bill into law
- Pennsylvania’s research network, KINBER, increased network capacity to 100GE across its statewide backbone infrastructure
- Ohio legislators introduced new broadband legislation
- Tennessee electrical co-ops are looking to provide Internet service
- Applications for Tennessee’s Broadband Accessibility Grant are due November 17
- Rural companies are connecting neighbors through New York’s Broadband for All program
- Six West Virginia counties are applying for Community Development Block Grants
- North Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming will be the initial focus of Microsoft’s TechSpark program
- Google announced its Grow with Google initiative to help Americans with the skills they need to get a job or grow their business
- The deadline for NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association’s Smart Rural Community Collaboration Challenge is December 1
- The City of Boston created a $35,000 Digital Equity Fund
- NTIA released instructions for opting-out of the first nationwide public safety network
- FirstNet and AT&T launched the first application developer program for public safety
- To date, 27 states and territories have opted in to the FirstNet network
- Announcements for states and territories that have opted to participate in the FirstNet network in October: Indiana, Alabamaand Minnesota
- How NTIA Ensures Responders Can Communicate During Hurricane Recovery Efforts
- BroadbandUSA’s Jean Rice highlighted the importance of digital skills at a panel during the Smart Cities Week conference
- Quintillion completed its installation of Alaska’s subsea fiber optic cable system
- In Contentious Washington, Rural Broadband Enjoys Bipartisan Support
New Broadband Resources
CoBank’s Electric Distribution/Broadband Team recently released Making the Move into Broadband: Rural Electric Co-ops Detail Their Experience, a collection of interviews with industry experts and rural electric cooperatives that are expanding broadband infrastructure. The interviews discuss key challenges and best practices and serve as a guide for electric co-ops considering the move into broadband. Click here to learn more.
The Charlotte Digital Inclusion Alliance recently released its Digital Inclusion Playbook, a report addressing digital inequity in Charlotte and recommending strategies to close the digital divide. Many of these strategies can be used by different communities across the country. Click here to learn more.
ICMA’s Research and Policy Team released a new research report on cybersecurity. The report, Cybersecurity: Protecting Local Government Digital Resources, is now available free online for downloading here.
BroadbandUSA published Technical Assistance Overview: Broadband Infrastructure Effortsto inform stakeholders of the program’s technical assistance offerings related to infrastructure projects. Click here to learn more.
BroadbandUSA coordinated the Stronger Economies Together (SET) webinars series. These webinars were tailored for USDA Rural Development and University Extension training and technical assistance providers under the SET program. Trainers’ instruction materials (including handouts) are available online at the following link http:// srdc.msstate.edu/set/coaching-teams/curriculum under “Supplemental Modules, Broadband.”
BroadbandUSA Practical Broadband Conversations Webinar Series
Topic: Practical Broadband Conversations: Electric Co-ops Bringing Fiber to Rural America
Date: Wednesday, November 15 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT
Overview: Electric cooperatives are capitalizing on existing infrastructure and deep community roots to bring gigabit communications to rural communities, and the results can be transformational. Just as rural electrification energized the country in the early 20th century, high capacity broadband connections are necessary for thriving communities in the 21st century. Join BroadbandUSA’s Practical Broadband Conversations webinar to learn how member-based co-ops are making the case for investment and creating new opportunities for economic prosperity. Click here to register.
Brian Kilbourne, Policy Vice President and General Counsel, Utilities Technology Council
Randy Klindt, Founder, Conexon; General Manager, OzarksGo
Paul Belk, President, North Georgia Network
November 15, 2017
BroadbandUSA Practical Broadband Conversations: Electric Co-Ops Bringing Fiber to Rural America
BroadbandUSA will host the next webinar in its series. Clickhere to learn more.
Events of Interest
November 6, 2017
Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology Broadband Summit
The Broadband Summit will be held in Carson City, NV. BroadbandUSA’s Doug Kinkoph will deliver a keynote speech. Click here to learn more.
November 7-9, 2017
Broadband Communities Economic Development Conference
Broadband Communities’ Economic Development Conference will be held in Atlanta, GA. Click here to learn more.
November 15-20, 2017
National League of Cities (NLC) City Summit
NLC’s City Summit will be held in Charlotte, NC. BroadbandUSA is exhibiting and speaking at the ITC Committee meeting. Click here to learn more.
NTIA will convene a virtual meeting of a multistakeholder process on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and Patching on November 8, 2017. The virtual meeting will be held on November 8, 2017, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time. For more information, the notice is availablehere.
Follow us online: www.facebook.com/ ntiagov
A lot is happening!
- Added a Marketing Plan tab under "The Plan"
- Updated the header graphic
- Launched a facebook page, www.facebook.com/bb4wv
- Started a facebook ad campaign
- Created a (draft) mission statement
- Designed a (proposed) business card, based on an idea from Lisa Messinio
- Added a Community Outreach tab and draft contents
- Added a RFP tab to capture some of the scope for our RFP
Dear Roane County Broadband "Community Links" people,
There is much to report and some requests for action on your part.
There is still a Roane County Broadband Committee. Members include:
Mark Whitley, Chair (Roane Economic Development Authority)
Matthew Erb, Vice Chair & CCR Rep (Certified Project Development Mgr)
Kim Davis (Chamber of Commerce & EDA)
Melissa O'Brien, Secretary (Roane County Commission)
John Norman, Business Committee & CCR Rep (First Energy)
William Gross, Tech Committee & CCR Rep (Gross Security)
Lisa Messineo, Community Outreach Committee
Jim Bostic, CCR alternate rep (small biz owner BSM, Inc.)
For the purposes of project planning and development, as well as funding opportunities, we have formally joined with Clay and Calhoun counties. The joint committee has 3 representatives from each county committee and is known as the CCR Broadband Development Committee (see CCR Rep designations above). Clay County, with the Assistance of Terry Martin (Project Coordinator, Regional Intergovernmental Council....Clay's equivalent to our MOVRC), is the lead agency on this because they already have an official designation of need which will prove beneficial in our efforts to secure funding and become part of the State Pilot Project.
There is a Public Hearing scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 26 at 5:15 at the Courthouse in the Commission Chambers when we hope to be finalizing our part in an application for a WV Development Office Small Cities Block Grant for the purpose of project planning. Fred Rader from MOVRC has been instrumental in this process and application.
Action Item: Letters of Support - why you need broadband service...
We recently received the following request for letters of support from Terry Martin:
"The CCR Broadband Development Committee, consisting of three chosen delegates from each county, met October 19, 2017. Community input is a large part of the HUD grant program. If you, in your business or daily capacity, could write a letter of support as to why your business or agency needs broadband service. You can address them to the CCR Broadband Development Committee, c/o Regional Intergovernmental Council, 315 D Street, South Charleston, WV 25303."
If you and your friends and neighbors can write letters explaining why you need Broadband Service, and send them to this address, they will be used in support of our efforts to secure funding for broadband development county-wide. "Broadband service" is high-speed internet that is not limited in how much you use. For our purposes, people subscribing to Satellite Internet (which is limited and unreliable) have no existing internet service. Your interests and needs can include: education, communication, business, shopping, online banking, bill payment, small business, tele-working (working from home), entertainment, internet-supported phone service or security, medical needs, etc. You should consider and mention all potential users, and reference any problems you have regarding internet reliability.
We also have a new website: BB4WV.org. Use this site for your information and refer all of your friends and neighbors to it as well.
Action Item: Speed Tests
One of the most important elements in establishing our need for broadband service is to show how the internet service currently available is sub-par. (For example, those who have Sudden Link probably have decent speed; Frontier subscribers often do not.) In any case, speed-test data is a huge part of substantiating need. Therefore, we need everyone who has internet service (other than satellite) to take a speed-test. To take a speed-test, go to our website: BB4WV.org, and click on the link to the speed-test, and then be sure to report your results. You can take the speed-test more than once, in any location from which you access the internet. Again, please ask everyone you know to take a Speed-Test!
Yes, you may share the information in this email at your discretion....hopefully to get others to write letters and take speed-tests, thereby furthering our cause of bringing broadband service to all of Roane County.
With gratitude and in solidarity of mission,