CSC Quarterly Newsletter – August 2015


New Community Survey

The vision of Central Sierra Connect is to bridge the digital divide by bringing broadband to the people and the people to broadband.

** Vast Networks
** Update on CVIN
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** CVIN, now called Vast Networks, is up and running!
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This nearly $100M fiber project was partially funded through an ARRA Grant Application submitted in 2010 and the massive network is now complete and continuing to grow. It includes fiber routes traversing the Central Valley from Bakersfield to Colusa (up Hwy 99 and I-5 to the Bay Area) with a unique ring configuration that branches east to serve the Mother Lode region through a totally new fiber path.

Vast is California’s newest, entirely underground fiber network equipped with next-generation networking and monitoring technology. As a result of this project, the Mother Lode region is now served with a fiber network that offers a unique ring configuration over an alternative route for more reliable Internet backhaul and communication interconnectivity. Please click here (http://www.centralsierraconnect.org/new-fiber-for-the-mother-lode/) for more information.

** Broadband Policy Bank
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A collection of the best local broadband development policies can be found at the new Policy Bank page, found
here (http://www.centralsierraconnect.org/broadband-policy-bank/ ) . This is a work in progress. If you know about additional examples or topics that should be included, please let us know!

** Community Survey
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** Survey on Computer and Internet Use
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Please help us (Tuolumne County Library, Central Sierra Connect Broadband
Consortium, Amador Tuolumne Community Action Agency, Mother Lode Job
Training and Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools) learn what your
computer use and Internet needs are and what kind of training you need to
become more skilled in computers and navigating the Internet. Your responses
will help us design classes to meet your needs and locate Internet Service
Providers if you don’t currently have one, beginning in 2016.

Our survey (in English and Spanish) is available
here (http://www.centralsierraconnect.org/400/).

** Changes to Comcast Internet Essentials Program
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** Comcast has made some improvements to the Internet Essentials program:
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1. They are allowing “auto-enroll” for all students in schools that have at least 50% students eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch Program. Previously it was only for schools that had 70% or higher. Now, we all know that this “auto-enroll” was never so “automatic.” We don’t anticipate the expansion of it to go any more smoothly, but we can always hope.

Please send us complaint forms for Comcast or any other service you are using. It will help us find glitches for services that are working in good faith, and help us hold others accountable with the FCC and CPUC. They are very important for both state and federal policy.

Other improvements to know about:

2. Comcast has increased the speed for the IE program (10mbps).
3. New subscribers will be getting wireless routers.

These are both improvements that your complaint forms and advocacy have helped bring about. Congratulations! Please let us know if you have questions/ concerns. And as always, keep in touch about your challenges and successes with signing up for broadband!

** Steering Committee Notes
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Central Sierra Connect’s Steering Committee notes from July 29th, 2015 are available in detail here (http://www.centralsierraconnect.org/398/).

The agenda includes:
* Grant funding(s) and plans, projects
* AB1262 Update
* CSC Letter to CPUC/CASF Staff
* Cal.net Project Update
* CVIN Update
* NDRC and Emergency 211 Project
* The Importance of Broadband Redundancy – recent news

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