Asheville-based Skyrunner Internet, the grant recipient, will expand service in the North and South Turkey Creek, Fairview Forest, Reems Creek and Ox Creek neighborhoods. The county will chip in an additional $500,000 to the project from its federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.
The largest single grant of $4 million will support broadband infrastructure expansion in unserved areas of the county. Brownie Newman, chair of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, said that investment would leverage an additional $6 million from the state of North Carolina and private broadband providers.
Patients and providers pivoted to online appointments during pandemic lockdowns. Some in Western North Carolina want the option to extend permanently.
More than nine months into a pandemic that underscored deficiencies in rural broadband, many remote communities still lack access to the internet.
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Like 40 percent of rural U.S. households, many Sandy Mush residents in northwest Buncombe County can’t get Internet service that meets the Federal Communications Commission’s current definition of broadband.
Remember Asheville’s bid to get Google’s 100 gigabit Internet service? Consider that the average Internet speed in the U.S. is about 7 megabytes per second (hint: that’s so much slower than gigabit service, it feels like old dial-up speeds), that about 48,000 Western North Carolinians don’t have access to 4 Mbps service (the FCC definition of a broadband minimum), that North Carolina ranks 27th in broadband speeds (10 spots behind Guam). Now take a look at what one small town down east has done on its own.
Although broadband or high-speed Internet access is fairly common in Asheville, many Western North Carolinians can’t get it if they wanted to, largely because the infrastructure doesn’t exist. Thanks to a grant, MAIN has a mapping tool that could help get access to the nearly 48,000 WNC residents who are missing out on the digital revolution.
The future of the Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) was detailed at a Nov. 17 meeting led by Executive Director Wally Bowen.
Google announced today, March 30, that Kansas City will be the first city to receive its experimental high-speed internet network. The city outbid Asheville and over 1,000 other communities across the country to win the service.
Legislation that would have limited local governments’ ability to build and operate their own municipal broadband networks was finally defeated before the General Assembly adjourned for the year.
In a bold community-spirited move, WNC’s Mountain Area Information Network hopes to win federal funds to establish an advanced Internet-based network known as “cloud-computing.”
The leader of the Asheville-based Mountain Area Information Network joined search-engine giant Google on Monday in calling for unlicensed access to a chunk of unused television airwaves that could form the spine of a new network of cheap, high-speed wireless Internet access.
Every negotiation starts with a question: “This is what we want — what can you give us?” That’s how Asheville Assistant Attorney Patsy Meldrum sums up the first steps in working out a cable-franchise agreement with Intermedia Partners.