[CUOA-Discuss] C-U Open Access Big Broadband Project Update

Laura Allured laura.allured at gmail.com
Tue Jun 30 11:30:29 CDT 2009

Hello all,

My name is Laura Allured, and I’m the Broadband Access Advocate at the
Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center. I’m working on coordinating
efforts and engaging community input on the project to develop a public
broadband network in Champaign-Urbana. The Broadband Access Committee has
specifically asked for your input in this process, so this email is an
update of what’s going on right now and how you can get involved.

As most of you already know, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
(ARRA) has set aside $7.2 billion for broadband projects that support
unserved, underserved, rural and vulnerable populations across the country.
As a result of this, the Champaign-Urbana Cable Television and
Telecommunications Commission’s Broadband Access Committee has been working
to assist with the development of a plan to install a fiber optic network in
C-U, including fiber-to-the-home in low to moderate income neighborhoods.
Eighty percent of this initial buildout would be funded by federal stimulus
dollars. The goal would be to eventually expand the fiber network to connect
all homes/premises in C-U and the University.

The project is currently in the planning stage, and has received much
support from community members and organizations, policy makers, and
businesses. In fact, both City Councils have signed off unanimously to
continue moving forward with this project.

We anticipate that the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) will release the official criteria for the proposals
in the next few weeks. When these criteria are released, I will post them on
cuopenaccess.org, so be sure to check often. In the mean time, informal
brainstorming meetings have been happening to help prepare the framework of
the proposal. Writing teams have been created to develop drafts of each
piece of the proposal. What follows is a description of these teams and
contact info for each group’s chair person. If you are interested in helping
with one of these groups or have input/ideas to contribute, please contact
the chair person.

Entrepreneurs: This group is responsible for determining how broadband will
provide opportunities to start new businesses in the community. Chaired by
Peter Folk ( pfolk-BAC at volo.net )

Training/Education: This group is responsible for determining what the
community’s training and educational needs are and how we can meet them.
Chaired by Mel Farrell ( mfarrell at uillinois.edu )

Public Computing: This group is responsible for determining a system for
public computing to be implemented alongside the network itself. Chaired by
Josh King ( jking at cuwin.net )

Job Development: This group is responsible for determining how this project
will be able to create new jobs for the community. Chaired by Safiya Noble (
safiya at ojctech.com )

Community-Based Leaders: This group is responsible for determining how
community members and organizations can be involved in using and promoting
the network. Chaired by Peter Resnick ( resnick at episteme-software.com )

Technical Plan: This group is responsible for determining the technologies
that will be used in constructing the network. Chaired by Mike Smeltzer (
smeltzer at illinois.edu )

Operational Plan: This group is responsible for determining who is going to
operate the network and how. Co-chaired by Bill DeJarnette (
bhdejarnette at city.urbana.il.us ) & Danielle Chynoweth ( chyn at ojctech.com )

The next regular Broadband Access Committee meeting is 7/13/09 at 3pm in the
Champaign City Building, Room EC1 (102 N. Neil St. Champaign, IL).  This
meeting is open to the public. If you can’t attend this meeting, I will post
writing team drafts and other pertinent information to cuopenaccess.org for
all to see and comment on. The public’s input will prove to be invaluable to
this process, so please contribute as much as you can! We expect the drafts
to start coming in around early July or two weeks after the criteria are
released, so keep that time line in mind.

Don’t forget to join the website (cuopenaccess.org) and tell your friends to
support this project!

If you would like to get more involved, please don’t hesitate to contact me
at cuopenaccess at gmail.com.

~Laura Allured

Links to Forums:

Champaign City Council<http://www.ci.champaign.il.us/video/city_council/2009/20090609/index.php>

Urbana City Council <http://www.city.urbana.il.us/>

Broadband Teach-in<http://www.urbanapublictelevision.org/project/champaign-urbana-community-wide-broadband-forum/show/broadband-access-public-forum-5-21-09>

Urbana Free Library Public

BAC Meeting Minutes, Agendas, and

Laura Allured, Broadband Access Advocate
Independent Media Center
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign--LAS
French Commercial Studies, Informatics
President SSDP at UIUC
"What a long, strange trip it's been!"
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