2013 – April

San Juan: Will I be able to purchase broadband services directly from OPALCO? (OPALCO Broadband) April 25, 2013
Our current plan would make OPALCO, or its subsidiary your Internet Service Provider (ISP), however the business structure is still under development. OPALCO is working with existing technology companies to transition the county to new data communications standards while retaining and incorporating local expertise in support of the new system.

Grant: PUD receives a clean audit from state (iFiber One) April 26, 2013

Grant County PUD received an unqualified audit from Pricewaterhouse Cooper.

King: Seattle mayoral contenders meet Monday in first big forum (Seattle Times) April 28, 2013

…McGinn, however, has won praise and support from community groups for creating a community police commission to help guide the reforms. And recently, he’s emphasized his role in Seattle’s economic recovery and a future that could include light rail between neighborhoods and enhanced broadband Internet in the city.

Kitsap: Public wi-fi in the works for Winslow (Inside Bainbridge) April 25, 2013

Broadband is on its way to downtown Bainbridge. According to Rex Oliver, President of the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber has been working with the Kitsap Public Utility District (KPUD) to get free WiFi in Winslow, and they are one signature away from taking the next steps to install broadband around town.

Kitsap: Winslow could soon have wifi (Bainbridge Island Review) April 25, 2013

Bainbridge Island City Manager Doug Schulze told the city council Wednesday that he will be giving the thumbs up this week to the Chamber of Commerce to begin providing wireless internet service to downtown Winslow.

San Juan: OPALCO’s next chapter (Islands’ Sounder-Guest Opinion) April 17, 2013

…To create this next chapter of OPALCO’s story, we need your help. What is your vision for the future of our co-op? What are your major concerns? What would you like our co-op to look like 10 years from now?

Part of that picture is our modern communications challenge: how to support our communities with a better, faster, more robust flow of information and data. How can OPALCO best meet this challenge?

Pend Oreille: County to get broadband (Spokesman Review) April 17, 2013

Pend Oreille County residents can check out a new, fast broadband fiber service in a series of demonstrations this week in Newport.

The “community broadband fest” will be held today through Saturday at Community Network System, a service of the Pend Oreille Public Utility District. The showroom is at 110 W. Pine St.

Kitsap: Bainbridge Island wi-fi hotspots update (Inside Bainbridge) April 11, 2013

It has been a while since we published a list of WiFi spots on Bainbridge Island, and things have changed up a bit. (We sure wish the ferries would offer it without an extra fee.) Here is our latest intel:

Seattle: Survey to guide tech policy (Government Technology) April 9, 2013

From now until April 19, Seattle residents will have an opportunity to help their city understand how to adopt technology. By taking a 15 -minute survey, residents will guide the city in its decisions on digital inclusion, cable refranchising, website design, public access TV offerings and public outreach.

Sea-Tac: Next tech at Sea-Tac-wi-fi and power outlets just the beginning (Seattle Times) April 6, 2013

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has installed 432 new power outlets around the gates since 2011. It expects to add 564 more through 2014, plus another 24 in ticketing and bag-claim areas. The new outlets are on airport charging tables or just under the seats and – along with airlines’ own passenger charging stations – are preventing messy, tripwire campsites from forming around outlets on posts and walls.

Yakima: Cell tower regulations not keeping up with technology (Yakima Herald) April 8, 2013

When residents of the historic Barge-Chestnut neighborhood expressed alarm last week over the possibility of [a cell tower] sprouting in their neighborhood, the Yakima City Council immediately imposed a six-month moratorium on new towers, and in doing so joined scores of other local governments grappling with the technology’s benefits and drawbacks.

Jefferson: County set to build new fiber network (Community Broadband Networks) April 8, 2013

Another county in Washington will soon be connected via a community owned fiber network. Peter Quinn, of the Economic Development Committee Team Jefferson, tells us that the Public Utility District of Jefferson County will be investing in the new infrastructure. The Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet), will operate the Jefferson County network for at least the next five years.

San Juan: Support Michael Karp for OPALCO board (San Juan Islander-Letter) April 7, 2013

Michael Karp is running for the OPALCO board, and he has our vote and full support. Michael is uniquely qualified for the OPALCO board. He has been pioneering innovative and successful energy efficiency, renewable energy and other programs for the past 35 years in Washington State and throughout the USA.

State: NoaNet selected as a 2013 Computerworld Honors Laureate! (NoaNet Facebook) April 4, 2013

Established in 1988, this annual program honors visionary applications of information technology promoting positive social, economic and educational change. We are honored to receive this prestigious award!

State: Community anchor institutions in rural Washington connected by NoaNet (Community Broadband Networks) April 4, 2013

Adams County, situated in eastern Washington, is now connected to the regional Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet) infrastructure. Ritzville, the county seat and home to about 1,600 people, connected last fall, funded through a combination of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) stimulus grants, funds from public utility districts, and surrounding communities. As with other NoaNet projects, connectivity will include community anchor institutions in Ritzville such as the library, schools, and local healthcare clinics.

Seattle: Seattle turns to private companies to bring fast internet fiber to more people (Puget Sound Business Journal) April 5, 2013

In March, a standing-room-only crowd at the Seattle Tech Meetup in Pioneer Square erupted in applause and whistles when Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn touted a new high-speed fiber network that will provide some of the country’s fastest internet connections to everyday people and smaller businesses – in a way the city has never seen.

Kitsap: High-speed broadband expansion connects communities across Washington (Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal) April 5, 2013

Construction is now complete on Northwest Open Access Network’s (NoaNet) nearly 1,000-mile expansion of broadband fiber, connecting nearly all unserved areas of Washington state that have struggled with limited access to high-speed Internet.

State: HB 1260 adds “broadband” to the list of purposes eligible to receive CERB grant funding from the state (Washington State House of Representatives) 2013 Regular Session

While bill reports don’t mention it, this bill adds broadband (and, therefore, community wi-fi) to the list of projects eligible for funding from state Community Economic Revitalization Board grants.

Kitsap: Testing free wi-fi zones downtown (Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal) April 2, 2013

A large portion of downtown Poulsbo including the waterfront has free public WiFi – and if Kitsap Public Utility District’s wishes came true, all the other downtowns could, too. And not just downtowns…

…If the technology does prove itself, it could create new retail opportunities for Internet service providers that buy wholesale bandwidth from the PUD, which is not allowed to sell the service directly to consumers. The PUD also hopes it creates other innovative applications and it becomes, essentially, a community co-created network.

Siburg said so far there hasn’t been any opposition from commercial carriers, but that could be due to the small reach of the pilot program so far. “We’re not naïve to think there wouldn’t be any concerns,” he said…

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