Sherman County eNews #333

CONTENTS

  1. New Year’s Eve at First Baptist Church, Grass Valley, Dec. 31

  2. All County Prayer Meeting, Jan. 2

  3. History and Essential Public Purpose Services Provided by Frontier TeleNet, TRICOM, Frontier Regional 9-1-1 and Frontier Digital Network

  4. E-rate: Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries

  5. E-Rate: Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), FCC

  6. Broadband: Types of High Speed Transmission Technologies

  7. Goldendale Library Schedule of Events

  8. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do


Somehow not only for Christmas
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart’s possessing Returns to make you glad.
~ John Greenleaf Whittier


1. New Year’s Eve at First Baptist Church, Grass Valley, Dec. 31

There will be a New Year’s Eve party at First Baptist Grass Valley beginning at 7:00 p.m.. Come enjoy a movie, board games, etc. and soups and snacks. Bring a favorite game/soup/snack to share.


2. All County Prayer Meeting, Jan. 2

church.family1The All County Prayer Meeting is Wednesday, January 2nd @ the First Baptist Church in Grass Valley. Fellowship starts at 6:30 PM, Pray time starts at 7:00 PM and ends at 8:30 PM. Everyone is welcome to come and join the meeting, come and join in when you can get there and stay as long as you can. Thank You. Red Gibbs


3. History and Essential Public Purpose Services Provided by Frontier TeleNet, TRICOM, Frontier Regional 9-1-1 and Frontier Digital Network

By Rob Myers who presented it to the Gilliam County Court, April 5, 2017 

“PREFACE

“From my nearly 20 years testifying in front of legislative committees, I acknowledge and fully agree that an informal, extemporaneous presentation of information is far better than simply reading it – that’s why I have never done so in Salem. However, reading it is the only practical way to avoid being inadvertently misunderstood, misinterpreted and/or misquoted, so that’s the format I’ll employ today.

“In 2001, a group of dedicated public servants and elected officials representing three counties and an education service district, in order to create a more advanced communications environment for the citizens they served, formed an entity called Frontier TeleNet. Their original primary goals – goals that have endured the test of time and a succession of capable, honest, dedicated public servants and elected officials – were to expand and enhance telecommunications services for law enforcement, emergency services, schools and public health institutions in Gilliam, Sherman and Wheeler counties. Those essential public purposes have been demonstrably served.

“Frontier TeleNet has provided high-speed internet services for the six school districts and local government in three counties at no direct cost to the schools for over fifteen years. For a good portion of that time, such services were simply unavailable or prohibitively expensive.

“Over time, the Frontier TeleNet wide area network has been expanded, enhanced, upgraded and amplified with Federal and State Homeland Security Program and Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program grant award funds amounting to approximately $4.5 million dollars. Currently, the Frontier TeleNet network operation area encompasses seven Oregon counties and Klickitat County in Washington.

“The next entity the counties formed was TRICOM, which provided 9-1-1 and dispatch services by local employees from a call center developed and sited in Condon.  TRICOM was the only three-county Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in Oregon. TRICOM transitioned into Frontier Regional 9-1-1 Communications Agency with the addition of Jefferson County, becoming the only four county PSAP in Oregon. Like TRICOM before it, Frontier Regional 9-1-1 operates entirely on its own 9-1-1 excise tax revenues with no outside support from local government or other sources, the only PSAP in Oregon that does so.

“The TRICOM/Frontier Regional PSAP was built and developed with approximately $600,000 in federal and state competitive grant award funds, providing the substantial, sustainable and very real economic benefit of 13 local family wage jobs.

“The third entity formed was Frontier Digital Network, which owns and operates one of the five digital switches in Oregon and the first digital switch in the state to functionally utilize the P25 TDMA Phase II operating standard; necessary both to preserve a public safety standard-compliant system, and to avoid the expense of upgrading an outdated VHF system that even after updating would have still been a substandard public safety operating platform. 

“The digital switch supports a 700 MHz digital communications platform serving law enforcement and emergency services agencies in three counties; in addition to serving as an essential mission-critical regional communications hub in the event of wide area emergency incidents such as a predicted mass inflow of evacuees from a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. The digital switch is located in a secure electronically monitored, target hardened facility specifically designed and built to survive everything from earthquakes to nuclear winds.

“Today, Gilliam, Sherman and Wheeler counties, through Frontier TeleNet and its partner entities – Frontier Regional 9-1-1 Communications Agency and Frontier Digital Network – represent the highest public communications standard achievable with the combination of federal, state and local funds secured for that specific purpose and goal. Further, these same entities form a nucleus of experienced, highly qualified service providers long and widely acknowledged as exceptional, not only for their past and potential future contributions in the region and to the state, but also because three counties have been willing to subordinate their individual interests to the higher purpose of doing the right thing the right way for everyone.

“Frontier TeleNet provides dedicated internet access and data transport services to Asher Clinics in Fossil, Spray and Mitchell; internet services to Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GHOBI) in Condon and Fossil; in partnership with Lightspeed Networks video arraignment services to the Oregon Judicial department in John Day, Fossil, Condon and Moro; in partnership with Windwave Communications data transport for Bank of Eastern Oregon in Prairie City, John Day, Fossil, Condon and Moro; and singularly backhaul cell phone services for US Cellular in Spray and Fossil, where US Cellular towers and shelters reside on Frontier TeleNet sites. These long-term services have been delivered efficiently, effectively, reliably and affordably over an extended period of time. All Asher Clinic services were made possible by system upgrades paid with $1.5 million in competitive grant awards.

“As a matter of interest – and to eliminate any confusion or speculation about any additional compensation I may or may not have received – I wrote all the successful grant applications referred to herein – I wrote them as a function of my normal contractual duties to Frontier TeleNet at no additional cost to the organizations and by extension no reduction in benefit to the citizens served or to the expanded essential public services provided thereby.

“For fifteen years Frontier TeleNet, plus its original and subsequent partners, TRICOM, Frontier Regional 9-1-1 Communications Agency and Frontier Digital Network, have together been the heart of public purpose communications in our three counties.

“I would respectfully suggest that in the interests of moving forward in a positive manner, differences could be set aside long enough to at least initiate a constructive dialogue for the purpose of determining how we might work together to identify and ultimately craft solutions that will best serve all the residents of Gilliam, Sherman and Wheeler counties – exactly the solid and historically proven purpose of the original and subsequently combined Frontier organizations since 2001.”


4. E-rate: Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries

The FCC’s E-rate program makes telecommunications and information services more affordable for schools and libraries. With funding from the Universal Service Fund, E-rate provides discounts for telecommunications, Internet access and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries.

The ongoing proliferation of innovative digital learning technologies and the need to connect students, teachers and consumers to jobs, life-long learning and information have led to a steady rise in demand for bandwidth in schools and libraries. In recent years, the FCC refocused E-rate from legacy telecommunications services to broadband, with a goal to significantly expand Wi-Fi access. These steps to modernize the program are helping E-rate keep pace with the need for increased Internet access. (Learn more about modernization of the E-rate program.)

What benefits are available under the E-rate program?

Eligible schools and libraries may receive discounts on telecommunications, telecommunications services and Internet access, as well as internal connections, managed internal broadband services and basic maintenance of internal connections.

Discounts range from 20 to 90 percent, with higher discounts for higher poverty and rural schools and libraries. Recipients must pay some portion of the service costs.

See the list of eligible services.

How does the E-rate program work?

An eligible school or library identifies services it needs and submits a request for competitive bids to the Universal Service Administrative Company. USAC posts these requests on its website for vendors’ consideration. After reviewing its offers, the school or library selects its preferred vendor(s) and applies to USAC for approval for the desired purchases.

Next, USAC issues funding commitments to eligible applicants. When a vendor provides the selected services, either the vendor or the applicant submits requests to USAC for reimbursement of the approved discounts.

The bid request and competitive bidding processes must comply with FCC rules and state and local procurement requirements.

For more information about eligibility, see USAC’s definitions.

How are schools and libraries in my area benefiting?

To find which schools and libraries in your area benefit from E-rate, use USAC’s commitments tool.

How are requests prioritized?

Funding is allocated first to the highest poverty schools and libraries, then the next-highest poverty applicants, and so on.

How much funding is available?

In 2014, the FCC approved the Second E-rate Modernization Order, increasing the cap for the program to $3.9 billion in funding year 2015, indexed to inflation going forward.

Does the E-rate program duplicate state and local efforts?

The FCC’s plan complements the efforts of states and localities to bring advanced telecommunications and information services to schools and libraries. When the E-rate program was established in 1996, only 14 percent of the nation’s K-12 classrooms had access to the Internet.

~ https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/universal-service-program-schools-and-libraries-e-rate


5. E-rate for Schools & Libraries: Universal Service Administrative Company

The Universal Service Administrative Company is dedicated to achieving universal service. This important principle suggests that everyone in the U.S. deserves accessible, affordable, and pervasive high-speed connectivity.

Despite pervasive connectivity in most urban areas in the United States, millions of people across the country have no access to broadband services needed to work, learn, heal, and communicate. The funds we administer exist to fill these gaps in access. As an independent not-for-profit designated by the FCC, USAC administers the Universal Service Fund, almost $10 billion available annually to the companies and institutions that make universal service possible.

Universal Service Programs

With the guidance of policy created by the FCC, we collect and deliver funding through four programs focused on places where broadband and connectivity needs are critical. These programs serve people in rural, underserved, and difficult-to-reach areas.

Schools and Libraries

Rural Health Care

  • The Rural Health Care Program supports health care facilities in bringing world class medical care to rural areas through increased broadband capabilities.

Lifeline

  • The Lifeline Program helps households obtain the voice and broadband connectivity services they need to participate and function in today’s digital world.

High Cost

  • The High Cost Program provides funding to companies working to expand connectivity infrastructure in unserved or underserved areas.

6. Broadband: Types of High Speed Transmission Technologies

The term broadband commonly refers to high-speed Internet access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access. Broadband includes several high-speed transmission technologies such as:

The broadband technology you choose will depend on a number of factors. These may include whether you are located in an urban or rural area, how broadband Internet access is packaged with other services (such as voice telephone and home entertainment), price, and availability.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

DSL is a wireline transmission technology that transmits data faster over traditional copper telephone lines already installed to homes and businesses. DSL-based broadband provides transmission speeds ranging from several hundred Kbps to millions of bits per second (Mbps). The availability and speed of your DSL service may depend on the distance from your home or business to the closest telephone company facility.

The following are types of DSL transmission technologies:

  • Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)– Used primarily by residential customers, such as Internet surfers, who receive a lot of data but do not send much. ADSL typically provides faster speed in the downstream direction than the upstream direction. ADSL allows faster downstream data transmission over the same line used to provide voice service, without disrupting regular telephone calls on that line.
  • Symmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL)– Used typically by businesses for services such as video conferencing, which need significant bandwidth both upstream and downstream.

Faster forms of DSL typically available to businesses include:

  • High data rate Digital Subscriber Line (HDSL); and
  • Very High data rate Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL). 

Cable Modem

Cable modem service enables cable operators to provide broadband using the same coaxial cables that deliver pictures and sound to your TV set.

Most cable modems are external devices that have two connections: one to the cable wall outlet, the other to a computer. They provide transmission speeds of 1.5 Mbps or more.

Subscribers can access their cable modem service by simply turning on their computers, without dialing-up an ISP. You can still watch cable TV while using it. Transmission speeds vary depending on the type of cable modem, cable network, and traffic load. Speeds are comparable to DSL.

Fiber

  • Fiber optic technology converts electrical signals carrying data to light and sends the light through transparent glass fibers about the diameter of a human hair. Fiber transmits data at speeds far exceeding current DSL or cable modem speeds, typically by tens or even hundreds of Mbps.
  • The actual speed you experience will vary depending on a variety of factors, such as how close to your computer the service provider brings the fiber and how the service provider configures the service, including the amount of bandwidth used. The same fiber providing your broadband can also simultaneously deliver voice (VoIP) and video services, including video-on-demand.
  • Telecommunications providers sometimes offer fiber broadband in limited areas and have announced plans to expand their fiber networks and offer bundled voice, Internet access, and video services.
  • Variations of the technology run the fiber all the way to the customer’s home or business, to the curb outside, or to a location somewhere between the provider’s facilities and the customer.

 Wireless

  • Wireless broadband connects a home or business to the Internet using a radio link between the customer’s location and the service provider’s facility. Wireless broadband can be mobile or fixed.
  • Wireless technologies using longer-range directional equipment provide broadband service in remote or sparsely populated areas where DSL or cable modem service would be costly to provide. Speeds are generally comparable to DSL and cable modem. An external antenna is usually required.
  • Wireless broadband Internet access services offered over fixed networks allow consumers to access the Internet from a fixed point while stationary and often require a direct line-of-sight between the wireless transmitter and receiver. These services have been offered using both licensed spectrum and unlicensed devices. For example, thousands of small Wireless Internet Services Providers (WISPs) provide such wireless broadband at speeds of around one Mbps using unlicensed devices, often in rural areas not served by cable or wireline broadband networks.
  • Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) provide wireless broadband access over shorter distances and are often used to extend the reach of a “last-mile” wireline or fixed wireless broadband connection within a home, building, or campus environment. Wi-Fi networks use unlicensed devices and can be designed for private access within a home or business, or be used for public Internet access at “hot spots” such as restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, airports, convention centers, and city parks.
  • Mobile wireless broadband services are also becoming available from mobile telephone service providers and others. These services are generally appropriate for highly-mobile customers and require a special PC card with a built in antenna that plugs into a user’s laptop computer. Generally, they provide lower speeds, in the range of several hundred Kbps.

 Satellite

Just as satellites orbiting the earth provide necessary links for telephone and television service, they can also provide links for broadband. Satellite broadband is another form of wireless broadband, and is also useful for serving remote or sparsely populated areas.

Downstream and upstream speeds for satellite broadband depend on several factors, including the provider and service package purchased, the consumer’s line of sight to the orbiting satellite, and the weather. Typically, a consumer can expect to receive (download) at a speed of about 500 Kbps and send (upload) at a speed of about 80 Kbps. These speeds may be slower than DSL and cable modem, but they are about 10 times faster than the download speed with dial-up Internet access. Service can be disrupted in extreme weather conditions.

Broadband over Powerline (BPL)

BPL is the delivery of broadband over the existing low- and medium-voltage electric power distribution network. BPL speeds are comparable to DSL and cable modem speeds. BPL can be provided to homes using existing electrical connections and outlets. BPL is an emerging technology that is available in very limited areas. It has significant potential because power lines are installed virtually everywhere, alleviating the need to build new broadband facilities for every customer.

Updated: 

Monday, June 23, 2014

~ https://www.fcc.gov/general/types-broadband-connections


7. Goldendale Library Schedule of Events

The Simcoe Mountains Speaker Series continues with a talk on Eclipses on Wednesday, January 9 at 6:00 pm. Troy Carpenter of the Goldendale Observatory will give a presentation on the science of eclipses and answer your questions about the Observatory upgrade project.

Learn & Play continues on January 9th from 2:15 to 3:15 pm at the Goldendale Primary School cafeteria. Children ages 0-5 build vocabulary with songs, books, and movement.

Calling all fiber artists! January 11th is the deadline to submit your fiber art for the Fiber Arts & Crafts Exhibit that will be on display in the Camplan Room from January 22 to March 15. An artist reception and demonstration of fiber art techniques will be held from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm on Thursday, January 31.

The library’s Book Groups meet January 14th, the morning group at 11:00 am, and the evening group at 6:00 pm. The new year is a good time to start a good habit. So, why not consider joining a book group? You can borrow copies of the books for free, and there is no pressure to finish every book. It is a great way to meet and socialize with people, a great way to learn about new authors, stories, and genres, and a great way to rediscover the joy of reading. If you are still reading, maybe a book group IS for you! In January there are two great books being discussed, the Pulitzer prize winning novel Less, and the knock-your-socks-off memoir Educated. Even if you haven’t read them, you can come and sit in on the discussion and see if being in a book group is something you’d like to do. While you are there, you can pick up a list of the books we’ve chosen to read in 2019.

Movie Night! Enjoy a movie and popcorn after hours at the library. Each month we feature movies based on titles our book group has read or plans to read together. You don’t have to be part of a book group to attend. A group discussion will follow for anyone who wishes to stay. Open to adults 18 and older. On January 28th, we are watching The Girl on the Train, based on the novel by Paula Hawkins. Show starts at 6:00 pm.

Let’s Play Chess is on break and will resume on Mondays from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm on January 28th. All ages and abilities welcome to come and play chess.

For a full list of events at the Goldendale Library, visit fvrl.org, click on Events Calendar, and select Goldendale Community Library.


8. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

bird.talkOregon Broadband Advisory Council

Broadband in Oregon, Oregon Broadband Advisory Council Report

Brilliant Maps: Map of World War 2 Shipwrecks

WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE! A name, a place, a toponym

Oregon State Capitol Jigsaw Puzzle Gallery

Invasive Insect Enters Oregon On Christmas Trees, Officials Warn

A Trip on the Most Beautiful Train Ride in America Starts at Just $97