Monday, July 30, 2007

ONE Ohio gathering gets early look at Strickland Broadband Council order

More than fifty technology activists from Coshocton, Mansfield, Dayton. Cleveland, Steubenville, Toledo, Cambridge, Cincinnati and a dozen other communities showed up at the State Library of Ohio for ONE Ohio's second statewide gathering last Friday.

The day's big news was the release of Governor Strickland's executive order creating a new Ohio Broadband Council. From the press release:
The order directs the Ohio Broadband Council to coordinate efforts to extend access to the Broadband Ohio Network to every county in Ohio. And the order allows public and private entities to tap into the Broadband Ohio Network – all with a goal of expanding access to high-speed internet service in parts of the state that presently don't have such service.

...The Council, to be co-chaired by the state Chief Information Officer and the director of the Ohio Supercomputer Center, will consist of representatives from several state agencies, four state legislators and the director of the Governor's Office of Appalachia or his designee. In addition, the governor will appoint representatives from Ohio's business and labor communities, local governments and the general public to serve on the Council at his discretion.

The governor has charged the Ohio Broadband Council to extend access to the Broadband Ohio Network so that state agencies in all 88 counties can be linked to the nearest connection point on the network. In addition, the order authorizes governmental and non-governmental entities to access the Broadband Ohio Network.

"This is the first step in bridging the digital divide in Ohio, and I look forward to working with industry providers, businesses and our local communities to take additional steps to provide superior broadband access to all of Ohio's 88 counties," Strickland said.
Here's the whole Executive Order 2007 - 24S: Establishing the Ohio Broadband Council and Broadband Ohio Network (.doc file).

Here's the Ohio Broadband Council website.

ONE Ohio gathering participants got copies of the just-released documents "hot off the press", and a thorough briefing on the Governor's plan from the state's Chief Information Officer, Steve Edmonson, along with Pankaj Shah of the Ohio Supercomputer Center. We also shared some local broadband deployment success stories, discussed ONE Ohio's broadband access mapping project, and did a whole lot of networking.

All in all, a successful and informative gathering.

1 comment:

unclefun said...

If we could just get the Telecos on the same page as us.

AT&T CEO: We Don't Promote $10 DSL Because No One Wants It
from the yeah,-right dept

Remember the story back in June about how AT&T had extremely quietly started offering $10 DSL as was required in its deal to buy BellSouth? The company was promoting many other, more expensive, DSL options, but the only way you could get the required $10 version was if you specifically knew to ask about it. Broadband Reports points to an interview from an Atlanta newspaper with AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson where he's asked about the $10 DSL. The interviewer points out that no story about AT&T resulted in a more irate response from AT&T customers as its story about the hidden offer for $10 DSL, suggesting that this was a huge issue for AT&T customers. Stephenson's response? First he denies that the company made it hard to find, and then he says that they're not promoting it because customers don't want it. This, despite the clear response from customers to the very newspaper who was conducting the interview. Then, he basically admits that the $10 DSL doesn't work very well, saying that they don't promote it because they don't want to give customers a product that sucks. Of course, he says that as if it's not his company that has quite a bit of control over whether or not the product sucks. Yes, that's right. AT&T actually thinks you'll believe that they're hiding their cheap broadband offering because, seriously, who wants cheap broadband when more expensive broadband is available? Of course, this isn't a new strategy from AT&T. Back when it was SBC and refused to offer naked DSL, the claim was that customers didn't want naked DSL either, despite the success many other companies were having with it, and numerous articles with people clamoring for it. It appears that AT&T has figured out that when there's really no competition, you get to decide what it is your customers really do or do not want.