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.

Monday, July 23, 2007

State CIO Edmonson to speak at July 27 gathering

R. Steve Edmonson, Governor Strickland's Chief Information Officer, will be a featured presenter at ONE Ohio's second statewide gathering this Friday, July 27.

Edmonson will discuss the strategy and status of the Governor's "Broadband Ohio" program.

The gathering will take place from 10 am to 2:30 pm at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus (directions here). It's free and no pre-registration is necessary, but box lunches will be available for a modest charge only if you pre-order one by tomorrow, July 24. Email Bill Callahan at

Thursday, July 12, 2007

State helps fund three more community broadband projects

From a July 9 Development Department press release:
Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher today announced that the Governor's Office of Appalachia (GOA) has teamed with the Ohio State University (OSU) to sponsor the Connecting Rural Ohio Wireless Neighborhood Initiative to deploy broadband to community-owned wireless networks to several communities within distressed Appalachian counties. Up to three communities will be selected to receive a community learning center that will include six computers and a networked printer available at no charge for public use.
This is the next step of a strategy devised by Alan Escovitz and his colleagues at OSU. The first application of the idea was deployed in New Straitsville in Perry County in 2003; the second has been famously up and running in Chesterhill in Morgan County for more than a year. The third CRO project is now being rolled out in the village of Vinton in Gallia County. As the DOD press release says, the Connecting Rural Ohio team is looking to develop two additional sites in the near future.

To learn more contact Dr. Escovitz at OSU's Office of the CIO.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Second ONE Ohio gathering planned for July 27

ONE Ohio will hold our second statewide gathering on Friday, July 27 beginning at 10 am at the State Library of Ohio.

Our first meeting in February brought together eighty-five representatives from sixteen counties to meet, network and discuss local and statewide broadband initiatives.

This time we'll have:
... a six-month update on broadband developments in Columbus
... deeper presentations on some local strategies
... a report and brainstorming on ONE Ohio's new Broadband Map Project
... and -- of course -- another opportunity to network with kindred spirits.

There's no charge and parking is free. But this time we're going to have to charge something for the box lunches, so please RSVP to Bill Callahan if you know you're coming and need one.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cleveland posts RFP for wireless broadband network

The City of Cleveland has just posted the Request for Proposals for Mayor Jackson's planned citywide wireless broadband network.

Excerpts from the RFP's "Objectives" section:

The purpose of the RFP is to select a private-sector partner (a single Provider or group of partnering Providers) to own, fund, design, construct, operate, manage, maintain, repair and upgrade a wireless mesh broadband Internet network infrastructure. The wireless network will be used for the express purpose of increasing the broadband availabilitythroughout the City to improve the quality of life for our citizens, businesses and visitors ...

The City’s private-sector partner (s) would be expected to provide:

• A dedicated and free wireless network for Internet access for the City’s safety and mobile workers to improve worker productivity. The wireless network will enable the City to use modern technology and applications to improve their productivity and deliver better government services more cost-efficiently and effectively. This means the network will be used for public and private purposes with appropriate separation and security for City use as required by the City.

• Affordable, universal Citywide Internet access will be available to citizens, businesses and visitors. Cleveland’s wireless broadband network must reach every neighborhood, every populated area. The City is seeking a proposal that offers free to low-cost service options to every Clevelander and visitor. In addition, non-profit organizations should receive special pricing.

• Free access in parks and other designated public places. Every designated public park, spaces with high-traffic, popular neighborhood destinations (i.e., airports, stadiums, arenas, Public Square, downtown) and other designated destination sites in the City will have free access to the new network.

• Free access in the Recreation Centers, CLIMB (Computer Learning In My Backyard)/CTC Centers or other designated programs, which help to increase Digital Literacy in our neighborhoods and close the gaps of those with access and those without access to modern technology. Building on the success of “Cleveland CTCs and the CLIMB initiative,” the new network must include support for these centers to offer more robust applications to support mobility and digital equity in underserved communities. This includes support for community-based applications, which are meaningful and include computer ownership for low-income households. The City expects a financial commitment to support these types of digital inclusion programs.

• Support for open access to multiple commercial, e.g., ISPs, or institutional service providers. The winning provider will allow other companies to participate in a wholesale model. The winning wireless provider is expected to market wholesale services and market directly to the residential, business and other government subscribers.

Proposals are due on May 19.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Athens County JFS gives away 2000th computer

Via an emailed press release from Tracy Galway at Athens County Jobs and Family Services:

Athens County Job & Family Services, in partnership with Hocking College, gave away its 2000th personal computer this past week. The project began in 2001, as an effort to minimize the gap between those with regular, effective access to computer technology and those without access. Through the program at Athens County Job & Family Services, families are able to receive a personal home computer refurbished by Hocking College’s Computer Connections program, complete with software, printer, a year of Internet access and basic training to use the computer, all for free.

I understand the county JFS in Washington County is doing something similar.

Now if we could just get all these folks affordable broadband access...

(Cross-posted from Callahan's Cleveland Diary)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Wireless broadband for Tuscarawas

From the Times-Reporter, March 9: Tuscarawas County inks deal to bring high speed wireless.

Tuscarawas County commissioners finalized a deal Thursday with Light Speed Internet of Berlin to allow the Holmes County-based company to install wireless receivers on the county’s 911 towers.

As a result, county offices will receive free Internet access for a savings of nearly $800 per month on its current Internet contracts, and Lightspeed’s business will offer high-speed wireless services to Tuscarawas County residents.

Light Speed's website.

(h/t Chris Henney)