Broadband in Trump SOTU Message?

Count broadband infrastructure as one dark horse topic that could earn a mention. The president declined to broach the issue during last year’s speech, despite speculation he would. But according to POLITICO’s Anita Kumar , Trump “will renew his long-stalled push to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure during the speech” — a discussion that could resurface broadband considerations.

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech

Are you going to watch?


CPUC Revises Broadband Infrastructure Grant Rules To Increase Deployment Throughout California

SAN FRANCISCO, December 13, 2018 – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in its commitment to bridging the digital divide, today revised the rules for the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) Infrastructure Grant Account to increase broadband deployment in low income and unserved parts of the state.

Full Document is available under the Government Tab above.

NYT: What Lousy Philosophy Tells Us About Belief In Global Warming

William Briggs Statistician

In the New York Times, Á Pinillos’s demonstrated his ignorance of climate science.

According to NASA, at least 97 percent of actively publishing climate scientists think that “climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely caused by human activities.” Americans overwhelmingly agree that the federal government needs to take significant action. In a recent poll [of citizen’s who can’t say why the sky is blue, let alone delineate the intricacies of climatology]…

The canard about “97 percent” is particularly stupid. First, 100% of scientists agree that man influences the climate. How could we not? But that in itself, as Á does not understand, does not call for any specific action. And 97%? Did Á even read “Climate Consensus and ‘Misinformation’: A Rejoinder to Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change“, which shows that the consensus over doom is more like 1%? No, sir, he did not.

Did Á even know to look for this paper? No, sir, he did not. He knows so little about the subject, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.

He knows less about probability. Which is even more embarrassing, because nobody was expecting him to discuss the limitations of high-altitude cloud parameterizations. But we did think a professional philosopher would know the difference between decisions, knowledge, and probability. He doesn’t.

Suppose you observe a shopper at the convenience store buying a lottery ticket. You are aware that the probability that he will lose the lottery is astronomically high, typically above 99.99 percent, but it’s hard to get yourself to sincerely say you know this person will lose the lottery.

Look here, Á, if the shopper knew he would lose, he wouldn’t buy the damn ticket. We don’t know the shopper is going to lose. We only know it’s likely. Which means we also know he might win.

We can only know what is true. But we can believe anything. Right, Á?

If I had to bet whether the shopper would win, I’d have to think about the consequences about what would happen if I win or lose the bet, and the probability I calculate the shopper has the winning numbers. Probability is thus not decision. And my bet the shopper would lose is not knowledge he would. It’s a guess: a prediction.

Á does not grasp these distinctions, which are basic. He makes the same blunders in an example about his grading homework. I leave casting light on these as my own homework exercise for you, dear reader.

According to social psychology, climate change deniers tend to espouse conservative views, which suggests that party ideology is partly responsible for these attitudes. I think that we should also think about the philosophical nature of skeptical reactions, an apolitical phenomenon.

The standard response by climate skeptics is a lot like our reaction to skeptical pressure cases. Climate skeptics understand that 97 percent of scientists disagree with them, but they focus on the very tiny fraction of holdouts. As in the lottery case, this focus might be enough to sustain their skepticism.

Only a nincompoop uses the term “climate change denier”. Nobody denies the climate changes (I except lunatics). Knowing man influences the climate does not indicate any particular action, nor does it even imply that any such change is necessarily bad. Plus, climate skeptics (many of them) do not understand that 97% nonsense.

The full article is HERE.

A consensus is a political term, it is not a scientific term. Apparently, the New Your Time writer does not know the difference.

In Moden Life Communications are Essential

Below is an article from Nape County Valley Register, which learned a vital lesson during the latest fire emergency – Communications Vital. This is a lesson that all Sierra Counties could learn from. [My bold]

Napa County wants reliable cellphone and broadband Internet service available everywhere within its borders and to keep these services running during emergencies such as last year’s wildfires.

“Access to information—we really do need to treat it as a basic human need,” Supervisor Belia Ramos said. “We need to treat it the same as water. We need to treat it the same as electricity, heat, garbage service.”

Other supervisors agreed.

“The carriers tell the state, the regulatory authority, ‘95 percent coverage,’” Supervisor Diane Dillon said. “We know that’s not true. But to prove it, you have to prove they’re wrong. We have to pay for mapping.”

She doesn’t want communication dark holes in the county.

“Our goal here is to have this kind of access be like landline access was treated in the 1930s.” Dillon said. “Everyone should have it.”

The county has identified nine priority areas that could benefit from new fiber and cellular infrastructure. They are Browns Valley, American Canyon, Wild Horse Valley Road, Rim Rock, Monticello, Oakville, St. Helena, Pope Valley and Calistoga.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved a $100,000 maximum contract with Magellan Advisors to do a fiber infrastructure engineering assessment study.

Even cities can face challenges. Ramos said she lives in suburban American Canyon. She can have only one Internet provider because fiber doesn’t run on her street. Fiber wasn’t installed on the last three blocks of her neighborhood.

Last year, Napa County found out how an emergency can wreak havoc with modern communications, just when the services are needed the most.

During the Atlas, Partrick and Tubbs fires of 2017, County emergency officials used Nixle to communicate with the public. Yet a survey of 2,000 residents found 87 percent lost cell service, 73 percent lost Internet service and 67 percent lost land-line service.

Many of those emergency Nixle messages during the early hours of the fires warning of evacuations and danger disappeared into a void. A report by the North Bay/North Coast Broadband Consortium documented the frustration that some people felt because of the information blackout.

“We never received any type of alerts that would tell us what was happening,” one resident near the Partrick fire said in the report. “Nixle is fine, as long as there is cell service and internet.”

The October 2017 wildfires destroyed or damaged more than 340 cell tower sites in the region, a county report said. Discussions in the aftermath arose about having such things as battery backups on towers or bringing in mobile towers to replace damaged ones.

Napa County is working on communications issues as part of the North Bay/North Coast Broadband Consortium along with Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino counties.

This is in sharp contrast to Nevada City which is fighting to keep poor cell service in the city.  Verizon wanted to improve the Cell Service and the City Council refused to allow the installation of the antenna required to provide the better service. The Nevada City Council needs to learn for the Napa experience.  And, maybe the Paradice experience, we will have to wait for the after action reports.

Rural Americans Are Rebooting The Spirit Of The Internet

BACK IN THE early 1930s, farmers couldn’t get wired. The big-city electric utilities claimed that delivering power to customers spread out in rural areas wasn’t profitable. So eventually the locals rolled up their sleeves and did it themselves. They formed electric co-ops and strung their own damn wires, aided by cheap federal loans. Today there are nearly 900 rural co-ops still providing their communities with electricity. A DIY success story!

Now history repeats itself—with broadband. Thirty-nine percent of rural Americans had no access to home broadband in 2016 (compared with 4 percent of folks in urban areas), because big telcos say it’s too expensive to build affordable fiber-optic broadband in the countryside. Residents have to make do with dialup or Wi-Fi from a library.

So co-ops are solving the problem again. In rural Oklahoma, for example, the Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative recently laid 2,497 miles of fiber-optic cable—a feat that required blasting through some bedrock—to launch its broadband Bolt Fiber Optic Services. Today Bolt serves almost 9,000 members, offering gigabit connections for less than you’d pay for comparable service in a city.

Read the rest of the Article HERE.
We need more of this in the Sierra. Waiting for the major providers is a losing game.  If small communities want broadband they are better off to build it and manage it, free from corporate manipulation.

5G is almost a reality. Here’s what it’ll really feel like



The next-generation of cellular technology, 5G promises to change your life with a massive boost in speed and responsiveness. It’ll power applications like self-driving cars, telemedicine and a new universe of connected devices. You can expect to see 5G smartphones coming out in the first half of next year.

The bad news: Don’t expect your life to change quite yet. As with any new technology, 5G will experience some growing pains, and for many people, those promised speeds may not show up consistently — or at all. I talked to a number of experts and telecom industry executives to get a bead on what 5G will really look like in the early days.

Read the rest of the story HERE

If 5G follows the same market path as 4G, it will be a long time before rural citizens will have access to the wonders of 5G.