[RTC List] Follow-up from RTC luncheon
bob at morsemedia.net
Tue Jun 9 15:01:14 PDT 2009
Some good thoughts Larry. The board is meeting today at 4 and I will
bring your post to the meeting to see what kind of traction we can get
on these matters.
Larry Goldberg wrote:
> First of all, kudos to all who organized and pulled off yesterday's
> luncheon. Job well done and I, for one, thought it was very effective
> (and timely).
> Now the hard work must begin. Unfortunately, the "take-away" from the
> meeting (everyone, please correct me if I'm wrong) were the following:
> * No one is in charge. There are a lot of players all
> volunteering to help make something happen, but no one is
> coordinating everything. Jacqueline Debets (Humboldt Co.
> Economic Dev. Dept.) stated one of the more notable
> contributions by saying that a "Prop. 50-type" organization was
> being organized with a circulating MOU between several counties
> behind the scenes and that this entity, if it's ever formed, may
> become a conduit for all projects.
> * "Jump into the pool - the water's great" (Connie Stewart) - all
> projects are welcome (there are no sharks in the water, to our
> knowledge). While there is no process for submitting a
> proposal, no guidelines to meet and no stated goals or
> objectives, everyone can volunteer their project for future
> * While there is a concept being circulated for eight separate
> fiber links in Humboldt, Del Norte, Mendocino and Trinity
> counties, there are "only one concept" and have not been adopted
> or even discussed at length. They are just one more "idea in
> the hopper" for future consideration.
> * There is no census on ownership of any publicly-funded project.
> This topic requires some serious discussion insofar as we are
> spending our children's inheritance so we better get it right!
> * Sean McLaughlin has advanced an idea that I believe has merit.
> He calls it the "70-10-10-10" concept. His idea, as I
> understand it, is as follows: set aside 70% of whatever money is
> received (or requested) for middle-mile projects (regardless of
> the technology used), 10% for wireless projects (primarily to
> reach outlying communities which may not be on any fiber path),
> 10% for public agencies (and adoption education efforts) and 10%
> for last-mile and pilot projects. I think this is something
> that merits additional discussion and, if we can agree on it, we
> should lobby for this to whoever does the final proposal.
> * Humboldt Co. (several representatives were present) needs to
> take an active role in this process, but has yet to take any
> "official" stand. I recommend that we request that a discussion
> item be added to an upcoming BOS agenda for time to discuss this
> issue and begin to get a plan in place for how to proceed.
> * Time is of the essence. We stand to lose our "edge" by falling
> behind the timeline. Regs are expected to be out by mid-July,
> so we have approximately 30 days to get our act together. We
> all want this to succeed, but it could easily degenerate into a
> free-for-all if no one steps up to the plate to get this process
> organized. I personally would like to see Kathy Moxon and Sean
> McLaughlin take lead roles (along with Connie who is de facto
> leading the charge right now) to get the process organized and
> begin the vetting process (develop criteria for meeting our
> needs & develop a "master plan" to determine how we want to
> proceed). Combined with an outside consultant (several names
> have been circulated) we can get on track but we need to move NOW.
> Given the uncertainty of everything related to this issue coupled with
> the potentially vast amount of money which may be in play (at least
> 10's of millions of $, I expect), we should be organizing, as a group,
> RIGHT NOW. In my opinion, it is not enough that the RTC have a
> quarterly luncheon, listen politely to some speakers and go back to
> our business assuming that "someone" is taking care of things. We
> need to ORGANIZE now and, at a minimum, develop a platform for what we
> want to see come out of this process. To this end, I recommend to the
> RTC board that any or all of the following be considered:
> * Convene "emergency" meeting of RTC membership to discuss these
> issues and develop a strategy for how we're going to help in the
> * Develop an official RTC statement of our recommended objectives
> for any project which emerges from the process to address our
> region's long-term broadband needs. This should NOT come from
> one individual or even the board as a group, we need the
> membership involved in this!
> * Develop working committees who will volunteer to help with
> technical vetting, organizational management and whatever else
> it will take to get the best proposal developed by the community
> * Start meeting with elected officials to educate them on the
> matter and get their "buy-in" for everyone to work together on
> this project
> * Monitor the process with regular updates to everyone to keep us
> all "in the loop" as fast-breaking news develops
> That's my two cents worth, I would love to hear from others on how
> they think we should proceed. I must emphasize, however, that we
> don't have time to waste. I know it's June and lots of folks are
> thinking about vacations and Summer projects, but this is probably the
> biggest single opportunity that we, as a group, have ever had to deal
> with since RTC was formed. I, for one, don't want to lose our
> standing as an area who has spent as much time analyzing our needs
> only to fall down when it really counts.
> As an aside, I should mention that we have a Google Group forum,
> Northcoast Broadband Forum
> (northcoast-broadband-forum at googlegroups.com
> <mailto:northcoast-broadband-forum at googlegroups.com>), which was
> organized after last year's Broadband conference to discuss topics
> just like this. I recommend that anyone seriously interested in this
> topic sign up (or send me a request and I'll sign you up) so we can
> continue this discussion online in-between our infrequent meetings.
> We should post all proposals, documentation and public discussion
> topics so anyone who may be interested can participate. Just an idea.
> List mailing list
> List at redwoodtech.org
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