Okanog County Connect Mtg takeaways

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mister_coffee
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Re: Okanog County Connect Mtg takeaways

Post by mister_coffee »

*sigh*

Well, this "luxury" would have some pretty substantial benefits:

1. Permit more people to work remotely and work from home. Many of those jobs pay extremely well and as such would have a halo effect on the local economy.
2. Superior bandwidth at lower costs gives this location a competitive advantage over other "Zoom Towns".
3. People could launch businesses locally that would otherwise require they relocate or hire staff elsewhere.

Speaking for myself, I am on Zoom calls typically for 2-3 a day, and I'm probably not unique in that. Having more bandwidth means that I won't be struggling with technical issues and will be getting more productive work done. Other collaboration tools require even more bandwidth and I'd love to have the opportunity to use them.

Video conferencing and screen sharing lets me collaborate with people all over the world. It isn't a "luxury", it is the appropriate tool to Get the Job Done. Basically you want the Best People to be able to work with the Best People, no matter where they are.
:arrow: David Bonn :idea:
Rideback
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Re: Okanog County Connect Mtg takeaways

Post by Rideback »

I supose it depends on how you define luxury. CenturyTel offers crappy service (on a good day) and my bill for basic with no long distance is over $60. This new service will provide better service with unlimited long distance within the US & Canada for a base rate of $30 a month. Doesn't sound like luxury to me, more like common sense to get a better carrier service for less money.

If one is using Dish Network for tv reception, the bill is likely over $100 a month and you have to wade out to the dish in the winter months thru the snow to scrape the dish off. The new service will connect you for that same base rate of $30 and then you can choose a provider like Hulu that will give you more stations for for about $70.

In the Carlton fires when everything went haywire, there was no cell service when the tower failed, there were only local calls and 911 from Century Tel. With fiber the lines will stay active because MethowNet has generator backup.

There's been a huge effort by the OCEC and MethowNet that has taken years to put this plan together and then to apply for the grant so I don't see why they shouldn't get a leg up to have protected access as a carrier for the first 3 years. It's actually a pretty standard format. Likewise, it's a tall order for the OCEC to get all the fiber optics laid and organized in a valley where the roads are frozen more than 4 months of the year. It's a big commitment and will be ongoing as an effort to get a 2nd grant takes place to cover more of the membership.
Jingles
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Re: Okanog County Connect Mtg takeaways

Post by Jingles »

That is quite the price tag 30mil for a luxury service..
Yes it is a luxury service not a necessity service and there is one hell of a difference
1....Do I NEED fiber optic?
2 .. Would I like fiber optic?
If you answer yes to 1 it might be a necessity
If you answered no it is a luxury.

One of my big problems with this fuster cluck is where Methownet will be sole provider for 3 years.
Rideback
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Re: Okanog County Connect Mtg takeaways

Post by Rideback »

I talked to Jeff a bit ago to get some clarification of what happens when the power goes out.

Two things happen, 1) MethowNet/OCEC have generators in place that will kick in to keep the fiber optics live
2) individual homeowners will need their own alternative power source to power up their own devices
PAL
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Re: Okanog County Connect Mtg takeaways

Post by PAL »

I understood Mazama from OCEC newsletter. We did sign up anyway.
Pearl Cherrington
Rideback
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Re: Okanog County Connect Mtg takeaways

Post by Rideback »

I thought I heard Jeff say they were going to start with Twisp River. Could be wrong.
But if people don't sign up to express interest this round, even if you're not included, then applying for a 2nd round of funding is that much harder so do go sign up!
PAL
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Re: Okanog County Connect Mtg takeaways

Post by PAL »

Thanks for this info. We up Twisp River are still creaking along and would like to be in this go round, but I think we have to wait awhile.
Pearl Cherrington
Rideback
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Okanog County Connect Mtg takeaways

Post by Rideback »

This afternoon the partnership of OCEC & MethowNet had their 3rd information talk. More than 20 people showed up and filled the upper meeting room. Lots of terrific information shared and questions asked.
1) Research showed to do the whole project to bring fibre optics to all the OCEC customers would be between $25-30 million. They got $12 million, plus the CoOp is adding some as well as the County. This WILL NOT be the only effort to get coverage for all OCEC members. That means that if you're not inside the coverage map you need to still sign up that you're interested. You can go to the website they have or just call MethowNet and ask them to add you.

2) There are about 1600 people signed up so far and the grant will cover up to 2600. The way the program is set up customers won't be on the hook for expenses to bring the line to your front door (they'll use existing easements for power to access) then MethowNet will replace existing routers (this was a new revelation as they told me my old one would work) at no charge, then hookup your tv as well. If you want to have a landline, you'd need to buy a compatible one from MethowNet ($97-135).

3) Monthly charges are still being worked on, mostly because they won't know until everyone is signed up how many people they can spread the costs across. But estimates are a base fee of $30. If you have a landline you'll be able to ditch CTel. No long distance charges in the US and Canada. If you have Dish Network for your tv, you can ditch them as you'll get the internet connection for your tv and then you can sign up with alternate providers like Hulu etc.

4) The fibre cables themselves will be trenched in by independent contractors, they'll be much like the ones CTel uses for phone lines that look like a spike and they go down 18".

5) Timing is critical. The grant money has a completion date of Oct '26 when the checkbook closes and because govt red tape is notoriously slow that means the locals have really got to kick it in gear to have everything lined up. Stupid stuff like having to have archaeological approvals that the lines won't disrupt sites - even if those sites are already covered within an existing easement - are a part of the hoops that this team has to navigate.

So, the more that locals can get up and going and get the word out the better for everyone.
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