Broadband & E-Commerce Education Center UW-Extension 
UW Extension Broadband and Ecommerce Education Center

Upcoming Events: High Speed Bits

30 Minutes of Broadband Info You Need to Know

Fab Labs
– The Role of Fab Labs in Wisconsin Thursday, May 21, 11-11.30AM CST, guest speakers Dr. Steven Yahr, Dr. George Karling, Three Lakes School District, and Don Sidlowski, Northwoods Broadband & Economic Development Coalition.
Connection information here

Miss a High Speed Bits? Find the archived calls here  

Upcoming Center Presentations / Events:
  • Broadband Boot Camp 2015, June 3, Eau Claire WI. Are you a UW-Extension educator or community stakeholder interested in our annual one-day intensive program designed to provide hands-on learning to help advance broadband access and adoption in your communities? Contact us today for more information. Space is limited.

E-Commerce Pilots
On May 5-8, our Center successfully completed our second PSC-funded Rural E-Commerce Pilot that brought online business training to rural, northern Wisconsin communities. The second pilot built off of our Center's first initiative that began in September 2014. Through these two pilots, our Center has worked with 105 trainees to improve their online business presence. The pilots were held in Ashland, Bayfield, Clark, Oneida, Vilas and Wood Counties. The program included a hands-on group training around topics including Facebook for business, web development best practices, hiring for e-commerce or web development, and more. Read what businesses had to say about it!

Center Work in St. Croix
Through the coordinated efforts of St. Croix County UW-Extension Educator Eric Biltonen and the Economic Development Corporation, Jill Hietpas (Broadband & E-Commerce Education Center educator) provided a broadband technologies overview, identified the broadband economic influencers (access, adoption and utilization), and shared the most current data on broadband access and subscribership in the county. Through these efforts, and the ongoing leadership of the St. Croix County Community, Natural Resources and Economic Development (CNRED) Educator, the Saint Croix Economic Development Corporation created a committee to address broadband and technology needs within the county. Read more about the impact of these efforts here.

Request for Comments Webinar
Today, May 20, 2015, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will host a webinar about the Request for Comments issued by the Broadband Opportunity Council (BOC) on April 29.  The BOC was created by President Obama in March to identify ways that the government can promote broadband deployment, adoption and competition.  The webinar, from 4:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. EDT, will explain the RFC’s purpose and objectives, and allow an opportunity for members of the public to pose questions.  The webinar is open to the public and press on a first-come, first-served basis. To help assure that adequate space is provided, all attendees are required to register for the webinar.

Articles: Wisconsin
According to a recent article on broadband accessibility in education, "K-12 students who lack adequate access risk being left out of the digital transformation that’s taking place on the educational front." Evidence of the remaining gap can be found in the FCC's 2015 Broadband Progess Report. However, Wisconsin is taking steps forward, utilizing broadband in education through FabLabs. Center Director Maria Alvarez Stroud was able to speak about FabLabs with Northwoods Broadband & Economic Development Coalition's Don Sidlowski at last week's WiscNet conference.

"Poynette High School student Will Roberts said he couldn’t get his homework done without a high-speed connection that gives him access to primary historical documents and English class reading assignments."  In Columbia County, local leaders are speaking up about broadband usage and affordability. Read more.

The Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association (WSTA) holds their annual convention this week featuring topics on technology, policy, business management and marketing. On Thursday, Christopher Mitchell, Director of Community Broadband Networks at the Institute for Self-Reliance, will speak on how and why local governments across the country are taking action to improve internet access.

Earlier this month, Center Director Maria Alvarez Stroud commented on the BOC's Request for Comments, offering ideas on promoting broadband access, adoption and competition.

Articles: National
A new study shows that rural communities should spend more time encouraging broadband adoption alongside support of infrastructure. What does this look like? 

Net neutrality took center stage over the past few weeks with broadband providers asking for a halt to their reclassification as common carriers in the Communications Act. Soon thereafter the FCC denied their request, but another petition to stay some of the rules was filed last week. Most recently, North Carolina has filed suit against the FCC over broadband pre-emption.

Meanwhile, the FCC also announced plans to expand rural broadband through the second phase of their Connect America fund. Find out more here.

The FCC released that it may add video streaming tests while evaluating broadband speed. What does this mean?

Infographic: As broadband continues to grow, businesses will need to evaluate their audiences and how information is presented. Things such as timing, mobile structure and platform matter, but what content works best for each generation?

Articles: International
A new study suggests that Thailand can make major economic gains with new mobile broadband policy. Find out how.
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