Tag Archives: Internet

Videos: Budget, Tax, Sewage Pump Station, Road Abandonment @ LCC 2017-06-27

They unanimously approved everything except the one withdrawn item, and except for the Executive Session, the whole thing took 9 minutes. They meet again 8:30 AM Monday morning 24 July 2017.

Below are links to each LAKE video of the 27 June 2017 Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, with a very few notes, followed by a video playlist. See also the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session including the Zika Presentation by Ken Lowery; and the agenda.

Videos: Budget, Tax, Sewage Pump Station, Road Abandonment, Zika @ LCC 2017-06-26

Tonight at 5:30 PM they vote on what they discussed yesterday morning at the Lowndes County Commission. But you won’t hear the Zika Presentation by Ken Lowery; that was only in the Work Session. It was by far the longest item, at seven minutes, longer than all the rest of the meeting, which took less than six minutes. The second longest item at almost a minute and a half was abandonment of a portion of Ponce de Leon Trail (CR 374).

You will see them adopt the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. See the previous post for more background about the budget requests that the county almost all denied.

Below are Continue reading

Budget, Tax, Sewage Pump Station, Road Abandonment, Zika @ LCC 2017-06-26

They’re going to adopt the county budget Tuesday, after talking about it this morning at 8:30 AM, after complaining that nobody showed up at a budget hearing they didn’t announce. Also after refusing budget requests due to revenue continuing down for several years, and not being willing to adjust taxes.

The VDT summarized, Thomas Lynn, VDT, 23 May 2017, County Manager: Proposed budget austere; Most new funding requests denied. And Thomas Lynn, 22 June 2017, Public absent from county budget hearing. No wonder, since the county didn’t even post the meeting online until that same morning, with no agenda. The VDT wasn’t there most of the time, but Gretchen was, with the LAKE video camera.

LAKE video by Gretchen Quarterman of Harrison Tillman and Stephanie Black about Budget at the Lowndes County Annual Planning Meeting Day 1 @ LCC 2017-02-16
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE of Harrison Tillman and Stephanie Black about Budget at the Lowndes County Annual Planning Meeting Day 1 @ LCC 2017-02-16

Gretchen also videoed Continue reading

Solar growth like compound interest has turned Al Gore into an optimist

Not even Al Gore saw that the continually decreasing price of solar power was causing exponential deployment growth that will win within a decade. But now he does. Since solar is going to win, building destructive and hazardous petroleum pipelines for short-term profit for a few executives and investors would be short-sighted at best. Let’s stop those pipelines, LNG export, and fracking, and plug in to sun, wind, and water power for a clean and prosperous future.

Experts predicted in 2000 that wind generated power worldwide would reach 30 gigawatts; by 2010, it was 200 gigawatts, and by last year it reached nearly 370, or more than 12 times higher. Installations of solar power would add one new gigawatt per year by 2010, predictions in 2002 stated. It turned out to be 17 times that by 2010 and 48 times that amount last year.

And you ain’t seen nothing yet: Continue reading

As predicted U.S. solar capacity grew more than 400% in 4 years

This month’s eia report confirms that solar did exactly what former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff predicted: “That’s what is happening in solar. It could double every two years.” Wellinghoff’s further prediction remains on the money: “…at its present growth rate, solar will overtake wind in about ten years. It is going to be the dominant player.” Because of exponential growth like compound interest caused by ever-falling solar PV costs, solar will win like the Internet did.

U.S. Energy Information Administration (eia) wrote 22 April 2014, Solar-electric Generating Capacity Increases Drastically in the Last Four Years,

U.S. solar capacity increased significantly in the last 4 years. In 2010, the total solar capacity was 2,326 MW which accounted for a comparatively small fraction (0.22%) of the total U.S. electric generating. capacity. By February 2014, this capacity increased 418% to 12,057 MW, a 9,731 MW gain, and now accounts for almost 1.13% of total U.S. capacity. Reported planned solar capacity additions indicate continued growth

12,057 / 2,326 = 5.18 times, which is more than 2 * 2 = 4, ergo Wellinghoff was right. Continue reading

Rural broadband economics slides

Use of fast Internet access by as many people as possible improves local income and jobs, and fast Internet access is necessary for creative workers, according to a nationwide detailed study.

Courtesy of lead author Brian Whitacre (pictured), here are the slides from Broadband’s Contribution to Economic Health in Rural Areas: A Causal Analysis, presented at the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference and previously blogged here as General broadband adoption improves rural economic health. They’re a lot easier to see than my blurry pictures. You can see the Valdosta MSA on the maps of some of their underlying data.

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U.S. broadband among most expensive worldwide: why?

We don’t have to continue letting the duopoly gouge us for slow and expensive Internet access. We don’t have to wait for Washington or Atlanta, either. We do need our local leaders to stop defining away the issue and get on with doing something about.

Tom Geoghegan wrote for BBC News 27 October 2013, Why is broadband more expensive in the US?

Home broadband in the US costs twice as much as it does in Europe and three times as much as it does in South Korea, according to a new report. Why?

Because we let the duopoly get away with it, as Susan Crawford has been reminding us for a while now. Continue reading

General broadband adoption improves rural economic health

Want more income, jobs, and creative workers? Get as many people as possible to use fast affordable Internet connections: that’s the result of a nationwide detailed study. Adoption matters more than availability, and speed matters for creative workers.

No Broadband Availability by Metro Status, 2010 Broadband’s Contribution to Economic Health in Rural Areas: A Causal Analysis Brian Whitacre, Oklahoma State University; Roberto Gallardo, Mississippi State University; Sharon Strover, University of Texas at Austin, presented at the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference, September 2013.

Conclusion and Policy Implications

Title slide with Brian Whitacre This research yields important findings on the effect of broadband on economic gains, namely on household income and employment levels. The ability to do matched county comparisons, specifically in non-metro counties, demonstrates the influence of adoption (as opposed to availability) in producing these positive outcomes, and constitutes another indication that development efforts should focus on mobilizing populations to subscribe to and use broadband capabilities. Again, cultivating local leadership, mobilizing the services of cooperative extension educators nationwide, and working more closely with each State Broadband Initiative could be fruitful avenues for targeting adoption.

We’re in a fertile field for economic improvement this way:

County-level Household Broadband Adoption Rates, 2010

Figure 1 displays Continue reading

Solar power will win like the Internet did

Remember BITNET, FidoNet, or UUCP? Nope, the Internet overtook all of those. And in 20 years that’s how young people will remember coal and natural gas plants, although the waste-disposal costs of nukes will be with us for ten thousand years. Solar power is going to overtake all other power sources within a decade. Here’s why I think that.

Jerry Grillo quoted me in Georgia Trend July 2013, Sun Dancing: As Georgia’s solar capacity shoots skyward, a new state utility is proposed,

“Solar power is the fastest-growing industry in the world, and it’s growing along in the same way the Internet did,” says John S. Quarterman, a Harvard-educated author and Internet pioneer who launched the first commercial online newsletter, among other things, and who lives in rural Lowndes County.

“Think back 20 years to 1993. How many people had heard of the Internet? And look at how far we’ve come. What I’m seeing with solar energy is the same kind of exponential growth. It’s clean energy that works, and it generates jobs.”

Here are 1992 ten-year graphs of Internet growth from that newsletter, Matrix News, using Continue reading

Softbank buying Sprint buying Clearwire for better Internet

About nine months ago Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son said he wanted to buy Sprint because he was tired of poor U.S. Internet service. The FCC has approved that merger. And Clearwire shareholders have approved Sprint buying Clearwire, which will provide more spectrum for Sprint to work with. Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T competing in 4G LTE or faster wireless Internet services would almost be like a real market! Today’s the day.

Jordan Crook wrote vfor TechCrunch Monday, After 9 Months, The Softbank-Sprint Merger Will Be A Done Deal On July 10,

“SoftBank Corp. will invest approximately USD 21.6 billion (approximately JPY 1.8 trillion*) in Sprint Nextel Corporation and currently anticipates consummating the transaction on July 10, 2013 (EDT).”

Continue reading