The Internet & Computers

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Buck Turgidson
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Rockbridge Area Network Authority (RANA)

Postby Buck Turgidson » 2012 Jan 11 22:27

Well, this is a fine kettle of fish we're in.

We have an amazingly successful cooperative effort in RANA, tying institutions and communities together to run blazingly fast optical fiber internet access close to many in the county, essentially free to us because of a government grant. All looks really, really good.

Except for one thing that may sink it all. Easements about an inch wide are needed to run fiber cable underground, where they will lie invisible as they perform amazing service for us all. No money is budgeted. Here is a case where property owners' stubborn refusal to allow the lines to run serves nobody's interest, including theirs.

Wouldn't it be great if those approached would say, simply, "Sure, I'll allow the line to be buried on the road that fronts my property. I realize we'll all benefit in one way or another so it makes no sense for me to strong-arm our local government for money they don't have. It would kill high speed internet in Rockbridge and sometimes we just need to do what's right for our community. Where do I sign?"

On Jan 11, 2012, Kit Huffman in the News-Gazette wrote: Internet Edition managed using RANA Switches To Phone Calls For Easements

The Rockbridge Area Network Authority has shifted tactics in its effort to persuade landowners to sign easements allowing RANA’s fiber-optic cable to pass through their property.

Following discussion on Monday and in other recent meetings, the RANA board decided to follow up its initial requests for easements with telephone calls and appointments, rather than sending out volunteers to knock on the doors of landowners who have so far not signed their easement documents.

Most of the proposed 138- mile cable route runs along rights-of-way owned by the Virginia Department of Transportation or power utilities, which have issued blanket easements for the project. However, part of the route runs through private property, requiring about 300 landowner easements for completion.

In early November, RANA held a series of community meetings to answer landowners’ questions about the easements and provide an opportunity to sign the documents with a witness. However, attendance was spotty and response often tepid, the RANA board reported. By the third week of December, fewer than 50 private easements had been signed, said Dan Grim, RANA board secretary.

By Thanksgiving, RANA had mailed all landowners with outstanding easements their actual easement documents for perusal and consideration.

Initially, RANA’s plan was to gather a cadre of volunteers, including members of the RANA board and neighbors and other volunteers, to fan out into the community and knock on doors of landowners with outstanding easements. That idea has now been changed to making requests by phone, either for an appointment for a RANA volunteer and a notary public to come to the landowner’s house for the easement to be signed, or for the landowner to come to the county administration building to sign the document there. The telephone calls will be made by the same kinds of volunteers who would have gone doorto- door, Grim said

Anonymoose

Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby Anonymoose » 2012 Jan 13 09:34

This dilemma is so predictable, but the confounding part is that the RANA-makers apparently did not anticipate this response, or lack of, from the property owners. It is the usual Rockbridge Resistance. And what is the argument? One can only imagine "we don't need none of that there internet service...we don't own a computer, and will never need one."

OK, maybe you don't and won't. But, if you're concerned about your falling property values, this is one way to keep up with competition, at little or no cost to you. Imagine that I'm a potential buyer of your property, and I use the internet, and am in fact dependent upon it for my livelihood. I view two properties, one with high speed internet access, one without. Which property am I likely to purchase? Which property has the higher market value, all other things being equal?

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Buck Turgidson
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Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby Buck Turgidson » 2012 Jan 13 11:30

There you go again, using flawless logic !

:smile3:

Anonymoose

Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby Anonymoose » 2012 Jan 13 12:50

Tee hee. Don't know about all that. But, maybe if we put it on a flag, and hang it from a pole on Main Street, the idea will gain some credibility. :wink:

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Uji
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Re: Rockbridge Area Network Authority (RANA)

Postby Uji » 2012 Jan 15 12:11

Buck Turgidson wrote:Wouldn't it be great if those approached would say, simply, "Sure, I'll allow the line to be buried on the road that fronts my property. I realize we'll all benefit in one way or another so it makes no sense for me to strong-arm our local government for money they don't have. It would kill high speed internet in Rockbridge and sometimes we just need to do what's right for our community. Where do I sign?"

What do you make of the fact that they don't, Buck? I don't know what to make of it.

It costs the property owner nothing, so what troubles them about it? Is it the big-guvment bugaboo? (The trilateral commission planting bugs in my front yard...) Is it just greed? (I should get something for this; it's MY property....) or is it just a general distrust and anger at the world outside -- one not filtered through their personal rose-colored glasses (read FOX News or MSNBC or... whatever).

Seems like we are become a nation of victims -- at least in our own mind. THEY are out to get US, and the POWERS-THAT-BE are controlled by THEM not US, and WE are marginalized, and THEY are trying to take away everything that WE hold dear...

I'm as guilty as anyone, I'm sure, but I still don't get it. All this victimization allows us to avoid responsibility for our lives and choices, I guess, which makes life easier in the short run. Makes it pretty dreary and disheartening on the long haul, though.

I've a neighbor who sits up in a huge house on the highest ridge in our little hollow, and every time I see him it's as if smoke is coming out of his ears. He's cordial and friendly (up to a point) but is one mass of anger and animus towards everything and anyone outside his little cable/talk-radio world. He has wealth, health, successful children -- yet it is as if he is in the 7th circle of hell. And all the things he hates and fears are just virtual -- they come to him from like-minded "victims" who spew venom 24 hours a day from their various cable perches. But that's the world he lives in, or so he seems to believe.

I don't get it; but, then, I guess neither does he. I wish we could talk though, the two of us, as neighbors rather than foot soldiers in competing armies each bent on WORLD DOMINATION. But, he leaves me alone, as I do him. And he sits in his big house on the hill, and I sit in my little house down on the creek and we look down/up at the other and think: If it just weren't for folks like THEM... :dontknow:

Anonymoose

Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby Anonymoose » 2012 Jan 16 12:06

@Uji, I don't disagree with what you say, as there are many who must feel that way. But, I think the sentiment at the heart of this matter may be as simple as "what's in it for me?" and "why should I make any sacrifice, no matter how small, to better my community, when I will gain no personal benefit?" And, there could be the unfounded fear that even a minor easement may create an encumbrance on their land that may cause issues in the future. Better communication up front might have served to allay those fears. It concerns me that our leaders don't seem to grasp the big picture when making decisions, nor take proactive steps to avoid such snafus.

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Uji
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Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby Uji » 2012 Jan 16 16:51

Anonymoose wrote:And, there could be the unfounded fear that even a minor easement may create an encumbrance on their land that may cause issues in the future. Better communication up front might have served to allay those fears.

That sounds right to me... Thanks.

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fangz1956
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Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby fangz1956 » 2012 Jan 20 07:06

Yo Stonewall!!

I was tickled pink to find this site blacked out earlier this week. Methinks you are more than just an empty suit.

Thanks for being a stand-up kind of soul.

:pompom: :pompom: :pompom:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Uji
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Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby Uji » 2012 Jan 20 10:09

:thumbup:

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fangz1956
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Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby fangz1956 » 2012 Jan 21 11:07

Megaupload Seized & Shuttered

This could easily fit under the Rule of Law thread but fits here just as nicely. The power wielded by the corrupt ones on The Hill continues to boggle the mind.

:shakeh:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Uji
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Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby Uji » 2012 Jan 21 14:50

fangz1956 wrote: ... the Rule of Law ...:


I'm all for that. For that reason -- and IMHO -- I don't find the megaupload arrests disturbing. There was an indictment -- which requires a grand jury. That's the way the law works. In fact, I think this is exactly the way such things should be handled: If someone is knowingly storing and helping disseminate copyrighted materials, the copyright owners have the right to sue the government for redress. It's the police who should be policing this stuff. And that's just the problem with the two bills killed recently in Congress: they sought to have Google and other internet search engines and providers police these things.

I find it surprising that New Zealand was willing to execute an indictment from a US grand jury. But they're pretty independent down there -- won't let US nuclear warships anywhere near their harbors, for instance. So I figure if the Grand Jury granted an indictment, and the Kiwi's were willing to execute it -- well, there must be plenty of smoke. Whether there is fire is for the courts to decide, I guess.

I don't think it will work that way for long, though. The digital genie is out of the bottle; trying to copyright material (no matter how original) that can be disseminated digitally will be like trying to carry water in a fishnet. :dontknow:

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fangz1956
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Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby fangz1956 » 2012 Jan 22 11:12

I found this in Slate during my morning reading. This article nicely reinforces everything Uji said above. And, Uji, thanks for always putting another piece in the puzzle........it drives me to read & research as many sources as I can find. :wink2:

So Long and Thanks for the Pirated Movies


:coffee:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Wise One
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Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby Wise One » 2012 Jan 27 13:04

Apropos of nothing, I stumbled upon Godwin's Law and find it fascinating.

Sometimes invocation of those past specters is dead-on appropriate, but we should resist hyperbole and reserve their use to cases where they very closely apply. It's kind of like not overusing four-letter words, lest you diminish their full impact when you really need them!
:beer:

PS. That little mustache Crux wears looks stupid.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Crux
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There you go again....

Postby Crux » 2012 Jan 30 13:26

Wise One wrote:PS. That little mustache Crux wears looks stupid.

...breaking the Law of Sir Godwin as you are so prone to do. :nono:

Wise One wrote: lest you
:laughing: SOooOO erudite you little Democrat Socialist! :clap:
"The Wise One"... :shakeh:

Wise One wrote:Sometimes invocation of those past specters is dead-on appropriate, but we should resist hyperbole and reserve their use to cases where they very closely apply. It's kind of like not overusing four-letter words, lest you diminish their full impact when you really need them!

You are such the wisecracker. :coffee:

crux (no I am not back, I just couldn't resist mocking your foolery) :usa2:
crux identifies with American Principles. Personal Liberty, Respect and Limited government.
He is a classic liberal, a libertarian at heart, and a conservative in the classical sense...

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Stonewall
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Re: High-speed in the sticks!

Postby Stonewall » 2012 Jan 30 21:41

Uji wrote:I just got high-speed! :hello2: Not only did Embarq decide to make the investment, but BARC is now doing the same thing. I mean, the gravel road I live on is 10 miles long and has maybe a half-dozen households on it...
I read that Rockbridge had applied for stimulus money to expand high-speed coverage in the county. Anyone know if that's what happened? We's in the sticks up here, and less than a month ago the utilities were saying that there was NO chance of high speed out here...

I wonder if you are among those who are losing BARC high speed internet, and if you have other options? Progress is being worked on but it'll take awhile. A mulish negativity is being displayed by some who the local governments are depending on to provide easements for fiber crossings, situation explained in the News-Gazette letter below.

RANA Working Hard To Fill In Coverage Gaps
Jan. 20, 2012
Editor, The News-Gazette:

Recently we were disappointed to hear of the end of a broadband option in the Rockbridge area. Some customers of the BARC electric cooperative recently learned that they have lost their broadband Internet service. A company called IBEC had been providing that service by using BARC’s electric power lines for Internet transmission. Letters from IBEC and BARC informed customers of IBEC’s intention to cease operations on Jan. 16.

We have known for a while now that getting faster broadband communications options into rural areas is difficult and expensive, and not many companies have come forward to implement full coverage of the Rockbridge area. That is, until Rockbridge County received a grant to build a fiber and DSL (dedicated service line) network. During most of 2012 the construction of some 29 DSL cabinets will be completed and the Rockbridge Area Network Authority will be opening this part of the network to private providers for offering their internet and other services.

The DSL cabinets will provide coverage in those areas where IBEC had been focused, as well as other remote areas of the county. This will ensure that most of the rural parts of the county will have broadband access during 2012. Fiber-based broadband Internet will become available as RANA’s trunk lines are linked to these cabinets as well as directly to businesses and residences in 2013 and beyond.

RANA is a local organization, created by our local governments on behalf of all businesses, organizations, and citizens in the Rockbridge Area. We are in this for the long haul. Instead of providing Internet service by superimposing its signal on electric power lines, RANA will be installing its own fiber optic cables throughout the area. Most of the fiber network will be put underground where it will be well protected from damage.

Where necessary to go above ground, we have agreements with BARC and with Dominion Power to mount our cables on their poles. Where the Virginia Department of Transportation does not have a right of way for us to use, we are seeking landowner permission to install the cables in small trenches alongside the roads that pass their properties. And yes, we also still need several easements from landowners so the DSL cabinets can be constructed.

RANA is working hard to fill the gaps in communications options in the area, and needs the support of the public and of landowners along the routes that have been defined. We agree with those who wish to be good stewards of the land, and believe that improving our communications capabilities will allow business expansion while protecting the environment. We appreciate the help landowners have given with their easements, and sincerely hope that those who have not yet decided will do so in the near future so that construction can proceed within the project’s very short (16 month) timeline.

Broadband Internet service is essential to the well-being and success of our residents, businesses, farms, entrepreneurs, and institutions. RANA is committed to providing the infrastructure for this service. We ask for the public’s support and encouragement as we begin the construction phase of our project.

R. HUNT RIEGEL,
Chairman, Rockbridge Area Network Authority

Thanks for your posts! Stonewall, your administrator ... just an "empty suit."

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Wise One
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Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby Wise One » 2012 Mar 08 14:39

Broadband Vital To Economy

March 7, 2012

Editor, The News-Gazette:

Last year, while running for supervisor, I consistently heard three concerns from citizens. They want low property taxes, more economic development, and better educational and job opportunities so our children can remain in Rockbridge.

This year, I have been assisting the county with the RANA broadband project, working with landowners along the route where easements are necessary.

I have to say that given the above mentioned citizen concerns, the support for the RANA project is not what I would have expected.

Some of this lack of support comes from misunderstandings of the project and how it will affect landowners along the route.

The fiber optic line will be run in a conduit about an inch and a quarter in diameter. In most cases the conduit will be buried about two or three feet off the edge of the road, at a depth of thirty inches. The “trench” will only need to be 2 or 3 inches wide.

The easement will require the county to leave the landowner’s property just as it was before the conduit went in. Where there is a paved driveway, the contractor will bore under the driveway so it doesn’t have to be disturbed. Some properties have nicely landscaped yards and fences and the owners are rightly concerned that these should not be affected.

They should know that the county is willing to work around these features or make sure that they are put back just as they were.

Landowners will not be able to build any permanent structures in the easement area, but county zoning laws already prevent buildings that close to the property line.

I’ve had people ask me why the county doesn’t offer to pay them for the easement or provide a free line to their house. As we can see by the recent downsizing of the fiber-optic routes, there’s no money in the grant for easements or free hookups. So, do we want to use local taxes to buy easements? A few years ago we put in a sewer line to Raphine and no landowners were paid for easements or provided free hookups. Had we asked the county taxpayers to do so they would have said, “You want to use my tax dollars to pay for an easement or hookup, when he is going to be the main beneficiary, and see the value of his property increase? That doesn’t seem right.” The broadband “pipeline” is no different.

Another misconception is that if you don’t use the Internet, this project won’t affect you. This project will affect every taxpayer in Rockbridge County.

This is what economic development looks like in the 21st century. This will be the biggest economic development project that the county has undertaken in at least the last 20 years, if not ever.

Many people don’t yet understand that broadband is for Internet in the same way as electric lines were for light bulbs in the 1920s. Internet is just the tip of the iceberg. TV, movies, telephone, security, home health monitoring, education, are just some of the services that will be available over this county owned broadband pipeline. Most of the services are not even imagined yet, just as most of the things we use electricity for now were not imagined in the 1920s.

Probably the most important benefit of broadband will be in education. All of our local schools will be connected to the system at 100 times the speed and capacity of DSL, with obvious benefits. Less obvious is a fact that many people are not going to want to hear: if your children don’t have Internet access in your home, they will be receiving a second-class education. This is already the case in Rockbridge County and it’s only going to get more so.

I urge all residents of Rockbridge (especially those lucky enough to be along one of the fiber optic routes that hasn’t been postponed) to please get behind the RANA broadband project so our children can have the education and job opportunities they need to stay in Rockbridge.

ERIC SHEFFIELD
South River
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Neck-aint-red
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Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby Neck-aint-red » 2012 Apr 16 12:08

Telecom monopolists, with Republicans on their side and in their pay, are now in full gear to ratchet up a blizzard of anti-competitive policies that will essentially break the internet.

Here's the latest step.

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Wise One
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Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby Wise One » 2012 May 10 09:00

Do you want to live in the Land of the Free where personal liberty is protected by your government?

If so, pack you bags because you'll have to get yourself over to Holland. This example shows how others are faring while Republicans here work fast and furious to destroy liberty in America.

:coffee:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Juggler
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Marriage in 2013

Postby Juggler » 2013 Feb 28 18:25

Image

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Juggler
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Re: The Internet & Computers

Postby Juggler » 2013 Mar 13 08:43



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