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Mar 8 – Digital Asheville: Information Age Networking

March 19, 2009

Digital Asheville:
Information Age Networking

Sun, March 8, 6pm – 8pm
Rosetta’s Cafe
Rosetta’s Soup:  Tomato Vegetable

6:20 : The meeting begins with a reading of the Mission Statement.
Jen goes over the history of the project and proceeds to cover the future meetings.

6:30 : Introductions (8 members)
Two people from MAIN & two people from URTV are present for discussions.  Others are interested members of the community.
6:40 : Digital Age Asheville Discussion Topics:
How do we keep public informed?
What can we do to better meet the needs of the community?
Looking at broad spectrum of connecting internet, radio, blogs, Wikipedia, and Public Access Channels.
Quote from session: “Asheville’s Wiki is Weak-i

6:45 : Floor opens to discussions. Discussion includes:
Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) wants to provide city-wide Internet Service.
(Internet needs to be considered a utility and thus have federal aid backing to get it to every home in America).
MAIN’s currently has ten (10) operational neighborhoods (less than 10% of Asheville).
The future is having WiFi over cell phone networks and utilizing mobile program technology to connect us (i.e. Twitter).
Quote from session: “The Digital Information Age makes the Industrial Age look like the Bronze Age
6:55 : How we teach our children via the internet (Education in the information age).
Universal access & consolidating resources;
MAIN donates computers to community centers for at-risk-youth;
MAIN is working with Asheville City Schools;
Radio wattage increases and costs;
WPVM vs MAIN;  (barely touched on reorganization issues – too touchy of a subject for this meeting – JB)
Community Radio Act (introduced in 2007 & currently dead in committee)
White Space Act (victory FCC ruling in late 2008 to take effect 2009);
Local RSS feeds & how the City of AVL needs to ‘get on the bandwagon.’
7:10 : What can we do to help support?
Volunteer time and offer monetary assistance.

7:15 : What would we do if money were no object?
Idea of mini-terminals located throughout Asheville-pay as you go internet.
Other options for public access to internet?
Helping MAIN with its 2.0 vision
The disintegration of pulp media (newspapers) & the future of legitimate investigative digital journalism.

The meeting adjourned by 7:30 with time left for personal discussions.

General Questions of Concern:
flux charging for public bandwidth use;
net neutrality;
assisting non-profit ISPs  & threat of Bellsouth Corp;
How to filter through information & not waste time on the internet?
Generation & economic barriers to access technology.
How to connect internet resources of Asheville?
Lack of proper city use of digital information technology.


Potential Solutions:
Internet for Everyone (internetforeveryone.org) which MAIN is staying involved with;
Nonprofit tutorials concerning computer familiarity and the internet;
Western Alliance gives CyberPals Program that gives out computers to disabled community;
Charlotte Street Computers does E-cycling – great local resource for community.

*video coming soon*

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