State of California Technology Agency
Panel Discussion Forum on Broadband Adoption Oakland, California
April 14, 2011 SUNNE McPEAK: Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. I’m Sunne McPeak with the California Emerging
Technology Fund, and it is my pleasure to welcome you back to the second panel in Bridging
the Digital Divide in California and the announcement around mobile apps and the competition that
the Knight Foundation has made possible in partnership with the Federal Communications
Commission. Chairman Genachowski just announced a very
exciting opportunity for community developers to actually use public data, public available
databases to develop applications for mobile devices that will reach those who are today
the least included in our digital world. What we want to do with this panel is actually
have first a presentation by everyone around what is going on in California and then open
it up for a conversation with all of you. I do want to say for the audience that is
watching us online and who has heard this announcement that those of you in this room
today represent the leaders in California. It is an amazing collection of community leaders,
public officials, the provider community, who have been the pioneers, who have been
pioneers for a long time in digital inclusion, in closing the digital divide, and who represent
the heart and soul of the public/private partnership that the chairman talked about.
We are really pleased that the Federal Communications Commission also recognizes the work that’s
been done in California, that we’ve come from the work that was very pioneering on your
part in a very short time to being recognized nationally as a leader in digital inclusion.
And that is a salute to all of you, a tribute to your work and your dedication.
With that I’m going to turn to our leader in terms of broadband for the State of California
Administration from the California Technology Agency, Special Counsel, a former member of
the California Public Utilities Commission Jack Leutza is here representing the Commission
because they’re meeting right now. Our chairman of the California Emerging Technology Fund,
Mike Peevey, who is president, could not be here but sends his regards.
So the individual I’m introducing was a member of the California Public Utilities Commission
and also a member of the Federal Communications Commission. No one else has ever served in
all of these capacities, so that’s pretty important in and of itself. And she has also
chaired our California Emerging Technology Fund Board of Expert Advisers since their
inception. So on behalf of the State of California, the
Honorable Rachelle Chong. RACHELLE CHONG: Well, everybody, wasn’t that
quite an announcement. I’m sort of giggly about it. I wanted to welcome everybody to the event.
Honestly, this is just a tremendous honor for the Chairman of the FCC to choose the
Bay Area, to choose California for the site of the announcement about this exciting Mobile
Apps for Communities contest. I wanted to personally extend a challenge to other states
in the nation to follow the path of California. As I mentioned in my earlier remarks, California
as a policy has made as many state databases available as it can for mobile developers
to take that data and build apps, particularly for our communities. And when we’re talking about our communities,
we’re not just talking about the communities with fancy phones; we’re talking about communities
whose only access to the Internet may be through their phone. And so we are so pleased to see
the FCC and the Knight Foundation recognize the importance of getting information literally
into the hands of traditionally underserved communities.
Now, in California we know from our work with the PPIC surveys annually done by ZeroDivide
and CETF, representatives here that a number of our community members only get information
through their smart phones, and they tend to be low income, they tend to be non English
speaking, they tend to be Hispanic or African American. And so in California we are very much committed
to getting information, particularly state, local and government information, to all communities,
which includes these traditionally underserved communities. So we are delighted to see a
spotlight put on the need for this and to see money being placed out there for a contest
so that we can get these apps developed for the entire population in the United States.
So we challenge other states today around the nation to follow California. We have made
a mobile template available for free for California applications, so if anyone needs information
about that, we encourage them to go to m.ca.gov and you will find information there about
how to develop apps consistent with the State’s template.
Also at my agency, the California Technology Agency, Carolyn Lawson in our group is also
an information source for anyone who is interested in developing those apps. Also, we would want to speak directly to the
local governments. They also have absolutely fantastic datasets, and we challenge them
to make their datasets available so that very uniquely local applications could be built
for those communities. And particularly I would like to encourage
our rural communities who feel sometimes that they’re off the information superhighway to
think hard about what they can offer maybe to match in a contest to develop a uniquely
local application for their region. We would love to see and facilitate those types of
mobile applications also. Thank you very much, and I appreciate being
here representing the State. SUNNE McPEAK: It is my pleasure to introduce
the next two speakers on behalf of the California Telehealth Network.
The Federal Communications Commission a few years ago announced a Telehealth Pilot Program
for the nation and invited applications that required matched funding. The California Emerging
Technology Fund is actually a funding partner, an investor in the California Telehealth Network,
and we are very pleased to see this important application of broadband to healthcare that
makes life easier for all of Californians. Eric Brown is the Chief Executive Officer
of the California Telehealth Network, and Dr. Tom Nesbitt is the pioneer in California,
recognized nationally in telehealth and telemedicine, from both U.C. Davis and here in his capacity
as cochair of the California Telehealth Network Board of Directors.
So, Eric and Tom. ERIC BROWN: Good morning, everybody, and I’m
excited to be here this morning. I got a chance to say thank you to the guy
whose agency funds the California Telehealth Network, Chairman Genachowski, and at the
same time make a bid for more money from the FCC, because as I’ll explain in a minute,
the project is off to a great start and we’re quickly seeing that there’s going to be a
need for services beyond even what the original vision was.
So for those of you who may not be familiar with it, the California Telehealth Network
is a statewide broadband network that’s being deployed in the state of California to provide
services primarily targeted initially to rural and medically underserved communities. “Medically
underserved” generally refers to urban areas where you may have population density but
you don’t have access to healthcare. We were initially funded through an award
from the FCC’s Rural Healthcare Pilot Program. It’s a $22.1 million award. It’s the largest
state award granted at this point. It covers 85% of the cost of deploying broadband to
these Rural Healthcare Pilot Program eligible sites.
We’re very fortunate here in the state of California that the California Emerging Technology
Fund, Sunne’s organization, put up the match for the remaining 15%. So we’re one of the
few states where 100% of the deployment costs for this network are covered. In addition, we have through the CPUC, the
Public Utilities Commission, the California Teleconnect Fund provides a 7.5% recurring
revenue credit, so it allows us to go lease broadband circuits for healthcare sites in
rural and medically underserved areas of the state.
We currently offer all sites at least a T 1 or 1.5 meg connection, but we have the capability
to do pretty much anything that they’d like us to do. Most of our sites remember, these
are mostly rural sites 65 to 70% of the sites right now are taking T 1s. If you think about
some of the more remote areas of the state Death Valley, some places in Imperial County
or any of the eastern Sierras or the northeastern corner of the state many of these healthcare
sites, if they can get access to broadband it’s very expensive and often unreliable.
So I know some folks will say, well, why are you doing a T 1? Because actually in some
areas of the state that’s a huge step up from what sites have available today. But we also
offer 6, 10 and 45 meg circuits, and are seeing a great uptake on those as well. We call it a Medical Grade Network. What we
mean by that is sites that are connected to the CTN have a direct point to point connection.
All traffic that rides on the network is never exposed to the public Internet. So we think
that’s very important from a security and performance standpoint. If you think about
what happens when there are times of a national disaster or emergency, people get on the Internet.
And we think it’s very important that our healthcare sites have the capability during
those time frames to allow their traffic to travel without competing with all the other
traffic. Secondly, the architecture of the network
utilizes an MPLS architecture which basically means we can prioritize the types of data
streams that travel across the network first. So if you think about, again, the example
of an emergency room doc that’s doing a consultation for a remote healthcare site, you wouldn’t
want that video transmission to be interrupted. And so we have the ability to tag those bits
of data and make sure that they travel across the network first. And so that’s what we mean
by Medical Grade Network. We’re in some very exciting discussions right
now with a variety of applications providers who are looking at leveraging the capabilities
of this network. We have over 850 sites that have been deemed eligible to participate in
this Rural Healthcare Pilot Program subsidy. We are taking additional applications every
month. We are in the process of activating circuits.
We started just before the Christmas holidays on kind of go slow make sure what we’re doing
rate. We’re up to about 30 sites and we’re planning to activate 20 to 30 sites a month.
AT&T is our statewide master vendor which means we lease the circuits from AT&T. In
instances where the site is located outside of the AT&T footprint, AT&T arranges for the
last mile connection. We recently announced in conjunction with
what we’re doing let me back up. So in conjunction with the infrastructure
money that we have from the Rural Healthcare Pilot Program and the Emerging Technology
Fund, we last fall, along with U.C. Davis, were awarded ARRA money, a BTOP grant, Broadband
Technology Opportunity grant, which helps fund the operating expenses of the CTN, but
also goes further in terms of helping us in the deployment of 15 what we call technology
enabled E Health communities. And I’ll turn it over to Dr. Nesbitt and let
him talk a little bit more. Because as we talk about applications, it’s one thing to
deploy the broadband; it’s quite another to figure out what applications ought to ride
on the network to help leverage the network that we’re building. We’re exciting about
some of the proposals we’re seeing from some of these E Health communities that we think
will prove out to be great applications for expansion in the long term.
So Tom? TOM NESBITT: Well, thank you. And thank you,
Sunne, for your nice comments. You know, I work at an academic health system,
and we do $200 million worth of research per year at that institution. We have a lot of
grants and we’re discovering new things. We have a series of buildings that are cancer
researchers. But I try and remind all of us at our institution
and everybody I talk to that if we discover the cure for cancer but only half the people
with cancer have access to that cure, we’ve only discovered half the cure for cancer;
that if we don’t get the science, the medical science and the medical expertise to people
who need it, it’s worthless. It isn’t good enough just for us to put it
in a journal and have people at Sloan Kettering or MD Anderson or our U.C. Davis, NCI, National
Cancer Institute Cancer Center get it. If there are people out in communities, underserved
communities that don’t have access to that science, that science is not valuable.
And so that’s really one of the themes that kind of drives what we’re trying to do here.
Yes, it’s critical that we have the infrastructure that is secure and has the quality of service
we need to move expertise from one place to another. But we have to also begin to develop
these broadband dependent applications that really improve the quality of healthcare.
The other thing I’d like to say is there’s really two important kinds of information,
information expertise, that are critical for quality healthcare. One is information about individuals, about
patients. You know, what their medical record is, what allergies they have, what problems
they have, et cetera. There’s a lot of effort going on, a lot of money being spent on electronic
medical records right now, electronic health records and personal health records. And one
of the things about the network is our network is going to be able to move that information
from one place to another to where that patient is.
But the second kind of information is the expertise that applies to that patient, and
unfortunately that expertise is maldistributed in this state and in this country. In this
state there’s a lot of expertise that exists in urban areas, particularly along the coast.
And some of that expertise doesn’t get to patients with rare kinds of arthritis in the
Central Valley and those kinds of things. What we are trying to do is not only to lay
the digital highway for healthcare for that kind of information to flow from places with
the expertise to places without the expertise, but we’re also trying to encourage and incent
and train people how to use the technology that actually moves those kinds of expertise
from one place to another. So Eric mentioned our BTOP grant, our Sustainable
Broadband Adoption money. $9.1 million came from the Federal Government. We have $4.7
million that’s coming from match partners in that. And one of the things we’re doing
is supporting the operations of the California Telehealth Network. A second thing that we’re doing is we’re creating
a lot of training materials, a very, very extensive I don’t think there’s probably as
big of an array of training materials that range from how to do telemedicine to how to
use electronic health records to change management in a federally qualified health center in
terms of adopting technology. Those kinds of materials are being developed by experts
from around the state and country. And those will be available to people whether or not
you’re part of this program. We’re trying to figure out ways to make those training
materials available. But the third thing that Eric spoke about
is these model E Health communities. And we put out an RFP and we got 39 communities that
applied. We’re in the process of selecting those communities. And let me just tell you
what that means. These are communities, self defined. People can define their community.
It may be a group of federally qualified health centers in a public health department, in
a tribal site. But what we’re looking for are communities that are coming together to
utilize that technology to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare services in
the community. And some of the sites that we have prioritized
are clinics, hospitals, community colleges, tribal sites, libraries, public health, county
mental health, those kinds of facilities. And the idea is that if those can begin to
work together and exchange information, if the emergency department at the local hospital
can connect to the skilled nursing facility and prevent a transport that’s unnecessary
because somebody had a fever and they can do something very quickly, or if we can use
the community college to train that is training medical assistants, if we can make a broadband
connection out there and provide expertise from a university setting to provide better
training, if we can connect out to a tribal site, if we can connect to the library to
provide broadband access for people not only to get online and get enrolled in Medi Cal
but also for a doctor at the federally qualified health center to do a prescription for someone
to go out to the public library and learn about chronic disease management in their
language and in their culture from materials that we’ve put on that computer, I think that
community is healthier. So the communities are defining how they’re
going to use their broadband connections to link together to improve accessibility and
quality of healthcare. And we’re very, very excited about that. We
hope by June to be making announcements about those communities. There’s some urban, there’s
some rural that I’m sure we’ll have. They’ll be throughout the state. And I think they’ll
serve as models for other communities to learn how to use broadband effectively to improve
the healthcare of the people in their area. Thank you. SUNNE McPEAK: Excellent. Thank you so much,
Eric and Tom. I want to also acknowledge we have a director
of the board of CTN also with us, Lora Gilmore from the Department of Managed Health Care
Services or Department of Managed Health Care in California, who was part of my agency when
I had the opportunity to work for the State. I think it’s amazing what is going on in California
in that you have the University of California in the same room with all the other state
agencies and with the providers and with investors, and it’s an alignment of those interests that
actually is part of, if you will, the secret sauce of why is it working in California.
Chairman Genachowski talked about public/private partnerships, and that’s what is represented
here today. It’s literally the government working closer with its own people, who are
the bosses in a democracy, but it is getting everyone in the same room.
You’ve heard from Barrie Hathaway about the Stride Center that is a partner with the California
Emerging Technology Fund. We’ve got many other partners in this room. So OCCUR, David. We’ve got the ReliaTech that
was introduced, Ben. We’ve got CARAT. We’ve got OTX. There was the Digital 101. We’ve
got the Latina Chicana Foundation. We have TechSoup.
Who have I missed that wants to shout out that they’re a partner? And you are the CAMINOS. Thank you so much,
Jesse, I appreciate you. And of course ZeroDivide which is ZeroDivide
is our partner in doing the surveying as Rachelle Chong mentioned so that we keep tracking what’s
going on. And then of course EmpowerNet, I’m not going
to miss Joe and EmpowerNet. Who else is sitting in this Youth Radio, thank
you. You have to declare yourselves if I’m not seeing you. Who else have I missed?
Yes, Microsoft. And Microsoft has been a partner with our School to Home program. Who else is in this room are all of the companies?
You’ve all heard the reference to many of them. Of course CETF is capitalized by AT&T
and Verizon, so Eric and Kirk are here. But we’ve also got Comcast, so John is here. We’ve
got Time Warner. We’ve got Cox. Which other providers are in this room? T Mobile. Okay. You’re being acquired by some
other company at this point, right? A merger, the AT&T folks. So now here’s the pitch I’m going to make.
AT&T and Verizon agreed with the PUC to be investors in CETF. We keep telling the rest
of you, you also can be investors and partners, and we want you to be that way. And truly,
working with all of the community organizations that I just called out directly is going to
be a far better way to close the digital divide than us doing it only with one side of the
equation or the other. As I turn to introduce Barrie, he’s speaking
on behalf of all of you. And I want to also acknowledge the CETF team
who is here: Susan Walters who is our Senior VP for all of our grant applications; Luis
Arteaga who is our director. These people clapping for you want more money.
I mean, you understand what’s going on. Luis Arteaga heads up our emerging markets
and our Get Connected program that you see here. We have both Audrey Chiang and Jennifer
Riggs who are here that are thank you, there they are who did our NTIA program. So Jennifer
is back there. So the team from CETF is really the one who
makes sure that we work closely with our partners and they succeed.
So with that, Barrie, again, on behalf of all of us here we want to thank you and the
Stride Center team and your social venture companies, ReliaTech and EmpowerNet, for making
this such a wonderful event today and giving everyone the food in this room. So thank you.
Barrie Hathaway. BARRIE HATHAWAY: Thank you, Sunne. It really
is amazing for the Stride Center to be sort of the host of an event like this. We’re very
honored and pleased for that. And I’m glad you waited for the last minute, Sunne, to
tell the other grantees that I’ll be representing them, because I’m not sure they he would have
seen that in the same light as you do. Only kidding. They would have been all over me
to say don’t forget this and don’t forget that and I would have forgotten it all, I’m
sure. Yeah, I want to acknowledge a couple things
from the front here. The Stride Center has been around since 1999, originally founded
as Street Tech. In fact the founder, Paul Lamb, is here today. And we have been really
focusing on this idea of poverty alleviation, and have known from the very beginning that
technology was really the key to a lot of doors that the clients we want to serve needed.
And over the years we’ve grown our program so we’re sort of addressing a continuum of
the digital divide. We have very much of a start to nearly end, if you will, from our
perspective. We are currently under the auspices of a terrific
grant from the stimulus funding. That is the Access to Careers and Technology Grant, and
it’s a really amazing and welcome recognition that there are careers in IT that will sustain
our community members. And
so I want to say a little bit about that. But before I do, I want to acknowledge that
the Federal Government has stepped in with this stimulus funding to help us in this moment,
but all along we have been being supported by companies like CETF and Microsoft and Wells
Fargo. And I hope very soon, Ken, Comcast. And it would be really great if AT&T was stepping
up to that as well. So we have been around for quite a long time
working with technology companies in this community to not only get support for our
programs but to place our students. So let me talk a little bit about the continuum that
we’re talking about. You’ve heard a lot about this idea of how
broadband itself is a tool for our communities, the aspects of our communities. Now we’re
talking about those elements of our communities that are not getting that access today.
So let’s bring it down to our very own community right here in Oakland. We have a tremendous
need. I want to have you picture an individual that will help me to illustrate points that
I would like to make today. Imagine a young single parent. All right?
And imagine the things that they’re facing. Let’s talk about a young single parent who
is out of work right now. And the things that that young single parent is going to need
every single day. They’re going to need to be able to apply
for a job. They’re going to need a job. They’re probably going to need some kind of training
if they’re in the situation that most of the people that we’re talking about are in. She
might have medical problems with her children that she is not going to have access to getting
online to see if she doesn’t have a computer at home. She might need to know where she
can get the best price for something, where the best schools are, where the local providers
of services are. She might want to apply for services that she has access to but can’t
get to. Without the simple use of a computer at home
and the ability to have broadband access at home, that young, single parent is at a tremendous
disadvantage. Tremendous disadvantage. If we can bring to her the most basic of resources
a computer and access to technology and let’s not stop there because that’s really not enough.
Let’s make sure that she has some training so she knows how to use technology. And let’s
make sure she has access to some high quality tech support if in fact her computer goes
down. Now what kind of position is this young woman
in? Now she has access to all the things that we just talked about, and suddenly her world
is opened up in a completely different way. And let’s take it one step further. Let’s
imagine that she could actually become adept enough at technology she could get a job in
the technology field. Let’s talk a little bit about the technology
field from a jobs perspective. This is a field that comes with a credential in the form of
technical certifications that are recognized by employers across the world. And these credentials
don’t require a two or four year degree to get; they require training and passing the
exam. So a person who is in a very underserved position gets a thing called a credential
that opens doors for them in the field. The IT field offers good pay even at the entry
level, so they can actually hope to not just get out of poverty but to stay out of poverty.
And the staying out part comes from good pay, but it also comes from this upward mobility
that the IT field offers to people. So if you advance your certifications, get another
certification and another, you begin working your way through the field, and there is an
incredible career ladder in the IT sector that is ideal for somebody coming from this
potentially lack of education and lack of other skills.
And importantly, very importantly, there are going to be jobs for this person when they
finish the training that they’re going through. Can you imagine a sector of our economy today
that is not sitting on a foundation of technology? Everything that we’re hearing today, apps
development, mobile technology, cloud computing, the medical industry is moving toward on line
records. There is going to be a tremendous amount of technology there. Everything that
we’re doing in our economies are moving towards technology more and more. We have to recognize
that that means that there are jobs for people there as well.
But here we have a very difficult population to serve because they don’t have access to
these things. They don’t have access to technology. They don’t have access to broadband. They
don’t have access to training that’s going to not just give them a technical certification
but teach them how to be in a professional environment. So all of these things we can
do with technology, frankly. So we can take them from very basic digital
access to basic digital literacy to more deep digital literacy to actual careers in IT. So the Stride Center, that’s what the Stride
Center is doing, that’s what OTX West is doing, that’s what OCCUR is doing, that’s what all
of us are doing. We are in some place on that continuum.
So at the Stride Center we have a couple of things that I think it’s important that are
funded by this proposal that are helping us to do this work. One is our technology business
I mentioned, ReliaTech. Now, ReliaTech is a straight up technology
support business where the geek squad but we don’t have geeks at the geek squad, we
have Stride Center graduates at ReliaTech. Ben Delaney, by the way, is the CEO of ReliaTech. ReliaTech is hiring graduates from the Stride
Center. Everybody except for Ben who works there is a graduate of the Stride Center.
We provide paid internships to 30 individuals a year. That number is growing, and volunteer
internships to those who want them, so they’re getting work experience. And we know that
somebody who has an internship will have a much greater potential of getting a job when
they’re finished because that internship, that work experience is golden in terms of
the potential of getting a job. So ReliaTech helps us very much by not only
providing jobs and internships for our students but provides great quality, quality equal
to the quality of the OTX West refurbished computers, product that are going out into
the community and giving access to that young single mother that would not otherwise have
access to a computer. And ReliaTech positions itself at stores in
low income communities so people in those communities have access to good quality, low
cost tech support. And by the way, even for somebody who is not low income, it’s a great
deal and great service. So feel free to find us and use our services. We’d be thrilled
to have you. The other thing that we’re doing, and this
is largely funded by the app proposal and CETF, is the EmpowerNet launch that we’ve
just done in November. EmpowerNet is essentially a consulting business
that is vetting best practices and helping nonprofit organizations launch those best
practices with tools on our web site, empowernetcalifornia.org, consulting resources through EmpowerNet, in
some cases grants to help organizations launch those programs. But our idea is launching
best practice programs into nonprofits across the state of California to get these digital
literacy initiatives moving in a much faster way. And right now we’re launching A+ training
programs all at the Stride Center. So between ReliaTech, EmpowerNet and all the
other organizations we really are making a significant difference in our communities
around this digital literacy and digital divide, crossing the digital divide.
And I just want to say in closing it is such an honor to be here among all of you and at
this table, and thank you for having me. SUNNE McPEAK: Thank you. The Knight Foundation CEO Damian Thorman was
on the first panel and I had the opportunity to brief him this morning on what are we doing
in California. The Knight Foundation is based in Florida, in Miami, and so although he’s
pretty familiar with the West Coast and has lots of partners and grantees, I think he
actually became quite excited about the amazing spectrum of activity that is going on.
One of the parts of the continuum of breaking through this digital divide is getting IT
into the training of folks who need better jobs so that they have a future, and that
is what the Access to Careers and Technology does. That’s an ARRA, American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act NTIA program that has literally we have eleven partners. So CAMINOS and Youth
Radio and OCCUR, EmpowerNet along with Stride are all part of our partners that we have.
And Latina Chicana community is part of the BAA program, so we have another NTIA grant
that has eight partners. This is a pretty amazing effort, if you will,
to bring that many community based organizations together as partners and try to provide the
interface with the Federal Government. We also have School to Home. There are 500
plus low performing middle schools in California. And guess what, low performing middle schools
usually sit in the middle of low income neighborhoods. The very people that we’re trying to reach
to bring online, the poorest, maybe not English speaking, don’t have as high an education
attainment as the rest of Californians, those Californians that we’re trying to bring into
the digital world are the parents of the kids sitting in those low performing middle schools.
And all of the companies that are here AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, Cox, Microsoft
helped us design this program to integrate teaching, integrate technology into the teaching
and the learning. It involves parents being able to use that computer that the kid gets
in school, it actually goes home. And so this is an amazing effort. Once again,
a vision in California that is a blockbuster. It is not a pilot, it is not this notion we’re
going to do a few schools, it is: We have a commitment to get to all 539 low performing
middle schools in California and with this strategy bring those students into the 21st
Century and their parents across that digital divide. So we are very excited about that
partnership as well. In order to raise the awareness of their parents
and all of the folks not online, if you will, we have our Get Connected program. And we
have Lorna Walsh here to talk about the Community Technology Network and what it means to actually
get to the very folks that we hope will be a part of digital inclusion and to show the
value of the technology. So thank you, very much, Lorna, for being
here. LORNA WALSH: Thanks. I’m stepping in last
minute for Kami Griffiths who is Executive Director of CTN, CTN being Community Technology
Network SUNNE McPEAK: The other CTN. LORNA WALSH: Not to be confused with the other
CTN. So I was hoping to pass myself off as Kami today because CTN is very much Kami’s
baby, and I’ll talk a little bit about what it’s aiming to do. I’m volunteer manager.
In a kind of cruel irony, Kami is elsewhere delivery a webinar for TechSoup on volunteer
management through social networking, so we’ve got this really wrong today.
So CTN has been around for about two and a half years. Barrie can give you some of the
history if you’d like, because Barrie is formerly our chair of the board.
We focus at the moment on San Francisco, just San Francisco County at the moment, and we
are a partnership organization as the word “network” implies. We work to support providers
in the community helping people get online and get some really basic skills. So even
before smart phones and mobile applications are being used to help people further, we
are really at the foundational level of helping people really get to grips with some of the
technology from the start and even learning how to use a mouse. It’s really quite simple.
So CTN is one and a half staff. I’m the half. So we manage to cover a lot of ground with
our partners. So the kinds of services that we provide our
partners are through our web site, ctnbayarea.org, we have a directory of computer centers which
we’re expanding all the time. And we have a duty to get, I think, at least 200 centers.
You’d be surprised at how many public access and open access computer centers there are
in just San Francisco alone. Our directory will cover all of the Bay Area in time.
Resources, we also have a directory of resources online for both learners and trainers. So
the volunteers that we recruit to help people in the community will be able to access a
lot of the resources through our web site as kind of a one stop shop for some of that
material. So there’s stuff from Microsoft, stuff from Google, there’s some stuff they’ve
created, but also stuff that’s been created by communities that’s been most helpful to
them. And this is a tour that’s aggregating resources from all over the country and from
further. So obviously there’s a lot of best practice going on in other parts of the world,
Europe in particular I have to fly that flag that we can learn from here. So our resources
is a good draw for a lot of that material. The other thing and the thing that I’m responsible
for is recruiting volunteers to go into communities and into computer centers as lab monitors
just to be there if people are in a computer lab and are struggling, but also our volunteers
are helping people through specific classes and courses, whether it’s from job search
through to accommodation search. Those are some of the biggest areas that we help people
with. And the volunteers are really helping people,
the kind of people that Barrie talked about, from some of the most vulnerable and low income
communities in San Francisco. And CTN really believes that actually we have
a major responsibility to these people who are currently digitally excluded. It’s not
just about, oh, wouldn’t it be nice if people were able to find a job more easily. We owe
it to people. We have created a world where everything is moving online. It suits corporations
to have everything online, it’s a cost cutting exercise as well as a making life easier exercise.
But in the process of pushing forward we are leaving people behind, people who formerly
could cope more than adequately with the services available. So I wanted to make that absolutely
clear that the services CTN is providing, it’s because we have a duty of care to people
who have been left behind by the innovation and the rush to make things as fast, as quick
and as online as possible. It’s also important to really explain what
we mean by digital literacy. CTN really believes that literacy isn’t really about knowing what
buttons to press. It’s the same thing as being able to read. You might be able to read the
words, say the words, identify the words, but that’s really just a part of it. So literacy
for us is about access, it’s about understanding, and it’s about creation.
So the first step and this is what at CTN we do, primarily is to give people access
to the equipment, to some of the basic skills, to some of the really, really basic language
that they need to be able to speak. The understanding bit is where it gets more
complicated. It’s about, well, actually, how do we use that knowledge that we have most
effectively. And you can see this perhaps in young people who are arguably the most
digital literate generation ever. I mean, there’s three year olds able to use an iPad.
It’s frightening. But they know the technology, they know what
button to press, they know where to go for stuff, but how are they actually using it?
Are they being incredibly narrow in their use of the Internet? Are they just looking
at it to play games? Are they just focusing on very specific sites? It might just be that
they spend the whole time on Facebook. Does that mean that they are digitally literate?
We would argue that perhaps not quite. There’s a long way for them to go before they’re using
that well. And the final part of the literacy equation,
I suppose, is the creation. We don’t want people just to be passive consumers. We want
people to be able to use their knowledge of technology to create stuff to be good digital
citizens, to be able to contribute to democracy and debate and conversation in their community
and to contribute back. So that might be creating their own web site, it might be creating a
video that they can put up online. That’s the kind of most advanced step.
And when all of those elements come together, then you have a truly digitally literate person.
So CTN is really part of the solution, but there’s a whole range of other things that
can be going on that partners in this room and others can help develop that basic access.
So what else did I have to say. We’re not looking at the moment at mobile
devices. CTN isn’t currently doing anything around that, although increasingly people’s
only access to the Internet will probably be through their mobile device or at least
that’s their principal one of contact. So one of the challenges CTN has is constantly
keeping up with this innovation. And in time, I expect in the next few years, we’ll be looking
at getting a lot more activity around mobile devices specifically. So if somebody has one,
it’s teaching them to get the most out of that device and helping them along that route.
So, what else do I have to say. SUNNE McPEAK: I think actually you did a great
job stepping in and being the half, and I appreciate that. I know my staff thinks that
they live this notion of I tell them you only have to work a half a day and you can choose
whichever 12 hours those are. So I presume that that’s the kind of half time you put
in as well, Lorna. So thank you so much for that.
We actually are going to take your comments, and I’m going to actually call upon the PUC
first. So Jack and Michael and Robert can decide who is speaking, but this is fair warning
you’re going to have to come up and use this microphone because we want you to be recorded.
And this was Rachelle’s idea that we actually ask you to talk about initiatives at the PUC
followed by others who want to come forward and get your comments recorded for this broadcast.
The work that ZeroDivide and CETF and the Public Policy Institute of California are
doing on the surveying of how Californians use broadband will be helpful in this notion
of how to close the digital divide or what can we do with mobile applications. And thinking in terms of what’s just going
on here in Oakland, I wanted to announce that Mayor Quan, Jean Quan of Oakland and Joe Gross
with Sustainable Systems and our partners here in Oakland, OTX and OCCUR, will be launching
Get Connected Oakland in a week or so on the 28th of April.
So each community across California, all 58 counties and 481 cities, we are attempting
to get to adopt the Get Connected resolutions, and then taking the next step to spread that
word. To date, we have 42 of the 58 counties who have adopted these resolutions, so that
is a vast majority of California’s counties and we are getting to now all of the cities.
So with that, Jack, if you’ll head this up, and Mike if you also want to come forward
to announce what we’re doing in California with initiatives, and then anybody else who
would like to make a comment that we can record on this webinar, if you’ll just line up because
we need to have you speak into the microphone and see your beautiful and handsome faces.
And the thing that also you might want to just talk about and share with everybody in
this room, including the panel, is given that there is the National Broadband Plan that
has been adopted by the FCC, and that we in California are pursuing a goal of getting
to by 2015 98% of all households having access to high speed broadband and 80% of all Californians
actually subscribing, using it at home, what else do we need to know, or what else do we
need to do. You’ve heard a lot about what’s going on,
but we want to sort of help lift up the agenda in California and align it with the Federal
Communication Commission’s National Broadband Plan.
Jack Leutza. JACK LEUTZA: Thank you, Sunne, and thank you
for inviting me and my colleagues to comment on what the PUC is doing to actually implement
the kind of partnership concept that you have so eloquently talked about this morning. I’ve worked at the PUC for generations of
commissioners now, and California, I’m proud to say, has been a leader in making sure that
the most advanced services are available to Californians for all the benefits that everybody
in this room knows that they provide. Some of the things that we have done and continue
to do and are thinking or in the process of doing, a lot of you have spoken about our
California Teleconnect Fund which since 1999 has been providing discounted advanced telecommunication
services to schools, libraries, community based organizations, and the rural health
element is one that we have been particularly focusing on and developing in connection with
the state CTN. And that program has grown from a $10 million
program as recently as four or five years ago, and I think this year the budget is about
$70 million. We also were innovative when Commissioner Chong was an Acting Commissioner
to implement the Advanced Services Fund which really addresses the issue of connecting unserved
and underserved communities in California to the digital world.
And we’ve given out about $65 million in grants to a wide variety, I think there’s 57 projects
that we’re funding, in order to bring advanced services and broadband to places that otherwise
wouldn’t necessarily get it in a timely way that serves the communities that need those
services. And important to mention there is through
legislation that CETF and the Commission jointly sponsored last year, the California Legislature
and the Administration agreed that the Advanced Services Fund was beneficial enough to California
that they extended they gave us the direction to extend that program for about five more
years and gave us the authority to collect $125 million in revenues in order to continue
the grant program and also to develop that partnership concept by working with regional
consortia on determining where infrastructure is needed.
Also we’re getting into the area of promoting adoption and education and all the kinds of
things that people on this panel have discussed this morning. And the Commission is in the
process of developing modifications to our original program which we think was a great
success, but we’ve learned a lot and we’re trying to integrate new features to make the
program even better in the future. And we’re also kind of a focal point in California
for developing broadband mapping, and Michael Morris is sitting in the back of the room,
who works in the communications division and is the leader of the group that is charged
with developing interactive maps. It’s one of those on line databases that Rachelle talked
about, and it gives people who are interested in finding
a provider, developers who are looking for areas to develop, and bringing lots of information
that for years many people have said is an important thing to have.
And we’re right in the middle of we’ve gone online recently and we’re developing lots
of features related to the statewide broadband map. And we’re also the proud and happy recipients
of Recovery Act funds to extend that project. And we’re working with lots of other partners
in the State University community and others to work on adoptions. Looking for mobile applications
is a project that Michael could talk about in detail, but we’re working with GIS types
in the State University system to figure out where mobile broadband is available in California.
And I could spend a lot of time talking about these things, but that’s kind of a highlight
of what we’re doing. And the Commission is very committed to continuing to innovate in
the area of making sure that Californians aren’t just about phone service but broadband
is everywhere. SUNNE McPEAK: Thank you, Jack, so much for
on very short notice, in fact no notice at all, being able to do such a great job. Give
him a round of applause. Part of why this partnership is working in
California, I think, Rachelle, is because there is, as I’ve said and Chairman Genachowski
said this morning, the public/private collaboration. But a Public Utilities Commission with commissioners
who have vision about where is the world going and there’s been a lot of pioneering that’s
been done in California, thanks you to, to start the California Advanced Services Fund
for President Peevey, and then Susan Kennedy when she was the Commissioner to propose the
California Emerging Technology Fund that we sort of have these right ingredients working
with our regulators and the state government, the companies and the community organizations.
We have time for two more comments if anyone wants to be a part of this official digital
record to talk about what’s going on in the community or in California. You all look so
bright and so excited and not moving out of your seat. So Ben oh, Paul Lamb is there,
and then Ben. Okay, you two are making the remarks.
And Paul, as you’ve heard Barrie say, started Street Tech and what has evolved into the
Stride Center. Mr. Lamb. PAUL LAMB: Thank you, Sunne.
First of all, I just want to thank you and Rachelle for bringing the chairman here to
Oakland. It’s an amazing event if you think about it, and the fact that he was here at
the Stride Center instead of Google or Apple or something to make this announcement says
a lot about SUNNE McPEAK: Although we love Google and
Apple. PAUL LAMB: We do, we do. And actually, it’s
actually a question as opposed to a comment, and it’s directed at you, Rachelle.
Since we’re talking about mobile and mobile apps today, and you have talked about some
of the wonderful work that the State is doing relative to government apps, government services
and apps, I’m wondering sort of out loud whether there is an opportunity to use your connections
meaning the State’s connections and your pulpit, as it were, to assist low income communities
in developing their own apps, both to put people to work in an emerging industry, as
well as developing apps that are relevant to those people specifically as opposed to
having other folks develop apps and other mobile resources for them.
So I’m wondering if you could address that, see it as an opportunity and maybe encourage
folks in this room to get involved in that regard.
RACHELLE CHONG: Well, I think that’s a fantastic idea, Paul. And in fact, because we have our
community network through the efforts of CETF and others, I think we are perfectly positioned
to gather that information about what the low income communities want and then to help
guide developers, apps developers to produce those apps and hopefully win a prize to pay
for the app development. I think that’s great, Paul. We’re on it. Great idea. See, this is
why we brought you all together, the best minds in California.
SUNNE McPEAK: When I first met Paul, I’m going to if you get in line after Alicia. I’m making
exceptions to my own rules because I think there’s too much brilliance in the room. When I first met Paul he called himself “man
on a mission” and that’s what his card said. And the point I want to make is that just
like Margaret Mead always said: Never underestimate the ability of a small group of people to
change the course of history; indeed, nothing else ever has.
It’s always a small group of people that are committed that change the course of history,
and that is always because there is one or maybe two people who do something very courageous,
very pioneering. And so Paul, you’ve been that man on a mission.
Ben. BEN DELANEY: Thanks, Sunne, and I’d like to
add my thanks to you and Rachelle and the whole CETF team for bringing this event here.
This is spectacular. And thanks to you all for being here.
I wanted to do a little bit of lobbying, especially to the common carriers’ representatives in
the room and everyone. One of the problems that we’re having in getting broadband to
everyone, especially in underserved and low income neighbors, is the fact that people
are transient and they don’t have good credit reports and it makes it very difficult for
them to get a DSL line or a Comcast connection or any other permanent Internet broadband
connection. So to help eliminate that problem, ReliaTech
along with OTX West, Building Blocks for Kids and a number of other organizations are building
free WiFi networks to enable anybody with a WiFi card to have a free connection to the
Internet. Now, there’s two ways that we can allow this
to happen. One is that recently the E Rate program that brings the Internet to schools
has started a trial of loosening up their rules so that the schools can share their
high speed connection. This is very important, and I urge any of you who have the opportunity
to contact representatives at the PUC and in the Legislature to encourage them to loosen
up the E Rate program because the schools have tons of bandwidth that’s only used a
few hours a day. The second thing I’d like to ask, especially
to the common carrier representatives, is that you loosen up your terms of service,
because right now your terms of service say those connections cannot be shared. We need those connections. We need to be able
to hook up wireless radios to people’s Internet connections and share them. They are not being
hogged. We are doing it in some locations now. I won’t tell you because it’s technically
illegal, but we are literally throttling the bandwidth so that nobody is taking a whole
lot. And a lot of people getting a little bandwidth is better than nobody getting any.
So I urge you all to try to make these changes that will really enable us to cover that last
mile and get everybody connected to the Internet. Thank you very much. SUNNE McPEAK: Thank you, Ben. For the record, I want to say that if you
have an agreement with the California Emerging Technology Fund, we require you to do everything
to obey the laws. We do not allow funds to be used illegally. But we are very committed
people. And in terms of the companies here, we are really appreciative that you’re willing
to continue to be our partners and listen and take to heart all this conversation.
So I’m going to do is it Alicia and then Tina, and then we will cut it off. Roger, then you
get to speak. I didn’t realize you were standing in line. I thought you were just managing
everything. Okay, Alicia, Tina and Roger. Okay, Alicia.
ALICIA OROZCO: Good morning everyone. I’m with the Chicana/Latina Foundation, and I
wanted to let you know our goal in this project. We receive funding from the CETF and from
the Federal Government with a goal of signing up 1,327 new customers to the Internet. Not
customers, but, you know, being connected. We started last year and it took a long time
to work in the community. And that’s what I really wanted to share, what it takes to
do this work. One thing is we work mainly in the Latino
community, in rural areas, and I wanted to say that that is a community that is not connected
as much. And it’s not because they don’t care or want it, there are many impediments. Our
program, if you sign up for the Internet we give you a desk top refurbished computer fully
loaded with antivirus, the whole thing. So the people sign up and they’re able to connect
at home. And then in some cases up here in San Mateo County we give classes. We’re working
in the Monterey County where they receive money, a different program, to set up hubs
of computers to give classes, so we’re connecting the community to that.
This past quarter, January through March, we signed up 371 people to the Internet. Yeah,
we’re trying to keep up with it. I think we’ve already used up all the computers the two
refurbishing companies had. We had to lay off of them and found a different one in Chico.
We’re working with ReliaTech also for computers. But what I wanted to say is that the work
that we have had to do was to come into the community, you have to prove yourself that
you’re there for real. You have to work with the community organizations that are already
there. This is what we have found. You connect with them, you’re respectful of their work
and it begins to become a partnership. And that’s what’s really worked out for us is
to have these partnerships in the community. For instance, in the Salinas area, which is
we don’t even have to leaflet anymore. It’s word of mouth. It is amazing. We get 50 faxes
every day of proof that people have signed up, and then you have to follow up and all
of that. So anyway, in the Salinas area, it’s become
word of mouth. We’ve began to work with organizations. We have a union that lets us use their salon
union hall, I should say I went into Spanish there for a second salon. Where we give the
computers away. Well, this is a union that has been hit really hard. 80% of their people
are out of work. So I’m working with them to give them some computers to set up in the
union hall where they’re going to get classes and hopefully be able to find work, maybe
in a different area, et cetera. So that’s the kind of partnerships we have
set up. And we really it takes about four sort of touches or conversations with a person
before they’ll sign up. But now we’re seeing the fruit of our labor. So for those who are
just starting, harvest will come. You just have to plant, and it will work out.
And so thank you. SUNNE McPEAK: Thank you, Alicia. Alicia, give
her a round of applause. Alicia and the Chicana/Latina Foundation led
a workshop for the Regional Consortia a couple of weeks ago, Cal State Monterey Bay. And
I think that’s also a very interesting dynamic, grass roots and tree tops get brought together
with the companies. You heard her talk about 1,327 people to be
signed up. This is a result of us focused on outcomes, deliverables. It sort of gets
emblazoned in everybody’s mind because Susan and Luis are fierce about monitoring are these
partners able to really get the job done. And in fact, yes, they can and they do. It’s
a lot of hard work. But you in the private sector get a really high return on investment.
Your ROI by partnering with the CEOs and working with all of us who are task masters unlike
others, you can’t believe, they know that, you get a high ROI.
So let’s go to our partner ZeroDivide. Tina. TINA LEE: I’m going to sit down, better position. Thank you for gathering all of us here. It’s
so great that everybody in this room is committed to underserved communities and moving the
ball forward. So I want to make two pleas, and I’m making
these pleas as an educator, an activist, a technologist, an entrepreneur, as someone
who grew up in one of these communities. So first plea. We need to create demand for
government data. So we launched this great contest today, Apps for Communities. That
contest is contingent upon us regular people having access to government data, which for
the most part have been locked up. So it’s so great that the State is being liberated
finally. So I implore you to continue supporting open government efforts, specifically around
releasing data to the public. That really represents a gold mine. A lot
of folks in the Silicon Valley see this as the inputs that would help spur the next Internet
boom. And I’ve been watching the budget debates, and the fund that they had been allocating
towards making government more open, and I think it’s called the Electronic Government
Fund or something, they’re proposing to cut by 75%.
So without these inputs we can’t possibly get to where we want to go in terms of reaching
the potential that open data has for helping communities uplift themselves.
So plea number one: Please support open government efforts, specifically open data. Plea number two: Education. So happy to hear
that we’re making connections with schools. That’s a tremendous effort that you guys are
undertaking and hats off to you for going after that. So important. STEM education,
really important. But I think there are other ways for people
to plug in, too, right? We need to cultivate civic leaders, kids who aren’t just in STEM
but maybe they just have a great idea. They love service learning or community activism.
And they don’t know how to code, but they have an idea what app might be really helpful
to their communities. So I would implore you to support any type
of educational initiative, youth leadership development programs that cultivate civic
leadership, civic engagement, any type of program that challenges kids to merge their
passions with their skills and the needs that they see in the communities. Because what
we’re finding is that the developer community right now don’t necessarily understand the
types of problems that certain communities have. You just have to require it requires
a certain cultural literacy, really, to understand the nuances sometimes of how to solve certain
problems. So first plea, support open data; second plea,
support young, emerging, civic entrepreneurs. SUNNE McPEAK: Tina, thank you so much for
those remarks. And what I’m going to do, Roger, because you’re
going to be the capstone. You are the star to end this, but I wanted to just thank you
and underscore what you had to say. First, the amazing, I think, again, trail
blazing that the California Technology Agency of the State of California with Rachelle Chong
and Teri Takai there Bill Maile is here also with there he is Bill Maile with now the California
Technology Agency. And Acting Secretary Christy Quinlan. Making this data available is indeed
a departure from the past, and it is part of that open government.
And then thank you for giving that boost to education. And I just want to put the plug
in for School to Home. It will close both the achievement gap and the digital divide
in California, and it is entirely doable by just those of us in this room. I mean, it
will take a lot of work with schools, but those of us in this room have the ability
to make that happen. Michael Morris who does so much work in mapping
and helping all of you get information wanted to make this remark and I want to let him
do that MICHAEL MORRIS: Two things. Jack mentioned
the interactive broadband map, and I would invite everyone to visit that, www.broadbandmap.ca.gov,
brought to you from ARRA grants, as well as the FCC’s interactive map which is different,
but also they work together very well, www.broadbandmap.gov. Finally, the other thing the State is doing
is the result of legislation that was sponsored by State Senator Padilla last year, the California
Broadband Council, and Sunne is on that council as well as heads of many other state organizations,
state agencies, representatives from the Senate and the Assembly. And the purpose there is
to really get all of the agencies in the State working together to fulfill the broadband
goals. SUNNE McPEAK: Thank you, Michael, for adding
that information. When Lorna was speaking about the California
Technology Network Community Technology Network, the other CTN besides the California Telehealth
Network, I meant to mention that you can also get online in four different languages at
getconnectedtoday.com. Lots of information about how to actually
start using the technology, how to navigate the Internet and how to protect your children
in terms of on line Internet safety. So everybody has been thrilled today that
the Federal Communications Chairman Genachowski has been here today. They made a great announcement.
And this is amazing that there is a spotlight on California and for the entire spectrum
of California from our companies to our communities. Well, that doesn’t just happen because the
FCC decides to come to California. There is always someone, as I said, who makes things
happen. And in this case one of the two primary interfaces between the FCC and California
is going to do the wrap up and be the capstone. And so Roger Goldblatt from the FCC worked
with Ellen Satterwhite I do want to mention Ellen who was working closely with Roger but
to pull this all together. And they had changes thrown at them hourly and still pulled off
an amazing announcement and a great event with this conversation that’s all been recorded
and is being broadcast. So it’s my great pleasure to thank you, Roger,
for making it happen, and to ask you just to give us our closing words and our marching
orders ROGER GOLDBLATT: Is this on? SUNNE McPEAK: It is. It is on. You have to
speak into that so we can record it. ROGER GOLDBLATT: I was going to say, when
you’re from the FCC usually people hate us. We do a lot of events, and they hate us.
But basically the chairman was coming out here to meet with a lot of people in Silicon
Valley and he said, I’m not going to come unless I can meet with people in community
groups, and I want to announce this challenge. And, you know, we almost didn’t do this because
there was a thing called a budget, like even the Federal Government has a problem, too.
So we were going to not do this. And he’s essential. He would have gotten paid
but there’s no travel money. But anyway, so we called Rachelle who we’ve worked with a
lot, like on digital transition and a lot of things. She used to be a commissioner of
the FCC, also. Very young. I think she was the youngest. She was extremely young.
But anyway, we called her and said could you find us a really great venue that does something
as far as what these applications are all about. And she said, well, there’s this thing
called the Stride Center. And we got hooked up with Barrie and did this.
A week ago we did a soft launch luncheon in D.C. with this group called Youth Labs. And
it was all these inner city D.C. kids, the youngest being 8 years old who came up with
an app for his little robot. But some were practical, some weren’t. Like
this girl, she was probably about 12, she had an application for what to wear to school
that day. You know, like what has she worn, what matches what, what her friends and enemies
were wearing. It was actually quite good. The one that impressed me the most was this
high school guy who had a really hard time getting into college and finding out financing,
and he did an application to help other people who were in similar situations.
But if you know anybody who wants to apply, I mean, we don’t have money, but the Knight
Foundation (clip clop sounds). Is Damian here? Anyway, it’s substantial money, and it really
would be great if someone wins it. Anyway, I’ve worked for a lot of chairmen, but anyway,
so the chairman wanted to come, he wanted to come here. He really likes to hear these
stories. He talks all the time about how we need to get more people on broadband. It’s
like 30 percent of jobs you can only apply online, so you’re kind of screwed you’re kind
of not able to apply. Also in certain states I think you can’t get
unemployment insurance unless you apply online. Is that in California, too? It’s kind of a
mess. But anyway, I wanted to thank you all. By
the way, this will be on FCC.gov. We’re going to archive this video. But really, the FCC really is kind of a cool
place. I’ve been there like eleven years, and I kind of went through periods where I
didn’t think they cared about people. But we really, really do. I wouldn’t be doing
this. I wouldn’t be working with and Rachelle wouldn’t be because she’s smart enough to
know when we’re joking. But the chairman really wants this to happen,
and it’s really, really good. I’m going to turn this off. Thank you all. Thank you, Barrie. Thank you
everybody on the panel. Thank you SUNNE McPEAK: Thank you, Roger. Thank you all for coming, and please enjoy
the refreshments and some informal chat. o0o (Transcription by CookseyTrans.com)