Posted: July 18, 2016
Newberry's digital transformation scheduled.
The Newberry Springs Community Alliance announces that through its efforts
in working with a number of collaborating entities, Frontier Communications has agreed to bring
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service to Newberry Springs.
In an e-mail to a Newberry Springs Community Alliance representative,
Ted Stimpfel, Frontier Communication's Associate Director of Construction - Western Region,
Rodney King, states that deployment of DSL in Newberry Springs is expected by the 2nd
Quarter of 2018.
While DSL is not fiber optic, and uses far slower and less dependable
telephone lines, it is a realistic installation for Newberry's
scattered population. How well it will work will largely depend upon the infrastructure
that Frontier designs into the system; such as how many DSL central distribution points are
established in widespread Newberry. DSL works well only within a few miles of a central
station, beyond that, the speed drops.
In a normal home scenario, a DSL modem box that provides a WiFi signal
for a couple hundred foot radius, is simply plugged into a telephone line. The DSL subchannel
is operated on the voice telephone line without any detectable notice. The voice phone
works as normal.
Funding for the Frontier DSL infrastructure, according to Stimpfel, is
expected to come from the federal Connect America Fund - Phase II
allotment acquired by Frontier to link rural, disadvantaged communities to the
World-Wide Web (www).
Stimpfel hopes that Frontier will adopt a discounted monthly service fee
for low-income households similiar to
offered by AT&T and many other carrier Internet Service Providers (ISPs). "Pouring money
into an Internet infrastructure for an improverished rural area is not beneficial unless the
local residents can afford the service," says Stimpfel.
At the time of this news release, the expected speeds of the DSL
service is not known. Under CAF II guidelines, says Stimpfel, "the minimum
download speed is 10mbps, 1mbps upload. Under a special exemption, the download
speed can be dropped to 6mbps under CAF II in very difficult to serve areas; however,
that is not expected in Newberry." With sufficient central distribution stations,
100% minimum speed is obtainable.
The Newberry Springs Community Alliance began lobbying for high-speed
broadband service approximately two years ago, deeming it a critical element for Newberry's
economic development, education and safety of its residents, and social lifestyle.
During a California Public Utilities Commission
in July 2015 in Claremont, California, on Frontier Communication's proposed takeover
of Verizon's landlines, Stimpfel asserted before PUC Commissioner Catherine Sandoval
and Judge Karl J. Bemesderfer the need for broadband service in Newberry Springs.
Teaming with the legal counsel for the California Emerging Technology
Fund, the Newberry Springs Community Alliance prepared a declaration that was presented
before the California Pubic Utilities Commission; and the Alliance solicited the local
chamber, property owners association, family service center, CEQA-NOW, and the CSD, who
all assisted in arranging letters being sent to the
The Newberry Springs Community Alliance also teamed with the Inland
Empire Regional Broadband Consortium, and others, in displaying the need of dependable
broadband service in Newberry. The modus operandi, says Stimpfel, was to
keep the name Newberry Springs in the broadband forefront. Whenever possible,
the community's name was lobbied.
For the July 12, 2016, County of San Bernardino's Board of Supervisors'
meeting, First District supervisor, and the board's Vice Chairman, Robert Lovingood,
arranged for Frontier Communications' regional leaders to attend the
to listen to, and address, complaints from county businesses and residents over landline
and Internet connectivity problems.
Stimpfel met with Regina Weatherspoon-Bell of Lovingood's staff at
Lovingood's Victorville office the week prior to the board's meeting. Weatherspoon-Bell
felt that Lovingood would welcome comments at the board's upcoming meeting on the "Digital
Divide" that separates rural, economically struggling Newberry Springs from sharing in the
opportunities afforded by broadband that most third-world countries now enjoy.
During the July 12 , 2016 meeting, Stimpfel spoke before the board and
Frontier Communication officials stressing the broadband need in Newberry. After
the meeting, Stimpfel networked with Frontier's staff. What resulted was Frontier's
announcement 3-days later that DSL is now being planned for Newberry Springs.
Stimpfel credits this accomplishment on all those who collaborated
in keeping the name Newberry Springs 'squeaking;' those who sent in letters to the California
PUC, and those who worked within their local organizations to get the word out.
Stimpfel expressed the belief that Frontier Communications is a fantastic,
growing company that has always desired to extend its Internet connection
to Newberry Springs. That it was only a matter of having the thinly populated
community demonstrate its support for the costly infrastructure.
Special appreciation and recognition must be given, says Stimpfel, to Supervisor
Robert Lovingood. In bringing Frontier before the county's board, Lovingood "provided
the opportunity of Newberry's broadband need to be lobbied; and that led to Frontier selecting
Newberry Springs as a winning recipient of its limited CAF II funds."
• • •
*The Newberry Springs Community Alliance is a social-media
community based organization (CBO) and is not a part of the Newberry Springs'
property owners association, Chamber, local economic development association,
nor other organization.