An Extremely Important Meeting
For Newberry Springs
May 16, 2023
Posted: May 6, 2023
Newberry Springs Community Alliance
by Ted Stimpfel
Please support Newberry.
Do you want fast Internet service? The time
to act is now!
Today, Newberry Springs is at a pivotal crossroads
when it comes to accessing technology. We can access it today
by acquiring the dependable fiber optics gateway, or we can continue
to struggle with Internet service.
Thanks to the pandemic, the federal government
has made 42 billion dollars available to have homes and businesses
connected with high-speed fiber optic cable. Separate money has
also been made available for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
which provides subsidized monthly Internet service.
Up to $2 billion could be allocated to California's
"Last Mile" fiber connections for residences. The catch is,
Newberry Springs has to ask for it. We need to say why we, as an
underserved and disadvantaged community, deserve our equitable share.
Acquiring fiber optic linkage is critical for
the future growth of Newberry. Without fiber, Newberry will continue
to fall further behind. Video streaming is necessary for telehealth,
business connections, education, security cams, and numerous other
The State is preparing an application plan to submit
to the federal government's National Telecommunication Information
Administration (NTIA) requesting the funds.
In order for California to bolster its plan and
acquire the maximum amount of dollars possible, the State is holding
20 regional meetings. The closest one to Newberry
Springs will be held at Cal State U. San Bernardino on May 16th.
It will be the State's 16th regional meeting.
The State (literally) wants to hear from Newberry.
It wants speakers and non-speakers attending the workshop so that it
can incorporate our data and cries for assistance into its plan.
This is a one-shot opportunity for Newberry Springs.
If we can provide a large delegation at the
workshop, we will have the advantage of acquiring high-speed fiber
connections directly to all of our homes and businesses. If we fail
to show attendance, your final connection to the national fiber optic
system might be with a much slower copper or Wi-Fi connection.
The meeting will be attended by major State
players like the PUC and the Department of Technology. The federal
California Program Officer with the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration, along with elected federal, state, and
local officials, will be participating.
Newberry's current Internet service providers have
been providing substandard speed, capacity, and dependability. At
the workshop, residents can voice their frustration and needs.
The workshop on May 16th will last about 4 hours
from 2 P.M. to 6 P.M.
During the workshop, there will be two one-hour
roundtable discussions where attendees can give the State a breakdown
of why we need fiber optic connections. So, even those uncomfortable
with speaking, can listen in and contribute input at the roundtables.
No Internet Service Provider (ISP) wants to tackle
the high cost of providing fiber to poorly populated and scattered
residences in a rural community. However, if Newberry presents its case
well, the high costs will be subsidized by the federal government.
Newberry Springs will probably never get another chance to get
federal funding for fiber optics.
Please attend this meeting and consider ride-sharing
with a neighbor. Due to the importance, please pass the word along to
your neighbors, church group, and everyone you locally associate with
to have them participate.
For those unable to attend but wish to participate,
you can write a letter and the delegation can submit it to the State
at the meeting. Your letter can also be discussed at the roundtable
working groups to emphasize your key concerns.
Free parking will be provided to those registering.
I have been asked to provide some points of concern
that our delegates can utilize. I am posting a few that come to mind.
• Newberry Springs is an economically, disadvantaged
community that is a digital desert that has been
• Newberry Springs has inadequate local connectivity.
• Congested networks.
• Affordability of devices for the economically disadvantaged.
• Affordability of connection.
• Lack of infrastructure.
• Poor options.
• Lack of reliability.
• Lack of security and emergency connectivity.
• Accessibility to digital tools and services for
• Aging population with a lack of digital literacy.
• Medical/health access is seriously limited due
to the lack of telehealth and virtual care.
• We have been waiting for 10 years, stuck with
Frontier's 10-1 speed.
• Digital connectivity needs to cover all populations.
• Need to have outreach to assist the digitally illiterate.
• Funding needs to be flexible and directed towards
• Impacts on personal and community economic stability.
• Due to Newberry's high winds, we need buried fiber
and not pole-suspended fiber cable.
• Rural residents are people too and deserve equity.
• How do you survive with everything in the cloud
when you can not access it?
• Can't find lost pets on Facebook without access.
• We need fiber optic to be done right the first
time so that it doesn't need to be redone later.
• The U.S. Surgeon General declared a new public
health epidemic in America, loneliness. A new
report finds loneliness can have profound effects
on mental health as well as heart disease, stroke
and dementia. We need fiber optics to bring our
rural and isolated people together.
• Disadvantaged individuals who depend upon, qualify,
and receive government support should automatically
be qualified for Internet Service Provider service
without additional restrictive qualifications being
required by the provider.
• Newberry Springs is a designated Environmental
Justice Focus Area for infrastructure improvements.
Should you have any questions, or wish to join our Newberry Springs
delegation, please contact us at:
Registration for the event can be done through this link.