Bellamy Bringing the Broadband?


Hunter Goosmann, the management mastermind behind the ERC’s regional broadband service, twittered a link to stimulus money dedicated to expanding broadband access:

Schedule and Milestones

Procurement for Grants Program Assistance Services March – June 2009
Award Contract for Grants Program Support June 2009
Preparation for Initial Solicitation for Proposals April – June 2009
Publish Notice of Funds Availability June 2009*
Initial Proposal Processing and Review Sept – Dec. 2009
Initial Grant Awards Made December 2009
Second Solicitation for Proposals Oct – Dec 2009
Third Solicitation for Proposals April – June 2010
All Awards to Be Made September 2010

Milestone Completion Date
Award Contract for Grants Program Support 06/30/2009
Initial Grant Awards Made 12/31/2009
All Awards to Be Made 09/30/2010

picture-22Mayor Bellamy’s had her eye on it. Mtn. X:

The push to expand broadband Internet access in and around Asheville may be building steam, thanks to federal stimulus money. Mayor Terry Bellamy is meeting with state representatives and looking for ways to use money made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help make it happen.

In April, Bellamy was invited to attend Innovation Generation, a policy summit in Washington, D.C., whose guest list featured industry leaders, federal representatives and other mayors, touting broadband’s importance in leveling the field in education, technology and industry. Cheaper than laying new cables and other infrastructure, it also has a broader reach.

That means it can help “make sure our children are computer-literate, have access and keep us competitive in education,” notes Bellamy.

Expanded access can help close the “digital divide” hurting lower-income people, says Jennifer Mayer, co-owner of Charlotte Street Computers, and high-speed wireless (such as 3G broadband) would be the quickest way to get it done.

Mayer, who’s working on the mayor’s re-election campaign, is also part of a push to place more computers in Asheville’s community centers. Championing broadband, she maintains, opens the door to improved education and communication in Asheville while making it a more attractive location for businesses.


  1. Bryan Freeborn says:

    This would be big for our city considering how many folks have moved to wireless computing.

  2. Doug Gibson says:

    Did I miss something? When did “broadband” come to refer specifically to “wireless broadband?”

    I ask because eight years ago it was apparently impossible to get DSL in our neighborhood.

    Someone had a theory that it took longer to get wired if you lived in a precinct that didn’t go for Charles Taylor.