Mountain Area Information Network

Rural Broadband Hearing set for Tuesday at WCU

Friends -- I am pleased to report that the e-NC Authority is hosting a public hearing on "Rural Broadband" on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.

Many of you reported increasing problems using the Internet via dial-up access. This is our chance for state and federal officials to hear your voices!

We hope you will help us send a loud and clear message that we need unlicensed access to the vacant TV channels -- which become available next February when TV goes digital -- to greatly expand broadband wireless coverage here in WNC. These vacant channels are popularly known as the "white spaces."

Here's some background:

You can also sign a petition for access to the vacant TV channels AND help support MAIN's efforts to expand broadband across WNC at this link:

More than 150 of you wrote testimonials about "life without broadband" here in the mountains, and I will personally present a selection of these stories at the Sept. 16 public hearing. If your story is chosen, we will contact you for permission. If for some reason we can't contact you, we may present your story but with your identity deleted.

To register (it's free, lunch included!) for the Sept. 16 public hearing at WCU, go to this link -- -- or call 1-866-627-8725.

[We could use some volunteers to help us pass out a "white spaces" flyer. Please email me directly at -- -- if you can help next Tuesday in Cullowhee.]

"A Broadband Future: Your Community, Your Voice"
Tuesday, Sept. 16 -- 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Western Carolina University
Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center
Hospitality Room
1601 Ramsey Center
Cullowhee, NC 28723

In addition, I have been invited by the Wireless Innovation Alliance to speak at their "White Spaces Day" on Sept. 23 on Capitol Hill, where I will also present many of your "life without broadband" stories to members of Congress and/or their staff. I may also be visiting the FCC during this time. More about that next week!

Meanwhile, please share this invitation for the Sept. 16 public hearing with your friends and neighbors!! We need a big turnout to let our public officials in Raleigh and in Washington HEAR OUR VOICES!!

Wally Bowen
Executive Director
Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN)