Broadband service failed in 2017 California firestorm, mobile hit worst

7 August 2018 by Steve Blum
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One of the big questions to answer about the mega fire still tearing through Shasta County this morning is how do you warn people? Broadband and other high tech tools failed in last year’s fires. Instead, people were saved the old fashioned way: a knock on the door or the smell of smoke.

Mobile service went down more often than any other kind of broadband service during 2017’s northern California firestorm, but cable, telco and fixed wireless systems also took a severe beating.… More

Life and death alerts are low tech/no tech, California firestorm study shows

Social media and other online services were not the way people received lifesaving warnings when a firestorm tore through three northern California counties last year. Nearly all were alerted to evacuate via phone or personal contact, or by their own eyes, ears and noses.

That’s a top line read of the data from a study just published by the North Bay/North Coast Broadband Consortium. They ran an online survey and 3,700 people responded, nearly all of them from the hardest hit counties of Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma.… More

Filling more holes in California's broadband consortia map

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Two more regional broadband consortia are in the pipeline for coastal California. The California Public Utilities Commission has a draft resolution in front of it that proposes putting $550,000 into broadband planning in two new regions: the Pacific Coast consortium for San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties and the North Bay/North Coast consortium for Marin, Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. Both would be funded for two years, getting a total of $300,000 and $250,000 respectively.… More