Rural Broadband TEST

Alaska Internet Speed Test Week
March 30th through April 5th, 2009

The NW Arctic Broadband Task Force, ASTE, AkDEC, and various internet-for-Alaska advocacy groups are gathering data about the state of Alaska to see what internet speeds actually exist in our villages and cities. We are working to get faster and more reliable internet access to our homes, schools, and businesses in all our villages. We need accurate data so we can have facts to present to the State and to the Federal Government about the need for better internet infrastructure, better connections, and faster/consistently reliable internet speeds.

If you think it is appropriate, please ask your distance students [during the test week of March 30 - April 5th]

to please log on to:


and run the test at home from 1 - 3 times total during this week. If your connection speed varies by time of day, you are welcome to run the test at different times; day, evening and night. Please don't run the test more than three times in this week, but please run it at least once.

Help and instructions are at:


Thanks for helping us to gather better broadband data for Alaska. Final
results will be available to the public through the above web site.




Village Technology Specialists


8-29-06 From the Delta Discovery

by Robert Nick

UUI-VTS August Institute


For the past two weeks, ten young men and women from Upper and Lower Kalskag, Tuntutuliak, Kongiganak and Kipnuk participated in a Village Technology Specialist Program at the Kuskokwim Campus (KuC) of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Due to increasing demand of the use of telecommunication services even in the remote small communities throughout the world, YK delta included, and at the request of the telecommunications industry, the Kuskokwim Campus has started this much needed program.


The main goal of the program is to support the growth and development and use of the data communications services in the Y/K region of our great state. And this much needed Village Technology Specialist program is to be initiated in conjunction with data and internet-based infrastructure development in the region and would serve as the primary "infrastructure" component of the project.

As a leader of the telecommunications industry, United Unicom Incorporated, known to many of us clients in the villages as United Companies, Inc., a wholly native-owned company, is the "Vanguard" of utilizing our people in the region and their telecommunications equipment, which with forthright foresight of its long time innovative leader Steve Hamlen, has taken this positive step.


And why not?

UUI has long championed the cause of progress throughout the state, what with millions of dollars it has invested in our future leaders by providing scholarships throughout the years. And the many, many young men from the delta, which they employ, shows they believe in our people's ability to learn and become a workforce of the delta. In fact I have a son-in-law, brother-in-law, nephew and many, many relatives across western Alaska whom UUI employs in all phases of its operations. And UUI trained them all.


I recently traveled to a number of villages and noticed telecommunications towers in every one I visited. One that impressed me is in Eek, Alaska. And the reason I was so is that last December 2006, I was at the foot of the Kilbuck Mountains east of Eek on a caribou hunt with my youngest son, when we were guided back to the flats by the gigantic tower.

UUI has these towers in Aniak, Tuluksak, Akiak, Bethel, Chefornak, Eek, Kipnuk, Kongiganak and Quinhagak. Each tower is part of a network of networks that routes traffic to and from the Yukon/Kuskokwim delta villages and the rest of the world. This network is referred to as the Yukon Kuskokwim Deltanet, or just Deltanet for short. So much for UUI - let us learn a little more about the Village Technology Specialist Program (VTS).


The UUI-VTS August Institute (14-25) will equip these young men and women with a broad range of computing knowledge and skills that would provide them with the skills/ability to install and provide the technical support for small village access points which would serve as computer labs; (2) they would be able to understand and provide the technical assistance with basic computer applications and data communications skills functions; (3) they would provide customer services to village based clients through the public access points (computer labs); (4) they would coordinate, support and maintain the functions and services provided through the village public access points(computer labs).

The intensive classes which UUI participants (students) are taking utilize content area specific, industry recognized curricula needed to develop the students' information technology expertise. The training includes intermediate level computer application such as MS Word, Excel, Operating Systems and Internet and Communications Software, including Network Hardware/LAN installation and support training; and the developed IT Workplace Basics course-ware to accommodate the specific workforce goals necessary to support the project's needs and the specific educational needs of the participants (students).

Pat Cleveland, Eek, comments on the DeltaNet PAP

Once the participants (students) successfully complete the UUI Cohort training, each would receive IC3 Certification, which is the course objective and goal. Each of the five courses are college credit courses and would also prepare the participants for more advanced technical training should they choose to continue in a computer career. The college credits and the professional certification testing and test preparation gives the UUI participants (students) options to continue in this fast growing field. Afterall, we are in an information era, and I wholehearted applaud United Companies for again taking the lead in an invaluable investment of a future workforce for the Y/K delta.


These ten young men and women completed their training last Friday, the 25th. And I congratulate you, Anna Morgan, Dionne Dorris, Alexie Littlefish, Rachel Wise, Carlotta Evan, Max Joseph Jr., Reuban Paul, Frank Mute Jr., Byron Paul, and Ryan Samson. Your service to your people in your respective villages will be greatly beneficial and appreciated by UUI clients across the delta and there are many of us.
Again "KUDOS" to United Unicom, Inc., also known as United Companies Inc.


VTS Program Kuskokwim Campus
PAP Yahoo Group
VTS Photoset


$200 Billion Broadband Scandal

“$200 Billion Broadband Scandal” Exposed by Investigative eBook, Offered Free Through June 26th, 2006

Controversial and provocative book becomes centerpiece of a campaign to save the Internet and innovation, as we know it.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (PRWEB) June 20, 2006 – As Congress debates the future of the Internet this week, consumer advocates are promoting Bruce Kushnick’s controversial book, “$200 Billion Broadband Scandal,” which chronicles what is called the largest fraud case in American History – even larger than Enron or WorldCom.

The six-day promotion includes a free (normally $20) download of the electronic copy from www.newnetworks.com/scandals.htm so legislators needn’t worry about implications of receiving it as a gift from constituents who send a copy and demand an investigation.

Kushnick’s book, which is based on a 20-year analysis of phone company records and market and census data, describes “a tale of deceit, fraudulent data and gaming of the regulatory system using fake consumer groups, biased research firms and campaign-financed politicians to control everything from the FCC to Congress and the state legislatures and commissions, to vote for phone-company-financed laws that are not in the public interest.”

It is a micro-history of how the Bell companies (AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon) promised to deliver 45 Mbps bi-directional fiber optic connections to 86 million households by 2006. The networks were to be open to all competitors and deployed equally to the rich and poor in rural, urban and suburban neighborhoods – all in exchange for public subsidies and regulatory concessions.

· New York Times: “A Rant. All 406 pages of it.” “Enron? WorldCom? No. It’s much, much larger than those…”

· Muniwireless: “It’s a powerful critique documenting the trail of broken promises and misinformation.”

· Harold Feld, Media Access: “Meticulously documents how the incumbent telcos have used the promise of broadband to win subsidies and regulatory goodies.”

· Good Morning Silicon Alley: “A damning list of indictments, and one that puts the telco’s demands for a two-tiered Internet in harsh perspective.”

Kushnick estimates the value of those subsidies to be over $200 Billion, or some $2,000 per household, meaning that consumers paid for services they never got. He also estimates the economic impact of some 86 million U.S. households not having these capabilities to be about $500 Billion per year, or $5 Trillion over the 10-year period.

According to Broadband Reports, “Bruce Kushnick has been dubbed everything from the ‘Leading Visionary in the Telecom Industry’ to a ‘Phone Bill Fanatic, but what’s certain is that nobody in the industry is ignoring him.”

Teletruth is providing this ebook to add data and an alternative point of view to a contentious battle in Congress. The Senate is scheduled to vote on an extensive telecommunications bill that favors the nation's largest telephone companies with a national TV franchise intended to bypass local authority and enforcement and make it easier for phone companies to compete with cable companies in broadcast TV markets. The House passed a similar bill on June 8th.

While it is easy to like the idea of more competition, consumer advocates say the bills are being pushed through Congress without long-standing consumer protections and obligations such as, build-out requirements, public access programming, and network neutrality. This could let phone companies like AT&T and Verizon block or degrade competing services and change the very nature of the Internet.

“It’s essential that we preserve Internet freedom,” said Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) at a press conference after The SavetheInternet.com Coalition delivered more than 1 million letters and petitions urging Congress to protect Net Neutrality and resist efforts by phone and cable companies to control the Internet. “The open architecture which now exists, and which allows everyone fair access to any site on the Internet, without gatekeepers, must be preserved.”

“There are very important antitrust issues involved, and I believe it is appropriate for the Judiciary Committees of both the House and Senate to play a significant role in the formulation of the legislation,” said Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Spector (R-PA). “This is something we don’t want to rush to judgment on.”

Various book reviews are posted online, but given the pending rewrite of the Telecom Act, the views of telecom attorney Harold Feld are especially relevant. Feld is Senior Vice President of Media Access, a non-profit public interest telecommunications law firm.

“… The importance of Kushnick's book to me lies not in the likelihood that Americans will ever get the $200 B back again, or even whether the Bell companies genuinely tried to defraud rate payers (after all, markets and technologies do change, and promises to bring fiber to every home in the early and mid-1990s may have stemmed from optimistic projections and miscalculations). Rather Kushnick's book should serve as a warning for the promises made by the Bells today. As the Bells make the rounds in every state, on Capital Hill, and at the FCC, making the same arguments for deregulation, they should have to explain why this time will prove different than the times before. How will state [or national] franchising make a difference? How can legislators and regulators hold the Bells accountable if things don't work out this time? What happens if rate deregulation doesn't lead to the promised competitive Nirvana of cheap broadband and cheaper telephone service? What if the merged companies do not produce the “efficiencies” and price savings they promised? …”


About Teletruth:

Teletruth is a national customer alliance focused on telecommunications and broadband issues, working in the public trust independent of any funding group, political party or phone company. Teletruth offers free phone bill analysis and audits to businesses and government agencies through LTC Consulting and research on broadband and telecommunications markets through New Networks Institute. All funds from the sale of these items are used to continue the work of Teletruth.


Bruce Kushnick

Chairman, Teletruth

Executive Director, New Networks Institute


Tom Allibone

President, LTC Consulting

Director, Teletruth Auditing Division

Chairman, TeleTruth New Jersey Chapter



Village Technology Specialists in YK Delta

USDA, UUI, Alaska State and YK Delta Tribes



Under the direction and support of local Tribal Councils, United Utilities, Inc. with funding from the US Department of Agriculture, village communities in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta are enjoying improved telecommunications services.


Along with the development of new terestrial-based infrastructure (see Deltanet tower photo), for the first time in a Rural Utilities Services grant primarily for infrastructure, developing 'local expertise and promoting the use of technology (or) infostructure' is being supported throught public funding.

The first training of village technologists specialists (VTS) though the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kuskokwim Campus, UUI and the USDA was recently piloted in the small Kuskokwim River Village of Eek, Alaska.

Read More about VTS program and 'Infostructure':

Village Technology Specialist Program, Kuskokwim Campus

Infostructure, The Key to Rural Broadband Success

The Eek Public Access Point (PAP) as mandated and provided through the USDA Rural Broadband Initiative Grant is in place. Housed with Eek Tribal Council support, the facility has been developed in what was previously the village clinic facility - a more than adequate space. The facility contains six computers, printer and multimedia peripherals networked to a broadband internet connection via UUI's new infrastructure.


Pat Cleveland and Carla Green, VTS trainees, along with the Eek Tribal Council completed renovations and support administration for the project. Standard operational procedures and policies were developed and a grand opening was provided for the community Mid-March!


Pat Cleveland writes:
"I would say the opening turnout was a success. There were 39 residents and visitors that came throughout the day that I documented for the door prize drawing. Of the 39, 28 signed on and actually used the computers and nearly all were online accessing their personal email accounts, played online games, and a few were just visiting websites that they knew of. (Registered user ages ranged from 8 and up.)"

Pat Cleveland Eek PAP Interview

Pat and Carla have set up a private online meeting place for all VTS and UUI PAP employees and development personnel to discuss issues, trends, accomplishments and the future of the Rural Broadband Public Access and Community Technology Centers in the YK Delta. UUI and YK - Delta Tribal participants can email Pat for access: pcleveland04 at yahoo dot com.

More links re: Rural Broadband and CTCs in the YK Delta:

Alaska Rural Development 'blog'

Alaska Rural Broadband 'blog'

Message to RCA Commissioners

Defining Success - Bethel Native Corporation

Delta Net


WiFi 'HighGain' Improv

I was getting some poor reception with the internal Intel wireless card while hoteling it...so with a little improvisation I was able to triple my local WiFI reception.

Dish construction is comprised of an oriental sieve/fryer/cooker (hey, I'm in Hawaii and they are readily available), plumbing fittings, a Hawking mini wireless-G USB adapter (HWU54G), a ten foot usb extension cable, some copper wire, fine clippers (for opening up the sieve, some foam sheeting and about 10 minutes of work!


Use 'net stumbler' to survey your local sites http://www.netstumbler.com/

~10db gain+

WiFi Antenna 1

WiFi Antenna 2

WiFi Antenna 3

WiFi Antenna 4

WiFi Antenna 5

WiFi Antenna 6