Dillon Center for Broadband Excellence
Feasibility Study Proposal Summary
(Montana Center for Sustainable Rural Families)
This summary link: http://lone-eagles.com/excellence.htm
The original draft is at http://lone-eagles.com/center-feasibility-study.htm
Early draft with letters to Senators, the MT Governor and others http://lone-eagles.com/dillon-center.htm
The Lone Eagle Update sets the national and international context of this study http://lone-eagles.com/update2009.htm
Three exceptional letters of support:
Senator Jon Tester: http://lone-eagles.com/Sen-Testerltr.doc
Beaverhead County Commissioners http://lone-eagles.com/commissionersltr.doc
Earl Dodd, IBM Deep Computing, Rocky Mtn Supercomputer Centers, INC
Recent Published article For NATOA Telecommunications Journal
Promoting Community Interests in Telecommunications
Health I.T., Rural Broadband and Common Sense
Contact Frank Odasz, Lone Eagle Consulting
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org PH: 406 683 6270
1. Ron Swenson’s visit to Dillon, MT October, 2008 was the catalyst for this study proposal. He came seeking suggestions for use of his two plots of land near the YMCA – the land for which was donated by Ron’s family, including additional land for the proposed Beaverhead Independent Living Center. Initial meetings were scheduled by Frank Odasz with the Beaverhead Development Corporation, County Commissioner Mike McKinley, Dillon City Council, University of Montana Western, and others.
2. Frank Odasz met with Alex Philip, Rocky Mountain Supercomputer Center, and Earl Dodd, IBM Deep Computing, regarding the Supercomputer initiative's plans for five regional centers of excellence. Current plans include centers for Biomimicry and Health Informatics. Creating a Dillon Center of Broadband Excellence (The Montana Center for Sustainable Rural Families) was discussed and includes the themes below which would address how rural citizens can learn to benefit from Broadband Training Best Practices. A K-16 educational component for supercomputing related topics was discussed.
3. Frank Odasz, President of Lone Eagle Consulting, has been advising Senators Tester and Baucus on emerging synergies between Health Information Technology, Rural Broadband, and Broadband Entrepreneurship as a means for lowering costs and improving services necessary for rural family sustainability. The Obama presidency’s projected expansion of rural broadband and social media civic engagement dovetails with opportunities for a uniquely Montanan showcase project “combining caring and connectivity with common sense” as a timely national model.
4. SolarQuest, founded by Ron Swenson and Allan Baer, has recently joined with the University of North Texas to secure a $1.5 million NSF grant, MSOSW: Middle Schoolers Out to Save the World, a new middle school ITEST project focused on children using energy monitoring equipment in diverse home and community settings. (See appendix via the link above for more details.) The methodology being developed under this grant is envisioned as a template for developing energy conservation education programs for The Montana Center for Sustainable Rural Families.
The following feasibility study (edited for brevity) was submitted by Headwaters RC&D, Dec. 31, 2008, with outstanding letters of support from Senator Jon Tester, all three Beaverhead County Commissioners, the Mayor of Dillon, the acting director of the Rocky Mountain Supercomputer Centers, Inc., Headwaters RC&D, Barret Hospital, YMCA, AHEC, and others. The $10,000 cash match was provided by Swenson Technologies to provide additional expertise for the alternative Energy education component.
IV. BRIEF PROJECT SUMMARY
Please provide a brief summary of this proposal which describes the nature of the proposed activity, the nature of the assisted business and what the BSTF financial assistance would be used for. Please specify if outside professional services will be procured. Please also provide any relevant historical information on this project or the region it would support:
Headwaters will work with Lone Eagle Consulting, Ron Swenson, and other interested parties to conduct a feasibility study for building a Dillon Center for Broadband Excellence in association with the Rocky Mountain Supercomputer Center project in Butte. The envisioned center would be utilized as a training center for broadband entrepreneurship, remote home agents, and computer-related job training. President-Elect Obama's proposal for a massive government spending program to lift the country out of economic recession includes an initiative to extend high-speed Internet to under-served areas. This is a unique opportunity for Montanans and something which our State's leadership can support in the emerging political climate.
This feasibility study will identify the best existing resources (physical, economic, telecommunications, public and people), training opportunities, and general trends to establish whether a Broadband Center for Excellence makes sense in Dillon, to showcase the evolving best practices for providing online resources, training, and job matching services for all Montanans in the following categories:
l Create broadband-enabled entrepreneurship and jobs; identify related on-site and online training opportunities;
l Identify local and state e-government best practices for delivery of government services at lower cost;
l Identify and disseminate e-learning innovations for Health, Energy, STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) and other essential topics for K-100 learners;
l Demonstrate digital literacy and inclusion – citizen civic engagement, peer mentoring, service learning.
V. PROJECT ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT
Please provide a summary of the impact the project would have on the state, regional and community economy.
This research project will identify the best replicable models for providing training and connectivity to create broadband-enabled jobs in Southwest Montana and statewide with a feasible plan to provide online resources for all Montanans showcasing e-commerce success stories, the best training resources, and an actionable vision for the future for all Montanans with emphasis on youth e-entrepreneurship curriculum to minimize youth out-migration and a new form of adult e-learning customized for rural and Native American Montanans. In partnership with the Butte Supercomputer center and multiple local county and state agencies a uniquely Montanan 21st Century digital inclusion program will - at lower cost - do a better job matching needs with resources and people with jobs and job training opportunities.
Broadband (high-speed internet) is becoming a necessity, offering the possibility of working from home, making life easier and more connected. In our world of accelerating change, determining how our communities will adapt and tap into the best solutions on an ongoing basis, is our challenge.
The concept of a Center for Broadband excellence has grown from the acknowledgement that fast internet connections (broadband) are needed to help rural businesses, farmers, and ranchers keep costs down and grow their capacity for economic survival. Supplementing family incomes using internet is becoming increasingly common though most rural citizens do not yet know where to go to learn how to do this.
This project proposes a feasibility study to determine the potential benefit of a Broadband Center of Excellence in Dillon, Montana. The proposed Center would be one of the five regional centers of excellence envisioned as part of the Rocky Mountain Supercomputer Center project currently underway in Butte. The Dillon Center will focus on identifying and disseminating e-learning innovations, as well as facilitating best practices for delivery of government services at lower costs. Additionally, the vision for the Dillon Center will involve creating and training for broadband-enabled entrepreneurship and jobs for rural Montanans and will demonstrate digital literacy and inclusion to encourage civic engagement and mentoring.
Being rural should not mean being unaware of best practices for using internet for rural sustainability. Online distance learning and mentoring opportunities are profound, cost effective, and desperately needed. The proposed Dillon Center of Broadband Excellence will enable the community, the surrounding area, and ultimately the entire state of Montana to remain, not only viable, but competitive and progressive as well.
Course of Action
Headwaters will work with Lone Eagle Consulting to develop the feasibility study for the Dillon Center of Broadband Excellence. This feasibility study will identify the best existing resources, training opportunities, and general trends to establish whether a Center for Excellence makes sense in Dillon as a means to provide online resources, training, and job matching services for all Montanans in the following categories:
· Create Broadband-enabled entrepreneurship and jobs; identify related on-site and online training opportunities;
· Identify Local and State E-government best practices for delivery of government services at lower cost;
· Identify and disseminate E-learning innovations for Health, Energy, STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) and other essential topics for K-100 learners;
- Demonstrate Digital Literacy and Inclusion – citizen civic engagement, peer mentoring, and service learning.
The final feasibility study will illustrate the following considerations:
- Exploring the options: all options for the Center will be thoroughly reviewed in the study and the following questions will be answered:
- What is the competitive outlook?
- What are the organizational needs for the project?
- Ranking the options: options will be ranked according to project goals, constraints, and other external issues to include:
- Technology used for facilities, equipment, processes, etc.
- Financial needs such as capital needs, cost of goods, wages, etc.
- Outlining the way forward: the final feasibility report will provide a clear definition of the future direction of the project
December 2008 Submit BSEDTF application to MT Department of Commerce
January 2009 Contract with MT Department of Commerce
January 2009 Contract with Lone Eagle Consulting for feasibility study
February 2009 Progress report due to Headwaters
March 2009 Progress report due to Headwaters
April 2009 Progress report due to Headwaters
May 2009 Draft feasibility study and final progress report due to Headwaters
May 2009 Project closeout with MT Department of Commerce