Home and Community Options, Inc, Winona, Minnesota Peter Walsh, Project Coordinator.
First the good news: We have a FTTH connection at our main office! This blog is being posted at “Light Speed”! We are trying to be patient waiting for additional sites to be hooked up but the weather just has not helped. The severe cold has caused all kinds of headaches for HBCI and their technicians have been busy keeping customers connected. Our project is too far down the triage list to expect priority treatment. So we are learning to be patient.
So this begins our lesson in barriers. We knew going in that there would be barriers but we didn’t know what they would be. Of course if we knew what they were going to be we could have anticipated them and been a bit proactive. But that is the nature of many barriers; they crop up when you least expect them. We were somewhat surprised to learn that a fair number of our staff are not ready to implement some of the advanced uses of Outlook and Excel and that we needed to offer some additional training for them. Then we were surprised how much that training was going to cost, so we hunted around and found an independent Microsoft Trainer who is willing work with us. Now we are endeavoring to put together a training room that we will not have to tear down after every class. A tenant has just moved out of some of our space and we are commandeering that until it is rented. This will enable us to set up a formal training center that we can use for a month or so to provide hands-on-training for our staff.
We are making good headway with our Remote Monitoring project and have begun wiring our first house. We hope to begin installing cameras and security sensors next week. Then it will be an extended period of testing and monitoring the reliability of the system. And, I’m sure we will encounter a few new barriers to overcome. (See blog entry “Obstacles to Remote Monitoring” by Dennis Theede, Executive Director, Home and Community Options, Inc.)
The Blandin Foundation is supporting four standout broadband programs through the Light Speed program. The program’s purpose is to stimulate the deployment of bandwidth intensive applications that connect local institutions to area resident’s home. This post comes from a Light Speed community leader.