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Redwood Coast telecom resilience: how broadband, internet, cellular, and emergency communications are changing, and becoming more resilient and climate-smart
A conversation with Karen Eckersley of the California Public Utilities Commission and Jana Ganion of the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe.

Internet access and cellular communication are increasingly essential for a productive, healthy life. Telemedicine, ecommerce, distance learning, community economies, and social services are all enabled by broadband, cellular networks, satellites, and other kinds of digital connective infrastructure. Digital communications are also increasingly essential to operating lifeline sectors – energy, transportation, water, and food – with maximum efficiency, and to ensure continual operations during both emergencies and business as usual.

In rural environments, the economics of telecom are more difficult, and rural areas of the United States, including rural tribal communities, still lie across a “digital divide” where the quality of internet access, cellular communications, and emergency communications are insufficient, and lag relative to their urban counterparts. Gaps in telecom resources have been highlighted by the covid-19 pandemic, as well recent power shutoff events and outages. This discussion between two resiliency innovators from California’s rural north coast will focus on solutions that are already in play — or on the near horizon — to bridge the digital divide and provide robust telecom service in rural areas.

The Sustainable Futures Speaker Series stimulates interdisciplinary collaboration around issues related to energy, the environment, and society. All lectures are free and open to the public, and are sponsored by the Schatz Energy Research Center, the Environment & Community graduate program, and the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences at Humboldt State.

Please visit schatzcenter.org/events for the full season lineup and to read about other webinar events. Questions? Email info@schatzcenter.org

Oct 22, 2020 04:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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