Jeffersonton VA

Neighbor to Neighbor

Tag: Internet

Online Survey About Internet Access In Virginia

Last year, Culpeper County was awarded a $75,000 planning grant for rural broadband expansion from the State of Virginia. There is an online survey that the State of Virginia has set up to help determine the Internet needs of rural areas. That survey can be found at this link:

http://ruonline.virginia.gov/broadbandsurvey/survey/ruonline/

At this time, the editor of this newsletter is not certain if Culpeper County’s plans, but according to an article in the Culpeper Star-Exponent, dated December 11, 2015, Culpeper County Administrator Ernie Hoch said they would launch a planning effort for broadband expansion in Culpeper in the near future.

Wireless Internet Comes To Jeffersonton Community Center

Joe Lenig

Joe Lenig

Jeffersonton, VA – Virginia Broadband, LLC (VABB) of Culpeper VA installed Wireless Internet Access November 20, 2013 in the Jeffersonton Community Center using the fixed wireless radio frequency tower on the Clevenger’s Corner water tower. VABB volunteered to provide the free Internet service as part of a community service outreach project.

VABB became involved in the process of providing Internet service to the Jeffersonton Community Center when the President, Robert M Sullivan, read a Letter to the Editor in the Culpeper Star-Exponent in April 2013. The letter, written by Jeffersonton resident Linda Bradshaw, wrote about the lack of availability of the Internet to many residents in the Jeffersonton area, and discussed the importance of Internet access to students.

Linda Bradshaw

Linda Bradshaw

Sullivan emailed Bradshaw, and offered the services of VABB to the Jeffersonton Community Center, in the interest of community service. A series of emails ensued between VABB employee Joe Lenig, Bradshaw, and Jeffersonton Community Center President Loni Colvin; negotiations for free Wi-Fi service began in earnest. Final details were arranged between Lenig and Colvin.

According to Lenig, no passwords are required, there are no usage limitations. The router is set at “full-open” at 10mbps (mega-bytes per second) range down and 2mbps up.

“I am pleased that I could be both catalyst and facilitator in the process of bringing Wireless Internet access to the Jeffersonton Community Center. This brings Internet access much closer to the many Jeffersonton residents who cannot get Internet at home. This generous move from VABB could enrich the lives of many local families” said Bradshaw. “It should be noted, however, that the Jeffersonton Community Center has no plans at this time to provide supervision for minors, and no computers are on-site. This is not an after-school care program, and parents should not allow their children to come to the center unsupervised.”

About Virginia Broadband: Virginia Broadband is a high-speed wireless broadband Internet service provider located in Culpeper, VA. It is located at 14115 Lovers Lane Suite 135, Culpeper, VA 22701. For more information about Virginia Broadband, go to http://www.vabb.com

About Jeffersonton Community Center: Jeffersonton Community Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to serving the needs of the Jeffersonton VA community. It is located at 5073 Jeffersonton Rd, Jeffersonton, VA 22724. For more information about the Jeffersonton Community Center, go to http://jeffersontoncommunitycenter.com.

Jeffersonton Homework WiFi Cafe to be hosted at local church

Hazel River Assembly of God's activities building

Hazel River Assembly of God’s activities building

The Hazel River Assembly of God Church is scheduled to start providing free WiFi after school to all school children starting September 3, 2013. The WiFi hours will be Monday through Thursday from 3pm to 6pm. The WiFi access will be in their activities building. Pre-registration is not required, and membership of the church is not required.

The activities building at the Hazel River Church already has a cafe with several booths, a fully equipped kitchen, and a computer room with five computers. The existing computers are Internet ready, but the WiFi access will not be installed until later this month.

In a telephone interview today, kid’s ministry Pastor Bethany Carlson explained that the computers with WiFi access will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations of computers will not be accepted. The computers will be available for both recreational and educational use.

The Hazel River Assembly of God church is on the Rixeyville Road, in Rixeyville, near the intersection of the Ryland Chapel Road.  Many school children in the Rixeyville and Jeffersonton areas take school buses that drive right past the church. School kids will be able to get off of the school bus at the church on their way home from school to gain access to the WiFi Cafe. Parents that wish to make those arrangements for the school bus to drop their children off at the church will need to work that out with the transportation department of the Culpeper school system. The telephone number for Culpeper school’s transportation department is (540) 825-3677.

The WiFi Cafe will be staffed by existing church employees. “We have been running an after-school program since 2005 and we will not be needing additional staff for the WiFi Cafe. We would have provided this WiFi access earlier but the Internet service was not available until recently. Now that it is available we are having it installed and we will offer it to students that come here after school. We can handle it without any extra staff.” asserted Pastor Carlson.

“This is a step in the right direction towards providing our local students with the resources they need to pursue their academic goals. I was thrilled that my conversation with Pastor Stephen Dodson Jr. several months ago about the need of a local Homework WiFi Cafe for high school students culminated in this project coming to fruition. Pastor Steve had indicated a strong interest and great enthusiasm about bringing my proposed Jeffersonton Homework WiFi Cafe project to the local community” stated Linda Bradshaw, former organizer of the Jeffersonton Homework WiFi Cafe project.

“From my discussions with Pastor Steve a few months ago when I suggested the implementation of the WiFi Cafe I was expecting to be actively involved in the planning and implementation of the Homework WiFi Cafe.  I am delighted to learn from Pastor Carlson that my involvement is not needed, and that they have everything planned, scheduled and under control. I wish them the best of luck. The Jefferson community sorely needs this type of community service. If Pastor Steve decides that he would like my assistance in the future I will be more than happy to help him out any way that I can. I anticipate that the demand for more computers will quickly become evident, and I would encourage the high school students to bring their own laptops if they have them, to ensure that they can get their work done. Now that this church will be providing the free WiFi access that I had been working to establish in the community, I will consider the Jeffersonton Homework WiFi Cafe to be a “done deal” and focus my attention to other worth-while causes, like the Jefferson Ruritans and the SHARE Food Network.”

For more information about the free after-school programs and free WiFi Cafe for students at the Hazel River Assembly of God Church, please contact the church at 540-937-6041.

Will there be a Homework WiFi Cafe in Jeffersonton? Maybe…. Maybe not….

Jeffersonton Village Sign

Jeffersonton Village Sign

This is a brief overview of a possible Homework WiFi Cafe in Jeffersonton VA. To express an interest in the Homework WiFi Cafe, please email jeffersontonva@comcast.net.

The publisher of this website, Linda Bradshaw, is spearheading the campaign to bring this service to Jeffersonton. If you are able to assist with the planning, implementation, or donations, please contact her at jeffersontonva@comcast.net.

The purpose of the WiFi Café is to provide high-speed Internet Access to local high school students that are unable to get high-speed access at their homes. The primary intent of the Café would be for these high school students to perform assigned homework and college research/application, college scholarship research/applications. There is a possibility that college students that live locally but commute to a local community college such as Germanna, or LFCC would also be able to benefit from this WiFi Café.

WiFi image (free clip art)

WiFi image (free clip art)

The area served would be Jeffersonton, Rixeyville, Amissville VA. The intended location for the Café is the Jeffersonton Community Center, 5073 Jeffersonton Rd, Jeffersonton VA 22724.

So far, much of the leg work in determining feasibility is completed. High speed Internet access can be installed at the Jeffersonton Community Center. The Community Center has agreed to allow the Café to be housed there. Arrangements for refurbished laptops to be donated to the Café have been made. Culpeper School Transportation has agreed that students will be allowed to get off of the school bus(es) at the Community Center (with parents permission.)

Funding sources may include sponsorship/donations from area businesses/colleges, and registration fees collected from the students. Also there is at least one philanthropic group that MAY donate some money if I can come up with a good business plan to present to them with the application (work in progress.)

Answers to FAQs

The Café’ would NOT be available to students that do not have valid homework/research reasons to be there. The Café at this time is not planned to be open to students under the class rank of 11th grade. (This may be modified in the future.) This is NOT a social program, and socializing is NOT the intent.

There are many things still needing to be worked out, many questions yet to answer, but here is a brief review of what the “target plan” would look like. Please be aware that this is a work “in progress” and these details are subject to change.

This will not be a “drop-in” situation where kids can just show up. They will need to be registered, with legal permission and authorization signed by their parents. There will be a Code of Conduct and a Code of Ethics, and a Waiver of Liability signed by both the student and the parents, and violations will not be tolerated.

Registered students would come to the Café after school, either via school bus or their own transportation. The Café’ would NOT be responsible for students getting home after closing hours. (Closing hours are still to be determined.) Proposed hours would be Monday – Thursday 3:30 – 6pm. (These hours are NOT SET IN STONE.) Students getting home will be the responsibility of the parent(s.)

Students may bring their own laptops if they have them. Plans are being made to have some laptops there on site for students to use only while on site, so students can simply bring USB thumb drives with them for file storage. The “on site” laptops will be locked up when not being used, and students will have to “check out” the laptops when they arrive at the Café. These laptops will be set up with educational-use software and restrictions on them that prevent misuse and abuse of the privileges of using them at the Café. There are tables, chairs, and electrical outlets at the Community Center for the students to set-up and work.

There is a kitchen, and rest-rooms on site, and part of the proposal includes having an adult on the premises to control the check-in and check-out of the laptops, act as proctor for the students, and to oversee a snack bar. Snacks may be available for a price. (Details to be worked out.)

The Café would NOT be a tutoring service. The Café would NOT be FREE, however rates have not been determined. The point of this Café is to provide easy access to students that need high-speed Internet access, it is NOT based on serving a specific economic group. (Although need-based grants may be something in the whole of it after it gets more momentum and more financial backing from the local community.) Having said that, the Café is not planned to be run for-profit, and the fees charged (if any) will only be enough to cover the operating costs of the program, expansion costs of the program, and will be run by volunteers as much as humanly possible. We may have to hire employees to run the snack bar, and oversee the Café during the open hours, but there will NOT be a highly paid “President” or “CEO” – the point is to help our students, not to line our pockets!

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