Large Projects Fund – Department of Neighborhoods

The Large Projects Fund (LPF) provides awards up to $100,000 to support community members in building community relationships around a project. Large Projects Fund activities may be physical projects as well as less tangible but equally significant educational, cultural, and relationship-strengthening activities. All projects must demonstrate its capacity to build a stronger and healthier community, and must:

  • Provide a public benefit and be free and open to all members of the public.
  • Emphasize self-help, with project ideas initiated, planned and implemented by the neighbors and community members who will themselves be impacted by the project.
  • Demonstrate community match.
  • Occur within the Seattle city limits.

Application Workshops: Attendance at one of the following workshops is mandatory prior to application. 

  • March 24, 6:00 pm, at Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave N, Seattle, 98133

Due date: May 2, 2015

 

Help us design the new Seattle IT website

As part of creating the new department we are updating and consolidating our existing external web presence to better serve the public. This includes our Department of Information Technology, Community Technology, Broadband, Legislation and Policies, Tech Talk, and Office of Cable Communications sites.  We need your help envisioning the new site. Please take a short survey to help us understand how our current sites are used, and to share your ideas for the new site. Follow this link to take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SEADOIT16

Welcome, Jim Loter

Jim_LoterThe City of Seattle welcomed Jim Loter this past month as the Director of Digital Engagement.

“While technology can enable very effective ways for individuals and communities to interact with their government, and that’s especially true for historically underserved communities, we must also recognize and address the barriers that exist for some communities and individuals to use these powerful tools – lack of connectivity, skills, awareness, and support. I’m particularly excited to join the City as we implement our Digital Equity Initiative, which is designed to engage with the community to reduce those barriers,” said Jim of his new role.

“It’s an exciting time in that the City is taking huge leaps in making more data and information available to the public. I’m very interested in partnering with members of the tech community in finding new and innovative ways to put that data and information to good use and provide new opportunities for people to engage with the City, and vice-versa,” he added.

Jim was most recently the Director of Information Technology for The Seattle Public Library where he led the development of the Library’s Technology and Access strategy and was a founding member of the national Readers First coalition to improve access and availability of eBooks and other digital resources.

Jim has also led information technology strategy and operations at Seattle University, the University of Washington, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, and the University of Iowa Libraries. His interests include developing and supporting technology-enabled solutions to achieve greater digital equity, educational outcomes, community engagement, and civic participation. Jim also periodically lectures in organizational management for the University of Washington Information School.

Jim has a Master’s degree in film studies from the University of Iowa focusing on Irish cinema, semiotics, narrative theory, and early cinema. He enjoys running, board games, baseball, poker, and is a competitive épée fencer.

The City’s Digital Engagement organization includes the Citywide Web Team, Seattle Channel, Community Technology, Open Data, and Cable and Broadband teams.

 

How fast is your Internet?

Last month the City of Seattle launched a new tool to collect resident internet speeds. To date, nearly 1,600 tests have been taken.

The Seattle Broadband Speed Test tool measures the upload and download speeds available to residential users at the time they take the test. Using this test, residents can check their speeds from any device at any time of day. When enough data is collected from a given census block, the results are displayed on a map. The data are also published to the City’s open data portal, data.seattle.gov.

Today, 97 percent of Seattle households can connect to broadband internet and more than 160,000 homes have access to gigabit fiber-to-the-premise broadband. Some households have a choice of two, and in some areas three, wired broadband providers; and most parts of the city have access to four or more wireless broadband providers. In practice, however, many households do not experience peak speeds due to using devices with older networking technologies, experiencing wireless interference or slowness during peak usage times, or purchasing slower or no home internet at all.

The crowdsourced data will help the City and its partners make data-driven decisions when prioritizing future broadband and digital equity efforts. Currently, the City is reducing barriers to broadband investment, investing in public/private partnerships, and exploring ways we can increase access to the internet in underserved areas. Over the past 18 months, these strategies have resulted in an increase in access to gigabit-speed broadband from 7 percent of Seattle households to more than 60 percent.

The Seattle Broadband Speed Test was developed in partnership with New America’s Open Technology Institute and Open Seattle. It utilizes technology provided by Measurement Lab (M-Lab), a consortium of research, industry, and public interest partners that collects Open Internet performance data. This technology is also used by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for its Measuring Broadband America study.

Take the Seattle Broadband Speed Test!

Learn more about the Open Technology Institute. [Link to www.newamerica.org/oti ]

Learn more about M-Lab. [Link to www.measurementlab.net ]

Learn more about Open Seattle. [Link to www.openseattle.org ]

 

CenturyLink announces Prism TV price increases

CenturyLink announced that, effective March 18, 2016, the price of Prism TV video service will increase by $7.00. Except for customers who are on Prism ‘Price Lock,’ the increase is for all service packages and promotional offers. The new standard service rates will be:

Prism TV Package New Pricing
Basic $29.99
Essential $81.99
Complete $96.99
Preferred $111.99
Premium $141.99

The price of CenturyLink’s High Speed Internet modem will also be increased by $1.00.

If you are currently a CenturyLink Prism TV customer receiving a promotional discount on your service, but didn’t not sign up for ‘Price Lock’ when you subscribed, then your monthly service rate will increase by $7.00. But you will also continue to receive the discount applied to the new rate for the remainder of your promotional period. Your rate and any discount will be clearly indicated on your billing statements.

CenturyLink has sent customers a notice alerting them to these upcoming price increases. If you have questions on how this increase will impact your individual bill, contact CenturyLink Customer Care at (866) 755-7435.

If you are a low income CenturyLink customer and would like information on whether you are eligible for CenturyLink’s service discount programs, call (877) 837-5738 or visit CenturyLink Low Income Assistance Programs.

Seattle cable customers needing help resolving an issue with CenturyLink or other cable companies can contact Seattle’s Office of Cable Communications at (206) 684-8498 or submit a request through our on-line Cable Issue Service Request Form.

When do you need a Static IP?

This question has been asked several time in the last 30 days. so I decided to write about it.  Most devices connected to the internet will never need a static IP address.  Think of an IP address like your telephone number, any time someone dials your number your phone would ring.  This is good for someone who is trying to find you but bad for a person who is trying to hack you.  Most devices that connect to the internet receive a private dynamic IP address under what we call IPv4, this is slowly changing to IPv6 because we have run out of available public IP4 addresses.

Common IP address types – IPv4 and IPv6

IPv4 is mostly used for small private networks, this is being phased out and replaced with IPv6.  Compared to IPv4, the most obvious advantage of IPv6 is its larger address space. IPv4 addresses are 32 bits long and number about 4.3 billion devices. IPv6 addresses are 128 bits long and number about 340 decillion devices.  In short, you can have more devices communicate on an IPv6 network

Common IP address usages – Static or Dynamic

Static address is commonly used when devices are located in several locations and they need to communicate with each other or a device that you want everyone to be able to access.  An example: if you run your own mail or file server, just like the phone number analogy, you would want people to find you.  Dynamic devices can be harder to locate on a network because they may have a different IP address each time the device is connected.

FCC chairman talks about digital equity

Here are remarks from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler at the “Digital Equity: Technology and Learning in the Lives of Lower-Income Families” Forum in Washington D.C.  This was presented in conjunction with the Joan Ganz Cooney Center release Opportunity for All? Technology and Learning in Lower-Income Families  by Victoria Rideout and Vikki S. Katz.  He also cited another report that a typical U.S. consumer saves $8,800 per year through broadband access to bargains on goods and services.

Visualize education

Here’s a video sharing what a fully technology enabled day in the life of a student, family and instructors could look like.  Seattle Public Schools together with parents, teachers, students, principals, district leaders, educational technology leaders, and community partners have co-created a technology vision for teaching and learning. Here is a video portrayal of that vision.

Are your digital communications accessible? April 14th

We create digital communications every day, but how accessible are they for everyone? On April 14, from 1:00-3:00 p.m., technology accessibility specialist Terrill Thompson from the University of Washington’s DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) program will present at a free public event at Seattle City Hall (600 4th Avenue, between James and Cherry Streets in downtown Seattle).  Sponsored by the Universal Design Council, City of Seattle and others.  Learn more at  http://www.environmentsforall.org/are-your-digital-communications-accessible/

Digital NW Broadband Summit March 21

Join local and federal policymakers from across the Northwest region for a free Broadband Summit in Seattle on March 20-21, 2016, hosted by Next Century Cities and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). At the Regional Summit, broadband leaders, including mayors, industry experts, and federal and municipal officials, will share successes and real-world impacts from next-generation broadband access.

The summit will feature panels on what works, success stories, increasing access, digital inclusion, rural broadband applications, innovation partnerships, broadband business models, and options for financing. There will also be an opening reception the evening of the 20.

See more information, presenters and registration link.