I’d like to apologize for being so silent over these past few months with posting to the news feed. I have neglected this side of the operations as I have had almost my focus spent on raising funds, planning and procuring hardware and finalizing contracts from radio hosting. And doing this in my spare time apart from my “9-5” day job. That’s still no excuse as you all deserve more frequent updates and I’ll work to provide a summary after every board meeting (first Thursday of each month) to keep you all in the loop. Please remember this is 100% volunteer at this point and no one is making a dime off their efforts and involvement. Standing up a new rural ISP is like a second job, so I appreciate every minute of assistance and volunteer time I get especially from our Board members!
Now onto the status since October 2018… Wow I have let this age a bit, haven’t I? We’ll let’s fill in the blanks with some cliff-note versions.
November 2018 – Annual DIUA Membership meeting on Nov. 10th, 2019 and board seat election. Kaleb Wyatt and Justin Sisney were both re-elected to 3-year terms. Board president position is still available. Focus for the remainder of winter will be on raising funds to complete the project.
December 2018 – Working in partnership with North Counties Community Collaborative and North Counties Family Services to acquire grant funding for 2019. Received a rather large private donation to the order of 24,000.00 helping us a long way towards the 110,000.00 estimated project costs. DIUA president position still available.
January - February 2019 – Continue to work with NCCC and NCFS to acquire grant funding through 2019 as the primary goal. DIUA cannot move forward without all funding needs in place. DIUA president position still available.
March 2019 – Finalize NCCC grant in the form of 40,000.00 in 2019. This combined with the 10,000.00 NCCC granted DIUA in 2018 brings the total grant award for DIUA from NCCC to 50,000.00. Another large donation from a private donor provided an additional 20,000.00 to DIUA coffers towards project completion bringing the total grants and donations to 94,000.00. A GoFundMe campaign brought in an additional 1400.00. This combined with our membership fees of 150.00 * our 54 current members brings in an additional 8,100.00. This brings DIUAs total cash assets to 103,500.00. More than enough and we have a pledge of 10,000.00 as a private donation later in the year after we have acquired Tower contracts.
DIUA is fully funded
$36,000.00 11-GHz radio equipment order placed to complete our licensed radio procurement.
DIUA president position still available.
April 2019 – Received deposit of funds from private donations. Making good progress in communication with tower owners. DIUA president position still available.
May 2019 – Approval from board to purchase the 5-GHz portion of the radio equipment to finish the majority of DIUA radio assets for our phase 1 plans. Ordered 5-GHz equipment. Met with a similar Wireless ISP out of Winthrop and established a great partnership. Working through contract negotiations with tower owners and other various equipment hosting locations. DIUA president position still available.
Whew, now we’re all caught up on the work which has been happening on the DIUA front. There are many more details which can be expanded and often are gone over with our Monthly board meetings every first Thursday of the Month from 7 – 9 pm in the MARC building. Public is welcome and encouraged to attend.
My focus going forward: Finalize the contracts with all parties we’ll need to host our gear. Once contract negotiations are completed DIUA will know a few important things that we’ll be able to communicate to the member base:
When will DIUA be available and where?
What will the priority of installation be?
What are going to be the final DIUA plans and associated costs?
On that final question. I want to be up-front that the previous cost structure which was proposed and communicated was not founded on any actual operational cost data. DIUA is a non-profit which means that we’ll be asking the member base to cover the true operational costs of the infrastructure, a responsible operational reserve, a 5-year hardware refresh cycle as well as to help DIUA become an employer within the Darrington area (longer term). While I do not know what the final DIUA plans and associated costs will be quite yet, what I can tell you is that the costs will be 100% transparent and we will still offer hardship programs driven through NCCC and NCFS to ensure we are providing Internet connections to everyone in the Darrington community.
The answer to “When will DIUA be available?” can only happen once all of the contracts are in place and installs scheduled or at least estimated for various sites and equipment.
Feel free to reach out on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like any additional information. And a reminder we have our Monthly board meetings the first Thursday of every Month from 7 – 9 pm in the MARC building.
Vice President, Board Member