journey to high-speed

Published on Amazon: My Rural Broadband Journey, the one year trail to high-speed

is now a book of 132 pages available on  It is based on this blog which was written during 2011 and 2012.  Below is the Amazon description.


journey to high-speed

journey to high-speed


My Rural Broadband Journey, the one year trail to high-speed is a compilation of a blog series. It chronicles my journey to high-speed Internet in rural America. I decided in May 2011 to discover what stood between our house and broadband service, .6 miles up the road.

We live ten miles from Cornell University and it became important for my work as a communications professional and for our viability as landlords, to be part of Web 2.0 and the high-speed Internet world.

In addition, we wanted all the luxuries afforded our contemporaries: video streaming; e-file; Amazon; YouTube DIY videos; online banking; and Skype.
I began researching and talking to people about my rural broadband problem and reported the results in over forty-five web logs. During the year, I drilled down to discover the complex systems preventing a connection to the 21st century.

I estimate that during the year I attended six public meetings and had
• 11 conversations with our local fortune 500 high-speed provider
• 4 conversations with the NYSPSC
• 3 conversations with local media reporters
• 11 conversations with our neighbors
• 1 conversation with the FCC
• 1 conversation with the BBC


Blog readers wrote to me and commented on my investigation. I read some blog posts to my writers’ group. After several sessions, one of our group members, a retired engineer, slapped his hand down on the table, and said:

“I hate to be the one to tell you this, but nothing short of an intervention from God, is going to fix this situation.”

I believe this book, laced with humor and rich with data and questions, may save people from wasting time as they struggle along the digital divide. This is a good case study in the profit motive: it can control a nation, if we let it. I also believe there are implications in this story for the dangers of net neutrality.

This is not a dry report on the boring topic of rural broadband; this is the day-to-day struggle of life without it.

Here are some sample sections from the book:

 Broadband 5…and so the story continues ~What exactly is a Time Warner Cable survey?
 24 hours in the life of the less connected ~Time & money: costs of being less connected
 #rural broadband: Do we have the technology? ~Is it that we can’t as a nation or that we won’t?

 US BROADBAND NOW: Are you kidding me…please say it ain’t so: Kenya to get $40 million in US aid for its national broadband strategy

 Tompkins County Legislature’s Special Committee on Broadband will meet Tuesday, February 28, 2012 in Lansing, NY
~Sketch of a system


About the author: Claire Perez holds a M.S. in Communications from the Roy H. Park School at Ithaca College. Ms. Perez has taught for twenty years, including ten years as a secondary social studies instructor and three as a college lecturer. In addition, she has worked and volunteered in community education in Ithaca, New York





rural broadband, digital divide, high-speed Internet, net neutrality, last mile, fiber to the home, wireless broadband


Where does my money go? @ the Lansing Community Library

Below are ten pieces of information I passed on at a Lansing Community Library program.  It includes websites, information, and insights from my time as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Money Management educator and VITA Assistant Site Coordinator at AFCU.

1.  Money management, like most things, is a behavior.  For any new habit you wish to add into your life, write down answers to the following questions:

  1. What do I want to do?
  2. When will I do it?
  3. How will I do it?

Remember, change is hard and may come slow…For simple strategies to select from see the book:  Small Steps to Health and Wealth.

2.  Write down $MART goals?  There is much written about these, in a nut shell, SMART means:

  • $pecific,
  • Measurable
  • Attainable, Agree
  • Review, Revise,
  • Time Limited and Trade Offs.

(Different sources use different words but the concepts are the same.)

Here is a link to a free template:

3.  Track your expenses.  Use a notebook, excel sheet, piece of paper, or calendar: knowledge and accountability are power.  At the end of the month, compare what you spent to what you think you spend and/or look at one regular cost you might be able to change.

4.  Write a spending plan.  Use a notebook, excel sheet, free template on-line, calendar.  Guesstimate the first month, compare your expenses to your plan before doing next months, where are the leaks?  What is preventing you from reaching your goals?

5.  Review you goals, are they realistic?  Do you need to revise your goals?  What changes can you make?  Small changes add up…see Step Down to Change in the Small Steps to Health and Wealth book linked in number one above.

6.  Use community resources:  do you need to buy it or do you want to buy it?   Is there a resource in the community where you can purchase it?

One place to call is 211 in Tompkins County, it is an information and referral line.  Also the Tompkins Count Human Services Coalition provides a wealth of information on community resources.

7.  Get insight…read books:  Suze Orman, Small Steps to Health and Wealth (free online), financial websites:

8.  What is your spending style, do you need to adjust it to reach your goals?  There are many quizzes on-line and a particularly good resource:  Money Habitudes at…

9.  Finally, do you check your credit report annually for accuracy? 

It is free at annualcredit, watch out for trickery.  Do not enter any credit card information unless you know you want to pay for your FICO score and then check the site.  In addition, avoid the links to free credit, this is not a free site.

I was able to get my free credit report recently.  I saved it as a pdf and can get access to it at anytime.  Since each of the three providers must give you a credit report annually, some experts suggest checking one report every four months.

10.  If is your path, only you can chart it out.

Holiday cards and snow

as I write this my very restless husband is signaling that he wants us to get into the car and go source out two barrels for him for his spring project, a coi pond.  We are having a peaceful holiday season so far and I am grateful.  I feel for those who are not because I have had many a sad holiday and, as I mentioned a few blogs ago, the holidays can be an exaggerated dagger in the heart that is sore.

Here are a few pictures from a peaceful week…

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