What happens when one broadband company runs half the country?

The  average American citizen is left powerless.


 Three years ago, Time Warner Cable told us they would charge us $53, 927 to connect us to their service .6 miles away.

At the same time, they wired the same space for $40,000 less in Maine (with similar population densities and for free).

I asked why the discrepancy? In fact, I asked and probed for a year. No one from Time Warner, or its monitor, the New York State Public Service Commission, could tell me.

$13,200: the amount Time Warner paid to wire .6 miles in Maine.

$53,927.00: the amount Time Warner quoted us this past
spring to expand service .6 miles to our home with the potential to serve over 11 households.

from My Rural Broadband Journey, this e-book is free today.

Continue reading What happens when one broadband company runs half the country?


Rural Broadband…Free book and why it matters to net neutrality

Book promotion is no easy task…so here is a sample of a letter I wrote folks on LinkedIn…I paid for 30 InMails which I have to use up by the end of the month.  It was one of

those free trials when you think you will cancel it by the time they ding you for $68.00 twice.  In addition, my book goes off KDP select on Friday, so I thought I might as well offer it free

today through Thursday.  So here is the promo letter which at the end answers the question:  Why my book matters:

Hello:  I am a Roy H. Park School of Communications graduate and I want to bring your attention to my e-book, My Rural Broadband Journey, which is free on Amazon Kindle through Thursday, October 30, 2014.

Continue reading Rural Broadband…Free book and why it matters to net neutrality

storms storm in #2

Cayuga Lake
Cayuga Lake
Cayuga Lake via iPad
Cayuga Lake via iPad

there is perhaps nothing like the impending storm

those moments when fear paralyzes us as we look
to the safe harbor
the sun shining a moment ago, the clouds now gathering
the distant rains far,but in sight
brace ourselves for the winds that will come
the rains that will beat us down
until once again, the clouds part
and the sun welcomes us to its warm embrace
copyright claireaperez@gmail.com  all rights:  photos

Two famous Tommys…reading Vanity Fair on a Sunday morn and reflecting on pulsars

Tommy Hilfiger is from my hometown, Elmira, NY. When we were teens, my friends and I would venture into his store, People’s Place, and buy gorgeous, modern sweaters. We were oblivious to the bong shop in the back.
Tommy Hilfiger is older and I do not know him personally, but I know his family members. His father, Hippo, was a sweet man who repaired jewelry at the fancy Shriebman’s Jewelers. His sister, Didi, coached me, with all her sweet might, during my failed attempt to make the junior high cheerleading team. When I taught, two of Tommy’s nephews were in my classroom: great kids and down to earth.

In my early 20s, reading Vanity Fair…I almost fell off my seat when I saw an advertisement for Tommy Hilfiger clothes… who knew that when he moved to NY City, he’d make it? I was impressed and the rest is history.

When I moved to Ithaca, where everyone knows famous people, or at least one famous person, in some field, I use to mention my Tommy connection. It fell on unimpressed ears. One friend said, “Oh, yeh, his first wife went to high school with me.”

My husband, Radames, the science teacher, who swept me away to our home, a perpetual science lab, said to me,

“You know, these people, these sports people and Tommy Hilfiger types, they don’t alter human history, and they make so much money. It is the people who study and add to knowledge that matter, for example, Sir Fred Hoyle, Sir Hermann Bondi, and then he’d rattle off some other names, and something about the golden age of physics.”

In the summer of 2003 I applied, through Cornell University’s temporary service office, for any old job. I received a call from the Center for Radiophysics and Space Science and an administrator described a position: memoir assistant to Professor Thomas Gold. He received a grant to finish his memoirs and she thought I might be a good fit for the job.

I took it and that day ran out to meet Radames in the driveway, he approached the house,

“Guess who I am working for this summer? Thomas Gold.” He took a step back: “You are going to work for Thomas Gold?”
“Yes,” he moved a step forward and then two backward. “You are going to work for the Thomas Gold?!”
“Yes,” I said, my giggle bordering on nervousness, Radames moved forward again:
“You are going to work for Thomas Gold! The Gold of Bondi, Hoyle, and Gold!!”

…oh, now, I remembered Gold was the other name. Finally, an impressed husband and an impressive Tommy and suddenly, a very nervous me.

I absolutely loved working for Thomas Gold but those stories are for another day. We did finish the memoirs within the year and shortly before his death.~~~~~~~

Time moves forward, I rarely mention my Tommy connections…if I mention Hilfiger, people shrug , if I mention Gold, people want to know what he did, and I never explain the science very well. I have found myself at one too many cocktail parties trying to explain pulsars, my husband bailing me out while the conversation partner just stares at me, deer in the headlights.

But on a hot August day a few years ago, while walking through the streets of Manhattan with my  friend from grad school, something very interesting happened. We often brainstorm about how we might make our millions, dreaming for the most part, but on that day, after my frequent intermittent stops into air-conditioned sanctuaries, I said,

“We should go into the Tommy Hilfiger store, I could see if any of his relatives are around that might remember me. Hey, who knows, maybe they would hire you as a model?”
He laughed and I said, “Did I ever tell you that Tommy Hilfiger is from Elmira and my connection to him?”

He slowed in his mid-town tracks,

“Claire you never told me you knew Tommy Hilfiger… how come you never told me!” Still stunned, he just said, “Wow!”

copyright all material claireaperez@gmail.com