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The Alliance of Champion Communities is a community-based, citizen-led partnership that assists West Virginia communities in becoming more economically competitive by providing education, technical assistance, and the sharing of best practices in community development.
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Empowerment from within...
The Alliance of West Virginia Champion Communities inspires leadership by example. Those who participate learn how to facilitate meetings, develop agendas, conduct surveys and network with other leaders. Members mentor emerging community leaders in structuring projects, writing grant applications, organizing volunteers and other important leadership skills.
Neighborhood Wireless Networks

The mountains and forests that make living in rural West Virginia so inviting also make wireless broadband deployments complex and expensive. Dial-up ISPs are generally the only option for residents in rural West Virginia. Coal River Road Neighborhood Wireless Network is a demonstration project of the Alliance and One Economy, Inc., which installed a single satellite to share a signal with up to 15 neighbors. The test project demonstrated the practicality of creating neighborhood wireless networks in rural settings.

One Economy, Inc. provided the necessary equipment. The Alliance provided the manpower and information resources. Network organizer Marcel Fortin supplied the land for placement of the satellite system and Natcor performed the installations. Neighborhood residents quickly became excited about receiving high speed service for an affordable cost, comparable to commercial ISP options in nearby service areas. Many chose to participate.

Since the original installation was completed, some equipment enhancements have been made to provide the best signal to all participants. The network is close to full capacity of users with internet activity continuing to increase.

A side benefit of this project was that neighbors, who normally see each other infrequently, began talking and getting to know each other better. The residents of Coal River Road have a sense of pride in their shared network.

If your neighborhood has interest in establishing a shared wireless network, or you are a tech support, equipment or service provider who can assist with installations contact Marcel Fortin for more information.

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