If the power goes out we have the battery in our cell phones, laptops etc. With cell service and the tower's backup generators we still have communications, not WIFI, but we have our cell signal. When the power goes out for a long time that may not be enough. If a earthquake happens and the cell tower goes offline, we have no communication. We have a tremendous fiber backbone in Kitsap County, but the thinking around integrated service is thwarted by lack of investment, backwards thinking, and a significant lack of vision.
We can do much better using WIFI to deliver service instead of hard wire to the home. We can completely cover Kitsap County and all you need to access it is a password. WIFI anywhere you go? Add Power 4 All into this mix and the generator issue becomes less critical most of the time.
When a major disaster does hit we can potentially utilize Google's Project Loon and be back in touch with the wider world in hours. Being alone, cold and hungry is bad enough, cutting of communications at that time due to lack of foresight is a catastrophe. We can do better!
WiFi vs Wire
The last mile... The biggest cost factor for delivering internet to the home is laying the cable, factoring in the permitting, the digging, resurfacing, cost of labor, etc., is an expensive process. On the other hand, setting up a county wide WIFI network using line of sight connectivity and renewable energy resources is far more cost effective and can cover entire neighborhoods. Imagine an internet option that lets you use a single password to stay connected wherever you are in Kitsap County? From home, at a café, in the market, anywhere you are, or want to be.
When you consider this infrastructure and factor in a Project Loon and StarLink connection, with a Power 4 All infrastructure, we become both connected and resilient at the same time. The future is here now, it only take our will to make it happen.
Google's Project Loon
Project Loon is the brainchild of Google's wild idea department. It has been in the testing phase in Peru and New Zealand for the past several years with good results. Initially we (Resilient Ecosystems) were looking at the applications regarding emergency management for Cascadia Rising, where communications could be disrupted for a very long time. Having a system like Loon could reengage broad communications with line of sight to a location out of Cascadia's direct influence. Combine Loon with the Power 4 All project and we go a long way toward clearing the ground for recovery. In addition to this we provide a means for residents in Kitsap to stay in touch and reduce the panic and help facilitate reconnection and delivery of needed supplies and support. While the Loon project is commercially dead, the applications for emergencies are boundless.
Local resources are going to be key in developing local resilience! Kitsap Public Utility District (KPUD) has been leading the charge for decades. They control the majority of fiber in Kitsap County, they tread sewage, provide water management, and might be the key to a Power 4 All solution!