Another bank closes – we can help with new technology

And so we see another bank branch closing in Barclays, Hebden Bridge. ‘The way that customers undertake their banking is changing as people increasingly use online, telephone and mobile devices‘.

This obviously assumes that people have the knowledge, equipment and experience to move to online banking.

As part of the national Online Centres Network, for over 3 years Stoodley Training Mentors has been aiming to help those caught in the ever burgeoning move towards the move to online services. Many of those previously doubtful of the benefits of ‘going online’ are now familiar with digital technology but many others are nervous of taking that first step – or do not have the equipment to do so. We have been supported previously by the Staying Well scheme, Todmorden Council and Hebden Royd Council to offer a lifeline to those floundering with the onslaught of digital technology and subsequently with our assistance have moved on to understanding how certain services can reduce their loneliness and isolation.

What makes us different from other computer services is our patience, consideration and the time we take to help those who have never even switched on a digital device or other computer to allow them to ‘Open their World’ by sending photographs old and new to family and friends, chatting online for free, researching family history and more.

We have a number of mentors with different skills but our emphasis is on a patient understanding that people are now having to use technologies that have been developed very recently (remember, the Internet is only just over 20 years old, the iPhone just over 10 and tablets just over 5!)

We do not deny that new technology has it’s benefits but we are here to help and answer the questions of those who are just about to ‘dip a toe’ into the next advance after automatic washing machines and video recorders.

If you would like a chat about how we can help, please call 07716 265668. If you have already taken the first step but want to gain confidence in other things that you can do on the Internet, email us on stoodleytm@gmail.com

Church spires to boost mobile coverage

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Church of England has the third-largest rural estate in the country

Church spires could be used to boost mobile and broadband coverage in rural areas under an agreement between the UK government and the Church of England.

The government has committed to achieving good-quality mobile connectivity across the UK by 2022.

While the agreement encourages churches to sign up, they will still have to negotiate the usual planning process.

Digital analysts welcomed the development but said “the devil would be in the detail”.

“Getting access to suitable sites, particularly in rural areas, has been a real challenge for mobile operators, so any initiative aimed at improving this will be welcomed by the industry,” said Matthew Howett, principal analyst at research firm Assembly.

Local agreements

“What’s not clear, though, is what the commercial relationship looks like. There have been many stories of rural land owners effectively holding operators to ransom for access to some sites, which has slowed down rollout and added considerably to the cost.”

The government said commercial arrangements would be made locally between dioceses or parishes and mobile operators and broadband providers but gave no further details.

Two-thirds of Anglican churches are in rural areas and their location at the heart of their communities means they are well-placed to help deliver improved mobile connectivity, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said.

Secretary of State Matt Hancock said: “Churches are central features and valued assets for local communities up and down the country.

“This agreement with the Church of England will mean that even a 15th Century building can help make Britain fit for the future, improving people’s lives by boosting connectivity in some of our hardest-to-reach areas.”

‘Deplorable’ coverage

There are already about 120 examples of broadband and mobile services being delivered from parish churches across the country, according to the Church of England.

These take a variety of forms – from wireless transmitters in spires to aerials, satellite dishes and cables. The equipment is used to boost both voice and data coverage.

The Dioceses of Norwich and Chelmsford have been signed up to programmes for at least five years.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, said: “Encouraging churches to improve connectivity will help tackle two of the biggest issues rural areas face – isolation and sustainability.

“Our work has significantly improved rural access to high-speed broadband.”

The Bishop of Norwich, the Right Reverend Graham James, said using parish churches “creatively” would enhance their value to communities.

According to Ofcom’s figures, published in December, 4G coverage – where a signal is available from all four mobile operators – is currently available across 43% of the UK.

For calls and text messaging, 70% of the UK can receive a signal from all four operators.

At the time, Lord Adonis, the chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, urged Ofcom to improve mobile service, which he described as “deplorable”.

Mozilla and NSF awards $380K to small projects connecting the unconnected

Much Happening in the USA to bridge the digital divide, yet what is happening in the UK  ?

The FCC might be tough at work at “bridging the digital divide,” & as Chairman Pai so regularly puts it, and the Connect America Fund II will assist. While the huge gamers are setting up, individuals all over the U.S. are going without dependable web. Mozilla and the National Science Foundation are granting money to jobs that intend to link those still waiting on the bandwidth we consider approved.

There were 2 Wireless Innovation for a Networks Society obstacles: one to utilize cordless tech to keep individuals linked throughout catastrophes and other emergency situations, and another to link neighborhoods to existing cordless facilities for regular usage.

First location took house $60,000, 2nd $40,000 and 3rd $30,000. These preliminary awards are the preliminary of a bigger task, implied to transform style principles into models for live presentation this summer season; winners will be picked in the fall.

For the very first, “ off-the-grid &  difficulty, top place went to Lantern , a pocket-sized gadget that utilizes off-the-shelf elements to develop a sort of offline Wi-Fi that others can link to. Regional information filled onto an SD card is offered wirelessly to close-by users through an app or web user interface.

Updates and messages from other users or somebody bring brand-new details from a working web connection are downloaded, and the places of resources are contributed to its offline map.

Third and 2nd went to portable network facilities gadgets that link a broad location with fundamental messaging and calling to each other or, if readily available, connection to an LTE network.

The obstacle to link neighborhoods to existing networks had top place go to the Equitable Internet Initiative . This task was born in Detroit from disappointment that some parts of the city were getting gigabit fiber while others had yet to have any broadband at all. Diana Nucera of the Detroit Community Technology Project started setting it up in 2016, setting up cordless repeaters and gain access to indicate spread its own gigabit connection and intranet resources to those in requirement.

The group prepares to strengthen the network with its $60,000 grant, include solar-based backup power and develop both emergency situation and long-lasting prepare for keeping the network up.

Second went to NoogaNet, which is aiming to utilize energy poles to develop a mesh network, and the Southern Connected Communities Network, which wishes to blast broadband wirelessly over underserved swaths of Appalachia and the South.

There were likewise a lots respectable points out getting $10,000 each —– take a look at the winners area of the WINS site and see if there’& rsquo; s one in your location you can assist with.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/20/mozilla-and-nsf-awards-380k-to-small-projects-connecting-the-unconnected/

Revised Christmas Opening Times

Update on Computer Support Sessions over the Christmas and New Year period.

As you know, our mentors kindly give up their time from other employment and activities to help us to break the digital divide by helping people overcome the fear of going online. As such, we have found that other responsibilities need to be addressed by our mentors in the run up to Christmas.

Therefore, we are now closed for Christmas at all our venues and will re-open in the New Year as follows;

We will restart Monday sessions at Hebden Royd Methodist Church on Monday 8 January 2018.

Unfortunately due to lack of funding, we cannot restart the sessions at Hebden Bridge Town Hall in the New Year.

We will restart the sessions at Todmorden Library on Wednesday 10 January 2018.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

For those unaware of our work, we aim to help those disenfranchised by the move to digital technology with banks closing, local/national government requiring use of online services etc. We have been supporting those with no or limited digital knowledge for 3 years and have been a not-for-profit Community Interest Company since September 2016. Any support is welcome but mainly we hope to reach those socially isolated people who could benefit by the opportunities to “Open Your World”.

Remember you can help us subsidise those who cannot afford computer/device support by donating through Neighbourly crowdfunding site at

http://ra-w.uk/STM-CF

Stoodley Computer Sessions over Christmas and New Year

Update on Computer Support Sessions over the Christmas and New Year period. Our last Monday session at Hebden Royd Methodist Church this year will be Monday 18 December and we will restart on Monday 8 January 2018. The last session at Hebden Bridge town hall will be Tuesday 19 December. Unfortunately due to lack of funding, we cannot restart these sessions in the New Year. The last session at Todmorden library this year will be Wednesday 20 December and will restart on Wednesday 10 January 2018.

For those unaware of our work, we aim to help those disenfranchised by the move to digital technology with banks closing, local/national government requiring use of online services etc. We have been supporting those with no or limited digital knowledge for 3 years and have been a not-for-profit Community Interest Company since September 2016. Any support is welcome but mainly we hope to reach those socially isolated people who could benefit by the opportunities to “Open Your World”.

Remember you can help us subsidise those who cannot afford computer/device support by donating through Neighbourly crowdfunding site at

http://ra-w.uk/STM-CF