March 3, 2001

Rincon Computer Labs Receive HPWREN Connectivity

Though the Rincon Indian Reservation sits deep in a northeastern valley of rural San Diego county, the HPWREN team eventually found a way to provide the hard-to-reach area with broadband connectivity.

"The collaboration with HPWREN is very beneficial for our tribe's education center, as well as additional computer labs here on the reservation," said Hunwut Turner, Rincon Education Center Director.

Rincon Connectivity Highlights

February 15, 2001. Rincon's first steps toward establishing high-speed Internet access via HPWREN included digging holes, concreting towers and poles, and a bit of fencing (to protect the set-up from wildlife).

February 20, 2001.Once the tower and fence poles were in place, the solar array was then assembled, lightening rods were secured, and the antenna/radio equipment was put into place.

March 3, 2001.After the relay site work was complete, the team deployed antennas at the Rincon access sites. At last - connectivity was established!

Pam Arviso, Mike Peralta, and Turner played a large role with both the planning and implementation phases of the Rincon connectivity, which was put into place after three days of hard work. "I never realized how much effort went into an Internet connection," said Pam Arviso, "until we helped put ours into place."

In addition to the Rincon Education Center (led by Turner and Peralta), Arviso's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) computer laboratory, is now also connected to the HPWREN via mountain-top solar-powered relay that feeds from UCSD to Mount Woodson and into the reservation.

Line of Sight Issues
"Our main challenge for the Rincon sites was finding and getting usage permission for a good deployment site with direct line of sight," said Hans-Werner Braun, HPWREN PI. "Because Rincon sits so deep in the Pauma Valley, there were not many choices, and none that were easy."

Line-of-sight, the ability to directly see the other end point of a connection, is an important consideration for the wireless connections. This issue had delayed the deployment for a considerable amount of time.

Proof of Concept to Reality
In addition to the Rincon connectivity, recent HPWREN collaborations with the Pala and La Jolla Indian reservations symbolize the first steps toward bringing the high-speed Internet to the overall Native American community in San Diego county. A separate Southern California Tribal Chairman Association project, funded by Hewlett Packard, is expected to begin its creation of a "digital village" in the county - building upon HPWREN's prototype.

For information regarding the HP Digital Village, refer to HP.

Technical Notes:
The current reservation access link connects to the mountain site by means of a directional antenna at the Education Center. An additional omnidirectional antenna is also located at the Education Center to connect the local community. The initial client site of the community connection is one of the TANF education centers, additional local sites can be added in the future.


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