In September 2018, we announced that we would begin working with NEO Partners LLC to bring the Community Networks Quickstart Program to local communities interested in exploring the possibilities of publicly owned broadband networks. For this week’s podcast, Christopher talks with the people behind the program, Glenn Fishbine and Nancy DeGidio. Glenn and Nancy have combined their talents to … Continue reading "Getting Your Community Off to A Quick Start With CN Quickstart – Community...
Many of us are accustomed to Internet access from companies that own the infrastructure, offer only a few options, and are one of a small number of providers. For the most part, we’ve learned to accept that model, but will it ever change? This week’s guest, President of EntryPoint Networks Jeff Christensen, explains why that model is broken … Continue reading "Taking Control Through Software Defined Networks – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 338"
We left our crystal ball, tarot cards, and astrology charts at home, but that won’t stop us from trying to predict what will happen in 2019 for this week’s annual predictions podcast. Each year, we reflect on the important events related to publicly owned broadband networks and local connectivity that occurred during the year and … Continue reading "Predictions for 2019, Year in Review for 2018 – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 337"
Many of our regular listeners will recognize this week’s guest voice. Craig Settles has been operating as an industry analyst and consultant since 2006. He’s also host of the Gigabit Nation radio talk show and Director of Communities United for Broadband. In recent years, Craig has focused much of his attention on telehealth and the ways communities large … Continue reading "Telehealth: Promoting Healthier People and Stronger Local Economies – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 336"
By the time a local community is ready to light up their municipal fiber optic network, they’ve already invested several years’ worth of debate, investigation, and energy. While deploying a network is certainly a complicated task, educating the community, growing support, and helping elected officials determine the best approach is equally difficult. What’s it like … Continue reading "Possibilities, Challenges, Risks : Chicopee, Massachusetts, Considers A Muni – Community Broadband Bits...
This week on the Community Broadband Bits Podcast, we hear from Russell Senior and Michael Hanna from Portland, Oregon. Russell is President of the Personal Telco Project and Michael is a Data Engineer for Multnomah County; both are on the Board of the Municipal Broadband Coalition of America. In this interview Christopher, Russell, and Michael … Continue reading "Organizing for Better Broadband in the Portland, Oregon, Region – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 334"
Whether it’s a local government or ISP that chooses to invest in fiber optic infrastructure accurate, dependable, mapping is critical before, during, and after initial deployment. This week’s guests deliver that service through VETRO FiberMap. CEO Will Mitchell and COO Sean Myers join Christopher to discuss their mapping platform, the creative ways they use it, and their … Continue reading "Beyond Mapping With VETRO FiberMap – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 333"
Dalton, Georgia’s OptiLink has served the community for around 15 years, making it one of the first citywide Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) municipal networks. In this interview, Chief Technical Services Officer of OptiLink and for Dalton Utilities Hank Blackwood talks with Christopher about the past, the present, and the immediate future of OptiLink. Hank describes the original purpose for … Continue reading "After 15 Years, OptiLink Still Innovating in Dalton, Georgia – Community Broadband Bits...
When anti-muni groups have taken aim at publicly owned networks, they’ve often put UTOPIA in their crosshairs. The Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency has had times of struggle, but those days seem to be over. The network is expanding, subscribers are touting the benefits that come with the choice of an open access network, and other communities … Continue reading "UTOPIA Is Not A Dream, It’s a Network – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 331"
This week, Christopher presents the last of the interviews he conducted while at the 2018 Broadband Communities Economic Development Conference in Ontario, California, in October. As long as he was in the Golden State, he decided to check in with Jory Wolf, Vice President of Digital Innovation at Magellan Advisors. Jory may work in the consulting field now, … Continue reading "Catching Up in Cali with Jory Wolf – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 330"
While Christopher was in Ontario, California at the 2018 Broadband Communities Economic Development Conference, he took advantage of the opportunity and recorded several discussions with experts to share with our Community Broadband Bits Podcast audience. This week, we’re presenting his conversation with Deb Socia, Executive Director of Next Century Cities, and Bob Knight, Executive Vice President and … Continue reading "Political Will and Local Broadband Initiatives – Community Broadband...
For the next few days, Christopher is at the 2018 Broadband Communities Economic Development Conference in Ontario, California. As he always does while he’s out of the office, rubbing elbows with folks from the field, he’s recording some interviews with people like this week’s guest, General Manager of SandyNet and IT Director for the City of Sandy, Oregon. … Continue reading "Getting Up to Speed With Sandy, Oregon – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 328"
It’s been a while since we last visited with Reedsburg Utilities Commission General Manager Brett Schuppner. He’s back on the show again to help us spread the word about this Wisconsin town’s decision to switch all their muni network subscribers to affordable gigabit connectivity and to eliminate all other tiers. Brett and Christopher get into … Continue reading "Revisiting Reedsburg: LightSpeed’s All-Gig Telecommuter Paradise – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 327"
We don’t often get the opportunity to interview people from Texas, so when we heard about Mont Belvieu’s gigabit fiber optic network we knew we had to have them on the show. When we learned that four officials from the east Texas town would join us we said, “Even better!” City Manager Nathan Watkins, Director of Broadband … Continue reading "Small Town Does Fiber Bigger In Texas – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 326"
When Fairpoint wouldn’t give folks in Crestone, Colorado, what they needed after repeated requests, they decided to take care of it themselves. By 2012, Ralph Abrams and his band of Internet pioneers had created Colorado Central Telecom, providing affordable, dependable fixed wireless service to premises throughout the region at much faster speeds than Fairpoint could ever … Continue reading "Colorado Community WISP Picks Up Slack When Incumbent Fails to Deliver – Community Broadband Bits...
Great Lakes Energy (GLE) in Michigan decided in late 2017 to approve a plan to incrementally deploy Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) to cooperative members, beginning with a pilot project in Petoskey. This week, Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Energy Optimization from GLE joins Christopher to talk about what could possibly become the largest FTTH project in the … Continue reading "Great Lakes Energy’s Big Plan for Big Fiber – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 324"
This week on the podcast, we get insight into a community network that puts extra emphasis on the word “community.” Diana Nucera, Director of the Detroit Community Technology Project (DCTP) talks with Christopher about how the people in her city and their diversity are the driving forces behind the connectivity they have created. Diana and Christopher review … Continue reading "Building Digital Equity in Detroit – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 323"
Caller ID spoofing, robocalls, and general spam phone calls are one of the hassles of 21st century life. This week on Community Broadband Bits, Christopher and Richard Shockey of Shockey Consulting talk about how the problem has progressed and what leaders in telecommunications are doing about it. As we transition from our old telephone system … Continue reading "Stop the Spoof, Resist the Robocall – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 322"
A year ago, we last had Jonathan Chambers of Conexon on the podcast to discuss the pros and cons of the Connect America Fund. Since then, the FCC has held an auction to expand connectivity in rural areas as part of the Connect America Fund Phase II (Auction 903) and recently released news of the winning … Continue reading "Analyzing the Auction With Jonathan Chambers – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 321"
Plenty of local communities are interested in the possibilities of creating publicly owned Internet infrastructure but pause when it comes to funding. This week on the podcast, Christopher interviews Jase Wilson, CEO, and Lindsey Brannon, Head of Public Finance, from Neighborly. The firm is working with local communities and using an innovative approach to financing publicly owned … Continue reading "Neighbors Investing Through Neighborly – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 320"