Community Broadband Bits Podcast

Community Broadband Bits is a weekly audio show hosted by Community Broadband Networks Initiative Director Christopher Mitchell featuring interviews with people building community networks or otherwise involved with Internet policy. You can listen to episodes below or download via Apple, Google, or Spotify. Alternatively if you know what to do with it, copy the feed here.

We also produce a semi-regular video show called Connect This! that has its own site. Find other podcasts from ILSR here.

We also have an index of all episodes and links to transcripts. Keep up with new developments by subscribing to our one-email-per-week list sharing new stories and resources. We’d love to hear your feedback! Email us.

Lincoln Park and Smart City Initiatives in Fort Pierce with Jason Mittler - Episode 590 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

In this podcast episode, Christopher and Jason Mittler discuss the Fort Pierce Utilities Authority Network, a fiber optic network in Fort Pierce, Florida, highlighting its diverse applications in providing Internet, utility services, smart grid solutions, and smart city services. They also touch on the Lincoln Park Smart Neighborhood project, addressing low broadband adoption rates by offering 100 Mbps symmetrical service at $31 per month, with additional services for higher speeds. The conversation concludes with valuable advice for those entering the ISP market, emphasizing collaboration, partnerships, and staying informed about the evolving Internet services landscape.

People Over Profit: DigitalC's Mission to Connect Communities in Cleveland- Episode 589 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher talks with Joshua Edmonds, CEO of DigitalC, a nonprofit in Cleveland, Ohio, dedicated to bridging the digital divide. DigitalC provides fast, affordable internet at $18/month, along with digital literacy training and device deployment. They've recently secured a $20 million contract from the city to expand their infrastructure, aiming to connect 23,000 households in 18 months. Christopher and Joshua stress the importance of prioritizing people over profit, emphasizing the need to serve the unserved and underserved populations to comprehensively address the digital divide.

Planning is Good, but Pivoting is Better in Fort Collins, Colorado - Episode 588 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Chad Crager, Broadband Executive Director at City of Fort Collins, to talk about the rapidly maturing city-owned network they call Connexion. From a feasibility study in 2018 to the lion's share of construction completed today, Connexion's story illustrates the value of being nimble when expectations meet reality.

Connecting the Last Twenty Percent in Newark - Episode 587 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

Newark, New Jersey has been operating a dark fiber network for more than a decade. In recent years, the city has expanded its efforts to leverage those assets in an incremental effort to improve connectivity and competition for local business and residents, while also building out a robust Wi-Fi network. The goal: build a portfolio of approaches to connect the last twenty percent of the city that doesn't have access today.

Bridging Bytes: Empowering Communities Through Local Broadband Growth - Episode 586 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

In this latest podcast episode, Christopher and Sean discuss the remarkable growth of municipal broadband networks in the U.S., noting the establishment of 47 new networks since 2021, bringing the total to over 400. The conversation explores diverse network models, challenges faced by municipalities, including opposition from major ISPs, and underscores the importance of community support. They also highlight the crucial role of data from schools and organizations in understanding broadband access and promoting digital equity.

Predictions for 2024 - Episode 585 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

The fading sound of holiday bells and soft stillness that comes with plunging temps can only mean one thing; it's January again, which means it's time to break out the crystal ball and have a conversation about the year to come. Joining Christopher in the recording booth are a slew of CBN staffers new and veteran to join in the collective task of putting words to feelings both foreboding and optimistic about the year to come.

Navigating the Broadband Horizon and ACP's Future - Episode 584 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher explores the broadband and telecommunications landscape with Blair Levin, anticipating its significance in 2024. They delve into crucial FCC issues, including the ACP and the future of Title II, while also addressing industry mergers, the evolution of fixed wireless and fiber networks, and ongoing challenges in achieving universal service and closing the digital divide.

Fiber Fusion: Navigating Municipal Fiber Networks with Traverse City Light and Power - Episode 583 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the first podcast of the year, Christopher chats with Scott Menhart, CTO of Traverse City Light and Power, delving into the history of TCLP and the advantages of constructing a municipal fiber network for Traverse City, Michigan. Despite challenges from major corporations, they underscore the significance of persistence and meticulous planning in developing successful broadband networks for local communities.

Year in Review 2023 - Episode 582 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the final podcast of the year, the team reflects on the 2023 broadband landscape, covering topics such as the BEAD rollout, municipal fiber projects, the FCC's new commissioner, and noteworthy broadband "scandals." Tune in for insights and a look back at the accuracy of last year's predictions.

The Future of LTE - Episode 581 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

In this special Connect This! edition of the podcast, co-hosts Christopher Mitchell and Travis Carter, along with guests Doug Dawson, Kim McKinley, and special guest Mike Dano (Light Reading), revisit the future of mobile wireless and LTE networks, exploring their evolution and addressing key topics such as rural mobile wireless, market dynamics, and the 5G hype.