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.

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.

Catalyzing Connectivity: Triumphs and Trials in Community Broadband Initiatives - Episode 580 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

In this special podcast edition, local leaders from East Carroll Parish, Louisiana, share their triumph over expensive and inadequate broadband service despite resistance from a regional monopoly provider. The discussion explores grassroots efforts to overcome obstacles and misleading data, providing insight into successfully enhancing Internet access for their community. The episode concludes by revisiting a 2014 Community Broadband Bits podcast, where Christopher and Lisa perform skits highlighting the challenges of customer service with big cable companies.

Chattanooga Leads with Innovative Services and Pioneering Programs for Low-Income Individuals - Episode 579 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher talks with Deb Socia and Geoff Millener from the Enterprise Center in Chattanooga. They discuss the HCS ED Connect program, which provides free home Internet to low-income students, its positive impact on education, and tech initiatives like the Orchard Knob project and Tech Goes Home benefiting underserved communities. Emphasizing the role of partnerships, they stress the need for universal broadband access as a driving force for positive community change.

Building and Expanding a Tribal Network for Northern Idaho and Beyond - Episode 578 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week, Christopher talks with Valerie Fast Horse, IT director and creator of Red Spectrum, a broadband company serving the Coeur d'Alene Reservation in North Idaho. They delve into Red Spectrum's history, infrastructure upgrades, and challenges in expanding services, highlighting the importance of community involvement, local talent, and overcoming funding obstacles in the pursuit of success.