Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
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.
The Birth of the Texas State Broadband Development Office - Episode 515 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast
This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Greg Conte, Director of the Texas Broadband Development Office, and ILSR Outreach Team Lead DeAnne Cuellar. The state of Texas finds itself in a common position these days: last year it created a small office that, today, is suddenly faced with dispersing more than a billion dollars in new infrastructure funding through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program.
Campaigns to Keep Monopolies We Don't Love - Episode 514 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast
This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Sean Gonsalves, Senior Reporter and Editor at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. During the conversation, they talk about the value and concrete results of going small and stacking up targeted wins as a path for cities facing less of an appetite for big, bold projects, before digging into recent astroturf campaigns by monopoly Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
The New FCC Broadband Fabric - Episode 513 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast
This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Mike Conlow, Director of Network Strategy at Cloudflare, a network security and Internet performance company. Christopher and Mike dive into the upcoming Broadband Serviceable Locations Fabric which will serve as the basis for the new nationwide maps from the Federal Communications Commission.
Should the BEAD Program Be As Onerous As It Seems? - Episode 512 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast
This week’s podcast comes from the Fiber Connect 2022 conference held in Nashville, Tennessee last month where Christopher caught up with Heather Mills, Vice President for Grants and Funding Strategies at CTC Technology & Energy. During the conversation, Heather challenges Christopher’s assessment of the BEAD program in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and what he calls the program’s “complex and onerous” requirements. Heather kicks things off by telling Christopher to “get over it” because ultimately the program uses tax dollars, emphasizing how important it is that those funds are not misspent.
Frameworks for the Future in Newark - Episode 511 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast
This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Seth Wainer, the former CIO of the city of Newark, New Jersey. During the conversation, Seth shares his time with the city from 2013-2018. He talks about the progress the city made in improving local connectivity across different arenas, from cataloging existing assets, to pursuing both wired and wireless self-funded projects (to more than 100 buildings today), to putting in vendor-agnostic fiber in downtown development, to coordinating utility projects to lower costs.
Empowering Municipalities in New York - Episode 510 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast
This week on the podcast Christopher is joined by Scott Rasmussen, Acting Director of the New York State ConnectALL Office. During the show, the two dive into how New York will spend its broadband funds to support municipal networks and partnerships, the challenges of public-public partnerships between local governments working together on deployments, and what we can expect success to look like in the near future.
Underbuilding, States BEAD Posturing, and Hot Topics in Community Networks - Episode 509 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast
This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by senior staff on the broadband initiative to dig into recent topics, including Senior Reporter, Editor and Communications Team Lead Sean Gonsalves, Community Broadband Outreach Team Lead DeAnne Cuellar, and Senior Researcher and Research Team Lead Ry Marcattilio-McCracken.
How Consulting Firms Can Help Communities Plan, Build, and Finance Local Broadband Networks - Episode 508 Community Broadband Bits Podcast
This week on the podcast Christopher is joined by Ken Demlow, Planning Services Group Manager with HR Green, a leading employee-owned civil engineering and technical management firm with offices in nine states.The pair dive into the world of consulting firms and how they help cities and towns across the United States figure out how to build and design local infrastructure, which includes the building of local broadband networks.
How INCOMPAS Advocates for Broadband Policy That Promotes Competition - Episode 507 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast
This week on the podcast, while attending the 2022 Broadband Communities Summit in Houston earlier this month, Christopher was joined by Angie Kronenberg, Chief Advocate and General Counsel for INCOMPAS, a leading trade association advocating on behalf of telecommunication policies that encourage competition. The pair kick-off the podcast with a fun nod to Angie’s involvement on a “speed dating” panel where the concept of “overbuilding” (industry-speak for competition) was a hot topic of discussion.