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Christopher Quoted on North Carolina Broadband Access in Stanly News & Press
Christopher Mitchell, director of ILSR's Community Broadband Networks initiative, was quoted in the Stanly News & Press's coverage of Let's Connect, a series of community meetings organized by ILSR, the North Carolina League of Municipalities, and NC Hearts Gigabit. The meetings brought together community leaders, local ISPs, policy experts, and residents to talk about the need for better broadband and potential solutions for the region. His contributions are below:
“In general, most of rural N.C. has pretty poor access,” said Mitchell, “and I would say not an obvious solution for where better access is going to come from because providers like CenturyLink and AT&T that serve telephone to a lot of rural North Carolina do not have the capacity or the interest in upgrading those services, so there needs to be some other actor that comes in to provide that investment.”
The ultimate goal behind the event is to eventually “have high quality internet access to everyone,” Mitchell said.
“Everyone in the nation is going to have it,” Mitchell said. “The question is, is it going to take 20 years or seven years?”
Mitchell said Stanly is a classic rural county with the major population center of Albemarle having “pretty adequate” internet access compared to the other cities around it. But he said even Albemarle does not have the access people in Charlotte or Raleigh possess.
“Over the next 50 years, we will see the internet change society more than what electricity has done,” Mitchell said.
Not only has the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic exposed our nation’s dire lack of medical equipment and protective gear, but it has also shone a light on the inadequacy of our rural broadband networks.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. (April 24, 2020) - The Federal Communications Commission has concluded that broadband is being deployed “on a reasonable and timely basis” across America.
Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Networks initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, recently appeared on Broadband Breakfast Live Online on March 31 to discuss the impacts of the pandemic in the broadband sector. Along with Christopher, the panel discussion was joined by host Drew Clark, Editor and Publisher at Broadband Breakfast, Gigi Sohn from Benton Institute for Broadband and Society, and Ben Bawtree-Jobson, CEO of SiFi Networks. The panelists explained policies to support universal broadband access, shared issues with telehealth, and suggested short-term solutions to bridge the homework gap.
Katie Kienbaum, Research Associate at ILSR, wrote an op-ed that the Orlando Sentinel published on March 5, 2020.
On February 17, Christopher Mitchell spoke on Wisconsin Public Radio's "Central Time" about the need for broadband access in unserved areas and how communities have taken a different approach to increase reliable and affordable Internet access. The discussion also touches on funding program, which is an important factor for local providers to expand broadband infrastructure in rural areas.