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The 2015 Broadband Communities Summit is scheduled for April 14 - 16 in Austin, Texas. When you book your flight and reserve your room, plan on coming a day early so you can take advantage of the is year's special pre-conference event. The Coalition for Local Internet Choice (CLIC) will offer a full day's agenda on the politics of local Internet choice on Monday, April 13.
Chris will speak at both events. As Senior Advisor to CLIC, he will be speaking on Monday to CLIC pre-conference attendees and then addressing economic development at the Broadband Communities Summit on Tuesday, April 14. The Summit Agenda at a Glance is now available to view.
For a limited time, CLIC members can register online for the CLIC program for $125 and attend the entire Summit for free. Choose the CODEHOLDERS button and enter the code CLIC125 to receive the special rate.
(Pssst! This is an awesome deal! You save $895!)
Video of "Maximizing Fibre Infrastructure Investment in Europe" is now archived and ready to view. Our own Christopher Mitchell presented as part of this afternoon seminar on telecommunications policy.
The event, sponsored by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities (SALAR) and Stokab (The City of Stokholm IT infrastructure company) was held in Brussels on Wednesday, November 19th. Chris presented an update on private and public fiber network investment in the U.S.The video is now archived and ready to view:
We also recommend Benoit Felton's presentation on the Stokab model:
You can watch video of the entire event at the Bambuser website or below.
Last month, we held our first "Ask Us Anything: An Open Talk on Muni Networks" event for people interested in learning more about municipal networks. We were pleased by the turn out and by the quality of questions participants threw our way. We will hold our second "Ask Us Anything" event on December 17th at 2:00 p.m. CST.
This time, we will try narrowing the conversation a bit with focus on organizing a network in the first 30 minutes and open access approaches in the last 30 minutes. We hope that you will send us a question when you register and encourage you to bring more questions to the event.
You can register at GoToWebinar.
If you were not able to our first "Ask Us Anything," it is now archived and available to view.
On November 5th, we opened up the lines of communication for our first "Ask Us Anything: An Open Talk on Muni Networks" event. That event is now available on our YouTube Channel or viewable below.
We find many communities and their citizens are interested in exploring municipal networks as a possible method to improve connectivity but don't know how to get started. We approached the event with no agenda or expectations and spent the entire hour answering questions.
As we expected, participants asked about ways to grow support, what challenges to expect, and how to find resources to educate the community. There were many other questions that represented a broad spectrum of involvement in community network projects. This was our first attempt in this format and we are about to announce an invitation to a second discussion that will be held on Wednesday, December 17, at 3 PM EST.
I was recently invited to speak in Brussels on the experience of U.S. cities and fiber optic investment. Videos from the seminar are available here. I took some extra time around the seminar to visit Amsterdam and then Bruges in Belgium. On this week's Community Broadband Bits podcast, Lisa and I discuss broadband in the European context.
We talk about how much people pay in Amsterdam for better services than we commonly get and note that most European cities have much better access to the Internet than do U.S. cities, with the possible exception of Brussels, which has poor access. We also talk about how the incumbents in Europe are not so different from the incumbent providers in the U.S. and are trying to invest as little as possible while preventing meaningful competition. Some things are just universal...
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.
Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance here.
Thanks to Dickey F for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is "Florida Mama."
Over the past few months, Chris has been globe trotting to communities giving presentations and learning more about municipal networks across the country. After spending some time in Seattle, he headed to Mount Vernon, Washington to present at the Connect with the World conference on October 9th.
The event took place at Skagit College and included other speakers such as Craig Settles, Susannah Malarkey, and Mark Anderson. The video of his presentation is now archived and available to view.
Mount Vernon has operated its open access fiber network since 1995, serving public facilities and local businesses. We spoke with Kim Kleppe, Information Systems Director, and Jana Hansen, Community & Economic Development Director, in episode 38 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.
For Chris's presentation, watch the video below.
Christopher is visiting Brussels, Belgium this week to present at a conference organized by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities (SALAR) and Stokab (The City of Stockholm IT infrastructure company). The seminar, "Maximizing Fibre Infrastructure Investment in Europe," is scheduled for Wednesday from 2 - 6 p.m. local time - that's 8 a.m. - noon EST in the U.S.
The event will be livestreamed on the Bambuser channel and we will also make a link available to the archive after the event.
According to the seminar announcement, main discussion will focus on:
How should the telecom market be structured in order to encourage service-based competition and innovation?
How can municipalities and regions engage in fibre deployment without risking to harm competition and making private companies less willing to invest?
Does the interest for investments in broadband and OTT services increase if it is possible to get access to fibre by municipalities and regions, not providing services themselves?
Chris will lecture on fiber rollouts in the U.S. He will be joined by a list of industry and research leaders, including:
- Benoit Felton: Chief Research Officer, Diffraction Analysis
- Jonas Malmlund: Partner, Consulting, Deloitte AB
- Crister Mattsson: Senior Advisor, Acreo Swedish ACT
- Anthony Whelan: Director, Electronic Communications, Networks and Services, DG Connect, European Commission
- Gunnar Hokmark: Vice President EPP, European Parliament
The event will be at the Radisson Blu EU Hotel in Brussels.
For more about the event and details on each presentation, take a moment to view the announcement below.
"The FCC should be extremely wary of any arguments that claim paid prioritization or other discriminatory practices are necessary to increase investment in next-generation networks."
For months the FCC has considered comments from the public as it examines network neutrality. There have been more than 3 million submissions; a vast majority of them were in favor of network neutrality and opposed to Internet "fast lanes." Clearly the American public values a nondiscriminatory flow of information over paid prioritization.
While the issue has not been completely absent from the media radar, it has quieted down until earlier this week. President Obama stated that he favored reclassification of Internet access to a Title II service. Big ISPs like Comcast, AT&T, and CenturyLink immediately reacted negatively to the prospect of regulations and obligations similar to other utilities.
The Daily Circuit: In order to sift through what all this means, MPR contacted Chris to visit with them on the Daily Circuit. Listen in Thursday, at 9:06 am as they address consequences, alternatives, and possible next steps.
Join the conversation: 651-227-6000. Host Tom Crann will also be interviewing Chester Wisniewski Sr., Security Advisor from SOPHOS, Inc. in Vancouver, BC, who will offer an international perspective.
It's a call-in show - your questions will keep the conversation moving!
On October 8th, Chris visited the Emerald City to present his thoughts on a municipal network in Seattle. He was a guest of the Seattle Citizens' Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board at their Broadband Education Public Forum, cosponsored by Brown Paper Tickets.
Seattle has sought better connectivity for some time and has tossed around the idea of a municipal network. Residents and businesses have expressed their concern and Seattlites are mobilizing. The Seattle Citizens' Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board is in place to collect input from the community, research, and make recommendations to community leaders. They regularly host experts like Chris to educate the Seattle community as they look for ways to improve affordable access for residents and businesses.
Chris was there for a lunch time event and an evening session. The evening session, titled Exploring Municipal Broadband In Seattle with Chris Mitchell, is now archived and available to view on the Seattle Channel.
We want to thank both Brown Paper Tickets and CTTAB for the opportunity. In particular, Brown Paper Tickets deserves recognition for being a private company taking a leading roll in organizing for better Internet for everyone.
People searching for better local connectivity contact us regularly, asking for information on how they can get the process started in their community. On Wednesday, November 5th from 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CST, Chris Mitchell and Lisa Gonzalez will host an online unwebinar. "Ask Us Anything - An Open Talk About Muni Networks" will be an opportunity for anyone to join and ask questions or join the discussion.
Are you interested in starting a local initiative to improve connectivity? Are you looking for resources on where to begin? Are you interested in learning about other communities with similar concerns?
This event depends on audience participation, so come with your questions ready! We are counting on you to drive the conversation. Participation is free and you can register online.
We have no set agenda and this is our first attempt at this format - but our intention is to have a moderated discussion based on what people want to discuss. Based on the volume of interest in how to start a community owned network, we expect that to be a focus.