broadband bits

Content tagged with "broadband bits"

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Cities Like Syracuse Surge Ahead while the FCC and NTIA Take Baby Steps - Episode 576 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined once again by Sean Gonsalves, Associate Director of Communications for the Community Broadband Networks initiative.

Christopher and Sean start by discussing how a new wireless community broadband network in Syracuse, New York called Surge Link is helping the underserved households in their area. Syracuse is a prime example of how cities and towns are taking matters into their own hands by looking for ways to proactively provide affordable broadband access to their citizens right now instead of waiting for potential federal funding and local planning to align perfectly.

Sean and Christopher also unpack other recent news, including the FCC's plan to adjust the definition of broadband to 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 20 Mbps upload speeds, the NTIA's Letter of Credit modifications, and the future of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) with the White House asking Congress for an additional $6 billion in funding to continue the program through the end of 2024.

With ACP's future looming, Christopher and Sean finish by discussing the need and importance for a long-term solution to address the digital divide, including the financial sustainability of networks in rural areas.

This show is 33 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed.

Transcript below.

We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.

Listen to other episodes or view all episodes in our index. See other podcasts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

Wireless Mesh Brings Durable Change in Rhode Island - Episode 575 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Jennifer Hawkins, CEO of One Neighborhood Builders (ONB). ONB is a nonprofit organization based in Providence, Rhode Island that works to improve lives through housing and community connection. In 2020 we spoke with Jennifer about the wireless mesh network the nonprofit piloted to address community needs at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. It launched to much fanfare, and ONB has been steadily working to increase its reach and impact since.

After three years and half a million dollars in capital costs, the ONE|NB Connects network has improved its wireless service to 100Mbps symmetrical speeds. And while not everyone in the Olneyville neighborhood can access the network inside of their homes (it's a gap network, after all), with thousands of unique users per month able to access reliable connections for as long as they need, Jennifer tells Chris that they are starting to see the benefits for households facing significant health and economic disparities in the community. They end the show by talking about how ONB is using the expertise it has built along the way to plan for even more durable changes: baking wired infrastructure into new affordable housing MDUs.  

Read a case study of the impact of the ONE|NB Connects network for more.

This show is 33 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed

Transcript below.

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 Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

The Burden of Proof - Episode 574 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

Mapping is hard. You know it, and so do we. Despite that reality, at least from the outside, it looks like the FCC has spent the entirety of this decade avoiding the hard decisions necessary to make sure precious federal dollars are wisely used and the data that drives our policy is easily accessible and faithful to reality. This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Tom Reid, President and founder Reid Consulting Group. Tom shares what his firm has been doing to help local governments get around this persistent problem, and how with some thoughtful design and sophisticated data work we can use what is out there to build a pretty clear picture of the places we need to close the infrastructure gap. 

Tom and Christopher end the show by talking a little about how the burden of proof in proving poor, unreliable, or no service is being extended to local governments, households, and nonprofits in the upcoming challenge process for states as the latter prepares for the next stage of the BEAD process.

This show is 37 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed

Transcript below.

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 Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

West Des Moines, Iowa is a Model for Open Access Conduit Networks - Episode 573 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

A little more than three years ago, the city of West Des Moines, Iowa announced that it would build a citywide open access conduit system to lower the cost of new broadband deployment to facilitate better connections at lower costs for residents. GFiber (formerly Google Fiber), Mediacom, Lumen (formerly CenturyLink), and local ISP Mi-Fiber have since signed on as providers. 

This week on the podcast, Deputy City Manager Jamie Letzring and city Innovations Consultant Dave Lyons join Christopher to talk about overcoming design and legal challenges of building an infrastructure system that remains relatively unique, and the commitment the city has made to reach economically disadvantaged households to make sure everyone has a quality and affordable connection. Finally, they share a little about how the city has been taking steps to use the new conduit system to supplement its already-robust fiber network for government facilities, smart-city initiatives, and more.

This show is 36 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed

Transcript below.

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 Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

Wading Through Federal Funding Streams - Episode 572 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher speaks with Brent Christensen, President and CEO of the Minnesota Telecom Alliance (MTA). The MTA is a trade association that currently represents 41 holding company members operating over 70 companies across the state, including cooperatively-owned, family-owned, and publicly-traded Internet Service Providers. Most are rural broadband providers.

Chris and Brent dive into a discussion about the Enhanced Alternative Connect America Model (Enhanced A-CAM), which is focused more on smaller providers than the Connect America Fund (CAF), and how so many smaller providers are surpassing the 25/3 Mbps speed requirement associated with that program by building fiber-to-the-home networks that will serve their subscribers long into the future. The two discuss the challenges and complications of the various federal broadband moneys coming into Minnesota, how they interact with one another, and how these collective funding opportunities might be efficiently leveraged to connect the most Minnesotans to high-quality broadband.

This show is 32 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed

Transcript below.

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 Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

Net Neutrality and the Regulatory Theater of the FCC - Episode 571 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Karl Bode, a returning guest who has long covered tech and the telecommunications industry. After a short conversation about the continued absence of monopoly abuse in policy conversations about broadband access and affordability today, Karl and Christopher tackle the proposed return to net neutrality announced by Chairwoman Rosenworcel last week. 

They talk about how we got here in the first place, including the landmark decision by the Commission in 2015 to largely abdicate responsibility for Internet-related regulatory activities and the states that stepped in to fill the void. They end the show by considering for a bit what it might be like to have an expert federal agency whose activities governed by a strong regulatory framework and the teeth to enforce its mandate to extend fast, affordable, reliable Internet access for all.

This show is 38 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or the tool of your choice using this feed. You can listen to the interview on this page or visit the Community Broadband Bits page.

Transcript below.

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.

Subscribe to the Building Local Power podcast, also from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, on iTunes or Stitcher to catch more great conversations about local communities, the concentration of corporate power, and how everyday people are taking control.

Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

Hope and Change (Redux) - Episode 570 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast we bring back a fan favorite from a year ago that feels particularly relevant, especially as the FTC prepares itself to undertake landmark antitrust cases against Google and Amazon.

Christopher is joined by Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge. Feld is a staple of the field, and has been a consistent voice not only for consumers but broadband advocates of all types for more than two decades. 

The show takes on a reflective nature, as they talk about theories of change in the context of doing broadband policy today. Harold shares how he thinks of the progress that gets made in the long term by aligning the corporate incentive with the public interest. He shares coming to terms with having lots of hard days, the power of fighting battles you expect to lose, and learning, getting better, and building powerful coalitions along the way. Harold and Christopher end the show by talking about some examples of the latter, including important wins like the Rural Tribal Priority Window and the expansion of community networks of all shapes and sizes.

 This show is 48 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or the tool of your choice using this feed. You can listen to the interview on this page or visit the Community Broadband Bits page.

Transcript below.

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.

Subscribe to the Building Local Power podcast, also from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, on iTunes or Stitcher to catch more great conversations about local communities, the concentration of corporate power, and how everyday people are taking control.

Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

A Scattering of Wonks - Episode 569 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

Naming groups of things is one of the few pure joys in life. But despite having a shiver of sharks, a thunder of hippopotami, a discovery of witches, and about a million others, as of yet we've got nothing to describe a group of Internet access and infrastructure who have forgotten more about the business of broadband than the average person is likely to ever see, smell, or hear. From the economics of building fiber networks to the technical challenges of different radio spectrum bands, they separate the signal from the noise every single day.

So how about a scattering of wonks?

This week on the podcast, we bring over the most recent conversation from our Connect This! Show, where for 80 episodes we've hosted broad discussions about broadband policy and infrastructure deployments and live by the mantra that the devil's in the details. Christopher is joined by Travis Carter (USI Fiber), Kim McKinley (UTOPIA Fiber), and Heather Gold (Mears Group) to tackle a host of issues, including why we don't see more cities doing deals with entities like Google Fiber, what we can expect now that Anna Gomez has been confirmed to the FCC, what it means for BEAD grantees if the Affordable Connectivity Program goes away, and more.

Along the way, they hit on what we're seeing in Vermont's Communications Union Districts, a partnership in West Des Moines, Iowa, and whether there's renewed hope for the ACP as it nears the six-month mark from running dry.

This show is 79 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed

Transcript below.

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 Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

A Stately Tour of BEAD Plans - Episode 568 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the show, Christopher is joined once again by Sean Gonsalves, Associate Director for Communications for the Community Broadband Networks initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. After a short stop to talk about the establishment of a new municipal network in Timnath, Colorado, Christopher and Sean get down to talking about the BEAD 5-Year Plans that states are filing with NTIA to get their hands on the first tranche of what will be an historic pot of federal funds for new broadband investment. 

Some states, like Maine and Vermont, Sean shares, are doing lots right: setting high bars for new infrastructure, listening to communities about their needs, folding in digital equity initiatives, and thinking about how to reach the last households that BEAD will fall short of. Others, like Pennsylvania, seem written with the intent to waste public money and leaves tens of thousands of households stranded with poor or no service - in other words, exactly what the monopoly cable and telephone companies want.

This show is 37 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed

Transcript below.

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 Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

Mona Thompson Reflects on a Career of Visionary Work in Tribal Telecommunications - Episode 567 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher speaks with Mona Thompson, General Manager at the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority (CRSTTA). CRSTTA serves the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in North Central South Dakota, which includes 20 communities dispersed across nearly 3 million acres.

Chris and Mona discuss the history of CRSTTA and the Telephone Authority’s efforts over time to upgrade its infrastructure and continue to offer residents high-quality connections – transitioning from dial-up, to DSL, to fiber. A majority of homes within CRSTTA’s service area now have access to fiber, with the exception of a new housing development the Telephone Authority is currently building fiber out to. Mona also discusses CRSTTA’s digital literacy and affordability efforts which help community members fully take advantage of its service. After 27 years with CRSTTA, Mona soon plans to retire, and during this episode sheds light on the important leadership roles she and other passionate women like her have played and will continue to play in the Tribal Telecommunications space. 

This show is 26 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed

Transcript below.

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 Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.