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Transcript: Community Broadband Bits Episode 239
Duffy Newman: The reason the carriers are using this type of technology is because they're trying to improve coverage but they're also looking at capacity.
Lisa Gonzalez: This is episode 239 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. Last week, we talked to Lincoln, Nebraska, a community using its fiber and conduit resources to improve wireless service in the city, using small cell technology. In this episode, Christopher gets the perspective of an infrastructure company that works on small cell deployment with wireless carriers. Duffy Newman is the acquisitions manager and corporate development in strategy for Crown Castle. Chris and Duffy touch on the function of Crown Castle and Duffy offers more detail on how small cells work and the difference between the new small cell technology and the traditional mobile wireless systems.
Christopher Mitchell: Hey folks, this is Chris Mitchell, the most of Community Broadband Bits. I just wanted to ask you if you could do us a real big favor to help us spread this show around. That's to jump on iTunes or Stitcher, wherever you found this show, and to give us a rating. Give us a little review, particularly if you like it. If you don't like it so much, then maybe don't do that, but if you're enjoying the show, please give us a rating and help us to build the audience a bit. Thanks.
Lisa Gonzalez: Now, here's Christopher talking with Duffy Newman, acquisitions manager and corporate development and strategy for Crown Castle.
Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another edition of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. I'm Chris Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today, I'm speaking with Duffy Newman, the acquisitions manager and corporate development and strategy at Crown Castle. Welcome to the show, Duffy.
Duffy Newman: Thanks, Chris.
Small Cells, Fiber, and Local Governments - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 239
After last week's podcast on Lincoln and its small cell policy, we wanted to offer a longer discussion about small cell wireless technology and the policy around it. Crown Castle is a firm focused on enabling wireless solutions and Acquisitions Manager in Corporate Development Strategy Duffy Newman joins us for episode 239 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.
We explore what small cells are and how important they are to the future of improved wireless access. These devices are usually connected by fiber and allow an existing wireless service to improve bandwidth and reliability. Duffy offers the example of Philadelphia during the Pope's visit as a particularly good example of small cells in action.
We also talk about local governments and the role they can play in enabling this technology and why it is important to have each node connected by fiber.
This show is 27 minutes long and can be played on this page or via Apple Podcasts or the tool of your choice using this feed.
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 Admiral Bob for the music. The song is Turbo Tornado (c) copyright 2016 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Blue Wave Theory.
Mesh Networks: They Are Out There
There are probably more mesh Wi-Fi networks operating in the U.S. than most of us realize. They require only one hard-wired connection to the Internet and there are many industrious, tech minded people out there who have the skills to set up this self-healing technology, though they are still working out the kinks.
A mesh network allows devices to engage each other without going through a central point. If I want to use my cell phone to call the cell phone of someone standing 10 feet away from me, the signal may travel thousands of times farther than it would have to because a cell phone company wants to track minutes, collect data, and more. In a mesh network, the two devices would just talk to each other without intermediation.
A recent Technical.ly article, explores a dozen communities that are using the technology to serve local residents.
The article provides some basic info on these local mesh networks:
- Redhook Wifi, Brooklyn
- Bamboowifi, Philadelphia
- SMesh, Baltimore
- Meta Mesh, Pittsburgh
- Digital Stewards, Detroit
- NYCWireless, New York City
- Personal Telco, Portland, Oregon
- MileMesh, Hoboken, N.J.
- Wasabinet, St. Louis
- TFA Wireless, Houston
- Meshnet Project, Seattle
- La Canada Wireless Association (LCWA, Santa Fe)
We have reported on mesh networks in Poulsbo, Washington, and Ponca City, Oklahoma. An attractive feature for those communities was the ability to expand the network as needed with modest investment. As Technical.ly reports:
"Stop Mega Comcast" Coalition; Philly Comcast Subscribers Speak Out in New Video
As days go by, an increasing number of organizations, companies, and individuals go on record opposing the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger. The DOJ has already spent significant time analyzing the proposal and the FCC has been taking comments for months. On November 3rd, a new coalition, "Stop Mega Comcast," announced that it was jumping into the fray.
Engadget reports that the group includes both consumer groups and competitors, including Dish Network and Public Knowledge:
"This much power concentrated in the hands of one company would be frightening even for the most trustworthy of companies," Public Knowledge's CEO Gene Kimmelman said in a statement. "And Comcast is definitely not that."
Hannah Jane Sassaman described for us how the community is using franchise negotiations as leverage for better prices, better services, and more accountability from Comcast. Their project, CAPComcast, recently released this video wherein people straight from the Comcast service center describe their frustrations with the incumbent.
Boo! Share Your Comcast Horror Stories With Media Mobilizing Project
It was a dark and stormy night... A woman screamed! A shot rang out! You are gripped by the terror of your Comcast bill! No! No! Nooooo!
The Media Mobilizing Project knows how dealing with the most-hated company in America sends shivers up your spine. Now they want you to share your stories of terror at #Comcast HorrorStory. You can also find them on Facebook and relate your tales of bloodcurdling cable butchery.
Tell us your Comcast Horror Story! We at Media Mobilizing Project and CAPComcast.org know that many people have horrible times trying to get affordable rates and reliable service for their Comcast cable and internet.
In honor of Halloween, we want to hear your Comcast horror story! Did your bill make your blood boil? Does Comcast’s attempt to merge with competitor Time Warner Cable send chills down your spine? Tell us now, and on Halloween day we’ll share snippets from the top-10 scariest Comcast stories we see.
At the same time, we think it is "horror"-ble that Comcast pays less than 1/3 of the average taxes other PA businesses pay, with huge tax breaks on their headquarters in Philly -- while our City shutters public schools and cuts education to the bone.
You can also go to the CAPComcast.org website to share your story and sign their petition.
Can we handle the carnage? Only time will tell...
A Survey of National Private Sector Broadband Providers
According to the complaint (pdf), Verizon not only made out like a financial bandit up front, but took advantage of regulatory delays to strip mine the assets of anything of value, including core IP network components, business services, and localized billing and support assets required to support the three states. Verizon then billed out their support assistance for millions per month during the very rocky transition, during which time 911 and other services saw repeated outages, resulting in millions more in refund penalties.Karl Bode is right to criticize the state authorities that allowed this fiasco to occur. Their inability to regulate in the public interest has hurt everyone stuck in the mess. While we can expect powerful companies like Verizon to try to game the system at every opportunity, there is no excuse for making it so easy for them. As long as we are talking about Verizon shedding its rural investments, let's take a look at how Frontier is doing since it inherited thousands upon thousands of FiOS customers as part of its recent deal with Verizon.