podcast

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Lincoln Park and Smart City Initiatives in Fort Pierce with Jason Mittler - Episode 590 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Jason Mittler, the manager of the Fort Pierce Utilities Authority Network. The FPUA Network is a fiber optic network in Fort Pierce, Florida. Jason details the FPUA and their multifaceted use of their fiber network, which not only provides Internet and utility services but also facilitates smart grid solutions and smart city services.

Chris and Jason also discuss updates regarding the Lincoln Park Smart Neighborhood, which is a collaborative project that aims to address low broadband adoption rates to a historic community in Fort Pierce. This would provide residents in Lincoln Park with the essential connectivity they need by offering 100 Mbps symmetrical service at $31 per month. The FPUA Network also provides additional services for those who required higher speeds.

The conversation concludes with Chris and Jason sharing valuable advice for those venturing into the ISP market. They emphasize the importance of collaboration with consultants, building partnerships with municipalities and organizations to learn from industry peers, and staying informed about the evolving landscape of Internet services.

This show is 29 minutes long and can be played on this page or using the podcast app of your choice with 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 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.

People Over Profit: DigitalC's Mission to Connect Communities in Cleveland- Episode 589 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined again by Joshua Edmonds, the Chief Executive Officer of DigitalC, a community-based nonprofit dedicated to bridging the digital divide in Cleveland, Ohio. DigitalC achieves this by offering fast and affordable internet access through a fixed wireless network, priced at $18 per month, to underserved neighborhoods. Additionally, they provide digital equity programs such as digital literacy training and device deployment.

Christopher and Joshua discuss recent updates, including DigitalC's successful bid for a $20 million contract from the city of Cleveland to establish a citywide infrastructure. Joshua details the plan to connect over 23,000 households within 18 months, expanding their network with commercial fiber infrastructure to link homes and businesses.

While DigitalC continues generating revenue to support digital equity programs, the conversation concludes with Chris and Joshua emphasizing the importance of prioritizing people over profit. They emphasize the need to serve the unserved and underserved populations and comprehensively address the digital divide.

This show is 38 minutes long and can be played on this page or using the podcast app of your choice with 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 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.

Planning is Good, but Pivoting is Better in Fort Collins, Colorado - Episode 588 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Chad Crager, Broadband Executive Director at City of Fort Collins, to talk about the rapidly maturing city-owned network they call Connexion. From a feasibility study in 2018 to the lion's share of construction completed today, Connexion's story illustrates the value of being nimble when expectations meet reality. When planned use of existing conduit was thwarted by frozen and root-blocked pathways, the city bored new routes. When that led to increased construction costs, the city adjusted its target take rate upwards and hired dedicated, community-minded staff eager to be responsive to subscribers and build a sense of goodwill. And when developers argued they only needed a single fiber to run wireless for new apartment complexes, the city convinced them to plan for more growth in the future.

Along the way, the municipal network has committed to doing its part in the fight for digital equity. This includes the establishment of a fund with 6 percent of network revenues going to support low-cost plans and literacy efforts, to partnering with Larimer County on extending the network outside city limits, and more.

This show is 38 minutes long and can be played on this page or using the podcast app of your choice with 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 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.

Connecting the Last Twenty Percent in Newark - Episode 587 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

Newark, New Jersey (pop. 307k) has been operating a dark fiber network for more than a decade. In recent years, the city has expanded its efforts to leverage those assets in an incremental effort to improve connectivity and competition for local business and residents, while also building out a robust Wi-Fi network. The goal: build a portfolio of approaches to connect the last twenty percent of the city that doesn't have access today. 

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Aaron Meyerson, Chief Innovation Economy Officer and Director of Broadband, and Anthony Avent, Technical Operations for City of Newark, to talk about the project. From reinvigorating the city's infrastructure with a new public-private partnership, to connecting almost a hundred large business locations, to enabling innovative smart-city applications to fight heat and pollution, to supporting more than 7,200 active Wi-Fi users every day, Newark isn't just sitting around waiting for someone to help solve local challenges. They're stepping up to the plate and tackling them themselves.

This show is 28 minutes long and can be played on this page or using the podcast app of your choice with 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 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.

Bridging Bytes: Empowering Communities Through Local Broadband Growth - Episode 586 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

In this latest episode of the podcast, Christopher is joined once again by Sean Gonsalves to delve into the expanding landscape of municipal broadband networks in the U.S. They emphasize the noteworthy surge in municipal networks, citing the establishment of 47 new networks since 2021, which has brought the total to over 400!

This discussion explores the various models and approaches taken by these networks while touching on the challenges faced by these municipal networks, such as opposition from large ISPs and the importance of community support and engagement.

Additionally, Chris and Sean emphasize the significance of data from schools and organizations in comprehending the current state of broadband access and advancing digital equity.

This show is 38 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.

Predictions for 2024 - Episode 585 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

The fading sound of holiday bells and soft stillness that comes with plunging temps can only mean one thing; it's January again, which means it's time to break out the crystal ball and have a conversation about the year to come. Joining Christopher in the recording booth are a slew of CBN staffers new and veteran to join in the collective task of putting words to feelings both foreboding and optimistic about the year to come.

Will we see the first BEAD-connected home this year? Will the Affordabel Connectivity Program get re-funded? How will the maps look in 11 more months, with slews of challenge data? How many new municipal ftth networks will we see founded in 2024? State preemption laws rolled back, or re-introduced? Tune in for answers to all these and more.

This show is 48 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.

Navigating the Broadband Horizon and ACP's Future - Episode 584 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher speaks with Blair Levin, the former executive director of the National Broadband Plan, to discuss the landscape of broadband and telecommunications and its significance moving into 2024.

Chris and Blair delve into discussions on the FCC and its imperative to address critical issues such as the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and the fate of Title II. 

The conversation continues with topics on the potential for industry mergers, the evolving landscape of fixed wireless and fiber networks, and the persistent challenges associated with achieving universal service and bridging the digital divide. It concludes with touching upon the critical fiber-copper divide and underscores the importance of local government initiatives in expanding fiber networks.

This show is 44 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.

Fiber Fusion: Navigating Municipal Fiber Networks with Traverse City Light and Power - Episode 583 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the first podcast of the year, Christopher speaks with Scott Menhart, the Chief Technology and Information Officer of Traverse City Light and Power. TCLP, a utility company, serves the 13,000 dedicated residents in Northwest Lower Michigan.

Chris and Scott discuss the history of the TCLP and the benefits of building a municipal fiber network for Traverse City, Michigan. They also discuss the role of fiber and how TCLP's use of it with supporting the electric grid led to them expanding its services over the years to include broadband internet access.

Despite the challenges they face from major companies, Chris and Scott conclude the conversation by emphasizing the importance of staying the course with proper planning with building small, successful broadband networks for their communities.

This show is 34 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.

Year in Review 2023 - Episode 582 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the final podcast of the year, join us as the staff gets together to get a handle on what happened in the broadband landscape in 2023. Returning to join Christopher are Ry Marcattilio, Christine Parker, DeAnne Cuellar, Emma Gautier, and Sean Gonsalves along with new staff members Jordan Pittman and Angelina Paniagua.

Together, they discuss the BEAD rollout, data and mapping, new municipal fiber projects, the FCC's fifth commissioner, and 2023's broadband "scandals." Give this episode a listen to find out how last year's predictions help up!

This show is 47 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.

 

The Future of LTE - Episode 581 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on another special edition of the podcast, join us as we revisit a captivating conversation from the most recent episode of our biweekly livestream Connect This! show. Co-hosts Christopher Mitchell and Travis Carter will be joined by regular guests Doug Dawson and Kim McKinley as well as special guest Mike Dano. Together, they dive deep into the future of mobile wireless and LTE networks, how we got here, and where are we going next as well as rural mobile wireless, market dynamics, 5G hype, and more.

This serves as a sequel to their comprehensive examination of LTE history in Episode 79 of Connect This! For more information on Connect This! and to find previous episodes, please visit our webiste at connectthisshow.org

This show is 67 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.