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Content tagged with "data"

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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.

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.

The Last Train - Episode 564 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

We're more than 15 years and a hundred billion dollars into the alphabet soup of federal broadband infrastructure subsidy programs, and millions upon millions of households are stuck on deteriorating connections and capacity-constrained technologies. This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Jonathan Chambers, partner at Conexon, to talk about how the BEAD program is our last chance. And to make sure we get it right, we have to grapple with the array of long-standing failures - purposeful and not - that have gotten us to this point: the regulatory capture of the FCC, the willful ignorance of bad data collection and mapping, the acceptance of disingenuous "technology neutral" arguments, turning a blind eye to the imbalance in service and cost between our cities and rural expanses, and pretending that not every households in the country can have a first-class, affordable, reliable Internet connection.

This show is 40 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.

Broadband Commons Forms, New Resource for Broadband Data Wranglers Emerges

Finding good data on broadband is hard to come by. But, it’s about to get a bit easier with a new online resource being developed by an informal group known as Broadband Commons.

Broadband Commons is a group of folks from very different backgrounds – nonprofit, industry, and academic – who work in the broadband and digital equity space and have a shared enthusiasm for making sense of messy broadband data.

Their primary mission is to make broadband data (e.g., FCC Broadband Availability data and more) accessible to all, both in terms of understanding and using the data.

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Broadband Commons website

Broadband Commons (ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative counts itself as a member) is excited to share a peek into the development of their guidebook: Introducing Broadband Data. This book is intended to be the “missing manual” for broadband data users — how to find the data you need, how to wield it to answer your research questions, common gotchas to look out for, and how to share your work back with the community.

They invite interested folks to share any feedback you might have as this guidebook develops – what else might be needed? If you're interested in contributing your expertise by writing a particular section, please head over to the Broadband Commons website to check out the book and sign up for an invite to the discord channel.

Updates about the project will also be posted on the website.

Header image of data graphic courtesy of www.epictop10.com on Flickr, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
 

OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates Challenges ‘Model Minority’ Myth to Close Digital Access Gaps

During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, organizations that had not previously focused on digital inclusion work scrambled to help their communities stay connected as school, healthcare, and other services transitioned online.

OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates (OCA) was one of these organizations, and in advocating for the digital access needs of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs), found that there was not much data documenting connectivity gaps within these communities. The "model minority" myth, which characterizes AANHPIs as one monolithic group, enjoying “uniform high achievement and high income, [and] relatively untouched by racial and ethnic discrimination,” obscures the digital access gaps in many AANHPI communities and has likely contributed to the dearth of research investigating AANHPI connectivity needs.

OCA Broadband Access and Digital Equity Fellow Yen Jeong told ILSR how difficult it has been to challenge the model minority myth: “Every time we say that our communities need more [digital access] support, everyone says that Asian Americans are digitally already very fluent,” Jeong said, adding that the assumption that many AANHPIs have tech jobs makes it especially difficult for OCA to galvanize support for the AANHPI-focused digital inclusion work.

"It’s been really tough to challenge the narrative."  

The assumption that all AANHPIs are connected to the Internet, along with the lack of evidence to break down this assumption, impeded OCA’s efforts to rally support for AANHPIs’ digital access needs, made urgent by the pandemic. Motivated to get all AANHPIs online, OCA launched a major data collection campaign to challenge the model minority narrative and build the foundation for its newest area of advocacy – technology, workforce, and digital inclusion.  

OCA’s Entry to Digital Inclusion

Data-Driven Policy Solutions - Episode 531 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

Community Broadband Bits

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Senior Reporter, Editor and Communications Team Lead Sean Gonsalves and GIS and Data Visualization Specialist Christine Parker to talk about how bad data can blind us and good data can drive positive policy solutions. First, they talk about a new guide developed by ILSR to help citizen-advocates, nonprofits, and state and local elected officials navigate navigate the FCC's frustrating new Broadband Data Collection initiative. Intended to create new national broadband maps and drive the $42 billion BEAD infrastructure dollars starting in 2023, Christopher, Christine, and Sean talk about sticking points in the process, what's important to know, and what happens if our national broadband data continues to perpetuate harmful inequities.

Then, Christine fills Sean and Christopher in on the latest news with the Affordable Connectivity Program dashboard release earlier this fall, designed to unpack and visualize what folks need to know about the $30/month service benefit in order to help the most people and plan for future policy solutions. Christine shares how it was designed and lessons learned along the way, including what happens when an non-governmental entity (in this case, USAC) is given authority to manage critical social welfare programs but not compelled to share in clear enough ways what the public needs in order to perform accountability and research on them.

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.

Maps, Maps Everywhere - Episode 528 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Dustin Loup, Project Manager of the National Broadband Mapping Coalition, housed at the Marconi Society. Dustin joins us to talk about the new national Federal Communications Commission broadband maps, currently under construction and intended to replace the current and hopelessly broken one to prepare for tens of billion in federal broadband funding.

There will hopefully be many improvements in the new maps, the first version of which is due out this month (we're not holding our breath): more granular data, more precision, and a better picture to drive future infrastructure investment in smart, efficient ways. Christopher and Dustin talk through what they hope to see, before turning to some of the problems the see emerging. This includes the frustrating walls already placed around the (tax dollar-funded) data, almost entirely restricting access to researchers and policy makers for accountability purposes, the probability of abuse by large providers, and the troublingly large $50-million contract to ConstQuest proposed in a recent announcement by NTIA to get access to something the federal government has already paid for, to administer the $42.5 billion BEAD program.

This show is 18 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.

New Resource: Tracking the Affordable Connectivity Program

On January 1st, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission launched the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) with $14.2 billion in funding designed to help American households pay for the monthly cost of their Internet subscription. In May, we published a story about the fate of the program, based on a prediction model we built that was intended to visualize how long we might expect the $14.2 billion fund to last before needing new Congressional appropriations to sustain it. Back then, the data showed that the fund would run out some time in 2024.

We’re back today not only with a new and improved model (based both on more granular geographic data and fed by an additional 16 weeks of enrollment data), but a new dashboard that pulls together a host of information from the Universal Service Administrative Company on where and how the Affordable Connectivity Program money is being spent. 

A New Resource for Broadband Advocates, Local Policy Makers, and Elected Officials

Located at ACPdashboard.com, this new resource from ILSR includes information local broadband advocates, nonprofits, state legislators, and policy makers need to know about where enrollment efforts and expended funds stand today. It includes a breakdown by state for how enrollment numbers stand (as well as an estimate for the amount spent in each state so far), the current national eligible enrollment rate, information for 30 metropolitan areas, how much is being spent on service support versus devices, how many households are using the ACP for mobile versus wireline service, and the total left in the ACP fund. Our new prediction model shows that a little more than $410 million is leaving the bank account every month. 

New Resource: Tracking the Affordable Connectivity Program

On January 1st, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission launched the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) with $14.2 billion in funding designed to help American households pay for the monthly cost of their Internet subscription. In May, we published a story about the fate of the program, based on a prediction model we built that was intended to visualize how long we might expect the $14.2 billion fund to last before needing new Congressional appropriations to sustain it. Back then, the data showed that the fund would run out some time in 2024.

We’re back today not only with a new and improved model (based both on more granular geographic data and fed by an additional 16 weeks of enrollment data), but a new dashboard that pulls together a host of information from the Universal Service Administrative Company on where and how the Affordable Connectivity Program money is being spent. 

A New Resource for Broadband Advocates, Local Policy Makers, and Elected Officials

Located at ACPdashboard.com, this new resource from ILSR includes information local broadband advocates, nonprofits, state legislators, and policy makers need to know about where enrollment efforts and expended funds stand today. It includes a breakdown by state for how enrollment numbers stand (as well as an estimate for the amount spent in each state so far), the current national eligible enrollment rate, information for 30 metropolitan areas, how much is being spent on service support versus devices, how many households are using the ACP for mobile versus wireline service, and the total left in the ACP fund. Our new prediction model shows that a little more than $410 million is leaving the bank account every month.