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Transcript: Community Broadband Bits Episode 494
This is the transcript for Episode 494 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. In this episode, Christopher speaks with Will Anderson, Program Coordinator at Vermont Communications Union Districts Association (VCUDA) and Evan Carlson, Board Chair at NEK Broadband (Northeast Kingdom, VT). They discuss the success of Communications Utility Districts in connecting Vermonters. Listen to the episode or read the transcript below.
Will Anderson: It really is evident to us that the way for communities to get served when they're not served is to do it themselves.
Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota rather. And I'm excited to be talking about some of the coolest stuff that's just going on in this country, frankly, around broadband, which is in Vermont. And so we're gonna be speaking with Will Anderson, who is the program coordinator for the Vermont Communications Union District Association, which everyone calls Vada. Welcome. Will
Will Anderson: Thank you for having me, Christopher. I'm a longtime reader of Muni networks and really have to be talking about what we're doing here in the Great Green Mountain state of Vermont.
Christopher Mitchell: Excellent. And we'll be talking about how cool it is that you have an association as well as talking about what's going on with a number of those members of it. But we do have one additional guest. We have Evan Carlson, the board chair of n k Broadband, which is serving the Northeast Kingdom area of Vermont. Welcome Evan. Thank
Evan Carlson: You. Chris. Also a longtime listener of the podcast, so very excited to be here and share the stories about what's happening here in Vermont and excited to be on the show.
Christopher Mitchell: I think you might mean there in Vermont, because unless you plan on going to Hawaii, you can't get much further away from it right now,
Evan Carlson: . That is true. I was trying to avoid saying that I've jumped from one broadband desert to another out here in Nevada City, California.
Transcript: Community Broadband Bits Episode 493
This is the transcript for Episode 428 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. In this episode, Christopher speaks with Jeff Magsamen, Telecom Director at Waverly Utilities in Waverly, Iowa. They discuss Waverly, Iowa's journey to building a municipal network. Listen to the episode or read the transcript below.
Jeff Magsamen: We're always there and willing to help out and get them started. We work side by side with our electric utility, so when electricity is delivered, communications is delivered.
Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in St. Paul, Minnesota, and today I'm speaking with Jeff Magman, the telecom director at Waverly Utilities in Iowa. Welcome to the show, Jeff.
Jeff Magsamen: Thank you. Glad to be here.
Christopher Mitchell: I'm excited to talk to you. I remember not too long ago I was talking with Mike Liter about the plan to build the network in Waverly, and I thought I had come back to check in on it, and I know that we've written about it a bit but a lot has happened since that plan was being developed. But let's start with a quick reminder of Waverly and what part of Iowa are you in and what's it like around there?
Jeff Magsamen: So Waverly's in northeast Iowa, geographically from some of the bigger communities, we're north of Waterloo, Cedar Falls by about 10, 15 miles. So Waverly's a great location, community of little over 10,000 people, Palm of Warburg College, and a pretty good wrestling tradition from peewee through college, through Warberg.
Christopher Mitchell: Pretty good soccer program too for division three athletics.
Jeff Magsamen: Absolutely. Yep, Yep. And I believe the high school team has won or placed pretty high from a soccer standpoint too.
Christopher Mitchell: Excellent. And home to citywide municipal fiber optics run by
Jeff Magsamen: You. Yeah, I left that off
Transcript: Community Broadband Bits Episode 492
This is the transcript for Episode 492 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. In this episode, Christopher speaks with Joe Poire, Director of Petrichor Broadband in Whitman County, Washington. They discuss public open access networks in Washington State. Listen to the episode or read the transcript below.
Joe Poire: Who knows where the world's gonna be in 20 years. But if something operates for 20 years in an open access environment, it's gonna change the community significantly.
Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in St. Paul, Minnesota, and today I'm speaking with Joe Pore, the director of Core Broadband. Welcome to the show.
Joe Poire: Thank you.
Christopher Mitchell: It's wonderful to have you. I feel like I've long wanted to delve into the world of Washington Ports, which seems like an ecosystem all to itself. A lot of interesting investments, a lot of great partnerships between the public and private sector. But let's just start off quickly with your background. You've been in the game a long time. Tell me how did you get into broadband and just maybe fast forward then to how you got to where you are now.
Joe Poire: My start was in 1980, building cable television systems and from there I moved into the analog cellular systems, ITFs analog microwave video and audio systems for both entertainment and education onto Washington State University, where I worked on a statewide remote learning telecommunication system and its early infancy of digital video in the early nineties and then on to the port of Whitman County where I thought I I'd left that industry behind .
Christopher Mitchell: Well, and I feel like a port is an interesting political jurisdiction or political entity in the United States. Just for people who aren't that familiar, what does a port do?
Transcript: Community Broadband Bits Episode 491
This is the transcript for Episode 428 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. In this episode, Christopher speaks with PJ Armstrong, Interim General Manager at Monmouth Independence Networks (MINET) operating in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. They discuss the history of MINET, and where it is going next. Listen to the episode or read the transcript below.
PJ Armstrong: I proposed a couple of different things that we expand into this small town of Rickreall next door, and then a very rural area south of the city of Dallas. And it's not a lot in terms of dollars for construction, but it's pretty significant for my head.
Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in St. Paul, Minnesota. I almost forgot where I was there for a second. I'm not gonna lie. . Today we're speaking with a new person from a network we've talked to multiple times. Welcome to the show, PJ Armstrong the general manager. Interim at my
PJ Armstrong: Thanks, Chris.
Christopher Mitchell: It's great to have you. Don Patton has been running this show out there for a while and I knew him when he was here in Minnesota and seemed like he did good work, but if he didn't, you could expose him now because he can't take any revenge on you now.
PJ Armstrong: , I won't do that. And I'll be honest, he did awesome work. I mean, he really came in, I think it was 2013 and turned mine around to what it is today and really put us in a position to be able to do some of the things that we're probably gonna talk about today.
Christopher Mitchell: Sure, nice. I think it's a good place to start with some of that background. I mean, I find interesting is a rare case of two municipal networks working together under one name. So tell us a little bit about how that started.
Transcript: Community Broadband Bits Episode 490
This is the transcript for Episode 490 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. In this episode, Christopher speaks with Bob Marshall, General Manager of the Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative and the Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications Company. They discuss the unique challenges faced by ISPs building in rural California. Listen to the episode or read the transcript below.
Bob Marshall: If we say we can do it, we do it. So the state likes the fact that we do what we say we're gonna do and we can account for every dollar.
Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm
Christopher Mitchell: at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in St. Paul, Minnesota. Today I'm speaking with
Bob Marshall:, the general manager of Puma Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative and also the Puma Sierra Telecommunications Company, which is the subsidiary of the electric co-op. Welcome to the
Bob Marshall: Show. Thanks. It's great to be here.
Christopher Mitchell: I'm very excited to talk with you. We touched base earlier this week for the first time although I was a little bit familiar with some of the work that you've already done that we'll touch on. And the thing that I loved was you just immediately were saying that when it comes to California, you're pretty much interested in your co-op and Anza in terms of what they're doing for broadband when you know and I are very much on the same page in terms of that love of the co-ops. And lemme just ask you, where did that come from?
Bob Marshall: Funny California has so few electric. I had heard about 'em once at Berkeley, that's it once. And I was working at a municipal utility, Palo Alto and someone had said there was a job up here and applied for it. We drove over a certain pass and said, Oh my god, humans live here.
Christopher Mitchell: <laugh>
Transcript: Community Broadband Bits Episode 489
This is the transcript for episode 489 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. On this episode, Christopher Mitchell is joined by Matt Schmit, Director of the Illinois Office of Broadband and Chair of Illinois Broadband Advisory Council. They talk about Illinois' approach to funding statewide broadband initiatives. Listen to the episode or read the transcript below.
Matt Schmit:: It's beyond a simple question of access, but you really delve into the questions of affordability and adoption and bringing other data sets into the conversation. I truly believe that that is an approach that that's really catching fire.
Christopher Mitchell:: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm
Christopher Mitchell: at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in St. Paul, Minnesota. Today I'm bringing back a really fun guest we've had on a few times at this point. Mr. Matt Schmidt, who is currently the director of the Illinois Office of Broadband and chair of the Illinois Broadband Advisory Council. Welcome back,
Matt Schmit:: Christopher. Great to join you.
Christopher Mitchell:: It's really great to have you back. People can start their watches in 20 minutes. Minnesota Gophers, start playing and I, I'll put that on the background and just start ignoring you so the questions will be less relevant.
Matt Schmit:: , you're gonna do the same thing. We're gonna be in trouble.
Christopher Mitchell:: . So we met at the University of Minnesota and even though you're in Evanston now I'm curious, are you turning into more of a Northwestern fan sticking with the Big 10? Are you staying with the Minnesota roots?
Matt Schmit:: Well, I have to tell you, it's been a joy seeing all these Big 10 teams, pastor town and I've been able to remain a golfer fan from afar. And so I did on a very cold day in the fall of 2019, I watched the golfer football team beat up on the Wildcat, but I'm a golfer through and through.
Transcript: Community Broadband Bits Episode 488
This is the transcript for episode 488 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. In this episode, Christopher Mitchell is joined by Senior Reporter and Editor Sean Gonsalves, Community Broadband Outreach Team Lead DeAnne Cuellar, Senior Researcher Ry Marcattilio-McCracken, GIS and Data Visualization Specialist Christine Parker, and Associate Broadband Researcher Emma Gautier. They have a conversation about 2021 and some predictions about what the coming year will look like. Listen to the podcast here or read the transcript below.
Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. It's 2022. I'm Christopher Mitchell. I'm still at home. And is this is our predictions show where we go over last year's predictions and wow. I would say that we did pretty well, but we'll see how, what you all think. We have a subsection of our staff here, the, the people that are super enthusiastic about thinking back and thinking forward in the new year on a Friday afternoon. So really excited. I'm co-hosting with me today. We've got DeAnne Cuellar. Welcome back to the co-hosting slot, DeAnne.
DeAnne Cuellar: Thank you, Chris. I'm so glad to be here.
Christopher Mitchell: And we have other voices that'll be jumping in from time to time, but just so you can get a sense of them. Let me note that Sean Gonsalves I, I feel like was the star of the show last year and and may or may not be up for it today. We'll see
Sean Gonsalves: Guilty as charged
Christopher Mitchell: .
Sean Gonsalves: I don't even remember last year's show, to be honest. I had to go back and read the transcripts.
Christopher Mitchell: I did too. And I'm, I'm once again, I have this feeling of like, was this really last year? Was this three years ago? Do I have the wrong transcript? You know, someone that I thought just had a very, very low impact on last year's show is Christine Parker. , welcome to your first podcast with us.
Christine Parker: Thank you. Happy to be here.
Christopher Mitchell: And our returning champion Ry Marcattilio-McCracken.
Transcript: Community Broadband Bits Episode 424
This is the transcript for episode 424 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. In this episode, Christopher Mitchell speaks with Jeff Christensen of EntryPoint Networks about open access networks. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript below.
Jeff Christensen: You start to open up the hood of the engine and a lot of things become possible if the system's an open system.
Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 424 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today Christopher talks with Jeff Christensen, president of EntryPoint Networks, a consulting and software company working with communities around the country, including Ammon, Idaho and their open access network. Jeff shares with Christopher some of the software upgrades EntryPoint has developed over the last year and the impact they'll have both for administrators and users moving forward. Christopher and Jeff then dig into the future of state telecommunications policy and the vision that communities need to have, to confront the realities of existing cable and telecom monopolies around the country.
Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: They talk about the potential of government policies that promote competition, rather than restrain it. And the possibilities for network innovation if we were to reframe how we think about Internet access, so infrastructure and service become separate components. Finally, they spend some time discussing practical steps communities can take, including defining the problem and then making low interest loans to build open access fiber networks in their region. Now here's Christopher talking with Jeff Christensen.
Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance recording today in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I'm talking with Jeff Christensen, the president and CEO of EntryPoint. Welcome back to the show, Jeff.
Jeff Christensen: Chris, great to be back. Thank you. It's always a pleasure.
Transcript: Bonus Community Broadband Bits Episode 15
This is the transcript for episode 15 of our bonus series, “Why NC Broadband Matters.” On this episode, Christopher Mitchell is joined by Catharine Rice (Co-founder of NC Broadband Matters and Project Manager at the Coalition for Local Internet Choice) and Doug Dawson (Owner and President of CCG Consulting) dig into what all these different pots of federal funding mean communities across the country. Listen to the podcast here or read the transcript below.
Catharine Rice: Why undermine yourself before you've even started? Go for it.
Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another bonus episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in St. Paul, Minnesota. And today I'm coming to you once again, as part of our partnership with NC Broadband Matters, a organization focused on North Carolina broadband, talking about how to make sure we get high quality broadband Internet access out to everyone. This episode is going to be focused on what all of the giant federal piles of money mean from a practical perspective. We've all talked about all the money that's out there. What does that really mean? And we're bringing on two return guests to talk with about this. We've got Catharine Rice, co-founder and board member of NC Broadband Matters as well as a general broadband related consultant. Welcome back to the show, Catharine.
Catharine Rice: Always a pleasure, Chris.
Christopher Mitchell: And then we have Doug Dawson, a guy that I've seen once or twice on the Zoom screen. He's a founder, owner, chief bottle washer at CCG, which is a company that's working with more than 1,000 clients on building broadband networks. He's also a board member of NC Broadband Matters. Welcome back, Doug.
Doug Dawson: Good morning, Chris.
Christopher Mitchell: How are you guys?
Doug Dawson: We're just peachy, awesome, because there's really not all that much to do these days.
Catharine Rice: Just painting my nails.
Transcript: Community Broadband Bits Episode 487
This is the transcript for episode 487 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. On this episode, Christopher Mitchell is joined by Derek Turner, the research director for Free Press, to talk about the history of the federal government's broadband data collection and how the Form 477 came to be. Listen to the podcast here or read the transcript below.
Derek Turner: Garbage in garbage out. Is their reporting going to be any better? It's always on the ISPs to report accurately.
Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I am Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Saint Paul, Minnesota. And today, I'm returning to a guest that we spoke with, seems like 20 years ago but it was actually two years ago, Derek Turner, the Research Director for Free Press. Welcome back to the show.
Derek Turner: Oh, it's so good to be here. And it's so true, this past two years, I guess going on now is one big blur. So, I'm happy to be back. There's certainly been a lot of developments in this topic and lots to talk about, for sure.
Christopher Mitchell: Yeah. And I think a lot of people are much more interested in how we got to where we are with mapping at the federal government. I feel like you can't talk to anyone, if you say the word mapping, there's like a race to figure out who's going to talk about the whole one house per block being served and this and that, but I think there's a more interesting history and there's also an assumption that it's going to get better. It might be hard to get worse, but I'm pretty skeptical about how excited we'll be in a year as to where we are with mapping. Anyway, I immediately thought of you, because whenever I talk with you about this stuff, I'm reminded that you know all of this stuff that happened, that for me, I barely even can recall. And you've made comments over the years in tons of these proceedings. So, love to just jump in, and we'll do that right after you remind us what Free Press is.