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Thanks to Jeff Hoel for providing the transcript for the Episode 62 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast on volume three of "Crazy Talk" series. Listen to this episode here.
Lisa Gonzalez: Hi, and welcome again to the Community Broadband Bits Podcast, from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. This is the third volume of our "Crazy Talk" series. Chris and I encounter fallacies and downright lies about telecommunications on a regular basis. In this series, we address those statements that are designed to confuse the people who encounter them. Many of the lies come from well-paid corporate lobbyists and are carefully planted in various media outlets.
Recently, we encountered an opinion piece from an eastern senator that reiterated many of the same tired arguments against municipal broadband networks. As modern technology has made media more readily available than ever, there are also more instances of twisted facts and figures. The powerful players in the telecom industry depend on those inaccuracies to cloud the true benefits of publicly-owned networks. We encourage you to think critically about statements you hear in the media, and as you talk to people in your everyday lives.
Hey, Christopher! How's it going?
Chris Mitchell: Um, it's going pretty well today, Lisa.
Lisa: Christopher has on an orange tie today.
Chris: It is a bright orange tie. It is the tie I got married in.
Chris: Yes. I had a big meeting today. This isn't just for the benefit of our listeners. But I hope they'll be able to hear my extra confidence today.
Lisa: I already hear it. Um, so let's talk a little bit about Chattanooga. I think one of our listeners asked us to talk about Chattanooga. What did they say, and what did they want us to discuss?
Thanks to Jeff Hoel for providing the transcript for Episode 133 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast with Howard County CIO Chris Merdon the Maryland County's efforts to improve Internet access by building a fiber network. Listen to this episode here.
Chris Merdon: In this case, the landlord believes that it's a great attractor to companies, particularly high-tech companies, to want to look at these -- maybe some of these older buildings, that aren't as attractive as the newer buildings, because they have that gigabit speed.
Lisa Gonzalez: Hello. This is the Community Broadband Bits Podcast, from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. And this is Lisa Gonzalez. In 2010, Howard County, Maryland, was chosen to receive stimulus funds in order to deploy the InterCounty Broadband Network, or ICBN. The network is now up and running, providing faster, more reliable, more cost-effective connections in the region. This week Chris talks with Chris Merdon, Howard County Chief Information Officer and Director, about the network. Merdon shares some of the innovative ways public and private entities are using the high-capacity network to improve the quality of life, education, and telehealth in Howard County. Merdon also describes how the ICBN has propelled economic development by providing affordable, fast, reliable connections to a broad range of local industries. Each week, we bring you the Community Broadband Bits Podcast to share information about publicly-owned broadband networks and related telecommunications issues. Our podcasts are advertisement-free, but they aren't free to produce. We hope you'll consider contributing by visiting ilsr.org and clicking on the orange "donate" button. Now, here's Chris, speaking with Chris Merdon from Howard County, Maryland.
Chris Mitchell: Welcome to another edition of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. I'm Chris Mitchell. Today, I'm speaking with Howard County Chief Information Officer and Director, Chris Merdon, from Maryland. Welcome the show.
Chris Merdon: Thank you very much.
Thanks to Jeff Hoel for providing the transcript for Episode 74 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast with Billy Ray on the origins of the first muni broadband network. Listen to this episode here.
Lisa Gonzalez: Hi there. This is the Community Broadband Bits Podcast, from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez.
As part of a video project, Chris traveled to Glasgow, Kentucky, this past summer. Glasgow is known as the first municipal broadband network. Chris spent time there talking with Billy Ray, Superintendent of the Glasgow Electric Plant Board. This week, we bring you some audio clips from the project, as a special Thanksgiving treat. Billy Ray is the man behind the Glasgow network. The network began when the community was dissatisfied with services from the incumbent cable TV provider. Glasgow EPB now provides electricity, cable TV, and data services, including Internet access.
In the first segment, Billy Ray discusses why the community of Glasgow decided to invest in the network, and describes his vision.
Billy Ray: Glasgow already had cable TV. It was from a company called Telescripts Cable Company. And it was pretty poor. So I began to have conversations with my board about how cable TV works, and what -- my vision about how electricity needed to be distributed in the future. And how we could mitigate the need to build more and more generation facilities if we used the ones that we had more efficiently. And, to this day, we use them miserably. You know, most generation facilities that you see are only really living up to their nameplate rating about three or four hours a day, about three or four days a week. The rest of the time, you're paying for it and not getting that much utilization out of it.
Thanks to Jeff Hoel for providing the transcript for Episode 73 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast with Todd O'Boyle on network neutrality and democracy. Listen to this episode here.
Todd O'Boyle: This is why this is the free speech issue of the 21st Century.
Lisa Gonzalez: Hi, and welcome again to the Community Broadband Bits Podcast, from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. This is Lisa Gonzalez.
This week, Chris checks in with Todd O'Boyle, Program Director for the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause. The group began in the 1970s, as an organized movement of citizens concerned about the U.S. democratic process. Fortunately, it continues today, working to educate citizens on a variety of issues, like media and democracy, money and politics, and ethics in government. At ILSR, we find our work often in sync with Common Cause, and we have collaborated on a few projects.
Today, Chris and Todd discuss net neutrality, along with related issues that influence the quality of our democracy. Common Cause recently released a comic titled "Big Deal, Big Money," that describes how issues such as transparency, lobbying dollars, and corporate influence threaten our voices. It's a great piece that really brings together all the different pieces of net neutrality, and explains how huge corporate interests use the political process to try to end it. Here are Chris and Todd.
Chris Mitchell: Welcome to another edition of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell. And I'm here today with my friend, Todd O'Boyle, Program Director for the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause. Welcome to the show.
Todd: Thanks, Chris.
Chris: Excellent. You and I have known each other for quite some time. We met face to face for the first time at the National Conference For Media Reform out in Boston, I think.
Todd: Yeah, in 2011.
Thanks to Jeff Hoel for providing the transcript for Episode 72 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast with Chris Mitchell, Lisa Gonzalez, and John Farrell on the forth episode of 'Crazy Talk' series. Listen to this episode here.
Lisa Gonzalez: Hi., and welcome again to the Community Broadband Bits Podcast, from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez.
Recently, Christopher joined WUNC in North Carolina on a local radio show, "The State of Things," hosted by Frank Stasio. Marian Norton, a resident of Chatham County, and Scott Pryzwansky, a public relations executive from Time Warner Cable, also joined the conversation. During the discussion, the panel discussed why North Carolina was recently ranked last in the country for the rate of Internet subscription. During the 14-minute conversation, Time Warner Cable offered a variety of talking points. We think the timing is perfect for another episode of our "Crazy Talk" series. This week, we invited our colleague John Farrell to give another view on Time Warner Cable's claims. John is the Director of the Democratic Energy program here at ILSR, and he has extensive experience studying how policies relate to utilities. Here are Chris and John and I as we listen to specific excerpts from the October radio show.
Chris Mitchell: Welcome to another edition of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast -- today with super-special guest John Farrell.
John Farrell: Hello.
Chris: John Farrell is a coworker that I hassle on a near-daily basis. I leave him alone most Fridays, because he does not come into the office. John is my colleague here. He does a lot of our work on energy. And he knows a lot about cable and Internet type stuff, because he's a big geek like me. So he's going to join us for this episode of our "Crazy Talk," Volume 4. Lisa is here as well.
Thanks Jeff Hoel for providing the transcript for Episode 71 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast with Evan Marwell on broadband for schools. Listen to this episode here.
Evan Marwell: We need to get this done as quickly as possible. We need to get every school in this country with more than a hundred kids connected to a fiber optic connection as quickly as possible.
Lisa Gonzalez: Hi there. This is Lisa Gonzalez, from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Welcome to the Community Broadband Bits Podcast.
It's estimated that 80 percent of our public K-12 schools do not have the Internet connections they need to take advantage of digital learning. Nonprofit Education Superhighway plans to change that dim statistic. Evan Marwell, CEO of Education Superhighway, joins Chris today. At the heart of the issue is E-Rate, the federal program that helps schools pay for Internet and communication needs. The program's been hailed as a godsend to financially challenged school districts. And schools are more connected today than before the program. Currently the FCC is examining the program with a goal of creating E-Rate 2.0. Education Superhighway, along with other interested parties, have until November 8th to file comments in the proposed rulemaking. Chris and Evan discuss E-Rate, school connectivity, and Evan shares Education Superhighway's vision. Here are Evan and Chris.
Chris Mitchell: Welcome to another Community Broadband Bits Podcast. I'm Chris Mitchell. And today, I'm speaking with the CEO of Education Superhighway, Evan Marwell. Welcome to the show.
Evan Marwell: Great to be here.
Chris: Evan, Education Superhighway. It's a great name. What is Education Superhighway?
Thanks to Jeff Hoel for providing the transcript for Episode 70 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast with Will Aycock on Greenlight, the leading service provider in Wilson, North Carolina. Listen to this episode here.
Will Aycock: Our purpose is supporting this community. We are public-minded, and we're here to make this a better place for us all to live.
Lisa Gonzalez: Hi there. This is Lisa Gonzalez, from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Welcome again to the Community Broadband Bits Podcast.
Will Aycock, General Manager of Greenlight Community Broadband visits us this week. Greenlight is located in Wilson, North Carolina, and has been offering fiber-to-the-home services since 2008. Residents appreciate the triple-play from a local community provider. Businesses and government have come to rely on Greenlight's affordable and reliable services. Fortunately, community leaders recognized years ago that a fiber optic network was quickly becoming like any other necessary utility. The network has directly attracted and retained new industry. Likewise, highly skilled talent continued to move to Wilson for a network that outshines those available in most urban areas. Will shares some success stories with us, and emphasized Greenlight's core goal: to improve the quality of life in Wilson. Wilson's another community that continues to reap the rewards that flow from this community-minded approach. Here are Will and Chris.
Chris Mitchell: Welcome to another Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Chris Mitchell, and I'm here today with Will Aycock, the General Manager of Greenlight in Wilson, North Carolina. Welcome to the show.
Will Aycock: Well, thank you, Chris. I'm pleased to be here.
Thanks to Jeff Hoel for providing the transcript for Episode 68 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast with Vince Jordan and George Oliver on fiber bond in Longmont, Colorado. Listen to this episode here.
George Oliver: Tell everyone you can in Longmont to vote yes for ballot issue 2B.
Lisa Gonzalez: Hi there. This is Lisa Gonzalez from the Institute for Local Self Reliance. Welcome to the Community Broadband Bits Podcast.
This week, Chris talks with Vince Jordan, Broadband Services Manager for Longmont Power & Communications. LPC now offers affordable gigabit service to businesses in the community. The network has also started building out service to residents and intends to expand. Under the current LPC plan, the incremental build-out will take about 40 years to build out the entire Longmont community. Rather than wait four decades, LPC is asking the voters to approve a revenue bond that will allow the project to happen in 3-4 years.
Chris also visits with George Oliver, Longmont citizen and cofounder of Friends of Fiber, a volunteer advocacy group. The organization is a collection of residents that understand the value of expanding the network. This group is spreading the word, to counteract any misinformation that could come from incumbent providers. In 2009 and 2011, citizens faced referendums on similar network questions. In those instances, getting the word out to the public greatly influenced the results.
Let's listen to Chris talk first with Vince about the network and the build-out, and then he moves to a discussion with George about how that group is educating the public about the referendum.
Chris Mitchell: Welcome to another edition of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Chris Mitchell. And today, I'm back with Vince Jordan, back for his second time on this show. Welcome back.
Vince Jordan: Thank you, Chris. It's really great to be here.
Thanks to Jeff Hoel for prodiving the transcript for Episode 69 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast with Mark Creekmore on his takes on Windstream. Listen to this episode here.
Mark Creekmore: Don't back down. Don't give up. Stay professional, 'cause that helps both sides, as well.
Lisa Gonzalez: Hi there. This is Lisa Gonzalez from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Welcome again to the Community Broadband Bits Podcast.
Thanks to Jeff Hoel for providing the transcript for Episode 67 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast with Jim Baller on the third part of the history of municipal networks. Listen to this episode here.
Jim Baller: The legislature, with severe pressure from Verizon, did enact that legislation. And so there we were -- a new piece of legislation that was really an ugly bill.
Lisa Gonzalez: Hi there. This is Lisa Gonzalez from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Welcome to the Community Broadband Bits Podcast.
We often share info about state telecom legislation, either via our blog or through interviews with guests on the Broadband Bits Podcast. This week, Chris visits with Jim Baller, once again, to learn about modern historical events in telecommunications. Jim is President and Senior Principal of the Baller Herbst Law Group. He's been involved in many of the state fights at the legislative level, and shares some of those stories with us. Jim's intimate legislative experience can help us contend with future legislative battles at the state level. Here are Chris and Jim.
Chris Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. And we're continuing our multipart series on the history of municipal networks -- cable networks, fiber networks, and eventually wireless networks. Jim Baller has joined us once again. Thank you, Jim.
Jim Baller: Nice to be back, Chris.
Chris: We've had a lot of positive response, starting right with the first episode, where a lot of people are really interested. So I'm glad that we're taking the time to do this in several shows, rather than trying to rush through it.