For this week's Community Broadband Bits podcast, we are excited to have Bob Frankston back on the show. Frankston has spent a long time thinking about connectivity and we previously explored his thoughts on episode 14.
In this episode, we talk a lot about how to think about what he terms "connectivity" rather than telecommunications. Telecommunications are a train track - the network owner determines when to move the trains and at what capacity. Our goal for networks is more akin to the roads, where we have more capacity to move around and pick our own routes on our own schedule.
Frankston has persistently argued that community networks are reproducing the centralized model of the telephone and cable companies when they build networks. While I have argued that the community fiber approach is more open than he believes, it is clear that his vision is substantially different from what most local governments have in mind and quite possibly, more libertarian than most local governments are ready to encourage. Feel free to share your thoughts below.
He is looking for more examples of very local grassroots network building - where apartment builders create and operate their own network. Ideally, these will scale up as they connect with each other and offer alternatives to more centrally controlled networks.
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show - please e-mail us or leave a comment below. Also, feel free to suggest other guests, topics, or questions you want us to address.
Thanks to Jessie Evans for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is "Is it Fire?"