The end of the year is fast approaching! Let's welcome 2017 with another Community Broadband Bits Podcast of Predictions. Our clairvoyants, Christopher Mitchell and Lisa Gonzalez, will discuss what future they see for us. This year we want to include YOUR predictions about local authority, community broadband, and publicly owned Internet networks.
Share your predictions by December 15th:
- Call 612-808-0690. Leave a message for Lisa with your name and your prediction for 2017;
In a break from our traditional format of 20-30 minutes (or so), we have a special in-depth interview this week with Harold Depriest, the former CEO and President of Chattanooga's Electric Power Board. He recently retired after 20 incredibly transformative years for both Chattanooga and its municipal electric utility.
This is episode 225 of the Community Broadband Bits. Representatives of Midwest Energy Cooperative discuss their project to bring high-speed connectivity to rural southwest Michigan. Listen to this episode here.
Dave Allen: I really see this as a re-lighting of rural America.
In early November, voters in 26 additional Colorado communities chose to opt out of SB 152. The state’s restrictive law took away local telecommunications authority in 2005. The results in many of the towns and counties were overwhelming majorities - loud and clear in favor of local authority. Now, 95 local communities across the state have reclaimed local authority.
Rural electric co-ops have started delivering high quality Internet access to their member-owners and our guest this week on Community Broadband Bits episode 229 is dedicated to helping these co-ops to build fiber-optic networks throughout their territories. Jon Chambers is a partner at Conexon and was previously the head of the FCC's Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis.
When we last spoke to people from Lincoln, Nebraska, about their innovative conduit program to improve Internet access, we focused on how they had done it - Conduits Lead to Competition, podcast 182. For this week and episode 228 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast, we focus more on the community benefits their approach has led to.
This is episode 227 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. Chief Information Officer Paul Kronberger of Madison, Wisconsin, explains how the fiber network pilot project will help bridge the digital divide. Listen to this episode here.
Paul Kronberger: We specified we wanted to keep the costs very low and to remove as many barriers as possible for individuals to obtain this service.
Pinetops, a town of about 1,300 outside Wilson, North Carolina, is suffering a double calamity as Hurricane Matthew has left floods and incredible damage in its wake. Less natural but no less frustrating is the unforced error by the North Carolina Legislature in effectively prohibiting municipal broadband networks.
Telephone and electric cooperatives are making strides in bringing high-quality connectivity to rural areas while national providers stay in the city. This week we speak with two gentlemen from rural southwest Michigan’s Midwest Energy Cooperative: President and CEO Bob Hance and Vice President of Regulatory Compliance Dave Allen.