This is the transcript for episode 293 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. Katie Cristol and Jack Belcher join the show from Arlington, Virginia, to explain the community's approach to bridging the digital divide. Listen to this episode here.
Katie Cristol: It just starts with the idea that everyone regardless of whether your work is in technology, paving, or public schools is committed to the notion of helping lift up our neighbors with the assets that they need.
Lisa Gonzalez: This is episode 293 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. It was 2014 when we last spoke with Arlington, Virginia's Jack Belcher about the community's fiber optic network. This week he's back and he's joined by Katie Cristol, County Board Chair. The network has been up and running for several years now providing better connectivity for government facilities and community anchor institutions leasing out dark fiber. And now they've developed a new program to help shrink the digital divide. In this interview Jack and Katie give us details about the Arlington Digital inclusion Initiative including why where and how local government departments are working together. Jack also fills us in on what's next for Connect Arlington and share some lessons learned. Now here's Jack Belcher and Katie Cristol from Arlington Virginia.
Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another edition of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Chris Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Minneapolis. And I'm speaking with Katie Cristol, the Chair of the Arlington County Board in Virginia. Welcome to the show. Thanks so much for having me. And we also have repeat guest Jack Belcher, Arlington County Chief Information Officer. Welcome back, Jack.
Jack Belcher: Thank you for inviting us.
Christopher Mitchell: Well this is a particularly good show we've done a couple of shows recently about digital divide issues, how we can use smart investments to try to make sure everyone gets benefits of the Internet and we're going to be talking about that at the beginning of this show. But first I think, Katie, I'd like to ask you to just tell us a little... Read more