Tag: "transcript"

Posted December 11, 2018 by Staff

This is the transcript for episode 335 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. In this episode Christopher speaks with Councilor Joel McAuliffee about efforts to establish a municipal fiber network in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Listen to the podcast here.

 

 

Joel McAuliffe: What is the cost of not doing it? If we don't make this investment now, if we don't be at the forefront of this technology at this utility, what opportunities are we losing?

Lisa Gonzalez: This is episode 335 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. When a local community considers developing a publicly-owned fiber optic network, the process from idea to implementation typically takes several years. This week, Christopher talks with Joel McAuliffe, city councilor from Chicopee, Massachusetts, a community that is currently involved in that process of consideration. Joel and Christopher discuss the city, what Internet access is like there, and the work that they've done so far in exploring options for better connectivity. They talk about some of the reasons why Joel thinks that investing in a network is the best option for his community and what they stand to risk if they don't take action. Joel also discusses what it's like as an elected official faced with this type of issue. Now, here's Christopher with councilor Joel McAuliffe from Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Chris Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Today I'm speaking with Joel McAuliffe, the city councilor in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Welcome to the show.

Joel McAuliffe: Hey, Chris. Thanks for having me.

Christopher Mitchell: This is going to be, I think, a very good back and forth discussion. You have done a lot of research into this, you're a strong advocate for an aggressive municipal network in Chicopee, and you've made a difference — you're heading in that direction. So that's kind of a preview, but let's start a little bit with where is Chicopee and what is it's sort of economic situation. You know, what's it like to live there?

Joel...

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Posted December 4, 2018 by Staff

This is the transcript for episode 334 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. In this episode, Christopher Mitchell speaks with Russell Senior and Michael Hanna, board members of the Municpal Broadband Coalition of America, about Municipal Broadband PDX, an initiative to develop a publicly owned broadband network in the Portland, Oregon, region. View the transcript below, or listen to the episode here.

 

 

Michael Hanna: Once it's explained that a publicly owned, not-for-profit Internet utility is an option, people's eyes light up.

Lisa Gonzalez: This is episode 334 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. Internet access in Portland, Oregon isn't as good as it could be. For years, the city and various citizens groups have grappled with ways to improve connectivity. This week's guests are Russell Senior and Michael Hanna. They're involved in the Municipal Broadband Coalition of America. The nonprofit organization is working on the Municipal Broadband PDX project, an initiative to develop publicly owned broadband infrastructure in Portland and across Multnomah County. Christopher, Russell, and Michael spend some time discussing past efforts, including Russell's work with the Personal Telco Project. Michael and Russell describe the way the Municipal Broadband PDX project moved from a centralized Portland initiative to a broader, county-wide project. They also discuss how they're organizing a large number of people across the county and in the metro area and the possible tensions that might arise as they move forward. Russell and Michael offer tips for others and share their visions of success for the Municipal Broadband PDX project. Now, here's Christopher with Russell Senior and Michael Hanna discussing the Portland and Multnomah County, Oregon, Municipal Broadband PDX initiative.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Chris Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Minneapolis. We have a fresh little blanket of snow on the ground, but today I'm talking to folks where I suspect the weather's a bit nicer. Russell Senior, the president of the Personal Telco...

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Posted November 27, 2018 by Staff

This is the transcript for episode 333 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. In this episode, Christopher speaks with Will Mitchell and Sean Myers of VETRO FiberMap about how communities have been using their mapping platform to design, build, and manage their broadband networks and about the importance of GIS data. They also discuss the many broadband projects happening in Maine and what other communities can learn from them. Listen to the episode here.

 

 

Sean Myers: The real strength in these towns and the way towns are set up in Maine is that there's a lot of local control so the community can get together, they can get together with the adjacent community as well, but it's pretty easy to get together to make decisions like this — you know, do we want broadband or not?

Lisa Gonzalez: This is episode 333 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. This week Will Mitchell and Sean Myers from VETRO FiberMap joined Christopher. The company serves the telecommunications industry with open source mapping software. VETRO FiberMap helps entities in both the private and public sectors with fiber deployment. Will and Sean explain how they've worked with ISPs and other entities in unexpected ways, including marketing and planning. They share that working with Internet service providers and communities has helped them explore new uses for their product. During the conversation, Christopher, Will, and Sean touch on the data that VETRO FiberMap uses and the different sources for GIS information. They also get into some of the various projects they've worked on and the types of projects where they anticipate growth, including projects in Maine where local and state efforts are improving Internet access. Now here's Christopher with Will Mitchell and Sean Myers from VETRO FiberMap.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Chris Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Minneapolis, and I've got a guest who's trying to steal my name, Will Mitchell, the CEO of VETRO FiberMap. Welcome to the show.

Will Mitchell: Thanks Chris. Happy to be here.

Christopher Mitchell: Now with him we...

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Posted November 20, 2018 by Staff

This is the transcript for episode 332 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Dalton, Georgia, has been offering high-speed connectivity to residents and businesses for over a decade, and for this episode, Christopher finally gets a chance to speak with Hank Blackwood from Dalton Utilities about their fiber network OptiLink. Read the transcript below, or listen to the episode here.

 

 

Hank Blackwood: So we got into that business sort of slowly but soon realized that, man, if we needed this and our biggest customers needed this, there's a need for this in the community.

Lisa Gonzalez: This is episode 332 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. For 15 years, Dalton, Georgia, has been going about their business offering fast, affordable, reliable connectivity to the community. Well, we finally have them on the show to talk about the history of their fiber network, OptiLink, and what's next for them. Hank Blackwood from OptiLink took some time out of his schedule to talk with Christopher for this week's show. Hank describes the community's need for the network, which started with other utilities and as they soon realized extended to business and residential connectivity. He talks about the updates they've made and the new technologies they've introduced to the community, including their new video product that has been driving up subscriptions and the new gig offering. Christopher and Hank also discuss some of the many ways the infrastructure has helped Dalton from economic development and entrepreneurship to telehealth and meeting the diverse cultural needs of the community. Now, here's Christopher talking with Hank Blackwood from OptiLink in Dalton, Georgia.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Chris Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Today I'm speaking with someone from one of the original Fiber-to-the-Home communities: Hank Blackwood, the Chief Technical Services Officer for Dalton Utilities and the network OptiLink. Welcome to the show, Hank.

Hank Blackwood: Hello. Glad to be here.

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Posted November 13, 2018 by Staff

This is the transcript for episode 331 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. For this episode, Christopher speaks with Kimberly McKinley, chief marketing officer for UTOPIA Fiber in Utah. They discuss the open access fiber network's recent successes and how marketing has played a key role in growing the network. Listen to episode 331 here.

 

 

Kimberly McKinley: We have worked diligently to make sure that people are aware of our service and how you can get it. And right now, UTOPIA Fiber is the highest rated telecommunications provider in the State of Utah.

Lisa Gonzalez: This is episode 331 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. The Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency, also known as UTOPIA, began when communities in Utah's north central region banded together in 2004. They got together to develop an open access fiber network. Over the past 14 years, they've experienced ups and downs, been attacked by the anti-muni sect, and through it all, gained a wealth of knowledge. In recent years, the project has definitely been on the upswing, and this week Christopher talks with Kimberly McKinley from UTOPIA. They talk about some of the accomplishments UTOPIA has made as it's expanded, the products they offer, and some of the changes they've made. Kimberly and Christopher discuss how UTOPIA's fresh approach to taking control of their marketing has driven a good portion of their success. She offers advice for communities that aren't used to operating in environments where competition demands reaching potential customers. Now here's Christopher with Kimberly McKinley from UTOPIA.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Chris Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Today I'm talking to Kimberly McKinley, the chief marketing officer for UTOPIA Fiber in Utah. Welcome to the show, Kim.

Kimberly McKinley: Well, thank you for having me, Chris. It's exciting to be here.

Christopher Mitchell: I've really enjoyed seeing your presentations in a variety of places — I think probably both coasts and in the middle a few times. But tell us a...

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Posted November 6, 2018 by Staff

This is the transcript for episode 330 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. While at the 2018 Broadband Communities Economic Development Conference in Ontario, California, Christopher spoke with broadband consultant and practitioner Jory Wolf about various projects happening in California. Listen to the episode here.

 

 

Jory Wolf: Regionalism, I think, is becoming very popular with cities — again, combining resources and to be able to create a critical mass to get attention from third party entrants to actually create a competitive network that would provide services to businesses in their communities collectively, at a much lower price [than] if they did it singularly.

Lisa Gonzalez: This is episode 330 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. The 2018 Broadband Communities Economic Development Conference in Ontario, California, gave Christopher a chance to talk to several people for our podcast. One of the people he wanted to be sure to speak with was Jory Wolf, who now works as a consultant. Many Community Broadband Bits podcast listeners already know that Jory was the driving force behind Santa Monica's CityNet. In this episode, Jory takes some time to give Christopher an update on what's been happening in Santa Monica, including their plans for bringing high quality connectivity to residents living in the city's public housing. He also shares updates on some of the many other projects happening in California. In addition to sharing what he's observed about some of the opportunities local governments have been able to take advantage of, Jory talks about several of the regional projects in California. He describes new approaches of public-private partnerships and the way local communities are setting themselves up today for better future connectivity. Now, here's the interview.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. This is Chris Mitchell at the Ontario, California, Broadband Communities Economic Development Summit, sitting with Jory Wolf, who is currently the Vice President of Digital Innovation from Magellan Advisors. Welcome back, Jory.

Jory Wolf: Thank you, Chris. Good to be here.

...

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Posted October 30, 2018 by Staff

This is the transcript for Community Broadband Bits episode 329. In this episode, recorded at the 2018 Broadband Communities Economic Development Conference in Ontario, California, Christopher talks with Deb Socia of Next Century Cities and Bob Knight of Harrison Edwards about political will and community broadband projects. Listen to the episode here.

 

 

Deb Socia: It's all about ensuring that the citizens are engaged and excited and you are sharing information all the time. And then you end up with a success like that. It's great to hear about those stories.

Lisa Gonzalez: This is episode 329 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. Christopher is back from the 2018 Broadband Communities Economic Development Conference in Ontario, California. While he was there, he recorded several interviews, including this week's episode. Deb Socia from Next Century Cities is back on the podcast, and a first time guest, Bob Knight from PR and Marketing firm, Harrison Edwards joins in. The topic for today is political will. Deb, Bob, and Christopher discuss how political will, or the lack of it, is such a key element in communities considering publicly-owned broadband infrastructure. Bob shares some sobering observations from his company, and the three talk about possible reasons for the challenges behind mustering political will to move beyond discussion to implementation. They also get into the ripple effects that are negatively impacting local communities, and they provide some pointers on what constituents can do to help their elected officials who need the political will to move forward. Now, here's Christopher, Deb, and Bob discussing political will and community network projects.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. This is Chris Mitchell from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Ontario, California at the Broadband Communities Economic Development Conference with another set of live interviews. We're going to talk today with Deb Socia, the executive director of Next Century Cities and past guest. Welcome back to the show, Deb.

Deb Socia: Wonderful to be here. Thanks, Chris.

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Posted October 25, 2018 by Staff

This is the transcript for episode 328 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. In this episode, Christopher Mitchell speaks with Joe Knapp, the IT Director for Sandy, Oregon, about the city's municipal broadband network SandyNet. Learn more and listen to their conversation here.

 

 

Joe Knapp: Our friends are users of the network. Our families are users of the network. People that I see at church or at the grocery store — anyone that I run into, there's a 68 percent chance they're going to be a user of my network.

Lisa Gonzalez: This is episode 328 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. It's late October and Christopher is at the 2018 Broadband Communities Economic Development Summit in Ontario, California. While he's there, he'll moderate a few panels, speak on some others, and touch base with people like our next guest, Joe Knapp from Sandy, Oregon. Sandy's community fiber optic network, SandyNet offers super affordable gigabit connectivity all over the city for around $60 a month. Joe has been on the show before to share their story, and we've covered the city's accomplishment by producing a report and a video about the network. Joe took some time out of the summit to give us an update on what's happening in Sandy and to talk about some of the elements that make SandyNet such a success. Christopher and Joe also discussed the possibilities of expansion to other nearby communities, the challenges Sandy has faced, and some of the community's plans as they now work on their long-term strategy. Joe also offers some words of wisdom for other communities considering a similar investment. Now, here's Christopher with Joe Knapp from Sandy, Oregon.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another edition of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. Recording live today from Ontario, California at the Broadband Communities Economic Development Summit, sitting across from a former guest, Joe Knapp, the IT Director for the city of Sandy and SandyNet general manager. Welcome back to the show, Joe.

Joe Knapp: Thanks for having me.

Christopher Mitchell: I'm excited. You just came off a panel from the Coalition for Local Internet Choice. It was a good opening day...

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Posted October 16, 2018 by Staff

This is the transcript for episode 327 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. In this episode, Christopher talks with Brett Schuppner, General Manager of Reedsburg Utilities Commission, about how the municipal fiber network has decided to go all gig and their expansion plans. You can listen to the episode here.

 

 

Brett Schuppner: We just decided to remove the bandwidth restrictions and let those customers fully utilize their connected devices and have a better online experience. We didn't feel the Internet provider should limit the customer in that factor.

Lisa Gonzalez: This is episode 327 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. There's a certain elegance that comes with simplicity, and in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, subscribers to the city's LightSpeed Internet access are finding that out firsthand. This past spring, the Reedsburg Utility Commission decided to eliminate all but the gigabit tier, which is super affordable to subscribers. Brett Schuppner from the utility commission has been on the show before to discuss their expansion efforts, and once again, he talks about how the commission will bring LightSpeed to more premises beyond the city limits. Brett also talks about their decision to go all gig, the response from subscribers, and how the network is influencing the business community. In addition to sharing some of the history behind LightSpeed, Brett and Christopher discuss the role of the network in the community's vibrant telecommuting population and their newly acquired certification as a Telecommuter Forward! community. If you’re a regular Community Broadband Bits listener, you might notice that we’ve made some minor changes to the way we publish the podcast. These changes shouldn’t affect your ability to access the podcast, but if you encounter any problems, please let us know. Send a note to podcast@muninetworks.org. Now, here's Christopher with Brett Schuppner from Reedsburg Utilities Commission.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Bommunity Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Chris Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Minneapolis, talking to Brett Schuppner, the general manager of Reedsburg...

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Posted October 9, 2018 by Staff

This is the transcript for episode 326 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. In this episode, Christopher talks with representatives from the City of Mont Belvieu, Texas, about their community fiber network MB Link. They discuss some of the legal challenges the city had to overcome to establish MB Link and how Mont Belvieu has managed to successfully market the network to city residents. Listen to the episode here.

 

 

Nathan Watkins: And the courts ruled that electricity was a public improvement, similar to public works and utilities, and we argued that reliable high speed broadband Internet is also a public utility and a public works. And the judge ruled in our favor.

Lisa Gonzalez: This is episode 326 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. In this episode, four folks from Mont Belvieu, Texas, talk with Christopher about their network MB Link. Nathan Watkins, Dwight Thomas, Scott, Swigert, and Brian Ligon discuss their experiences with the network that the community has been quick to embrace. They talk about some of the challenges they faced, including a hurdle put in place by the state of Texas, and the many ways overcoming those challenges have paid off. Mont Belvieu has a thriving oil and gas industry, but they're quickly becoming known for their gigabit connectivity. Now, here's Christopher with Nathan Watkins, Dwight Thomas, Scott Swigert, and Brian Ligon.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another edition of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Chris Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and today we're breaking a record. We're going to have more people on this show than we have had in any other episode. So let me start by introducing these folks from Mont Belvieu, Texas. Nathan Watkins is the City Manager. Welcome to the show.

Nathan Watkins: Thank you for having me.

Christopher Mitchell: And we have Dwight Thomas, the Director of Broadband and IT.

Dwight Thomas: Thank you for having me as well.

Christopher Mitchell: We also have Scott Swigert, the Assistant City Manager. Welcome.

Scott Swigert: Thank you. Welcome. Thank you...

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