This is the transcript for episode 356 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. In this episode, Christopher talks to Arkansas State Senator Breanne Davis about recently passed Senate Bill 150, which lifted some of the state restrictions on municipal broadband networks. Listen to the interview, or read the transcript below.
Breanne Davis: In the year 2019, we shouldn't have to choose between where we live and taking a job that requires us to send email.
Lisa Gonzalez: Welcome to episode 356 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez. This week, state Senator Breanne Davis joins us to discuss changes in the law in her home state of Arkansas. Earlier this year we reported about a bill that she and several other women lawmakers introduced to lift state restrictions on municipal broadband. After a couple of amendments, the bill passed, and while it doesn't remove all barriers in Arkansas, it is a small step toward local authority for better connectivity. In this interview, Senator Davis describes how she and the other authors of the bill chose broadband as an issue that needed their attention. She discusses how they refined the bill to allow local communities to access federal grant funding. Lawmakers in the state of Arkansas have run out of patience waiting for large ISPs to make good on the promise to deliver rural broadband after taking so many subsidies over the years. You can read more about the specifics of Senate Bill 150 at muninetworks.org to discover how and why state lawmakers decided to make the change. Now let's hear from Breanne Davis, state senator from Arkansas.
Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Chris Mitchell. Today, I'm speaking with Senator Breanne Davis from Arkansas about a very interesting bill that made its way through that that Senator Davis sponsored, dealing with municipal broadband questions. So welcome to the show, Senator.
Breanne Davis: Hi. Thank you. I'm happy to be on.
Christopher Mitchell: I wonder if you'd maybe just start by giving us a sense of, what is broadband like in the area you represent and even more largely across...Read more