Tag: "transcript"

Posted March 19, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for Episode 447 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. We're joined by Anza Electric Cooperative General Manager Kevin Short, and Network Administrator Shawn Trento to talk about the cooperative listening to its members and beginning FTTH construction across its footprint. Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript below.

Kevin Short: When we took this to the membership for a vote six years ago and said, "We're looking at doing this, do you want us to do this?" And we received the biggest return in our history of votes with a 93% approval. We figured it was probably a mandate, and we decided that it was time to build fiber.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to Episode 447, of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today, Christopher talks with Anza Electric Cooperative general manager, Kevin Short and network administrator, Shawn Trento. Anza Electric stretchers across 550 square miles in Southern California, between San Diego and Palm Springs. About six years ago, they initiated a vote to see whether membership was interested in leadership, building fiber, not just to electric substations and SCADA systems, but to residences as well. When 93% voted in favor, they took it as a mandate today. Today, Anza is about halfway done, building to their 5,200 members and getting a 60% take rate. Kevin and Shawn share how it came together, and the operational flexibility it provided the electric cooperative, including how it brings redundancy and resiliency to a region vulnerable to wildfires. Kevin and Shawn tell Chris what it's like hooking up households that have never had Internet access before. The reason bid for FCC Ardell funds and the cooperative's plans for the future. Now, here's Christopher talking with Kevin and Shawn.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in St. Paul, Minnesota. Today I'm talking to two guys that have much better tans than I do. We're going to speak with Kevin Short, who is the general manager at Anza Electric Cooperative. Welcome to the show.

Kevin Short: Thank you Christopher, pleasure to be here....

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Posted March 19, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for Episode 446 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. We're joined by Barbara Droher Kline of Le Sueur County, Minnesota, to talk about efforts and partnerships to expand broadband there over the last several years. Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript below.

Barbara Droher Kline: Keep talking, asking elected officials and government people to step up and listen. And we had a hundred percent support on all of our broadband work from every commissioner, every city administrator, every township has voted unanimously to support this stuff.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 446, The Community Broadband Bits podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-reliance. We caught up with what's been happening in Le Sueur County, Minnesota, a few weeks back, and the path we're on to turn the county from being one of the least connected in the land of 10,000 lakes, to one on track to becoming among the most connected in the next couple of years. In this week's episode, Christopher talks with Barbara Droher Kline, the County consultant who helped organize the recent broadband efforts, partly as the result of her experience in moving to the County and being stuck on dial-up, fiber connectivity, right next door. She shares with Chris the history of their recent efforts at bringing area communities together in the rolling hills and river valley of southeastern Minnesota and the resulting partnerships with local Internet service providers to do both fiber and fixed wireless projects. Chris and Barbara end the conversation by briefly discussing the recent rural digital opportunity fund auction and the adverse consequences it's having in places like Le Sueur. Now here's Christopher talking with Barbara.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-reliance in St. Paul, Minnesota. And today I'm very excited to be speaking with another Minnesotan, working in a community that really has figured out a smart approach that we want to share with other people. We're going to speak with Barbara Droher Kline. Welcome to the show.

Barbara Droher Kline: Thank you. Good to be here.

Christopher Mitchell: And I realize as we were talking, I didn't ask you how I should identify...

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Posted February 19, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for Episode 445 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. Two members from the UTOPIA fiber team join us to talk about network expansion in 2020, and update us on what's been happening. Listen to this episode here, or read the transcript below.

Kim McKinley: In all the years that we've been doing this project, we've been saying we believe this is essential. We believe that this is infrastructure, that we have a role in this and really seeing the conversations switch. You don't have to try to convince people that this is essential anymore.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 445 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. This week on the podcast we connect again with UTIOPIA Network's CEO and executive director Roger Timmerman and deputy director and chief marketing officer Kim McKinley. 2020 was a year of explosive growth for what is now UTOPIA's 15-city footprint fueled by unprecedented demand. The network buried 1.7 million feet of conduit and 1.4 feet of fiber cabling driven by 10,000 new installations and over 500 new businesses. Chris, Roger, and Kim talk about the process of bringing new communities online across the state of Utah with member cities hitting revenue marks ahead of schedule and pushing smart city applications to measure and improve air quality, for wildfire detection, and a host of other innovative use cases. Roger and Kim, talk about what the UTOPIA approach means for communities and what they've got in stock for the future. Now here's Christopher talking with Roger and Kim.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Saint Paul, Minnesota. And I went ice skating today, and I love it. It is really great in the winter. People are wrong to [inaudible 00:01:40] reeling about winter in Minnesota. Part of the reason I'm just giddy and getting excited is I'm really excited to talk with our guests today, get the low-down on what's been happening in UTOPIA and Utah. So let me bring back to the show Roger Timmerman, the CEO and executive director for the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency,...

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Posted February 19, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for episode 444 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. In this episode, Christopher Mitchell speaks with Larry Thompson about broadband funding programs like the USF, and what it means for getting access out to rural areas. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript below.

Larry Thompson: Even AT&T and CenturyLink and people like that actually draw from these funds as well. It's not just the small rural telephone companies. It's actually all companies that provide service to these rural areas. The reality is end-user revenues are not enough to be able to pay for that loop that goes out to that customer's home.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to Episode 444 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today, Christopher talks with Larry Thompson, CEO of Vantage Point Solutions, a South Dakota-based company which provides engineering, consulting, and regulatory services for ISPs of all sizes.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: The two talk about how the variety of subsidy and grant programs we've built to get broadband out into rural areas and make sure folks can afford Internet access came about, and the policy changes we're likely to see in the near future to make sure existing networks and new construction remains viable.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: In particular, Larry and Christopher spend time talking about the Universal Service Fund and the National Exchange Carrier Association, and how we come to terms with an increasing need for support in the face of a declining base from which to draw funds.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Christopher and Larry discuss the USF's sustainability as the contribution level nears 30%, alternatives to existing models, and what it will take to commit to fast, affordable broadband for all Americans in the decades to come. Now, here's Christopher talking with Larry.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is the first time I've said that in 2021. It feels good to be back. I'm back today with Larry Thompson, the CEO of Vantage Point. Welcome to Community Broadband Bits, Larry. Thank you for coming...

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Posted February 19, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for Episode 443 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. In this episode, Christopher speaks with two representatives from Loveland, Colorado's municipal network to talk about how they've built a network valued by the community that also offers regional utility reliability. Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript below.

Brieana Reed-Harmel: ... If this is truly a community effort and we have the community behind us which I think helps extraordinarily.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 443 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today, Christopher talks with Brieana Reed-Harmel, fiber manager for Loveland Pulse and Lindsey Johansen, marketing and communications manager. The network in the city of 79,000 is just finishing its first year of construction and they share with Chris the history behind the birth of the network back to 2014. They talk about what success would look like in five years, and what it has taken to become a valued local broadband utility for residents of the city. The group talks about what it takes to make the magic work and how they're connecting with Fort Collins and Estes Park to share costs and bring efficiencies to all the municipal networks in the region. Now, here's Christopher talking with Brieana and Lindsey.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Today, speaking with two folks who are probably also looking out their windows at some snow on the ground, I hope. We're going to speak with Brieana Reed-Harmel who is the fiber manager at Loveland Pulse in Colorado, on the Front Range. Welcome to the show.

Brieana Reed-Harmel: Thank you so much, glad to be here.

Christopher Mitchell: And we also have Lindsey Johansen who is the marketing and communications manager at Loveland Pulse. Welcome to the show.

Lindsey Johansen: Yeah, thanks for having us.

Christopher Mitchell: So, for folks who may not be familiar, we have covered Fort Collins which is North of you I think, and done...

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Posted February 17, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for Connect This! Episode 4 - Marketing. Christopher is joined by Jeff Christensen (President, EntryPoint Networks), Dane Jasper (CEO and Co-Founder, Sonic), and Travis Carter (CEO, US Internet) to talk about open access models, and the challenges and opportunities they present. During the discussion they discuss barriers to entry, differentiation, dark fiber, and why we don't see more cities pursuing projects like this. They also have a little fun sharing what they think the FCC has gotten right and wrong over the last 4 years, and what Comcast's recent announcement about bandwidth caps will mean for users and competing Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Watch the episode here.

Christopher Mitchell: Who did Blazing Saddles? Now, I'm just spiraling here.

Dane Jasper: Mel Brooks. Mel Brooks.

Christopher Mitchell: Mel Brooks, thank you. That's just terrible. I have, once again ... So, this is the thing. I do introduction and then I start hearing myself because I didn't mute my own dang thing so I can watch the stream. I'm excited for this conversation. This is going to be possibly the most contentious Connect This ever with Dane Jasper, the CEO of Sonic in California. Welcome to the show Dane.

Dane Jasper: Thanks Chris, good to see you.

Christopher Mitchell: It's good to see you, you're looking magnificent in the lightning today.

Dane Jasper: Oh thank you, I got a new ring light. I'm very thrilled.

Christopher Mitchell: Yes, it's working for you. We also have Jeff Christensen. Welcome to the show Jeff.

Jeff Christensen: Chris, good to be here. Thank you.

Christopher Mitchell: You may know Jeff from numerous interviews in the past with me, from his Tedx career from entry point networks. He's done a lot of work with [inaudible 00:00:57] and other communities to be named later in terms of building a specific type of open access network that we'll be talking about. Then, we also have a returning champion, Travis Carter from U.S. Internet. Welcome back Travis.

Jeff Christensen: Woot- woot! Thanks Chris.

Christopher Mitchell: I'm Chris Mitchell at the Institute for...

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Posted January 21, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for Episode 442 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This week on the podcast Christopher welcomes Paolo Balboa, Program Manager at the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and Shauna Edson Digital Inclusion Coordinator, at the Salt Lake City Public Library to dive deeper into the Digital Navigators program and talk about lessons learned so far. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript.

Paolo Balboa: The Digital Navigator is there to have a good understanding of the resources available in their area, as well as the understanding of how to get their community member to the resources that they need.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 442 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today, Christopher welcomes Paolo Balboa, program manager at the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, and Shauna Edson, digital inclusion coordinator at the Salt Lake City Public Library. The group dives right into what digital equity means, both in policy and practice and how we can be more thoughtful about both. Paolo shares the history behind the idea of the NDIA's Digital Navigator program and how it came to fruition, helpfully right at the start of the pandemic. Shauna talks about the challenges Digital Navigators confront head-on in communities, from helping residents overcome lack of familiarity with new devices, to learning, to navigate the web, to connecting with local resources. Both Shauna and Paolo stress that successful forward progress will come from the presence of ongoing programs staffed by fellow community members, and Shauna shares the progress made so far in Salt Lake City.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: If you listen closely enough during the episode, you can hear Christopher once again tout his imperviousness to online scammers of all types. The rest of us on the team here at Muni Networks wait patiently for the day when he gets his well-deserved comeuppance. Now here's Christopher, talking with Palo and Shauna.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in St. Paul, Minnesota. I'm excited. This is a...

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Posted January 21, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for Episode 441 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. The week the MuniNetworks team gets together to review our previous years' predictions to see who swung the hardest and missed back in 2019, and what we expect in store for the coming year. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript.

Christopher Mitchell: As long as none of us die on air, it's basically better than 2020 on average.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 441 of The Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today we're doing our end-of-the-year show where we review the previous year's predictions and discuss what's going to happen with broadband in the coming year. I'm going to turn over to Chris here to introduce who we;ve got.

Christopher Mitchell: No. I think you're going to turn it over to me so I can do the introduction that makes Travis and his wife so happy.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Okay, do it.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. Not as good as Katy did it last year. I was just reminded of her brilliant, brilliant rendition last year. You won't hear Katy's voice today unfortunately because she has abandoned us.

Christopher Mitchell: We have some new voices. We have an exciting team. But I have to say 2020 shook things up in ways that I never would have expected such that the only person from last year's prediction show that is back is Michelle Andrews, our GIS and data researcher. Welcome back, Michelle.

Michelle Andrews: Good to be back. You also were there last year, Chris.

Christopher Mitchell: True, but I'm going to be here in 2046.

Christopher Mitchell: We also have another returning voice, just not from last year, someone that I'm very excited to bring back who's been thinking about this stuff for a long time, who started with us as an intern and has just blossomed into a genius and then abandoned us for grad school and is now back, leading a project. Hannah Trostle, welcome back.

Hannah Trostle: Thanks. It's great to be here again.

...

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Posted January 21, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for Bonus Episode 10 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This week on the podcast Christopher speaks with Maggie Woods, Policy and Program Manager at the Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State, Amy Huffman, Digital Inclusion and Policy Manager within the Broadband Infrastructure Office in the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, and Arlayne Gordon-Bray, IZone Community Engagement and Industry Partner at Edgecombe Public Schools about an innovative Building a New Digital Economic (BAND-NC) grant program, which provides funds to support devices, subscriptions, and digital skills training to communities across North Carolina. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript.

Arlayne Gordon-Bray: Because we were able to get this grant and we were able to connect with other grantees, we have now been able to advocate for our families and have seats at the table to really share the concerns and needs of our community when it comes to digital inclusion and when it comes to broadband access.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Today, we are bringing you another episode in our special Community Broadband Bits podcast series, why NC broadband matters. I'm Ry Marcattilio-McCracken with the Institute for Local Self Reliance in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: NC Broadband Matters is a North Carolina nonprofit. Their mission is to attract support and champion the universal availability of affordable, reliable, high capacity Internet access. The group has created the North Carolina chapter of CLIC, the Coalition for Local Internet Choice.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: ILSR is working with NC Broadband Matters to produce this series, focusing on issues affecting people in North Carolina that also impact folks in other regions. In this episode, we are joined by Maggie Woods, Policy and Program Manager at the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State. As well as Amy Huffman, Digital Inclusion and Policy Manager within the Broadband Infrastructure office in the North Carolina Department of Information Technology.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Chris is talking with Maggie Woods and Amy Huffman about an innovative series of grants on digital inclusion in...

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Posted January 21, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for Episode 440 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This week on the podcast Christopher talks with two representatives from RS Fiber, which serves almost three thousand members in Renville and Sibley counties. Our first guest is Jake Reiki, a corn and soybean farmer and Board Chair for RS Fiber. We’re also joined by Jenny Palmer, City Administrator for Winthrop and Treasurer for the cooperative. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript.

Jake Reiki: Living in Sibley County with the pandemic and things shutting down. It has really been a lifesaver for all of us here who have it and have been able to utilize it.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 440 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today, Christopher talks with two representatives from RS Fiber, a cooperative bringing Internet access to almost 3000 members in Renville and Sibley counties in the great state of Minnesota. Our first guest is Jake Reiki, a corn and soybean farmer and board chair for RS Fiber. We're also joined by Jenny Palmer, city administrator for Winthrop and treasurer for the cooperative. Christopher, Jake, and Jenny talk about the trials that shaped a network which fostered some division but which the community now takes for granted. It's hybrid fiber and wireless approach to connectivity, what having fast affordable broadband has done for families and businesses in the area, and where are the networks it's financially moving ahead, as it continues to expand and see robust, steady growth. Now here's Christopher talking with Jake and Jenny.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast, I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in St. Paul, Minnesota. Today, we're going to dig into one of my favorite projects of all time in Minnesota, the RS Fiber Cooperative. Let me start by introducing Jake Reiki the board chair and a corn and soybean farmer. Welcome to the show.

Jake Reiki: Thanks Chris. Good to be here.

Christopher Mitchell: We also have Jenny Palmer, a city administrator for the city of Winthrop, which was one of the...

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