Tag: "transcript"

Posted July 30, 2021 by Maren Machles

This is the transcript for Episode 458 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. We're joined by ILSR's senior editor and reporter, Sean Gonsalves, Doug Seacat, Owner of Deeply Digital and Clearnetworx, and Casey Irving, Director of Business Development, about bringing world-class connectivity to households in and around the city of Ridgeway, Colorado. Listen to the podcast here or read the transcript below. 

Doug Seacat: We ended up losing five-four and I remember driving home, I couldn't get home because there was an avalanche both on 50 and 70. So I'm just sitting on the side of the road. It was a rough day that day.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to Episode 458 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Doug Seacat, owner of Deeply Digital and Clearnetworx, and Casey Irving, director of business development. ILSR's senior editor and reporter, Sean Gonsalves, also joins the conversation.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: The group discusses a hard lesson learned by Clearnetworx out near Ridgeway, Colorado. Around five years ago, Clearnetworx won a Colorado broadband fund grant to build a fiber to the home network for the community, only to have it challenged by incumbent provider, CenturyLink. Subsequent appeals ultimately led to a situation where CenturyLink won the sum needed by Clearnetworx to build fiber to the home, to instead modestly upgrade its DSL network.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Clearnetworx has continued to pursue its roadmap to the area and made significant progress in bringing world-class connectivity to households in and around the city, but the decision left residents in the area with subpar internet access for years after. It's a situation that speaks to the need for local officials to become conversant in broadband issues, so the same thing doesn't happen to them, and the potential problems of right of first refusal policies. Now here's Christopher, talking with Doug, Casey and Sean....

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Posted July 20, 2021 by Maren Machles

This is the transcript for Episode 457 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. We're joined by two representatives from Conway Corp, a municipal utility in Conway, Arkansas to hear about their commitment to providing high quality Internet access to residents over the last four decades. Listen to the podcast here or read the transcript below. 

Bret Carroll: Thank you Christopher. Glad to be here.

Christopher Mitchell: We also have Jason Hansen, who is the chief technology officer. Welcome.

Jason Hansen: Thank you, Chris. Glad to be here.

Christopher Mitchell: Bret, let me start off with you, because I always like for people to get a sense. Where in Arkansas is Conway and what is it like?

2:25

Bret Carroll: Conway, it's in Central Arkansas, about 30 miles northwest of Little Rock, which is our capital city. We're a population of about 67,000. Our nickname is the City of colleges, which is kind of unique for a City of 67,000. We have three institutions of higher learning, University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College and then Central Baptist College. And Jason and I both are people that came here in our college years, went to college here, fell in love with the community we've been here ever since. So I've lived longer, I grew up in Little Rock and Jason has spent a lot of time in Mountain Home. And I've now lived in Conway longer than I've lived anywhere else. But we're a public power company. We have a very diverse economy in our community with manufacturing, technology and the like. And in 1929, our city leaders decided that they needed a municipal utility and they did it in a pretty innovative way, connected to education. And I think that innovative spirit has really guided us ever since.

Christopher Mitchell: Jason, how long have you been in Conway?

Jason Hansen: Oh boy. I guess I came to college here in '93 and have been here ever since. So I guess close to 28 years, maybe, something like that. So just like Bret, I've lived here longer than I have lived anywhere else and call Conway home.

Christopher Mitchell: It's funny. I...

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Posted April 21, 2021 by Maren Machles

This is the transcript for Episode 456 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. We're joined by two representatives from Minnesota based CTC, CEO and General Manager, Kristi Westbrock, and Director of Business Development, Joe Buttweiler. CTC is a firm that started as a telephone cooperative and has become one of the most aggressive fiber network builders in greater Minnesota. The firm partners with electric cooperatives and communities to undertake internet infrastructure projects around the state. Listen to the podcast here or read the transcript below. 

Kristi Westbrock: As telcos and as broadband providers, you have to remember that when you work with the municipals and the electrics, the tribes, whoever that is, that you're coming in to help them there. They're not coming in to help you.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 456 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Today, we're joined by two representatives from Minnesota based CTC, a firm that started life as a telephone cooperative that today is one of the most aggressive fiber network builders in greater Minnesota offering its own triple play services, but also partnering with electric cooperatives and communities to undertake internet infrastructure projects around the state. CEO and General Manager, Kristi Westbrock, and Director of Business Development, Joe Buttweiler, talk with Chris about the history of the cooperative's decision to embark on a network upgrade to bring fiber to its 15,000 members almost 20 years ago.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: They also talk about CTC's pursuit of partnerships with other cooperatives and communities to bring fiber far beyond the immediate Brainerd Baxter area. We learn about the towns of Long Prairie and Little Falls, which struggled for better connectivity solutions before CTC became a partner and the two joined forces to bring fiber service to residents and businesses there today.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Now, here's Christopher talking with Kristi and Joe.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the...

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Posted April 16, 2021 by Maren Machles

This is the transcript for Episode 455 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. We're joined by Jonathan Chambers, a partner at Conexon to talk about ideas for how to improve structuring rural broadband subsidies in a way that takes advantage of fiber infrastructure's long life. Listen to the podcast here or read the transcript below. 

Jonathan Chambers: I think if you're going to use public funds, you should fund things that are going to last. And by last, I mean long-life assets. Assets that will be 30 years, at least, in terms of their useful life.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to Episode 455 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today, we're joined by Jonathan Chambers, a partner at connects on Connexon. Connexon has helped rural electric cooperatives build Fiber-to-the-Home networks since its founding five years ago.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: In this episode, Christopher and John talk about ideas for how to improve structuring rural broadband subsidies in a way that takes best advantage of Fiber-to-the-Home networks today as systems, which to a large extent, rely on physical infrastructure that will last for decades and decades to come. Jonathan and Chris dig into what this would mean for funding projects, and how it would change the way we think about and approach connecting rural communities in the future. Now, here's Christopher talking with Jonathan.

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 with one of my favorite guests. Probably the person who's been on here the most, I think, after me, John Chambers. A partner with Connexon. Welcome back to the show, John.

Jonathan Chambers: Thank you, Chris. That's quite a distinction. If I've been here more than anyone else, maybe I've overstayed my welcome, but thanks for inviting me.

Christopher Mitchell: Oh, no. We'll have to count it up. I think there might be some competition and maybe I'll have people fighting to get on to try to...

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Posted April 16, 2021 by Maren Machles

This is the transcript for Episode 450 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. We're joined by Berin Szoka, President of TechFreedom, to talk about the pressing broadband issues of today and tomorrow. Christopher and Berin share what they see as the biggest barriers to universal, high-quality Internet access today, including the jurisdictional issues facing communities large and small, as well as the regulatory solutions which would facilitate more rapid and efficient infrastructure deployment. Listen to the podcast here or read the transcript below. 

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Retweets, forwards, sharing 40 emails. All of those things are possible because Section 230 means that you, a user, will not be sued for the content of others. Welcome to episode 450 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today Christopher talks with Berin Szoka, President of the non-profit organization, Tech Freedom, which focuses on issues of Internet freedom and technological progress. Christopher and Berin dive right into the pressing Broadband issues of today and tomorrow. They entangle the biggest barriers to universal high quality Internet access that exists, including the jurisdictional issues facing communities, large and small, and the regulatory solutions, which would facilitate infrastructure deployment.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: They discuss whether we should spend public dollars, not just on rural Broadband where there are no options, but in town centers with slowly degrading copper networks, where monopoly providers have signaled little intent to ever upgrade that infrastructure. Christopher and Berin then dive into an issue Berin has been working on for the past few years, the Section 230 debate and what it means for the future of the Internet, if content platforms become liable for the third-party content they host.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Now here's Christopher talking with Berin.

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 I'm speaking today with Berin Szoka, the...

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Posted April 16, 2021 by Maren Machles

This is the transcript for Episode 449 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. We're joined by Pierrette Renée Dagg, Director of Marketing and Communications for the MERIT Network, and John Egelhaaf, Executive Director of the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission

The two share the history of efforts in Berrien County, Michigan, and how a group of residents and local officials began pursuing better Internet connectivity a few years ago. Pierrette and John share the work that’s gone into the formation of a broadband task force, the identification of avenues and goals, and collaboration with hundreds of community partners along the way. Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript below.

Pierrette Renée Dagg: They don't know how to get from A to Z. And really, you don't have to. Those are things that are going to reveal themselves along the way.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 449 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. We don't often get to spend a whole episode diving into the earliest work that communities do to set the foundation for progress in expanding high quality broadband access down the road, but that's what we're talking about today. Christopher is joined by Pierrette Renée Dagg, director of marketing and communications for the Merit Network, and John Egelhaaf, executive director of the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission. The two share the history of efforts in Berrien County, Michigan, in how a group of residents and local officials began pursuing better Internet connectivity a few years ago. Pierrette and John shared the work that's gone into the formation of Broadband Task Force, the identification of avenues and goals, and collaborations with hundreds of community partners along the way. The story they tell is one of the power of partnerships and outreach groups like anchor institutions, libraries, senior centers, HOAs, fraternal organizations, and PTA groups in contributing to a growing...

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Posted April 16, 2021 by Maren Machles

This is the transcript for episode 12 of our bonus series, “Why NC Broadband Matters." We’re joined by North Carolina League of Municipalities Chief Legislative Council Erin Wynia to talk about Internet access in the state a full year into the COVID 19 pandemic, and the access gaps experienced in towns across the eastern part of the state. Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript below.

Erin Wynia: If you allow local governments to lease their even existing assets to a private provider in the context of a public private partnership that this could move the dial. What we know is that there are communities out there all across the state that have paid for fiber and they are using it for internal purposes. All of those assets are just sitting there waiting to be utilized in a more robust way to provide this service to their communities. And our local governments right now, because of our state laws are handcuffed.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: We're bringing you another episode in our special Community Broadband Bits Podcast series, Why North Carolina Broadband Matters. I'm Ry Marcattilio-McCracken with the Institute for Local Self-reliance in Minneapolis, Minnesota. North Carolina 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 Click Coalition for Local Internet Choice. ILSR is working with North Carolina Broadband Matters to produce this series, focusing on issues affecting people in North Carolina that also impact folks in other regions. We're joined today by North Carolina league of municipalities, chief legislative counsel, Erin Wynia to talk about Internet access in the state, a full year into the COVID-19 pandemic and the access gaps experienced in towns across the Eastern part of North Carolina in particular, in the area serviced by Suddenlink Communications.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Erin shares with Chris, how a collection of mayors banded together to write the states Attorney General, imploring him to look into Suddenlink's business practices, after feeling questions and complaints from residents and...

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Posted April 13, 2021 by Maren Machles

This is the transcript for Episode 454 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. On this episode, Christopher is joined by Travis Carter (CEO of USI Fiber), Angela Siefer (executive director of National Digital Inclusion Alliance) and Olivia Wein (attorney with the National Consumer Law Center) to talk about how the Emergency Broadband Benefit will work and what their expectations are. They discuss who will be able to take advantage of the program and try to predict some of the challenges for the people who need it and the small ISPs that would like to participate. Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript below.

Travis Carter: In all the years I've been doing this, this is the very first that I've ever seen that I think really has a chance to make a difference. So whoever came up with this, kudos.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 454 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. One component of the recently passed consolidated appropriations act of 2021 was the Emergency Broadband Benefit; a $3.2 billion program designed to get families connected to available service that they otherwise might not be able to afford. The program provides a subsidy of up to $50 a month or 75 on tribal lands for broadband service, as well as up to $100 for a device with a household contribution for as long as the money lasts.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Christopher is joined by Travis Carter, USI fiber, Angela Siefer from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and Olivia Wein from the National Consumer Law Center to talk about how the Emergency Broadband Benefit will work and what their expectations are. They discuss who will be able to take advantage of the program and try to predict some of the challenges we might see both for the people who need it and the small ISPs that would like to participate. Finally, the group weighs in with how providers can forge partnerships with groups like PCs for People to get hardware into homes, the need for digital navigators to help community members navigate the process of getting and staying...

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Posted April 2, 2021 by Maren Machles

This is the transcript for Episode 451 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This week on the podcast, Christopher talks with Travis Carter (CEO, US Internet), Deb Socia (President/CEO, The Enterprise Center), and Brian Worthen (President, Visionary Communications and CEO, Mammoth Networks) to talk about overbuilding. Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript below.

Brian Worthen: When you say this shows about overbuilding and competition, overbuilding is actually discussing competition.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to Episode 451 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today, Christopher talks with Travis Carter, the CEO of US Internet, Deb Socia, the President and CEO of The Enterprise Center, and Brian Worthen, the CEO of Mammoth Networks to talk about overbuilding. The group discusses the importance of reclaiming the term as what it really is: plain old competition. They discuss the economics of building competitive broadband infrastructure in rural and urban areas, pending Washington state legislation, which could unlock the power of the state's utility districts to deliver retail service, and why we don't see more small competitive fiber builders around the country. Now here's Christopher talking with Travis, Deb and Brian.

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, we're going to be talking about overbuilding and competition, and we're going to be talking about that with Deb Socia, who's coming back for her second episode. Deb is the high president and CEO of the Enterprise Center in Chattanooga. Welcome back, Deb.

Deb Socia: Thanks, Chris.

Christopher Mitchell: We also have Brian Worthen, who's here for the first time, but he's been on the Community Broadband Bits Podcast before. Brian is the almighty CEO of Visionary Broadband. Welcome.

Brian Worthen: Thank you...

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Posted March 31, 2021 by Maren Machles

This is the transcript for Episode 452 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This week on the podcast, Christopher speaks with Julie Bushell, President of Paige Wireless and Co-chair of Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force. The two talk about the importance of connectivity when it comes to agriculture and how having a robust rural network can help American farmers thrive in today's industry. Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript below. 

Julie Bushell: Our goal is to deliver the connectivity to the sensor where it's needed, rather than just saying, "Hey, we've got a network here and if you can connect to it, great and if you can't, sorry."

Ry Marcatilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 452 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcatilio-McCracken here, at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. This week on the podcast, Christopher speaks with Julie Bushell, president of Paige Wireless and co-chair of the Federal Communication Commission's Precision Ag Adoption and Jobs Working Group. Christopher and Julie talk about the importance of reliable, symmetrical wireless data connections so farmers can deploy devices on farms which communicate across long range wide area network protocols to bring soil probes, combines, grain bins, wastewater management sensors, and other devices online to report conditions back across far-flung fields. They discuss how a robust rural network can support GPS for planting, irrigation and harvest, as well as allow for data aggregation to increase efficiencies and allow mapping and maintenance via real-time drone operations. Finally, Christopher and Julie dig into how more robust connectivity will help make sure high quality jobs stay in the region, giving subsequent generations more incentive to stick around and help America's farms prosper. Now here's Christopher talking with Julie.

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 speaking with Julie...

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