This is the transcript for episode 419 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. In this episode, Christopher interviews Brad Honold from Coon Rapids Municipal Utilities in Iowa. They discuss the city's long history of offering telecommunications services, its upgrade to fiber infrastructure, and its community engagement practices. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript below.
Brad Honold: They're our owners, they're our customers, they're our partners. We live with them, we go to church with them and they're the ones that are going to end up paying the bill so you better ask them if they're going to take your service before you start it.
Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 419 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ryan Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today, Christopher speaks with Brad Honold, general manager at Coon Rapids Municipal Utilities in West Central Iowa. Coon Rapids started with the cable TV system almost 40 years ago and remains today, one of the smallest municipal fiber networks, especially of those that offer cable TV packages. Christopher and Brad talk about the evolution of the communications utility over the last four decades, from cable all the way to fiber today. They discuss the importance of the network, taking community concerns seriously, including engaging the community in discussions about what is needed. Now here's Christopher talking with Brad Honold.
Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance up in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Today I'm speaking with Brad Honold, the general manager at Coon Rapids Municipal Utilities in Coon Rapids, Iowa. Welcome to the show.
Brad Honold: Thank you for having me.
Christopher Mitchell: Let me ask you first, I'm going to ask you in a second how we know your network has been worth the investment, but first, Coon Rapids. What part of Iowa is that in and what's the community like?
Brad Honold: It's in West Central Iowa, it's a very small community of about 1,305 people. Very small knit, tight, about two and a half...Read more