Tag: "transcript"

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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Posted January 21, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for Episode 439 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. In this episode, Christopher speaks with Michelle Barber and Andre Lortz about the recent vote for municipal fiber in Kaysville. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript.

Michelle Barber: I think it's about more than fiber optic technology. It's about more than fast Internet speeds. It's about community. It's about taking care of people beyond the walls of my house. It's about looking towards the future.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to Episode 439 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today, Christopher talks with

Michelle Barber: and Andre Lortz. Both serve on the Kaysville City Council, and are members of the group, Citizens for Kaysville Fiber. But today, they join us to talk as regular citizens of the city of 30,000 in Utah. Kaysville has been working to improve Internet access for years. Some people have good connectivity, but other parts of town are very poorly served. Michelle and Andre share the history of efforts to make forward progress, and moves to create a municipal fiber network.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: The city originally considered a model with a utility fee, but in the face of opposition ultimately decided for a bond approach which just saw a vote where the measure was narrowly defeated. Michelle, Andre and Christopher talk about how it happened, including how major providers funded public relations campaign to scare people away, and the project's continued support, and what it means for the future. Now here's Christopher, talking with Michelle and Andre.

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 two folks who are probably significantly warmer than I am, and probably a bit sunnier too. Two folks from Kaysville, Utah. Let me introduce

Michelle Barber: from the city council, welcome to the show.

Michelle Barber: Well, thank you for having me.

Christopher Mitchell: And we also have Andre...

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Posted December 8, 2020 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

 

This is the transcript for Episode 438 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. In this episode, Christopher talks with Steve Lange, IT Manager for the city of Wadsworth (pop. 26,000) in eastern Ohio, which built its hybrid fiber-coax municipal network CityLink back in 1997. The two talk about the history of the network, its push to bring more competition to the town, its operational structure, and the phenomenal momentum it's built over the last few years. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript.

Steve Lange: It's a community. This is a community-based ISP. You're part of the community. We want you to feel that you're in it with us. It's just a really cool experience to work for a small place that actually cares about something other than just the bottom line.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to Episode 438 of the Community Broadband Bits Broadcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today, Christopher talks with Steve Lange, IT Manger for the City of Wadsworth in eastern Ohio. The city of 26,000 first built its hybrid fiber coax network called CityLink all the way back in 1997. Steve shares the history of the municipal network, starting with the desire to bring more competition to the town. And like in many other places, though Wadsworth has a municipal electric department, CityLink is a separate entity. Steve tells Christopher how the network has built momentum over the last few years, moving from 2,000 subscribers in 2017 to more than 5,400 today, which he attributes to the network's increasingly thoughtful and proactive approach to managing its infrastructure and customer service. Finally, they talk about the value of choosing what to do wisely and doing it well. Now here's Christopher talking to Steve.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. I am Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in St. Paul, Minnesota, talking today with Steve Lange at the City of Wadsworth where he is the IT manger there at Wadsworth, Ohio. Welcome to the show, Steve.

Steve Lange: Thanks for having me, Chris.

Christopher Mitchell: You and I were on a Broadband Bunch show. We did a...

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Posted December 8, 2020 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for Episode 437 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. In this episode, Christopher talks with Jennifer Hawkins, President and Executive Director of One Neighborhood Builders (ONB), a community development organization based out of Rhode Island. She shares how significant health disparities in the Olneyville neighborhood in west Providence, Rhode Island led her organization to jump into action over the summer to build a free wireless network for the residents. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript.

Jennifer Hawkins: That's what we do. We do complicated things that no one else wants to do. So that's our job. We should just add this to the list.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 437 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today, Christopher talks with Jennifer Hawkins, president and executive director of ONE Neighborhood Builders, a community development organization based out of Rhode Island. She joins us to talk about the Olneyville neighborhood, situated on the west side of Providence and how significant health disparities in that community, led her organization to jump into action over the summer to build a free wireless network for residents. Jennifer and Christopher talk about mapping the network, placing hardware on ONB-owned buildings and putting up 12 access points to cover more than half of the community with robust wireless. She shares why the project's been worth it and the health outcomes they hope to achieve once it goes online. Now, here's Christopher talking with Jennifer.

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, I'm speaking with Jennifer Hawkins, the president and executive director at ONE Neighborhood Builders. Welcome to the show.

Jennifer Hawkins: Thank you.

Christopher Mitchell: I'm excited to talk to you because we're doing more on telehealth and I think we're going to be doing a lot, lot more on it as we look at how to make sure people get the benefits of the networks that they're building. And I'm excited...

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Posted November 18, 2020 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

 

This is the transcript for Episode 436 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. In this episode, Christopher talks with Maureen Neighbors, Energy Division Chief of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, about the state's one-of-a-kind hundred million dollar voucher program, designed and deployed for the current school year to help get and keep economically vulnerable students connected. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript.

Maureen Neighbors: Some of the feedback we get is, "We know we're supposed to use this for school, but this has been great for our household, for other reasons." So there are just so many benefits to providing broadband access, to as many people as possible.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to Episode 436 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. This week, Christopher talks with Maureen Neighbors, Energy Division Chief of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs about the state's one-of-a-kind hundred million dollar voucher program, designed and deployed for the current school year to help get and keep economically vulnerable students connected. She tells Christopher how with the help of CTC Energy & Technology, they brought together more than three dozen Internet service providers, connected with school districts around the state, designed an online portal and mailed out tens of thousands of brochures to households with students on the free or reduced lunch program to help those families to start new service or pay their existing broadband bill. Maureen shares the challenges they met and the satisfaction in helping more than 120,000 students stay connected to school during the ongoing pandemic. Now here's Christopher talking with Maureen.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance up in St. Paul, Minnesota. Today. I'm excited to talk to someone who's running a one of a kind program. It's a very exciting effort to improve Internet access across the entire state of Alabama. Maureen Neighbors is the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Energy Division chief, and is in...

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Posted November 13, 2020 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for Episode 435 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. In this episode, Christopher talks with Catherine Nicolaou, External Affairs and Marketing Manager for Sacred Wind Communications, about the history of the company and how it has used the full array of broadband technologies to bring affordable, reliable Internet access to the Navajo Nation. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript.

Catherine Nicolaou: In our opinion, our Navajo customers have been some of the most pandemic-ready in the country.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to Episode 435 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 talks with Catherine Nicolaou, External Affairs and Marketing Manager for Sacred Wind, a rural, local exchange carrier in Northwest New Mexico that has been focused on serving the Navajo Nation communities there. She shares the history of Sacred Wind from buying copper infrastructure from CenturyLink 13 years ago in a region where just 26% of the households had Internet access, to its 400 miles of Fiber infrastructure today, allowing it to bring broadband to more than 92% of those living there.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Catherine tells Christopher how the company has had to rely on the full array of technologies to bring broadband access to families in a large area with particular geographic and topographic challenges from Citizens Broadband Radio Service to TV White Space, to infrared, to fixed wireless and of course, Fiber to the home. They talk about what it means to Sacred Wind subscribers that the provider has never raised prices and the work that's been doing during the pandemic to make sure everyone gets and stays connected. Now, here's Christopher talking with Catherine.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcasts. I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance up in St. Paul, Minnesota. Today I'm speaking to someone who is quite a bit warmer than me, Catherine Nicolaou, who is the External Affairs and Marketing Manager at Sacred Wind, an ISP in New Mexico. Welcome to the show.

Catherine Nicolaou:...

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Posted November 10, 2020 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

 

This is the transcript for Episode 434 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. In this episode, Christopher talks with two members of the city of Sandwich, New Hampshire's Broadband Advisory Committee, Chair Julie Dolan, and member Richard Knox. Julie and Richard share how a grassroots campaign pushed the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative to vote to add broadband to its governing documents, committing to connectivity for its members moving forward. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript.

Richard Knox: Well, that's the thing about a co-op, they are structurally able to be responsive, and sometimes they actually are.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 434 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-reliance. A quick note before we begin, please check out our new show, Connect This!, where Chris hosts broadband veterans and industry experts live on YouTube to talk about recent events and dig into the policy news of the day. Check out our website at muninetworks.org with more details about the show, including an audio-only version of each episode.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: This week on the podcast Christopher talks with two members of the city of Sandwich, New Hampshire's Broadband Advisory Committee, Chair Julie Dolan, and member Richard Knox. They join us to discuss the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative's recent vote to add broadband to its charter. Sandwich is a particularly poorly served town in New Hampshire and they've been seeking solutions for a long time. In organizing around the Electric Cooperative in less than a year, local stakeholders forced a vote and barely lost.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: In doing so, they convinced enough people of the importance of quality Internet access that a second vote at the beginning of October, pushed the co-op into the business. Julie and Richard share with Chris, how it all unfolded and what it means moving forward. Now, here's Christopher talking with Julie and Richard.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. I'm Christopher Mitchell at the Institute for Local Self-reliance and I'm up in St. Paul, Minnesota....

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Posted November 10, 2020 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for Episode 433 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. In this episode, Christopher speaks with Stacy Cantrell, Vice President of Engineering at Huntsville Utilities in Alabama. They discuss the network's partnership with Google and how it leverages fiber for other utility service to save resources and residents money. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript.

Stacy Cantrell: We're going to continue to see more and more benefit from this now that the build is substantially complete, we're really starting to be able to use it. So we're just now really seeing the benefits from it.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 433 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here, at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today, Christopher talks with Stacy Cantrell, Vice President of Engineering at Huntsville Utilities in Alabama. Huntsville is a large metro area, and Huntsville Utilities serves well beyond the city boundaries. Their municipal electric department built a major network that gets close to every house within the city limits. Providers, of which Google will be the first, can lease that network and attach homes to it. But Huntsville Utilities also uses that network for internal services, bringing value to those living in the city. Stacy shares with Christopher that they just finished the project and would do it again given the benefits they're seeing. Now here's Christopher talking to Stacy.

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. Speaking today with Stacy Cantrell, the Vice President of Engineering at Huntsville Utilities. Welcome back to the show, Stacy.

Stacy Cantrell: Thanks Chris. Glad to be back.

Christopher Mitchell: I think we talked to you many years ago, I'm sure it seems like a lifetime ago, when you were starting this project. And now I'm very excited to get a sense. In the email, I joked that I know it's not over, these things always have something that wraps on. But if you don't mind, tell us a little bit about Huntsville to start and what you're doing down there.

...

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Posted November 10, 2020 by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

This is the transcript for Episode 432 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. In this episode, Christopher speaks with Ben Fineman, president of the Michigan Broadband Initiative, as well as Jo Anne Munce and Gary Munce, both of whom were essential in the ballot campaign for Lyndon Township's municipal network and who volunteer with the Broadband Initiative. They discuss how the network came into being, its operational partnership with a nearby electric cooperative, and its efforts to continue providing fast, affordable, reliable Internet access. Listen to the episode, or read the transcript.

Ben Fineman: Is it worth it? If I were to go back and had it to do over again, would I have undertaken it, knowing what I know now? I've asked myself that question before. The answer is absolutely because despite everything that goes along with it in all the stress and anxiety and uncertainty, the result is so critical.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Welcome to episode 432 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. This is Ry Marcattilio-McCracken here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Today on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Ben Fineman, president of the Michigan Broadband Initiative, as well as Jo Anne Munce and Gary Munce, both of whom were essential in the ballot campaign for Lyndon Township's municipal network and who volunteer with the Broadband Initiative.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken: Christopher catches up with what's been going on since the measure passed a little over three years ago. The township owns the network with area electric cooperative, Midwest Energy and Communications, operating it on a day-to-day basis. The group talks about the network's phenomenal 75% take rate, the current state of its debt and how it just increased speeds on two of the service tiers with no additional fees. Lyndon Township serves as a great example of a community that decided to tax itself for a fiber network and are reaping the rewards. Now, here's Christopher talking with Ben, Jo Anne and Gary.

Christopher Mitchell: Welcome to another episode of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. I'm

Christopher Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and I'm in St. Paul, Minnesota. Today I'm speaking with a fine man...

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