Thanks to Jeff Hoel for providing the transcript for Episode 123 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast with Rick Mervine of Aurora, Illinois. Listen to this episode here.
Rick Mervine: The objective here is not to go out and cover the same amount of money that they were paying before. The objective here is to make sure they get a scalable connection that can grow with their needs, and, you know, provide them a reasonable baseline of expense, with all the advantage -- with all the ability to take advantage of the technology.
Lisa Gonzalez: Hello there. Welcome again to the Community Broadband Bits Podcast, from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez.
Not long ago, I visited with Rick Mervine, an Alderman from Aurora, Illinois. We started looking at the community of Aurora last year, and discovered that they have developed an interesting business model for their network, OnLight Aurora. They use both nonprofit and limited-profit entities. Since Chris has been globetrotting quite a bit lately, it's my turn to take over the microphone. And so this week, I decided to share some of the highlights of my conversation with Rick. The community realized in the early 2000s that there were a couple of reasons why publicly-owned infrastructure was a good idea. So they started with a vision, came up with a plan, and then deployed their network. The network began serving municipal facilities in 2008. And then about a year and a half ago, they branched out to work with community anchors and a few businesses. A key consideration has always been a long-term approach. Community leaders focus on the ability to develop a network that's scalable, to serve far into the future. Here's a little bit of my conversation with Alderman Rick Mervine, from Aurora, Illinois.
So, I'm talking today with Rick Mervine. He's an Alderman in Aurora, Illinois, home of OnLight Aurora. Hi, Rick. How are you?
Rick Mervine: How are you doing, Lisa?
Lisa: I'm doing great. Thanks for asking. What were some of the reasons why Aurora decide to go ahead and invest in a fiber network?
Rick: The idea to do this didn't come from me. It came initially from the Mayor of the City of Aurora -- his name is Tom Weisner...Read more