It was just a year ago that we highlighted a nation-leading digital inclusion effort from Wilson’s Greenlight municipal fiber network in North Carolina. That was their fourth time on the podcast, owing to the many ways Wilson has developed in ensuring its fiber network investment is benefiting the community. See also podcast episodes 171, 110, and 70. Will Aycock, General Manager of Greenlight Community Broadband, is back once again to discuss another new program they have developed – a new billing option that unlocks broadband access particularly among low-income households with low credit ratings. Greenlight has developed a pay-ahead option that allows households to pay ahead of connections so their lack of credit will not deter them from accessing the Internet service they may need for education, work, or other uses. It also allows households to more easily pay down past debts – an important approach in dealing with the financial reality of low-income households. We hope to see more municipal networks developing billing options like this to ensure everyone can have the connections they need.Though we focus on that billing approach in our interview, don’t miss the recent developments in Wilson’s ongoing efforts to share the benefits of its network with its neighboring communities, many of whom do not have broadband access. This show is 15 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or the tool of your choice using this feed.Read the transcript for this show here.You can download this mp3 file directly from here. Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index.Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.
If you picked up the Institute for Local Self-Reliance dictionary, under “public-private partnership,” it would say “See Westminster and Ting fiber-optic network.” We discussed it with Westminster City Council President Robert Wack in episode 100 of Community Broadband Bits and he rejoins us for episode 252 to update us on the progress they have made.We get an update on the construction process and the exciting developments around the Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (previous accomplishments noted here). One piece of good news is that they are hitting the milestones needed in the business plan for the network to break even financially. We also discuss the importance of finding a good partner to work with. Communities seeking a similar partnership cannot just copy this arrangement – they might start with it as a blueprint but will have to mold it to their circumstances and partner.To learn more about Westminster, read our paper on partnerships and the Westminster tag on this site. Also, this interview from last year… Read the transcript of the show.We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.This show is 30 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or the tool of your choice using this feed.You can download this mp3 file directly from here. Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index.Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.
For our 50th episode, we're trying something new: Lisa and I respond to three common claims made by opponents of community owned networks. We owe these three particular arguments to the Executive Director of the trade association of Wisconsin telephone companies. Each of the clips we respond to come from claims he made at a workshop at the 2012 WiscNet conference.
We play a short claim by him and then Lisa and I respond to it. For this show, we look at claims that telephone companies already serve everyone with broadband, that the rapid iteration of mobile phone technology delegitimizes public sector investment in networks, and that public investment “crowds out” private investment.
These are very common arguments offered every time a community considers building its own network, but they are quite weak. As Joey Durel, Mayor of Lafayette, so often reminds us, the big companies don't win by having good arguments. They win by buying steaks and football tickets — lobbying. Campaign contributions help too.
At any rate, let us know if you like this format and what questions we should consider the next time we do it. We want your feedback and suggestions for the show – please e-mail us or leave a comment below. Also, feel free to suggest other guests, topics, or questions you want us to address.
Read the transcript from our discussion here.
This show is 12 minutes long and can be played below on this page or subscribe via iTunes or via the tool of your choice using this feed. Search for us in iTunes and leave a positive comment!
Listen to previous episodes here. You can can download this Mp3 file directly from here.
Find more episodes in our podcast index.
Thanks to Eat at Joe's for the music, licensed using Creative Commons.
Dewayne Hendricks has returned for his second appearance on the Community Broadband [no-glossary]Bits[/no-glossary] Podcast, continuing our discussion about the potential for wireless technologies to improve how we access the Internet. We recommend listening to his first appearance in episode 18 before this one.
Here, we take up the old wired vs. wireless debate, but quickly determine that such a framing is useless. Wires and radios are actually complementary, not substitutes. In fact, Dewayne explains how he and other entrepreneurs cannot build the great wireless networks they want to because most communities lack the robust wired infrastructure necessary to support a strong wireless network.
The lack of competition among last mile providers like Comcast and AT&T leave too few options for innovators to build better networks — which is, of course, the aim of existing providers that do not want to encourage any competition that would eat into their profits.
Read the transcript from this discussion here.
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show – please e-mail us or leave a comment below. Also, feel free to suggest other guests, topics, or questions you want us to address.
This show is 25 minutes long and can be played below on this page or subscribe via iTunes or via the tool of your choice using this feed. Search for us in iTunes and leave a positive comment!
Listen to previous episodes here. You can download the Mp3 file of this episode directly from here.
Find more episodes in our podcast index.
Thanks to mojo monkeys for the music, licensed using Creative Commons.