Michigan's Lyndon Township set a local election turnout record in August when voters supported a measure to build a municipal fiber network by 2:1 margin. The initiative was largely organized and supported by the Michigan Broadband Cooperative, a local effort to improve Internet access in the community. To better understand their approach, organizing, and future plans, we have three guests on episode 272 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. Ben Fineman volunteers as the president of the Michigan Broadband Cooperative, Marc Keezer is the Lyndon Township Supervisor, and Gary Munce led the ballot campaign and is also a board member of the Michigan Broadband Cooperative.We discuss a variety of issues around their approach, including how the increased property tax to pay for the network will work. We also discuss the education campaign, next steps, and their hopes for helping other communities avoid at least some of the hard work they went through. Read the transcript for this show here.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.
In the nearly two years since we launched this podcast with an interview from Minnesota's rural Sibley County, the project has evolved significantly but the need for better Internet access remains a constant.
Today, we interview Coop Vice-Chair Cindy Gerholz and Winthrop Town Manager Mark Erickson to get an update on the fiber-to-the-farm project. The Renville-Sibley Fiber project has transitioned from a municipal project to a cooperative. Local towns and a sizeable majority of townships will together issue an economic development bond to provide seed capital to the coop.
We discuss the project, financing arrangements, and the need to make sure that no one is left behind. Stay up to date with the project on their website and Facebook.
Read the transcript from our 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 20 minutes long and can be played below on this page or via iTunes or via the tool of your choice using this feed.
Listen to previous episodes here. You can can download this Mp3 file directly from here.
Find more episodes in our podcast index.
Thanks to Valley Lodge for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is “Sweet Elizabeth.”