If you haven’t already taken a look at our most recent report, now is your chance to get some insight before you download it and dive in. Profiles of Monopoly: Big Cable and Telecom, written by our Hannah Trostle, recently left ILSR to attend grad school, and Christopher Mitchell, transforms FCC Form 477 data into a series of maps that reveal a sad state of competition in the U.S. broadband market. For episode 317 of the podcast, Hannah and Christopher discuss the report and the main findings.
Hannah and Christopher provide more insight into the main findings of the report, which analyzes where competition exists and where large national providers fail to invest. The result ultimately creates densely populated areas with more competition for broadband (as defined by the FCC) than rural areas. Due to their de facto monopolies, the top national providers capture huge segments of the population.
Hannah and Christopher also talk about the quality of the Form 477 data and the need for better benchmarks, we learn about why Hannah and Christopher felt that it was time to take the data and turn it into a visual story. You’ll learn more about their methodology in developing the maps and their analysis. Hannah, who created the maps that make the foundation of the report, shares some of the surprises she discovered. The two talk about the Connect America Fund and the policies behind the program and how the results have aggravated lack of broadband in rural America and how cooperatives are picking up the slack where big corporate ISPs are failing rural America.
Early last year, Connect Your Community and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance released a well-researched and compelling case that AT&T had engaged in digital redlining of Cleveland, refusing to upgrade Internet access to neighborhoods with high poverty rates. In episode 290 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast, we check in to learn more and discuss key lessons.Angela Siefer, executive director of NDIA, and Bill Callahan, President and Director of Connect Your Community in Cleveland, explore what is happening both in Cleveland and other metro centers where low-income residents are often over-paying for services far slower than are available in higher-income neighborhoods.This discussion covers important ground, not just describing the problem but discussing how the easiest solution (forcing AT&T to upgrade areas it has neglected) is not sufficient. Also, there is sports talk at the beginning but then the host gets himself under control and focuses on what is important in this conversation. This show is 35 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.
Like other urban centers in the U.S., Boston is filled with multi dwelling units (MDUs) and buildings that house multiple business tenants. Obtaining high-quality connectivity in such an environment can be a challenge, especially if choices are limited to just one or two incumbents with little or no competition. With the advancement of new fixed wireless technologies in recent years, however, residential and business subscribers now have better options.This week, Christopher talks with Brough Turner, the founder and Chief Technology Officer at netBlazr. The company provides high-quality fixed wireless Internet access to residents and businesses across the city. Listeners who enjoy our occasional deep dives into the technical side of wireless connectivity, you’re in for a treat.Brough and Christopher also discuss the company and the challenges they face working in a market traditionally reserved for the big incumbents. The guys spend time discussing the future of wireless and what Brough, who has extensive experience in this field, expects to see both in the short and long term.Read the transcript of the show here.We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.This show is 35 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or via 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 Break the Bans for the music. The song is Escape and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.
Cities across America are implementing policies that create friendly environments for Internet Service Providers in order to encourage competition. In San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors is now considering legislation that will create choice for residents or businesses in multi-welling units, or MDUs. In episode 231, Mark Farrell, a member of the Board of Supervisors, joins us to discuss the proposal.City leaders have worked in various ways to chip away at the digital divide and have discovered that a number of MDU building owners do not allow more than one ISP access to their buildings. As a result, residents have no option but to subscribe to the ISP of the owner’s choice, or have no service at all. The proposed ordinance will put an end to that practice by ensuring that building owners do not deny tenants choice and do not deny ISPs access to their buildings.In this interview, Mark discusses the need for the ordinance and what city leaders hope to achieve with this new policy. When they investigated the issue, they realized that it impacted a significant number of stakeholders. Mark acknowledges the care of the city’s approach in encouraging competition, supporting responsible entrants, and doing so in a community with a range of old and new structures. The city is eager to improve their connectivity and this policy is one step in a larger plan.Read the transcript of the show here.We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.This show is 18 minutes long and can be played below on this page or via iTunes or via 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 Admiral Bob for the music. The song is Turbo Tornado (c) copyright 2016 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Blue Wave Theory.
In June, North Carolina released a report pronouncing that 93 percent of the state has access to broadband speeds. At the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, our Research Associate H.R. Trostle, who has been examining reporting data in North Carolina for the past year, came to some very different conclusions. In episode 224, she and Christopher talk about the report they co-authored, which gives a different perspective on the connectivity situation in the Tar Heel State.In their report, North Carolina Connectivity: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Trostle discovered that, while urban areas have been well served by the big private providers, those same national companies have shunned rural areas. Instead, rural cooperatives and municipal networks are attempting to serve their residents and businesses with high-quality Internet access. It isn’t easy, however, when state laws discourage investment and access to federal funding.Trostle gets into her analysis of the data, its limitations, and what we can learn from both. She and Chris go through some of the recommendations they provide to the state of North Carolina as it moves forward. The obvious first step is to repeal the state’s barrier on municipal network expansion, which has caused real harm in Pinetops, North Carolina. They also offer advice on how to facilitate telephone and electric cooperative investment and what that could mean for rural North Carolina.For more, take a few minutes to download the report, which offers useful maps of where to find various connection speeds in the state.
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.
This show is 23 minutes long and can be played below on this page or via iTunes or via 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 mojo monkeys for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is “Bodacious.”
We were excited to begin writing about the Upgrade Seattle campaign back in January and this week we are presenting a discussion with several people behind the campaign for episode 153 of the Community Broadband [no-glossary]Bits[/no-glossary] podcast.
We are joined by Sabrina Roach, Devin Glaser, and Karen Toering to discuss what motivates the Upgrade Seattle campaign and the impact it hopes to have on the community.
We discuss their strategy for improving Internet access, how people are reacting, and how Upgrade Seattle is already working with, learning from, and sharing lessons to, people organizing in other communities for similar goals.
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.
This show is 25 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 other episodes here or view all episodes in our index. You can can download this Mp3 file directly from here.
Thanks to Persson for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is “Blues walk.”