NYC Works With Grassroots for Low-Income Access – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 254

Some time ago, when speaking with Joshua Breitbart, the Senior Advisor for Broadband to the New York City CTO Miguel Gamiño, he mentioned to me that any subset of the issues they face with regard to improving Internet access in New York City is itself a massive issue. Joshua joins us to elaborate on that challenge and an exciting project that points to the way to solving some of their problems on episode 254 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. We talk about Queensbridge Connected, a partnership to ensure people living in low-income housing have access to broadband Internet connections. We also discuss how their responsibility does not end merely with making Wi-Fi available, but actually helping people be prepared to use the connection safely.Joshua offers an important perspective on the challenges in large urban areas to make sure policy is fully responsive to local needs by ensuring residents are a part of the process and solution. 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 21 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.

Using Fiber for Smart Grid and the Pole Problem in Nashville – Community Broadband Bits 247

While at the annual Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities Broadband Conference, I forced Ken Demlow to be our guest on Community Broadband Bits Podcast 247. Ken is the Sales Director for Newcom Technologies, where he has worked with many different fiber-optic deployments on the ground and is a fun guy to talk to more generally.Our discussion focuses on two main topics – the benefits of using fiber-optic connections to smart-grid applications rather than relying on wireless and the challenges that Google faced in getting on the poles in Nashville to build its fiber-optic network (which seems to be stalled). Ken had a front-row seat to the work in Nashville to get Google Fiber on poles but our conversation focuses on what is publicly known. We aren't breaking any insider secrets, but this is a very good discussion about the tremendous challenges of dealing with attachments on over 100,000 poles when contemplating a citywide metro fiber build. For people who haven't done it, this will explain why encouraging private sector competition at the physical network level is very difficult. And we keep it interesting – from possibly the worst idea for a sci-fi antagonist ever and how make-ready could fit into Greek myths.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 29 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.

United Fiber Tackles Missouri's Most Rural – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 240

The most rural area of Missouri is getting a Fiber-to-the-Home network from the United Electric Cooperative, which has created United Fiber and is expanding across its footprint and to adjacent areas that want better Internet access. Chief Development Officer Darren Farnan joins us to explain why his co-op has taken these steps.We discuss how they are rolling it out – focusing on areas that need the service while respecting the telephone cooperatives that are within their electric footprint. The project has benefited from a broadband stimulus award and also incorporates fixed wireless technology in some areas.We discuss some of the economics behind the project and are sure to clarify that though the utility has needed some capital subisides to build the network, it does not need any operating subsidies to continue – it runs under its own revenue. And we talk about the demand for better, faster connections – it is much higher than most realize.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 30 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 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.

Small Cells, Fiber, and Local Governments – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 239

After last week's podcast on Lincoln and its small cell policy, we wanted to offer a longer discussion about small cell wireless technology and the policy around it. Crown Castle is a firm focused on enabling wireless solutions and Acquisitions Manager in Corporate Development Strategy Duffy Newman joins us for episode 239 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.We explore what small cells are and how important they are to the future of improved wireless access. These devices are usually connected by fiber and allow an existing wireless service to improve bandwidth and reliability. Duffy offers the example of Philadelphia during the Pope's visit as a particularly good example of small cells in action. We also talk about local governments and the role they can play in enabling this technology and why it is important to have each node connected by fiber. 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 27 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 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.

Small Cells Yield Big Results In Lincoln – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 238

We’ve been covering happenings in Lincoln, Nebraska for several years now. The city’s Right of Way Manager David Young joins us for episode 238 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. David is a returning guest; this week, he’s here to talk about Lincoln’s new venture into small cell technology.The state imposes restrictions on municipalities in Nebraska. Nevertheless, Lincoln has found a way to make a smart investment in conduit and public fiber to create a welcoming environment for providers. An extensive conduit network and smart local policies in Lincoln have improved competition, expanded access, and now the small cell program is improving mobile broadband.David and Christopher get into the technology of small cells and why mobile carriers are starting to prefer it over older technology. David describes some of the challenges, processes, and the special considerations communities must address for small ell deployment. Better cell coverage was the first goal of the project, but David describes how improved coverage helps the Lincoln compete with other cities in several ways.As a resource, David and the city of Lincoln gave us permission to share a Fact Sheet on the project, the Master Lease Agreement, and relevant attachments for the Lincoln small cell project. For local governments considering a similar venture, these documents can help you get started.Take a few moments to review other advancements in Lincoln, by reading up on our earlier coverage. You can also listen to other interviews with David in episode 228 and episode 182 of the podcast.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 33 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 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.

Osage and the Iowa Legislature – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 232

Located in northwest Iowa, Osage has been an innovative utility leader with forward-looking investments in both telecommunications and clean energy with wind and solar. Osage Municipal Utilites General Manager Josh Byrnes joins us for Community Broadband Bits podcast 232. He is also in the midst of retiring after 3 terms in the Iowa Legislature. Osage built a hybrid fiber coaxial cable network many years ago that they are considering upgrading to being fully fiber-optic following a lot of community support for next-generation connectivity and most importantly, greater reliability. Josh and I also talk generally about the importance of connectivity in rural areas and how the state of Iowa has dealt with the need to improve access. We both agree that Iowa's approach thus far leaves much to be desired and we discuss the challenges that legislatures face in making these decisions. 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 32 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.

City of Lincoln Conduit Spurs FTTH, School Network Innovation – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 228

When we last spoke to people from Lincoln, Nebraska, about their innovative conduit program to improve Internet access, we focused on how they had done it – Conduits Lead to Competition, podcast 182. For this week and episode 228 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast, we focus more on the community benefits their approach has led to.We are once again joined by David Young, Fiber Infrastructure and Right of Way Manager in the Public Works Department. We offer a shorter background about the history of the project before focusing on the franchise they developed with local ISP Allo. Allo is building citywide Fiber-to-the-Home and has agreed to provision 15 VLANs at every endpoint. We talk about what that means and implications for schools specifically.We also touch on permitting issues for local governments and David explains his philosophy on how to speak to the community about potential projects in an engaging manner.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 30 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.”

Madison Starts Muni Fiber Effort, Considers Citywide Effort – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 227

The second-largest city in Wisconsin and the home of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is pursuing a path-breaking municipal Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) strategy. They have already started by deploying fiber to several low-income neighborhoods and working with local ISP ResTech to offer services.Madison CIO Paul Kronberger joins us for Community Broadband Bits episode 227 to discuss their plan. We start by discussing how they decided to deploy FTTH as a digital divide strategy. Like more and more of the communities considering this approach, Madison does not have a municipal electric utility.We also discuss how Madison plans to deal with the state law that limits municipal fiber network investments and why Madison has decided to work with a private provider even though the city will retain ownership of the network. Read more of Madison coverage here.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 mojo monkeys for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is “Bodacious.”

Saint Louis Park is Prepared for the Fiber Future – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 219

Saint Louis Park, a compact community along the west side of Minneapolis, has built an impressive fiber network, a conduit system, and several deals with developers to ensure new apartment buildings will allow their tenants to choose among high speed Internet access providers. Chief Information Office Clint Pires joins me for Community Broadband [no-glossary]Bits[/no-glossary] podcast 219.

In one of our longest episodes, we discuss how Saint Louis Park started by partnering with other key entities to start its own fiber network, connecting key anchor institutions. Years later, it partnered with a firm for citywide solar-powered Wi-Fi but that partner failed to perform, leaving the community a bit disheartened, but in no way cowed.

They continued to place conduit in the ground wherever possible and began striking deals with ISPs and landlords that began using the fiber and conduit to improve access for local businesses and residents. And they so impressed our previous podcast guest Travis Carter of US Internet, that he suggested we interview them for this show.

Clint Pires has learned many lessons over the years and now we hope other communities will take his wisdom to heart. Well-managed communities can make smart investments that will save taxpayer dollars and drive investment in better networks.

Read the transcript of the episode here.

We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.

This show is 40 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 Roller Genoa for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is “Safe and Warm in Hunter's Arms.”

In Minnesota, Alexandria Connects Businesses – Community Broadband Bits Podcast 210

When the cable and telephone companies refused to offer dial-up Internet service 20 years ago in Alexandria, Minnesota, the municipal utility stepped up and made it available. For years, most everyone in the region used it to get online. Now, the utility has focused its telecommunications attention on making fiber-optic telecommunications services available to local businesses.

Alexandria's ALP Utilities General Manager Al Crowser joins us this week to explain what they have done and why. Like us, Al is a strong believer that local governments can be the best provider of essential services to local businesses and residents.

In the show, we talk some history and also about the difference between local customer service and that from a larger, more distant company. He discusses how they have paid for the network and where net income goes. And finally, we talk about their undergrounding project.

Read the transcript from this 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 Roller Genoa for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is “Safe and Warm in Hunter's Arms.”