Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed
This week on the Community Broadband Bits podcast Christopher speaks with Deborah Simpier, CEO of Althea. Althea offers software and tools for communities looking to build and maintain sustainable networks.
Althea works by installing custom firmware on the routers of its member-operators, connecting them all together in an ad hoc network that dynamically responds to the supply and demand of individual users on the network. That network is then linked to a commercial-grade backhaul connection, and users pay each other for bandwidth while configuring their own connection preferences and needs. Althea’s innovative software and staff help manage the connection in real-time. The result is a decentralized, flexible, privacy-focused community of devices. Althea exists in more that three dozen communities around North America, Canada, the Caribbean, and Africa.
Deborah reflects on how she came to the broadband space, and the origins of the first Althea network. Christopher and Deborah discuss what it means to play a central role in empowering communities to help create their own sustainable networks, and watching people put in Internet infrastructure themselves and take ownership. One example is Enfield, North Carolina, a state with some of the most onerous broadband restrictions which have resulted in poor connectivity options for that community.
For related coverage of broadband efforts in North Carolina or mesh networks in action, search those tags at MuniNets.org.
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show; please e-mail us or leave a comment below.
Transcript coming soon.
This show is 32 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or the tool of your choice using this feed.
Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index.
Subscribe to the Building Local Power podcast, also from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, on iTunes or Stitcher to catch more great conversations about local communities, concentration of corporate power, and how everyday people are taking control.
Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.