By Community Broadband Action Network
Hosts Curtis Dean and Jon Willow - co-founders of the Community Broadband Action Network - take on the issues faced by community broadband providers and advocates. With special guests from across the spectrum of broadband (no pun intended!), expect a lively, roundtable-style conversation in every episode.
Broadband ActionApr 05, 2022
There They Go Again - Attacks on Public Broadband
Since the very first municipal broadband provider was built decades ago, big telecom companies and their supporters have gone to great lengths to attack the rights of communities to build and operate broadband as a public utility. In this edition of Broadband Action we chat with Harvey Couch with the Frankfort Plant Board in Kentucky's capital city, whose pubic broadband is being targeted by their own state senator; and Gigi Sohn, Executive Director of the American Association for Public Broadband (AAPB) which advocates for municipal broadband and defends against similar attacks by dark money groups.
Frankfort Plant Board: https://fpb.cc/
Safe Holiday Online Shopping
The busy holiday shopping season is upon us, and many Americans will be doing much of their shopping online. In this episode, CBAN Digital Navigator Brianna Dillavou has some tips to stay safe while shopping the online sales!
Today Broadband Solutions for Underserved Areas
Getting broadband to the the millions of Americans who are unserved or underserved is a huge lift. Billions of dollars are flowing from the federal government to states for grant programs to subsidize the construction of broadband networks, mostly fiber networks, to reach underserved and unserved homes and businesses. Yet when the smoke clears and all the coming BEAD funds have been exhausted, it is expected that millions of Americans will still not have access to fast, reliable, affordable broadband service. In this episode of Broadband Action, we'll talk about more immediate ways to provide broadband in hard-to-reach areas. Our guests are Justin Stinson with Liberty Communications; Alex Freylekhman with Telrad; and Cassie Bair with Mobile Citizen.
Rural Telehealth - Opportunities and Challenges
One of the great promises of broadband is the ability to deliver health care services to rural Americans. In this episode of Broadband Action, we visit with Scott Raymond and David Cloyed of Nebraska Medicine at the University of Nebraska in Omaha for their views on the challenges and opportunities of telehealth.
Broadband Action - The Fiber Evolution
Fiber optic networks have evolved over the past 25 years. The technology has evolved to meet the growing needs of bandwidth. The economics have evolved to lower costs of deployment. And providers have evolved their thinking and, for the most part, embraced fiber as the gold standard for broadband.
In this episode of Broadband Action, we visit with Heather Gold, who has enjoyed a front row seat in the evolution of fiber. Now serving as Vice President of External Affairs at Mears Group, Gold will share her perspectives from 20+ years in the broadband industry.
The Alarming Truth About Young Adults and Digital Skills
Young adults are often referred to as "digital natives" because they've had access to digital devices their entire lives. However, this term fails to account for the fact that many young adults have limited abilities to use digital devices for learning or work. In this episode, we talk with Don Michael, Digital Literacy Specialist for Piedmont Community College in North Carolina, who works with incoming students to help round out their digital skills to make them ready for success.
2023 Mountain Connect Preview
In this edition of Broadband Action, CBAN's Jon Willow and Curtis Dean chat with Jeff Gavlinski, CEO of Mountain Connect, to preview this year's conference in Denver. Jeff shares some highlights of the event from August 7-9 and teases some surprises for attendees.
Devices and Digital Equity
A key element of digital equity efforts is getting the right devices into the hands of people who need them. In this episode, Jon Willow and Curtis Dean with CBAN chat with Karisa Tashjian, Director of Programs at Digitunity, a non-profit that advocates for device ownership.
All About Althea
In this episode of Broadband Action, we chat with Deborah Simpier, CEO of Althea. Althea is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) platform and blockchain that enables the coordination of multi-stakeholder networks. Althea decouples the service and infrastructure layers of Internet delivery and coordinates transparent and programmatic revenue sharing.
Using Althea’s platform, networks can be built faster and more economically than ever before.
Althea’s flexible payment structure opens new markets and supports new entrants into the market, by enabling them to capitalize on underutilized bandwidth and real estate.
In this episode of Broadband Action, CBAN's Curtis Dean discusses how cable companies are working to fend off the threat from fiber by implementing new technologies that allow higher download and speeds over coaxial networks. Curtis also talks about how many fiber providers are beginning to offer multi-gigabit speed tiers.
ACP Adoption Challenges
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has already helped millions of Americans get online through a monthly subsidy for internet service. However, adoption has been slow in many locations, and nationwide only 41 percent of eligible households have utilized the program. In this episode of Broadband Action, we visit with Sean Gonsolves and Ry Marcattilio with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which has created an ACP Dashboard to track enrollment in the ACP and how fast the available funds are being used.
Doug Dawson's 2023 Predictions
Doug Dawson with CCG Consulting is one of the broadband industry's true thought leaders. For the second year in a row, Doug joins Curtis Dean with CBAN to look into his crystal ball for some broadband predictions for 2023. Check out Pots and Pans, Doug's blog, for more topics of interest!
Member Spotlight: ALLO Communications
FCC Broadband Mapping Issues
One of the biggest challenges with deploying the over $42 billion in funding under the BEAD program is making sure we have accurate broadband maps. Many industry experts are skeptical that the FCC can get it right this time. For this episode of Broadband Bytes our guest is Sascha Meinrath, Director of the X-Lab and Palmer Chair in Telecommunications at Penn State University. He’s been collecting broadband performance data for years and discusses how the FCC is trying to recreate information that he and others have already gathered.
Waterloo, Iowa Fiber Bond Referendum
Voters in Waterloo, Iowa will be going to the polls on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 to vote on a bond referendum. At issue is the City’s plans to issue up to $20 million in general obligation, or GO, bonds to finance a portion of a planned fiber-to-the-home network in the northeast Iowa City of 67,000. If voters approve the bond issue - and if the network is built - it would be the largest municipal broadband utility in Iowa, edging out its neighbor to the west, Cedar Falls.
On this episode of Broadband Action we visit with Maggie Burger, Senior Vice President at Speer Financial, Inc - the city’s municipal advisor for this project.
Community Spotlight: Johnson County, IA
What’s Wrong With BEAD
How to Attract a Fiber Broadband Provider to Your Community
Community Spotlight: Fort Morgan, CO
CBAN's Curtis Dean chats with Brent Nation with the City of Fort Morgan, Colorado. Through a partnership with Allo Communications, Fort Morgan now has fiber-to-the-home available to every premise in the City. Brent talks about how the City was able to leverage a public-private partnership to bring great fiber broadband services to their northeastern Colorado community of 11,000.
How to Build Your Knowledge Base
CBAN discusses the ways that communities can build a knowledge base about broadband through networking, online resources, organization membership, and attending conferences and workshops.
Community Spotlight: Cedar Falls, IA
CBAN member Cedar Falls Utilities in Iowa has a great story to tell. They've long been a leader among municipal broadband providers in Iowa and the nation. We'll talk about how CFU is expanding outside of its city limits to bring better broadband to rural residents, leveraging the Iowa Broadband Grant program and design choices that reduce overall cost.
What's Going On with the BEAD Program?
CBAN's Curtis Dean and Todd Kielkopf sit down and discuss that latest and greatest from NTIA as they take next steps towards administrating the BEAD program? What is it? What is going on?
Community Spotlight: Shrewsbury, MA
For this week, co-host Curtis Dean sits down with SELCO in Shrewsbury, MA to discuss their amazing program. Located in central Massachusetts with 38,000 residents, they have one of the first municipal communication utilities in the Northeastern United States.
Community Spotlight: Indianola, IA
CBAN's Curtis Dean visits Indianola Municipal Utilities and discusses the progress of the municipal fiber utility with Telecommunications Superintendent Kurt Ripperger.
Faster Isn't Always Better
This week we week we welcome back Christopher Ali and his book "Farm Fresh Broadband” as we continue to discuss national broadband policy and it’s impact on rural America. Ali's book features an analysis of the failure of U.S. broadband policy to solve the rural-urban digital divide and offers proposals for a new national rural broadband plan. We look forward to visiting with Christopher and sharing his perspectives of how to bring better broadband to more Americans!
Christopher Ali can be found @Ali_Christopher on Twitter.
This week we are joined by with Jeff Gavilinksi with Mountain Connect, a regional broadband conference coming up on May 22, 2022. Join us as we talk about what to expect with this conference!
Rural Broadband Policy in the United States
CBAN team hosts a lively discussion with Christopher Ali, author of the book "Farm Fresh Broadband - The Politics of Rural Connectivity".
Ali's book features an analysis of the failure of U.S. broadband policy to solve the rural-urban digital divide and offers proposals for a new national rural broadband plan. We look forward to visiting with Christopher and sharing his perspectives of how to bring better broadband to more Americans!
Christopher Ali can be found @Ali_Christopher on Twitter.
The Power of Anti-Municipal Broadband Lobbyists at National and State Level
This week, we welcome back our guests as we continue to talk about anti-municipal broadband lobbyists at the state and national levels as opposed to focusing just on individual communitites. How do these groups lobby for their interests? In what way does it change from the state level to the national level? We talk about all that in more in this exciting episode.
Anti-Municipal Broadband Groups vs Community Referendums
In this week’s episode, we discuss anti-municipal broadband groups and how they try to stop community referendums for local broadband solutions with our guests Christopher Mitchel and Doug Dawson. Who are these groups? How can you tell legitimate concerns as opposed to propaganda designed to impact your vote? What are the arguments and techniques they use?
State Broadband Offices
This week, we get to share our perspectives and opinions on State Broadband Offices. Why do they exist? Does your state have them in one form or another? What counts as a state broadband office and what is there just for show? Our guests this week are Joanne Galloway and Eric Frederick.
What Do We Think About Low-Orbit Satellites Providing Broadband?
This week, we have left the United States and Earth in general as we talk about outer space. Particularly, satellites. What are the environmental implications of low-orbit satellites that help connect people to broadband services? Could they all be destroyed overnight? Learn about some of our thoughts regarding Starlink satellites, and others that provide their service, as well as some of the fears that keep our hosts up at night.
To see some of the videos we discussed during this episode, check out our social media @BroadbandAction
Supply Chain Issues Impacting Broadband Industry
Who's ready for an economics lesson? In this week's episode, we talk about how supply chain issues are impacting the broadband industry. Are your prices going to go up? How is it impacting suppliers? Can we expect this to have a long-term impact? We have a feeling that this is not the first episode we will be referring to the supply chain. If you have any thoughts or comments on the things we did talk about or things we didn't mention at all, feel free to let us know!
The Affordable Connectivity Program
This week, we will also be talking about the Affordable Connectivity Program and what community-based broadband providers need to do to begin offering this $30 monthly internet subsidy to qualifying households. Our guest this week is Renee Knoop with Consortia Consulting, who will walk us through the ACP signup process from the provider's perspective.
Libraries and Our Communities
In this episode, we are joined with Larra Clark, Deputy Director of the Public Library Association; Natalie Caula-Hauff, Deputy Director of Innovation at the Charleston County, South Carolina Library; and Joan Grothoff, Director of the Eldora, Iowa Public Library where we discussed how libraries played an important role in keeping American’s connected during the pandemic.
Community Broadband Action Network
For our very first episode of our podcast, we thought we would quickly introduce ourselves to our listeners. Who are we? What do we do? For more information about CBAN, you can go to our website www.broadbandaction.com or follow us @BroadbandAction on Twitter or Facebook.
What is Broadband Action?
What is Broadband Action? Join us as we discuss broadband policy and how it impacts your lives.