Community Broadband Bits Podcast

Community Broadband Bits is a weekly audio show hosted by Community Broadband Networks Initiative Director Christopher Mitchell featuring interviews with people building community networks or otherwise involved with Internet policy. You can listen to episodes below or download via Apple, Google, or Spotify. Alternatively if you know what to do with it, copy the feed here.

We also produce a semi-regular video show called Connect This! that has its own site. Find other podcasts from ILSR here.

We also have an index of all episodes and links to transcripts. Keep up with new developments by subscribing to our one-email-per-week list sharing new stories and resources. We’d love to hear your feedback! Email us.

The Question of Internet Affordability Beyond ACP - Episode 594 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

In the latest podcast episode, Christopher, Ry Marcattilio, and Sean Gonsalves discuss the end of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and the urgent need for sustainable Internet affordability solutions in the U.S. They highlight successful models of community-owned broadband networks from Pharr, Texas, to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and provide updates on FCC broadband definitions, Longmont's municipal network expansion, and an upcoming episode covering the Tribal Broadband Bootcamp held at RantanenTown Ranch in Southern California.

Unlocking Community-Driven Broadband Initiatives with Brian Snider - Episode 593 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

In this podcast episode, Christopher speaks with Brian Snider, founder of Lit Communities, discussing his extensive experience in the broadband industry and the importance of community-driven broadband initiatives. They emphasize the need for innovative business models to bridge the digital divide and highlight the significance of education and workforce development in shaping the industry's future.

Data Challenges for Equitable Broadband Access In Fresno, CA and Beyond - Episode 592 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

In this podcast episode, Christopher speaks with Philip Neufeld, Executive Officer for Information Technology at the Fresno Unified School District, about the vital role of data in addressing broadband challenges in low-income areas. They discuss Neufeld's proactive data collection efforts, stress the importance of using this data for advocacy, and highlight the need for collaborative solutions to bridge the digital divide.

Without Political Power, There is No Path to Digital Equity - Episode 591 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

Episode 591 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast features a panel from Net Inclusion that Christopher Mitchell moderated entitled, "Without Political Power, There is No Path to Digital Equity." In it, panelists raise difficult questions for the digital equity movement about whether they are on track to achieve their goals - whether the main strategies used today can result in digital equity or are destined to fall well short.

Lincoln Park and Smart City Initiatives in Fort Pierce with Jason Mittler - Episode 590 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

In this podcast episode, Christopher and Jason Mittler discuss the Fort Pierce Utilities Authority Network, a fiber optic network in Fort Pierce, Florida, highlighting its diverse applications in providing Internet, utility services, smart grid solutions, and smart city services. They also touch on the Lincoln Park Smart Neighborhood project, addressing low broadband adoption rates by offering 100 Mbps symmetrical service at $31 per month, with additional services for higher speeds. The conversation concludes with valuable advice for those entering the ISP market, emphasizing collaboration, partnerships, and staying informed about the evolving Internet services landscape.

People Over Profit: DigitalC's Mission to Connect Communities in Cleveland- Episode 589 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher talks with Joshua Edmonds, CEO of DigitalC, a nonprofit in Cleveland, Ohio, dedicated to bridging the digital divide. DigitalC provides fast, affordable internet at $18/month, along with digital literacy training and device deployment. They've recently secured a $20 million contract from the city to expand their infrastructure, aiming to connect 23,000 households in 18 months. Christopher and Joshua stress the importance of prioritizing people over profit, emphasizing the need to serve the unserved and underserved populations to comprehensively address the digital divide.

Planning is Good, but Pivoting is Better in Fort Collins, Colorado - Episode 588 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This week on the podcast, Christopher is joined by Chad Crager, Broadband Executive Director at City of Fort Collins, to talk about the rapidly maturing city-owned network they call Connexion. From a feasibility study in 2018 to the lion's share of construction completed today, Connexion's story illustrates the value of being nimble when expectations meet reality.

Connecting the Last Twenty Percent in Newark - Episode 587 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

Newark, New Jersey has been operating a dark fiber network for more than a decade. In recent years, the city has expanded its efforts to leverage those assets in an incremental effort to improve connectivity and competition for local business and residents, while also building out a robust Wi-Fi network. The goal: build a portfolio of approaches to connect the last twenty percent of the city that doesn't have access today.

Bridging Bytes: Empowering Communities Through Local Broadband Growth - Episode 586 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

In this latest podcast episode, Christopher and Sean discuss the remarkable growth of municipal broadband networks in the U.S., noting the establishment of 47 new networks since 2021, bringing the total to over 400. The conversation explores diverse network models, challenges faced by municipalities, including opposition from major ISPs, and underscores the importance of community support. They also highlight the crucial role of data from schools and organizations in understanding broadband access and promoting digital equity.

Predictions for 2024 - Episode 585 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

The fading sound of holiday bells and soft stillness that comes with plunging temps can only mean one thing; it's January again, which means it's time to break out the crystal ball and have a conversation about the year to come. Joining Christopher in the recording booth are a slew of CBN staffers new and veteran to join in the collective task of putting words to feelings both foreboding and optimistic about the year to come.