Building for Digital Equity Podcast

Building for Digital Equity is a series of live stream events and a podcast hosted by Community Broadband Networks team members featuring interviews with people working for digital inclusion and ensuring everyone can reap the benefits of the Internet. You can listen to episodes below, via a podcast application (search for "Building for Digital Equity"), or via this RSS feed.

Past live streams are archived here. Our next live stream is going to be June 10, 2024 at 3ET. The 2024 Building for Digital Equity Live Streams have been sponsored by UTOPIA Fiber, the largest open access fiber network in the nation.

We also produce the weekly Community Broadband Bits podcast and a semi-regular video show called Connect This! that has its own site. Check out ILSR's other podcasts here!

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.

Brandon Forestor Puts Local in Local Internet Organizing - Building for Digital Equity Podcast Episode 13

Brandon Forester is the National Organizer for Internet Rights at Media Justice. We talk about organizing for digital equity and more specifically Brandon's vision for communities having agency over how technology shows up in their neighborhoods and digital communities. We discuss how Media Justice came to prioritize prison phone justice, what organizing is and how local solutions may differ in different communities, and the need to avoid purity politics in doing this work.

Laura Breeden on the Start of NDIA and Some Digital Equity History - Building for Digital Equity Podcast

Laura Breeden, board member of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, joins us to talk about the beginning of NDIA - which happened in a bar among friends, along with most other good ideas. We also talk about what progress has been made on digital inclusion and reflect on some of the deeper history of the Internet and digital inclusion, going back to the early 1990's.

Ini Augustine on Mutual Aid and Community Connectivity - Building for Digital Equity Podcast Episode 11

Ini Augustine is a technologist who was ready to organize with her community to improve access to computers and Internet access when the pandemic hit and many low-income neighborhoods in Minneapolis and Saint Paul were cut off from education and other resources. More recently, she organized the Black Broadband Summit and the Family Broadband Coalition. We talk about her work and the promise and challenge of forming a cooperative to bring better Internet access to people who have been abandoned by traditional business models.

Jessica Strom and Opportunity Home Help People Build Marketable Skills - Building for Digital Equity Podcast

Jessica Strom, Digital Inclusion Manager for Opportunity Home - the Public Housing Authority of San Antonio, shares the challenges of digital inclusion on their many properties as well as leaving us with exciting success stories of how people landed well-paying jobs after completing their courses. We also discuss the challenges for housing residents to avoid scams and the importance of free Wi-Fi to be ready if ACP runs out.

Deb Socia and Free, Fast Internet Access in Chattanooga

Sean Gonsalves interviews Deb Socia, President and CEO of the Enterprise Center, about Chattanooga's remarkable municipal fiber network, which began offering free, high-speed service to thousands of low-income families during the pandemic under a program called HCS EdConnect. They go on to talk about one of Sean's favorite slogans, "If it isn't affordable, it isn't access." And finally, they discuss some advice for people newly joining digital equity work.

Bill Callahan on Digital Equity History and NE Ohio Challenges - Building for Digital Equity Podcast

Bill Callahan, Executive Director of Connect Your Community, joins Christopher Mitchell to talk about some of the history of digital equity and the before-times that led to the formation of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. We also discuss Cleveland and later NE Ohio more specifically after exploring how Internet access has changed in the area since their landmark report, "AT&T’s digital redlining of Cleveland."

Dwight Thomas on Building Community Networks - Episode 7 of the Building for Digital Equity Podcast

Sean Gonsalves speaks with Dwight Thomas, who build the first citywide municipal fiber network in Texas in Mont Belvieu. They talk about Mont Belvieu as well as the importance of engaging the community and how to make sure people can use the network once it is built. Dwight also discusses his passion for discipleship and sharing his knowledge.

Aneta Lee, FUSE Corps Fellow in Birmingham, Alabama on Episode 6 of the Building for Digital Equity Podcast

At the time of this interview at Net Inclusion, Aneta Lee was wrapping up her FUSE Corps Fellowship with the city of Birmingham in Alabama. We talk about the FUSE Corps Fellowship and her time at the city of Birmingham. Aneta discusses the ACP outreach campaign she put together and where she sees her future taking her - HINT, it could be to your community if you act fast!

Susan Corbett Discusses Digital Equity in Maine and Nationally on Episode 5 of the Building for Digital Equity Podcast

Susan Corbett is the Executive Director of the National Digital Equity Center and has long been involved in policy around Internet access and digital equity both in Maine and across the United States. Susan and I chatted at Net Inclusion about how she got going in this space in 2005 as the owner of a small ISP in rural Maine.

Ella and Kim Discuss Digital Equity as Design on Episode 4 of the Building for Digital Equity Podcast

Emma Gautier interviews Kim Ilinon and Ella Silvas, two Interactive Media Design students from the University of Washington-Bothell, after they presented their lightning talk at Net Inclusion. Ella and Kim discuss their path into digital equity from a design background, including the Dear Digital Equity web site, and what they have learned about who is doing digital equity work in Washington state.