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ATTENTION: There is heavy static in show's first 3-4 minutes, but it clears up after that.
The pride of the pack when it comes to community broadband business models is the open-access model in which the local government or public utility owns the physical network and private-sector ISPs deliver services to subscribers. It looks like a relatively easy model to pursue, and dozens of communities say this is their preferred option. In reality, making open access work is a monster challenge requiring intense, constant effort.
Mt. Vernon, WA has built a small cadre of ISPs for its open-access fiber network. Information Services Director Kim Kleppe details how they overcame obstacles and seized opportunities to build a successful network that is financially sustainable. Listeners will learn:
why getting the second ISP is the hardest job in the world;
how to set pricing structure
tips for creating win-win situations
marketing tactics that attract ISPs and subscribers
how to keep everyone on the same page
Kleppe and his colleagues have 12 years experience building and refining their open access model. Communities just getting their networks off the ground can really benefit from the lessons of those who've been in the trenches a while.
Many communities must understand that, without a well-crafted and executed creative marketing strategy, their broadband networks will have limited success. This is particularly true in states such as North Carolina that have a hostile political climate for public networks. Salisbury, NC has held their own for four years, but plans to turn on the marketing afterburners to accelerate their growth and impact on the community.
Salisbury Mayor Paul Woodson and Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Blackwell present constituents and listeners with details on some of their marketing ideas. The city launched its Fibrant fiber network in 2010 and has steadily increased its subscriber base in the face of stiff incumbent opposition. They recently upgraded Fibrant to 1 gigabit per second service, which they expect will improve economic development, healthcare service delivery, education and government services.
City leaders see their marketing efforts moving forward on two fronts: 1) increasing marketing messages that educate various constituencies about the benefits of gigabit services, and 2) raising Salisbury's national profile as a forward-looking gig city that is a center of innovation. The Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem describe several of Fibrant's past marketing successes, and provide other community broadband teams with advice on how to market effectively against well-financed adversaries.
A prayer service live from Convention followed by interviews with convention-goers!
Join us to hear interviews with people attending Convention and call in with your questions! Enjoy music from Rev. Ken Turley and Rev. David Fekete
Rev. David's music is available on his website: www.feketesworks.com.
To purchase Rev. Ken's music, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Due tech difficuties, there is a 5-min audio blackout. You can fast-foward when this happens.]
Sometimes the obvious solution to a broadband challenge is right there in front of a community. Like money. Waverly, IA realized that not just one but THREE local banks held the key to the city's fundraising success. While some communities are stressing out over funding sources, financial institutions could be the linchpin that get many public networks off the ground.
Who better than local banks and credit unions are served by the economic impact of broadband? New employers moving in, existing companies hiring, increasing property values, people staying in town - when economies thrive, banks prosper. Darrel Wenzel, General Manager of Waverly Utilities, explains how their financial institutions came to be partners in the city's broadband development. He also gives tips to communities that see this strategy potentially playing out well for their constituents.
Iowa is a hub of excitement these days, with Waverly being the third gigabit city in the state to move forward. The city is hot on the trail of high-speed Internet, cable and phone services for both residents and businesses. Waverly Utilities and city officials are pleased that general taxpayers and ratepayers are not at risk as revenue bonds have been secured and will be paid back by broadband subscribers.
Community highspeed Internet networks really started to become prominent in the media during 2011 - 2012, but broadband has been playing key roles in some communities for a decade or more. It is good to occasionally stop and take stock of what this technology is accomplishing.
Norm Jacknis, Senior Fellow at the think tank Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF), studies the economic and social development of 21st Century communities. He offers detailed analysis on what uses of broadband networks are proving successful and which tactics require re-tooling. We discuss:
what determines success, particularly in rural communities;
examples of communities impacting education and economic development;
what types of jobs created by broadband are best for long-term community growth; and
where are communities finding money to move broadband projects forward.
Jacknis provides some background on ICF’s Top 7 Intelligent Communities of the Year. These are chosen from hundreds of communities worldwide, and broadband plays a prominent role in their selection. Starting June 3 they will meet in New York City for the final selection of the Intelligent Community of the Year.
As the endless stream of RFPs for community broadband feasibility studies widens, are these communities considering the intersect between broadband and cloud computing? It's important to have quality infrastructure that reaches all constituents, but it's equally important to build an infrastructure that supports applications that make the network financially sustainable. Learn how to create a role for cloud computing in your broadband planning.
Bernie Arnason, publisher and editor of Telecompetitor, keeps his finger on the pulse as he covers developments important to the broadband ecosystem through his analysis and commentary. Arnason is particularly focused on how network operators, including community broadband project teams, monetize the infrastructure while serving communities' needs.
Listeners get a solid grounding in how targeting local enterprises and small businesses with cloud computing services has a payback both in generating high-end, big dollar subscribers with low churn rates, and increasing the economic strength of community businesses. Arnason describes how to design the network buildout and subsequent marketing of cloud and other services to capture this low-hanging fruit. He also discusses the "Internet if things," which is an important element of cloud computing strategy.
A large majority of municipal and public utility broadband networks are successes. Next Century Cities lays out several paths to help your community to reach this winner's circle.
NCC Executive Director Deb Socia describes for listeners a range of business and funding models for community broadband that are creating success stories around the country. Communities such as Santa Monica, CA and Mount Vernon, WA built success by using their networks for replace T1 lines and other old communications infrastructure. Others such as Monticello, MN formed public private partnerships. Jackson, TN and Cedar Falls, IA sell services direct to subscribers.
Socia's organization has assembled quite the brain trust of communities and she is happy to share some of that knowledge. Listeners will get insights into:
preventing critics from defining your success;
defining parameters and goals for success based on constituents' broadband needs;
helping non-technical people understand and become excited about how the network will impact them; and
promoting your successes.
Next Century Cities is a membership organization providing knowledge and peer- support for communities and their elected leaders, including mayors and other officials, as they seek to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet.
On our next edition of America's Community Voices Network, we examine gun violence in at risk communities in the City of Tampa that has reached epidemic preportions. On Saturday, April 18, 2015, 12 noon sharp at the Abundant Life Church Parking Lot, 8117 N 13th Street, Sulphur Springs a Community March will occur to raise awareness about the increased gun violence in the Springs threatening the safety and health of children, families and neighborhoods. Our guest is a representative of the Tampa Police Department, Lt. Randy Peters. This event will also provide information about positive resources available to the community. Rally! Eat! Drink! Support.
How about a GREAT "Shout Out" for these Community Gardens:
1) Westport, Connecticut
Westport Community Garden
2) Norway, Maine
Alan Day Community Garden
The Delaware Center for Horticulture
4) Louisville, Kentucky
Blackacre's Community Garden of the Blackacre Conservancy
5) New York City
New York City Community Garden Coalition
Congrats! to all these Groups and what they have done in sustaining, creating, and education to folks about Community Gardens.
Have a Great Community Garden Day!
Mary K. Hukill, Author and Radio Show Host
www.natesamericanstore.com Put promo code "comgar15" at ONLINE checkout and receive 10% OFF on Garden Equipment and Tools.
www.tropiflora.com Great Tropical plants. Order ONLINE ask at checkout for 10% OFF first order. They ship Worldwide.
www.aerogarden.com Put in Promo Code "community20" and receive ONLINE 20% OFF your order.
www.gardentowerproject.com Put in Promo Code "Revolution" and receive $50 OFF your ONLINE order.
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Our special guest is world-renowned Greek scholar Dr. David Alan Black. Seminary students and those interested in biblical Greek have used his books to learn The New Testament in its original language for decades. Christians desiring to get more understanding from The Scriptures will enjoy hearing from this most trusted scholar as we explore the meaning of the Bible. Dr. Black has been the professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary since 1998. If you have ever thought about learning the Bible in its original language than this interview is for you.
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