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Congressional reps, in their annual pique over the abuses of a couple of wireless companies, are attempting to once again throw out the broadband baby with the water of a corrupted few. Atty. Anthony Veach, from telecom industry law firm Bennet & Bennet PLLC joins us to discuss House bill 5376's threat to broadband usage in underserved communities.
Veach describes how the current FCC has made reforming its telecom industry-funded Lifeline grant program a priority, and discusses whether Congress's action threatens rather than helps create meaningful changes. Lifeline originally funded basic telephone service for low-income urban and rural households so no citizens would be economically forced to do without phone service. The Bush Administration expanded Lifeline to include wireless phone service as this was quickly displacing landlines. As smartphones become a primary device for accessing broadband, particularly in communities of color, Congress' action threatens to hit them particularly hard.
Listeners get an inside peek at Lifeline reforms to date, and what additional reforms are in the works. They also pick up some valuable insights into the Lifeline program, its main accomplishments over the years and some of the challenges the program faces as it tries to keep pace with technology changes not envisioned by Lifeline's original architects.
RuMBA's Executive Director, Peter Pratt, chats with Luisa Handem Piette, the former Managing Director and host of Rural America Radio, on the broadband advocacy group's new focus, 3 years after the historic Recovery Act and subsequent federal funding by the Obama Administration.
Embattled rural progressive speaks about her first hand account; trials and tribulations of fighting the "Old Gaurd" and how in rurual Georgia 2014 it is still affecting their ability to organize around Obama's "Respect, Empower, and Include".
Embattled rural progressive speaks about her first hand account; trials and tribulations of fighting the "Old Gaurd" and how in rurual Georgia 2014 it is still affecting her ability to organize around Obama's "Respect, Empower, and Include".
(JUST A DISCLAIMER to let you know we loose conncection at about 33 mins or so. We will have Part 2 ASAP to close)
Jessica Barrett shares her struggles organizing the powerful red county. The only red county south of the famous I-4 cooridor. She began a Young Dems of America Chapter in Polk, and a lil history folks so you can get your head wrapped around the courage this lady has. Big Ben HIll Griiffin, who built the "Gator Swampbowl" for the UF. He owns cattle, potassium farms, you name it. Well he has a Grandaughter named, Katherine Harris, (who grew up in Bartow Polk County) you may recall the name for she was the Sec of State of Fl who called the race for Bush against AL Gore in 2000. COincidence, we think not....
Jessica and I left a Purple county, just ready to claim it's voting rights, although voter suppresion and collusion to committ fraud was seen on 2010. Very powerful people control outcomes, but in the midterm 2010 we almost won a congressional race due to our high volunteerism and indeed Polk County was the ONLY County called out the night before the elction fro the exceptional work the county did. It was the people, and Jessica started the way. I can't wait to do this interview! Hope you will join us for encouragment on mid-terms and take away suggestions that worked for us In Florida 2010!
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.
The Rural Broadband Policy Group (RBPG) is a growing national coalition of rural broadband advocates working to enhance rural communities' opportunities to participate fully in the nation’s democracy, economy, culture, and society. Our guest is Edyael Casaperalta, of the Center for Rural Strategies. She explains the importance of ensuring that all members of our society have access to broadband, and why denying rural areas the fundamental human right to communicate and receive information in our digital age is not a smart move. She will also talk about the upcoming National Rural Assembly meeting to be held next month in St. Paul, MN.
Rural America Radio gives voice to rural residents and those who wish to promote the well-being and economic growth of rural communities across the U.S. We bring you the very best in talk-show programming related to rural American affairs, by deliberately focusing on the use of technology, especially high-speed Internet, and healthy living. Rural America Radio is a project of the Rural Mobile & Broadband Alliance (rumbausa.com). Listeners may join the show and ask questions by dialing 646-378-1746.
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.
It took generations of struggle for women and minorities to gain the right to vote. With the voting rights act in 1965, finally every vote counted.
One generation later, 34 states have passed voter ID laws, disenfranchising millions of voters. Most are women, older, or minority voters.
RuralVotes and South Forward have teamed up to launch a new Voter ID Project. to help voters.
Donate today by clicking on the Blue Link above!
Community broadband success usually does not ride solely on one person's shoulders. However, there is a type of person who is critical to a network project's success - the broadband champion, that local person(s) who figuratively carries the flag and supports the project to friends, neighbors, colleagues and even strangers.
Mark Latham, City Manager for Highland, IL, recently finished overseeing a broadband stimulus-funded gig network project for his community of 10,000 citizens after 78% of voters approved a bond measure to move the project forward. He describes the best tactics for identifying, educating, motivating and managing the small band of champions who will become the often-unofficial public face of your broadband project.
Look at any successful project and a common thread is a band of vocal broadband champions. With the right preparation, these individuals are critical to generating initial network subscribers, building political support, influencing potential investors and attracting general public support.
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.
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