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Broadband Action

Broadband Action

By Community Broadband Action Network
How is it that the U.S. still faces challenges around the adoption and accessibility of fast, reliable, affordable, and universally available broadband? How does broadband access - or the lack of it - impact the lives of those who live in underserved or untapped communities?
Hosts Curtis Dean, Todd Kielkopf, and Jon Willow - 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.
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Community Spotlight: Fort Morgan, CO

Broadband Action

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.
September 20, 2022
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.
September 09, 2022
Community Spotlight: Johnson County, IA
Johnson County, Iowa – a CBAN Community Member - is home of the University of Iowa and one of Iowa’s most progressive counties. However, like most of America, there are still lots of broadband gaps that need to be addressed. In this edition of Broadband Action, host Curtis Dean talks with Donna Brooks, Johnson County’s Grants Manager, about the County’s current broadband study and how they plan to first identify and then facilitate solutions for areas with inadequate broadband.
August 30, 2022
What’s Wrong With BEAD
This week, join us as Curtis Dean and Christopher Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance get together and discuss the problems with the Broadband Equity, Access, and Development Program.
August 23, 2022
How to Attract a Fiber Broadband Provider to Your Community
In this episode of Broadband Action, co-founder and Vice President Curtis Dean sits down and talks about the steps communities who aren’t satisfied with their Internet options can take to attract a brand new fiber optic provider.
August 09, 2022
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.
July 05, 2022
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.
June 28, 2022
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.
June 21, 2022
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?
June 14, 2022
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. 
June 07, 2022
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.
May 31, 2022
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.
May 17, 2022
Mountain Connect
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!
May 10, 2022
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.
May 03, 2022
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. 
April 12, 2022
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?
April 05, 2022
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.
March 30, 2022
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
March 22, 2022
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!
March 22, 2022
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.
March 15, 2022
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.
March 08, 2022
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 or follow us @BroadbandAction on Twitter or Facebook.
March 08, 2022
What is Broadband Action?
What is Broadband Action? Join us as we discuss broadband policy and how it impacts your lives.
February 10, 2022