“What’s Next After Broadband Stimulus?” and Other Valuable Webinars

A couple of weeks ago I made a swing through D.C. to meet with some folks and continue building support for Communities United for Broadband. I also delivered “What’s Next After Broadband Stimulus?” at the New America Foundation. You can watch the presentation here.

This session helps you understand a little better what local communities’ role in national broadband strategy should be. The event included a strong panel representing community perspectives via people from cities that are making broadband happen:

  • Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer of the District of Columbia,
  • Joanne Hovis, President-Elect of NATOA and President of Columbia Telecommunications Corporation
  • Gary Carter, Analyst at City of Santa Monica Information Systems Department will respond to Mr. Settles’ presentation.

I highlight key lessons from my book, Fighting the Next Good Fight: Bringing True Broadband to Your Community, in the context of national policy discussions on broadband. Actually, some days the discussion is more like a barroom brawl from the old westerns, with local communities cast as the damsel in distress whose fate depends on the outcome of these guys duking it out. No speaking role of note, just the prize for whoever wins.

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Join N Carolina Again in Fight Against Anti-Muni Network Laws

Like a bad rash, Time Warner is back this week trying to stifle municipal networks in North Carolina. Not only that, our less-than-competent-broadband-provider Fairpoint is trying to kill a bill this week in New Hampshire that will make it easier for municipalities in that state to pursue the broadband option of their choice. This is the same Fairpoint, with one foot over the bankruptcy grave and the other on a banana peel of abysmal service, that is fighting a broadband stimulus grant awarded to Maine. Oy!

There comes a time when we supporters of broadband have to throw down, as we say in Oaktown. Get front and center with opponents in the legislative arena by flooding e-mail boxes, phone lines and literally the halls of government to push back against incumbent efforts and push forward the rights of communities to make their own choices for broadband.

Be clear with the message

A little further down I list the names and numbers of legislators on the committee that will vote on the N. Carolina bill Wednesday. Not much time, but broadband activists in that state have a track record of rallying troops in a hurry to descend on the state house. Click here for the particulars of the N. Carolina bill.

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Even Broadband Can Use a 12-Step Program

Last week I announced Communities United for Broadband, a group dedicated to harnessing the enthusiasm for gigabit broadband Google stirred up into a national campaign for community broadband. We believe communities working together can produce higher levels of success for each community.

We’re giving people information they can put into action, links to knowledge resources, discussion tools for collaboration and to help communities move forward. We welcome those who applied for Google fiber, did the broadband stimulus dance – or not – and anyone else who wants practical steps for getting broadband into their communities.

In the past two weeks, together with my co-collaborator Jay Ovittore we focused on cheerleading to get the word out and recruit people ready to make things happen. We’re quickly closing in on 800 members. Here in week three, it’s time to transition to Instruction mode.

I developed 12 main tasks I consider integral to any successful network project, which I detail in my book, Fighting the Next Good Fight. Every week or two, Communities United for Broadband will offer instruction, columns, links and discussions, all of which communities can access, adapt and use to support their respective broadband efforts.

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