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Broadband Boosted at the Ballot, An Election Wrap-Up – Episode 5 of the Building Local Power Podcast

| Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Nov 17, 2016 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/broadband-boosted-at-the-ballot-episode-5-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/
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Welcome to episode five of the Building Local Power podcast. For full transcript of the podcast click here.

In this episode, Chris Mitchell, the director of our Community Broadband Networks initiative, interviews Lisa Gonzalez, Senior Researcher for the Community Broadband Networks initiative about the recent election and what it means for municipal broadband networks across the nation. In this podcast, Gonzalez delves into the election results coming out of Colorado regarding the two dozen communities who voted to reclaim their broadband connectivity future. 26 additional Colorado cities and counties opted out of a restrictive, cable monopoly-supported state law, passed in 2005, that prevents these entities from providing service or partnering with the private sector.

Chris and Lisa also discuss the general election results that brought Donald Trump to the presidency, specifically noting the impact that his ascension brings to local communities’ ability to provide Internet connectivity to their residents. The two also discuss the implications of a Trump presidency on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s mission of working across partisan lines in local communities.

“A lot of this has to do with just the fact that they want to have that control,” says Gonzalez of the Colorado communities who voted to be able to control their own broadband future. “They want to be the one to make the decisions for themselves.”

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Here’s a map of the communities who have voted to reclaim their local authority:

coloradomapbig

For more information on the issues that Lisa and Chris discussed, read her piece on the Colorado vote: Colorado Voters Choose Local Control in 26 Communities. You can follow the work of our Community Broadband initiative more closely by following MuniNetworks.org.

If you missed the first couple episodes of our podcast you can find those conversations with Olivia LaVecchia here, Neil Seldman here, John Farrell here, and David Morris here. Also to see all of our episodes make sure to bookmark our Building Local Power Podcast Homepage. View the full transcript of the podcast, below.

Full Transcript of Podcast:

Lisa Gonzalez: A lot of this has to do with just the fact that they want to have that control. They want to be the ones to make the decisions for themselves. Ninety five Chris, that’s the magic number.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Ninety five is the magic number?

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Yeah.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Total communities in Colorado, is what we’re talking about?

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Yeah, yeah.

 

Christopher Mitchell: That’s a good number.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: I know. Let’s do it. I got other work to do.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Yes, you do. So, Lisa.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: That’s me.

 

Christopher Mitchell: What’s your position here?

 

Lisa Gonzalez: I’m senior researcher for the Community Broadband Networks Initiative, and well you should know that Christopher Mitchell.

 

Christopher Mitchell: And I’m Christopher Mitchell, I run the Community Broadband Networks Initiative. I’ve seen you around a few times.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Isn’t that funny, you look familiar to me too.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Yeah, I’m sure all too familiar.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: You’re in my office all the time, interrupting my hard work.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Now’s not the time to critique my management style, that would be after I fire you. The thing we want to talk about today is in fact, community broadband networks and I think, even more broadly, what’s happening in Colorado and the dynamic of cities opting out of state rules and maybe a little of what we think we might see coming from the federal government, which is kind of cities against everyone else in the world, it seems like.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Yep, maybe, it’s hard to say, we’ve talked about predictions in the past week or so since the last election and, you know, now that the chemistry has changed, who knows?

 

Christopher Mitchell: Right, well one thing that has not changed and that is the wisdom of creating local power.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: That’s right.

 

Christopher Mitchell: In fact, building local power, is what we’re going to be talking about, and how one goes about doing that. Lisa, I’m wondering if you can explain to us what internet access has to do with building local power.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Local power in terms of internet access is when a community is the one who makes the decisions, how it is they want to improve connectivity in their community.

 

Christopher Mitchell: To be clear, we’re not talking about a community that runs all the existing providers out of business.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: No, absolutely not.

 

Christopher Mitchell: This is like a public option kind of thing.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Absolutely. And, you know, lots of times, they work with private providers, and they create an environment that encourages private providers to come and to serve people and businesses in the community, but they need to be the ones to decide what happens. To use their public infrastructure, to have the right to be able to do that, and that is building local power to approve internet access.

 

Christopher Mitchell: The way I think about it is often, if you go back a hundred years, you have this thing called electricity. Electricity had been around for quite a while. You’ve got lights, you’ve got motors, you have stuff like that. It’s still not entirely clear, it may be a hundred and ten years ago, that’s going to be a big deal. That’s maybe where the internet was ten years ago when we first started working on this issue, when we said, “hey, the Internet’s gone from a nicety to a necessity”, how do you like that turn of phrase?

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Pretty snappy.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Yeah

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Pretty bright.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Pretty bright. So basically, the internet access, it’s a big deal for local economies, whether we’re talking about education access, local jobs…

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Healthcare

 

Christopher Mitchell: Healthcare, the ability of government to do services in a rapid and…

 

Lisa Gonzalez: And affordable manner.

 

Christopher Mitchell: And efficient manner, yeah, all of those things. It all comes down to internet access. Today though, I think we’re going to be talking about one state in particular because I think it provides a real window into the pent up demand. Colorado is having all these referenda, ninety five communities now having voted to reclaim authority. Now let’s start back in maybe 2005.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: In 2005, the Colorado state legislature passed a bill. The way I understand it, I think it was Comcast, was it Comcast that was the main…

 

Christopher Mitchell: Comcast is a beneficiary of it, but it was Qwest really, at the time. Just going back, the western states, most of us have US West, which turned into Qwest, which is now Century Link, but it’s an amalgamation of those companies. Embarq, CenturyTel, Sprint, a whole bunch of these landline companies got together, they formed what is today, Century Link. I think when this law was passed, it was Qwest, which lobbied for it, which was actually headquartered in Denver at the time.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Right. At the last minute, the Colorado municipal league asked for an amendment that would allow the bill to contain this provision so that local communities could have a referendum to opt out of the bill. This is SB-152. So in 2008, Glenwood Springs was the first community to actually opt out of the bill. And, ever since then, a few communities started doing this and then a few communities more and every year there’s been a few more communities. The only community that we know of that failed to pass it was Longmont and that was their first opportunity to bring it to the voters.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Right, back in 2009, practically no one else had done it. Yeah, Glenwood Springs had done it, but Longmont in many ways was the precipitating event for so many of these communities to recognize the potential.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: And now Longmont has a network that’s bringing great fiber to the home connectivity and to the community.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Right, we’ve talked about that on our podcast, Community Broadband Bits several times. Just a little bit context for people. 2004, 2005 that was this time when you were having cities talking about municipal WiFi, which was a business model that was actually largely privately owned and tended not to work because the cost of using WiFi to provide access around the city is too great to do it good, and if you don’t spend that amount of money to provide good access, nobody wants to sign up, and so, as a business model, it really turned out to be really quite terrible.

 

But, you got this major reaction from all the telephone and cable companies which are freaking out and saying “Oh my god, we can’t face competition from wireless, we have these lovely monopolies and duopolies we’ve set up”.

 

And so, we had in 2004, 2005 just battles in more than a dozen states about this issue. Many of those states passed laws that were much worse than Colorado’s and have no provision of opting out. So Colorado is fairly unique in having this opt-out provision that would allow communities, if their voters agree, to say “no, we are going to affirmatively take responsibility and we want to be able to negotiate with a provider or build our own network” because it’s important to note that many of the communities in Colorado have passed this and they haven’t gone out and built the Longmont style network. They’ve done other things.

 

You’ve written about this more than anyone. What are happening in those places? Just briefly, tell us some of the highlights of what’s happening across Colorado.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Well, Durango is doing a dark fiber network. Cortez has an open access network and so they’re also inviting providers to come and offer services on their network. A couple of the communities where the voters decided to opt out in this particular election have already started studies. That’s because they just feel like they really need to do something. But a lot of this has to do with just the fact that they want to have that control. They don’t want Denver making decisions for them.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Being the capital of Colorado.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Right, and that’s what a lot of this comes down to is a lot of them don’t even have any plans, they just know that they want to have that option down the road. They want to be the ones to make the decisions for themselves.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Right, and I think you could reasonable believe that in a state that’s served mostly by Century Link and Comcast, companies that are headquartered far outside of Colorado, that these communities recognize that if they just have the authority, they may actually get more investment from the existing providers because Century Link is like, “Oh no, if we don’t keep people happy, they’re going to build their own network”. So I think we’ve actually seen some instances in which these massive companies, like Comcast have prioritized new investments in communities that have decided to opt out.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Right. Earlier this year, Colorado Springs was talking about putting this issue on the ballot, and Comcast immediately increased their speeds. So it often just takes just a hint.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Squeaky oil gets the wheel, is what I hear.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: That’s right, just a discussion, just murmurs in the city counsel office, that’s all it takes.

 

Christopher Mitchell: There’s been discussions from people that … even if you have no plans of doing this … you should leak that you’re very seriously considering it and you may find that you’re taken more seriously by a company that, until they heard that you might do this, couldn’t locate you on a map.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: That’s right, that’s right. You know, there’s lots of reasons why they do it. In El Paso county, part of the reason why they’re doing it is they’re having issues with their public safety situation. They’ve had a couple fires, they’ve had some flooding, and because of poor connectivity, the public safety first respondents were not able to connect to each other.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Right, we actually saw the up here in Northern Minnesota, Northeastern Minnesota along the Canadian border where two of our counties were totally isolated by a single fiber cut a number of years back. And it’s amazing, without connectivity, you’re talking about no 911, no police being able to do background checks or run license plates, banks can’t do anything, ATMs don’t work, businesses can’t accept credit cards. It’s kind of a big deal when you have a problem like that.

 

Now, I just want to note, one of my favorites, Rio Blanco county has an incredible, incredible approach, which I think is very interesting because they’re very conservative and they’ve just said “we’re going to build this network”. Part of this network will be paid for by revenues from the network but part of it’s just going to be tax payer dollars. This is an issue that we see around the country where most municipal networks have been built with investor money, not using tax payer dollars. But Rio Blanco is one of a growing number of communities where they’re saying “this is so important, we’re not going to screw around with different models to try and figure out how we can keep it off the books or keep it half off the books” they said “we’re going to build this, we’re going to take it seriously, and yeah, some of our tax payer dollars, they’re going to to into it”. They’re also building an open network, which I think makes a lot of sense if you’re using tax payer dollars.

 

So, I think Colorado is just an incredible community where there’s all kinds of interesting things happening in this space. I think the Rio Blanco approach is very interesting. It’s very rural, small towns, two small towns, but getting out of Colorado, we see Madison Wisconsin, which is a much larger city, in the order of a quarter million people, and they are doing something very interesting as well. And since this is one of the rare times on Building Local Power, where we’re talking about community broadband networks. I want to spend a couple minutes on that. What is Madison doing?

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Right now they’re involved in a pilot project. They’re going to be serving 4 different areas of the city, all areas of the city where there’s higher concentration of low income residents.

 

Christopher Mitchell: In fact I think some of the highest, or the highest areas of the city.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Right, and the goal of the project in Madison is to bridge the digital divide.

 

Christopher Mitchell: And that’s pretty unique, I think.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Right, but they also have another goal, and that is to try to determine what sort of interest people have in it, what sort of benefits they get from it, and the reason why they’re doing that is because they’re considering a city-wide project. In terms of what a pilot project is, an experiment, a chance to prove the project, that’s exactly what it is in Madison.

 

Christopher Mitchell: I think one of the interesting things I find about Madison is that almost all the communities that had done this, as of a few years ago, they were almost entirely communities that had municipal power, public power, where the city itself owned and delivered electricity. And Madison’s one of those places that does not do that and we see, I don’t know, there’s probably more than ten models now, of communities that do not have a municipal electric department, but have yet found ways of making direct investments to improve access.

 

Madison’s working with a local provider, other communities like …

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Ammon

 

Christopher Mitchell: Ammon, which don’t have that, also working to enable private sector investment, I think that’s probably pretty common. There’s not a lot of places where they’re going to build up their own brand new department out of nothing, although that is a possibility, but there had been for a while this idea for people who were just sort of a little bit familiar with it, they had this sense of, if you wanted to do something to improve internet access, you had to have a municipal electric company, and that is no longer the case at all. We have plenty of models that show, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Right, and you know, even when people would contact us, just within the past few years, that was always the first thing I would ask them. Do you have a municipal electric utility? And now, I don’t feel so pressured to say that.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Right, cause you could say “Hey, check out what Santa Monica did, check out what Madison’s doing, look at what Mount Vernon did, look what Ammon Idaho did”. Mount Vernon Washington, I should be very clear…

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Right. And that’s been there a long time.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Oh, yeah, almost, well, it’s probably like 17 years. I always want to say going on 20 years, but, they’re getting close. And they were in the New York Times. This is one of the greatest things. You want to talk about building local power, New York Times goes to Mount Vernon to interview them, talks to a local business, which moved to Mount Vernon, this small town in Skagit county, and says “why did you want to come here and take service from this city”, actually service from a private provider that is using municipal infrastructure to deliver it. And the business owner says “well, if something goes wrong, I walk out of my business, I walk down the street, I walk into city hall, I talk to someone who can solve the problem. It’s really quite nice”.

 

It’s not that surprising that nearly a hundred municipalities in Colorado have opted out. We haven’t see a hundred municipal networks. We’ve seen, on the order of, I’d say like ten so far that are either being built or already have started being built with a variety of models, and I think we’re going to see several more from the feasibility studies that we’re seeing. But there’s clearly a lot of enthusiasm, and I’d say that enthusiasm is only growing. Because this is the first show that we’re recording after Donald Trump’s candidacy, really surprised the nation, won the election.

 

I think it’s going to be a whole different world than we expected, in part because we have a republican president, a republican congress, meaning both senate and house. And so, I would expect that we’re going to see a lot of things happening that are actually contrary to what cities want, cities generally being collections of more progressive people that are voting democrat, and we’ve already seen a history of the fights between cities and states, particularly blue cities in red states. I’m just curious if you want to forecast anything, or any of your reactions to what we might expect from this sudden change with a Trump administration.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: I’m not ready to do that yet. This is still kind of tossing around in my head. When we were looking at Colorado the day after the election and we were looking at all of these results, these county results. County after county was electing the Republican candidate.

 

Christopher Mitchell: I think it’s really worth noting what you were just saying. Which is, as we were watching the results, what did you see in terms of the difference between those that supported Trump versus Hillary in terms of their support of this local autonomy when it comes to broadband internet network?

 

Lisa Gonzalez: There was support for Hillary in some areas and Donald Trump in other areas. There’s support for local authority for both Republicans and Democrats. At the local level, yes, the support is there. At the federal level, who knows? How will the two interact?

 

Christopher Mitchell: Right, this is something that I think we’ve long seen, which is that you and I frequently talk with Republicans when we work on this issue.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: We do, yeah, especially out in the western states.

 

Christopher Mitchell: They are all incredibly supportive of this in terms of decision making. They may not want to do a Chattanooga did in terms of building a network and having the city operate it and everything else, but they want to make that decision themselves. Now when you go to the state level, republicans tend to be the ones that have pushed through restrictions preventing communities from being able to make this decision. And when you go to the federal level, then you really have a partisan divide where it has really been, literally every person who excoriated the FCC for supporting municipal broadband was a republican, basically, from what I remember.

 

I hate being so categorical with that, but that is what we saw. We saw extreme whips when it came to votes around this issue where it was very party lined at the federal level. So this is one of those areas where I really hope that … the Institute for Local Self Reliance, we work with independents, we work with democrats, we work with republicans. Fundamentally, we want to see local power and what that means is going to be different in Boulder than it would be in Rio Blanco county. I’m okay with that, I think people should make up their minds locally to the best that they can and this is one of those issues where I think we will still have that ability to work locally with all kinds of different people.

 

But I do worry that, when you look at some of the republicans that take so much money from the cable and telephone companies at the federal level …

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Oh yeah, absolutely.

 

Christopher Mitchell: I’m really worried that we’re going to see attempts to restrict what republicans can do at the local level, and I just think that there’s a major contradiction in the republican party that we just do not see in the democratic party on this issue.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: I agree with you there.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Hey listeners, I just wanted to note that as we talk about recommendations, Lisa Gonzalez and I got into a bit of a discussion, but it talks about the election, a little bit of issues of race and identity and how we wrestle with that, how we respect people who disagree with us and that sort of thing. I think it’s worth noting that I am without a party, I am a fiercely independent and critical of everyone in my life including all political parties. I think some people who listen to this might just assume that we’re all democrats, or all republicans, who knows, but we have a diversity of thought and we’re trying to wrestle with being surprised at the election. If you’re only interested in what local cities can do, feel free to stop listening. But if you want to hear a little bit about two people talking about being surprised by the election and the results and how to talk about America’s history, race issues, and some of the things moving forward, Lisa Gonzalez and I discuss that right now.

 

So Lisa, let’s talk about a reading recommendation, which is something that we mean to do at the end of each show, but your host, Christopher Mitchell, I failed to ask David. I was so caught up in talking about the non-partisan league in North Dakota that I just forgot to ask him for a reading recommendation. So now, you have a heavier weight on your shoulders to make up for the missed show, and to recommend to people who are listening. What should they be reading?

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Anna Karenina.

 

Christopher Mitchell: They’ve had time now to read it so…

 

Lisa Gonzalez: No, we had this conversation before that I feel like my …

 

Christopher Mitchell: You hate books …

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Right, I hate books … that my education was really lacking as far as American history goes. Right? We’ve had this conversation. So that’s kind of like all I feel like I’ve been reading over the past couple of years. But I feel like, considering how, after this election, we are so divided. I feel like there’s a couple of books that people could benefit from.

 

Christopher Mitchell: A couple of books?

 

Lisa Gonzalez: A whole bunch of them!

 

Christopher Mitchell: You’re going to come up with a page total that is the same as Anna Karenina.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: No, these are actually short books. The first one is … after the things that Donald Trump has said and how he’s been considered to be less than inclusive when it comes to …

 

Christopher Mitchell: Woah, woah, woah, let’s be clear about this right? The man ran on a campaign in which he made racists statements and it was uncovered that he has made misogynist statements in the past.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Yes

 

Christopher Mitchell: I don’t want to gloss over that. He is going to be the president of the United States. There are some who have said that the institution shapes the person more than the person will shape the institution. That’s entirely possible that will happen. And, I’m not going to say he’s not my president any more than I’ve said any other person is not my president because fundamentally, I’d like to see a smaller federal government. So, I would just say, I think we can be very honest that he has said things that I would say are horrible. That doesn’t mean he’s not going to be our president, and so, we can just leave it at that.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: OK, well I’m glad that you said that because that gives me freedom to rant if I choose to.

 

Christopher Mitchell: OK.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: But, I was just trying to be diplomatic.

 

Christopher Mitchell: That’s not something I accept.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: You don’t accept diplomacy from me, or just in general?

 

Christopher Mitchell: Oh, I’m a very bad person.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: The first book I recommend is the Journals of Captain John Smith, and the reason why I recommend it is because it gives people an idea of how our country started. It gives people an idea of the way that these people who we say that we are, us, especially when I say that in terms of the white voters who were the ones who elected Trump. We came here with a specific agenda, we came here and we treated people who were already here in a certain way, and we brought people here for a certain purpose. And I feel that things haven’t changed that much.

 

Christopher Mitchell: So, I would just add on to that, because I feel like this is an incredibly important issue and I think it’s worth grappling with the issues that we continue to have around race and also, I think, just the ideas of who an American is.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Right

 

Christopher Mitchell: Which is one of my big bugaboos is that I am very frustrated in that I think that people think of white men as being Americans and everyone else as sort of being American-ish. I just want to say that I’ve traveled a lot of places in this world. Not as many as everyone, of course, but I’ve seen a lot of things. I’ve spent 4 months in the Middle East, I’ve been to Africa, I’ve been to Istanbul, I’ve been in Europe, I’ve been in a lot of different places. And, one of the things I’ve seen is that, I think people, when you criticize America, they think that we are suggesting that America is worse than other places. I just want to be very clear that I think America has some work to do to live up to its ideals, but frankly, and I’m the kind of person, I think with my skills, I really could live pretty much anywhere on the planet, I do not want to leave this country, I love this country. So let’s just be clear about that.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: I agree. America is one of the best places to be, but we also need to face the fact that this is where we came from.

 

Christopher Mitchell: We still have work to do and that we do have this history which makes people uncomfortable.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Right, absolutely. We are not like these perfect little babes that came out of the egg and this is how wonderful we are, you know?

 

Christopher Mitchell: This is a little bit beside the point for Building Local Power, in the sense that this is something that I think all of America is working through, this discussion that you and I are having, it’s a little bit off to the side of the podcast, but I hope this is useful for people who are trying to get a sense of how we’re wrestling with it.

 

As people who, we … I believe that many of the people that voted for Trump are good people. At the same time, I think that we have significant racial issues to overcome as a country and so I think that’s why we’re including this. It would be easy for us to just delete this and to not do this section, but I think this is a part of Building Local Power, is figuring out how to work together. If you still live in one of those communities that has diversity, political diversity, we need to be able to talk to each other, and too much of America, frankly, is becoming either blue or red. And we need to be able to talk to each other with respect and to look at these sorts of things. So, as a host, I’m just trying to think out loud as to why I think this section belongs in our podcast.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Right, and I think the only reason it belongs here right now is because of the election. The results of this election just held a mirror up to what we should have acknowledged years ago. We aren’t as far as we think we are, and there’s reasons for that. It’s ingrained within us.

 

Christopher Mitchell: I agree, and when you say we aren’t as far as we think we are.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: We thought we were.

 

Christopher Mitchell: We thought we were, I just think it’s worth noting that people have been very frustrated with where we were.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: Absolutely. For sure. It depends on who you are, where you thought we were.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Right. So, and there’s people who are probably listening to this who are very happy with the change that’s coming, and I certainly hope that the change that’s coming is the best of what could be expected rather than the worst of what could be expected.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: I agree.

 

So, my other recommendation is sort of similar and it’s called America at 1750, A Social Portrait. And it’s by Richard Hofstadter, and it was actually the first of what was to be a 3 volume book about American history and politics. It just takes that same theme and moves it down the road a little bit. What were the people who helped build the country … right before the American Revolution … our history is much more diverse than we think it is. People just don’t remember that because we weren’t there. It’s not only race, it also has to do with what it’s like to be a woman and all that. Every once in a while, I think we need to go back in time and learn a little bit about how we got to where we are now.

 

Christopher Mitchell: I agree, and since I’m the host, I haven’t asked myself this question before, let me throw in a third book for people who are interested in American history, and that is Founding Finance which is a very short book, I believe it’s by Hogeland.

 

For me, it was fascinating in understanding some of the big issues that we fight about, and we’re going to be fighting about over the next few years, debt and the role of the federal government and a lot of those issues. And I think that Founding Finance will surprise a lot of people in terms of the history of how the federal government was envisioned, the early decisions that were made and how, in dealing with money, how that really set the course and then how that’s changed over the years. In many ways, it’s kind of fascinating how ideas have changed in terms of the proper role of debt and what the role of debt is and who supports debt versus opposes it.

 

And so, anyway, this has been a fascinating discussion Lisa Gonzalez. I’m really glad that you were able to join us for Building Local Power. I think this was the right discussion at the right time, so thank you for coming on.

 

Lisa Gonzalez: And thank you for having me. I’m sure I’ll see you. One of these days.

 

Christopher Mitchell: Yeah, right now in fact. [laughing]

 

Hannah: That was Lisa Gonzalez, senior researcher from the Community Broadband Networks Initiative talking with Christopher Mitchell about local telecommunications authority in Colorado and elsewhere. For episode number 5 of our Building Local Power podcast.

 

Learn more about community networks at our website communitynetworks.org where we describe how communities across America have created their own broadband networks to insure access to affordable, fast, reliable connectivity.

 

Subscribe to this podcast and all of the podcasts in the ILSR podcast family on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you get your podcasts. Never miss out on our original research by also subscribing to our monthly newsletter at ilsr.org. Thanks Dysfunction Al for the music license through Creative Commons. The song is Funk Interlude. I am Hannah Trostle from The Institute for Local Self Reliance. Thanks again for listening to the Building Local Power podcast.

 

Audio Credit: Funk Interlude by Dysfunction_AL Ft: Fourstones – Scomber (Bonus Track). Copyright 2016 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license.