Today we invited John St. Julien, of Lafayette Pro Fiber fame, on episode 19 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. John was an essential piece of the organizing effort in Lafayette’s efforts to build its own community fiber network. In many ways, he has worked to ensure the “community” piece is emphasized over the “fiber” piece.
John and I discuss the organizing effort in Lafayette that led to their successful referendum in 2005, including some lessons for others who want to organize their own communities. We also talk about some of the lengths that big cable and telephone companies will go to stop communities. In the course of our discussion, we talk about a push poll that backfired on those trying to scare voters — we made the full audio available here.
John will be back on a future show to offer more thoughts on how local activists can work within the community to encourage a local, publicly owned solution.
For background on the LUS Fiber network in Lafayette, we strongly recommend our Broadband at the Speed of Light report, which features a case study of the network. Also, four episodes ago, we interviewed Geoff Daily about his work to develop apps on the LUS Fiber network.
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show – please e-mail us or leave a comment below. Also, feel free to suggest other guests, topics, or questions you want us to address.
Listen to previous episodes here.
Thanks to Fit and the Conniptions for the music, licensed using Creative Commons.