Podcast #21 – Rethinking Municipal Broadband Internet with Chris Mitchell

windom net van

A van for Windom, MN’s co-op broadband network.

The podcast this week is a conversation with Chris Mitchell, director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, or the ILSR. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is a Minneapolis and DC based think tank that focuses on bringing infrastructure and community decision-making back to the local level on a whole host of issues, ranging from energy to waste recycling to supporting locally owned businesses. Chris also blogs most days at the ILSR’s broadband HQ, Muninetworks.org.

I sat down with him today in his office in Minneapolis’ Seward Neighborhood to talk about the monopoly-laden history of fiberoptic investments in the US, the frustrating failure of Minneapolis’s public/private wi-fi system, and what cities in Minnesota, small and large, can do to gain access to better broadband internet access. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

The link to the audio is here. You can subscribe to the whole enchilada on iTunes.

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.