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.