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[News] Community Minded: Sohn’s Persistent Push for Public Broadband Networks

Photo of a reel of conduit ready for installation.

The following article was published by Cablefax:

It has been a year since former FCC Commissioner nominee Gigi Sohn took on the role of first executive director for the American Association of Public Broadband, an upstart coalition of municipal broadband providers. She’s committed to spreading the word to communities about how they can benefit from network ownership while fighting against critics of such arrangements. Cablefax chatted with her about what she’s learned so far and the impact the loss of the Affordable Connectivity Program could have on efforts to deliver broadband to every American. Sohn will share more of her insights at Cablefax’s American Broadband Congress on June 13 in DC.

Shortly after joining AAPB, you set a goal of doubling the number of community-owned broadband networks over a five-year period. How is that going?

Let me clarify one thing: after nearly a year on the job, it became obvious to me that doubling the number of community-owned broadband networks in five years was not going to be feasible. So, I’ve revised our goal to double the number of households served by community-owned broadband in five years. That is still a lofty goal, but one that is certainly attainable. This spring, AAPB published a handbook called: “Own Your Internet: How to Build a Public Broadband Network.” This plain-language primer outlines the decisions a community must make, and the steps it must take, to build a public broadband network. The handbook is a key part of our strategy and will encourage more communities to consider building their own networks.

The full article is available here.


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