How Activism and Community Empowerment Brought Anacortes, Washington 21st Century Broadband – Episode 468 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

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On this week’s episode of the Community Broadband Bits podcast, Christopher Mitchell is joined by Bruce McDougall, Anacortes City Council Member to speak about the journey to build a 21st century infrastructure in this small community in Washington by advocating for a municipally owned and operated fiber optic network.

McDougall talks about the power municipal networks hold to be an economic driver, by connecting business districts and residents and attracting more investment in the area. He recaps his advocacy both as a citizen and ultimately, a city council member, and further details the process of educating city council and the mayor about community broadband, which involved everything from ‘Broadband 101’ presentations to immersive visits to neighboring communities who had successfully built their own citywide fiber optic infrastructure.

The two talk about the success of Anacortes’ network, Access-Anacortes which started connecting customers in early 2020, lessons learned and hopes for expansion in the near future with funding from the federal infrastructure bill.

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Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

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