Community Conversations Podcast
Joe Oliva, Community Broadband Fellow, shares with us a new episode from the podcast he produces for the Maine Broadband Coalition, which features conversations with leaders in the effort to make broadband services more equitable.
Governor Mills’ ambitious goal of connecting every corner of Maine to high-speed, affordable internet by 2024 requires the type of all-hands-on-deck approach that the Maine Broadband Coalition models and champions. As a repository of information and resources; a virtual meetinghouse for volunteers, development professionals, and community leaders; and a workshop for communities to build and hone the tools necessary to advocate for their best interests, the Coalition plays an invaluable role in ushering Maine into the digital reality of the 21st century. I hope that the Community Conversations podcast can play a part in that, however small. Highlighting successful community-driven projects, getting advice from tech professionals, and chatting big-picture with development officers is meant to show that the resources out there for anybody to draw on. Collaboration creates community, and communities create change.
In the most recent episode I sat down with Tim McAfee, CEO of Pioneer Broadband:
“A connection to the internet that an end-user can quietly enjoy,” is the way that Tim McAfee, CEO of Pioneer Broadband, defines broadband connection. Though he admits that it’s a non-technical definition, it gets to the heart of how he believes broadband should be viewed.
Operating out of Houlton, in Aroostook County, Pioneer Broadband is committed to providing premium broadband service in one of Maine’s most rural counties. Advocating for open-access fiber networks, Tim speaks at length about topics ranging from the challenges of connecting rural communities, to shifting funding landscapes, to the value of competition and choice in the marketplace.
Through his years of experience working at the helm of a local ISP serving rural Maine, Tim shares some of the lessons he's learned and makes a case for the importance of considering broadband a public good.
To hear more episodes, visit the Maine Broadband Coalition's blog.
Joe is a Mainer through and through. He was born in Portland and grew up in Yarmouth after his parents figured that a two-bedroom apartment wouldn't fit their newborn twins and an older brother. He went on to study Government at Colby College, and thereafter moved back to Portland, where he lives now. In his free time, he enjoys making music, riding his bike, and enjoying a hot cup of coffee on a cool morning. He has worked behind a deli counter, pouring beers at a brewery, and as an organizer during the 2020 campaign season. Each of these experiences brought a new love and appreciation for the people, places, and ways of being that make Maine special. Joe is, above all else, looking forward to serving the communities that he feels very lucky to call home.