Island Power – April 2nd – Public Power and Broadband

Unedited drafts of potential future podcasts

Island PowerOn Saturday, April 2nd, at the Waterfront Park Community Center, the Bainbridge Island nonprofit called Island Power held a public information meeting on “Public Power and Broadband” for Bainbridge Island.

At the 2-hour open meeting, the presenters described the opportunities and issues relating to public utilities. The opportunities included: clean energy, local economic benefit, local control, cost effectiveness and reliability. The presenters explained that Island Power is seeking to give Bainbridge voters the public power choice — e.g. on this year’s November ballot — to authorize the creation of a public utility that might appropriately be called the “Bainbridge Power Board.” The not-for-profit public municipal utility could be governed by a publicly-accountable board of local residents serving on the utility board.

On this page, you’re welcome to listen to the various presentations of that session.

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(1) Opening Remarks: Barry Peters, Moderator; plus an anecdote about the neighborhood broadband service organized by David Mitchell of the Islander Residents Association and Island Power, in cooperation with Kitsap Public Utility District.

(2)  Steve Johnson: Steve is co-chair of Island Power, and this 20-minute presentation summarizes many of the advantages of public power, how Bainbridge could benefit, and how it could also lead to supplemental services like broadband internet.

(3) Larry Dunbar, the Energy Director of the Ellensburg WA public power utility, talked about key issues pertaining to public electric power and public broadband. He brings decades of experience with public utilities in the northwest.

(4) Greg Marney, the CEO of the Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet) spoke about the great potential of public high-speed fiber optic broadband internet service.

(5) Bob Hunter, the General Manager of Kitsap Public Utility District, spoke about KPUD’s role as a state-authorized wholesaler of fiber optic broadband services, and explained KPUD’s role, both as provider of a fiber backbone that currently serves public buildings, business parks and neighborhoods on Bainbridge, and also as an agency that could partner on future projects for Bainbridge neighborhoods.

(6) Barry Peters offered an example of a Bainbridge Island project – the new building for the Bainbridge Artisans Resource Network (BARN) — that will use KPUD fiber optic broadband, and Dana Hanford described the potential project for  neighborhood fiber optic broadband that his neighborhood near Bloedel Reserve is exploring with KPUD.

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