Christopher Ali on Building a More Connected World
Imagine Otherwise by Ideas on Fire · 16 minutes ·

Christopher Ali on Building a More Connected World

Even before the global COVID-19 pandemic, access to reliable, high-performance broadband internet was a necessity for many of us to be able to meaningfully participate in our workplaces, schools, and communities. The pandemic has made this even more apparent.

The digital divide separating those with access from those without is hardly a new issue but what is less often discussed is how that digital divide looks different in rural versus urban spaces.

In episode 141 of Imagine Otherwise, host Cathy Hannabach interviews Christopher Ali, who argues that rural broadband access and connectivity is a crucial social justice concern—one with implications for everything from education and healthcare to the food available for us to eat.

In the conversation, Chris and Cathy chat about why federal policy has so consistency failed to bring broadband to rural communities and what a rural broadband plan would look like that put the needs of local populations first.

Chris highlights the community groups that are connecting themselves and offering creative infrastructure models in the process.

They also discuss Chris’s unique interdisciplinary research methodology that involved a 3,600-mile road trip with his adorable hound dog Tuna.

Finally, they close out the episode with a vision for a more connected world and what it would take to get there.

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