Local governments do not favor themselves on taxes or right of ways or otherwise compete unfairly with incumbent telecommunications and incumbent cable companies. To the contrary, private incumbents enjoy a wealth of state and federal subsidies, guaranteed rates of return, regulated rates for pole attachments, etc. In addition, local telephone companies enjoyed years of regulated monopoly status to build positions of dominance they continue to enjoy. To pretend that these local incumbents, with their subsidies and regulated access, need to “level the playing field” to protect a “free market” against local government systems flies in the face of reality.
MuniNetworks.org currently offers a number of resources highlighting community owned broadband networks around the United States. We will be adding new features and additional resources over time. If you would like to suggest an idea or content for inclusion on the site, please contact us.
This is a collection of articles published elsewhere that we wanted to amplify because they are note-worthy. So we usually create a short explanation of why we think it important and include a link to the original piece.
We have created a clearinghouse of research and case studies that examine community broadband networks and related issues. Where possible, we include some text describing the nature of the report and link to it rather than reposting it here. We want to give credit where it is due and make sure those who created the content get credit for it.
While reports are great for those who have the time and discipline to go through them, we also wanted to highlight key passages and points. Every page on the site displays a quote pulled at random and all of our hand-picked quotes are available here.
Community Broadband Map
We produced a comprehensive map of the communities that have build wired citywide broadband networks. To this map, we have been adding additional communities that have made investments in broadband infrastructure to illustrate the many ways communities have built the networks they need. The map also displays states that have created barriers to publicly owned networks. Clicking on a state with a barrier displays a description of the barrier and cites it in law.
Some of these terms are confusing, so we created a glossary - when those terms appear for the first time on a page, they are linked to a definition that also pops up when a cursor hovers over it.
Frequently Asked Questions
No explanation necessary - read our FAQ here.
Many videos featuring lectures, short animations, and debates about municipal networks. See the videos here.
Weekly Audio Podcast
A weekly show of between 10 and 30 minutes featuring an interview with one or more people doing something interesting to improve access to the Internet for their community. All shows available here.
As we go on, we will add more resources but in the meantime, content is organized by tags.