When it comes to broadband, I’m a socialist. Why? Because broadband service in the United States is currently provided by a cableco/telco duopoly, and, as such, is slower and more expensive than in most of the developed world, studies show. Because I don't believe the FCC can fix that lack of competition within the current regulatory framework, despite the ambitious goals set forth in its National Broadband Plan. Because a reasonably-priced alternative to cable or telco broadband might be just the thing to bring competition to the industry and spur U.S. broadband cost and quality to world-class levels. Because our connectedness increasingly dictates our our economic standing in the world: Broadband is as important to us as the interstate highway system--a public works project--was to Eisenhower-era America.
Short Video Explains Community Broadband
We have developed a new video to explain why communities consider building their own broadband networks. Please pass it around, embed it in social media, and enjoy this 90 second video on the advantages of community broadband!
Presentation: Economic Development and Community Broadband
On April 28, Christopher Mitchell gave a presentation as part of the Economic Development track of the Broadband Communities Conference in Dallas regarding the role of community networks. The full panel presentation is here (along with links to all the other presentations over 2 days of economic development).
Christopher's presentation runs a little over 9 minutes:
Community Fiber Networks Are Faster, Cheaper Than Incumbents
We compare the broadband prices and speeds of community networks to incumbent providers, using examples from North Carolina that are representative of modern community fiber networks. Incumbent providers want to outlaw these networks even though many, including the Federal Communications Commission, recognize the clear benefits of allowing communities to decide locally whether such an investment makes sense.
Community Broadband, A Level Playing Field?
Communities pursuing their own broadband network are met with accusations from massive incumbent telephone and cable companies saying that it is not fair for local governments to compete against the private sector. This video shows that incumbent providers actually have all the advantages.
Community Broadband Networks and Preemption
Testimony before Commissioners Copps and Clyburn of the Federal Communications Commission at a hearing in Minneapolis on August 19, 2010. Christopher Mitchell comments focus on the need for the FCC is actually regulate in the public interest to ensure an open Internet and the right of communities to build their own broadband infrastructure when they choose.
PBS: Need to Know - High Fiber
5/13/2011 - Rick Karr, a correspondent with PBS' Need to Know, travels to Europe to investigate why some countries there have surpassed the US in fast, affordable, and reliable access to the Internet.
Christopher Mitchell Talks Munis on Democracy Now!
3/4/2013 - While at the 2013 Freedom to Connect Conference, Christopher spent some time with host Amy Goodman and Catharine Rice from SEATOA. The three discuss community owned networks and lobbying efforts to stop them.
FTTH - What is it?
The video was produced the FTTH Council of Europe for a general audience on what fiber to the home means.
PdF 2011 - Lawrence Lessig: Citizens
Lessig presents at the Personal Democracy Forum 2011 using many of the findings and graphs on this website. He reviews the recent struggles with local broadband nationwide.
Christopher Mitchell presents at FiberFête on April 20, 2011 in Lafayette, Louisiana. He reviews ILSR's work and personal experiences with broadband.
Testimonial from EPB Fiber
EPB Fiber has produced several testimonials from real Chattanooga residents on their switch.
Chippewa Valley Local Network
The University of Wisconsin Extension Service looks at Wisconsin cities pooled their resources to build a high-speed broadband network. The high-speed connections create opportunities to share applications, and open up possibilities for new uses of technology.
High Speed E-government
Another video from the Building Community Capacity through Broadband project (hosted by the University of Wisconsin Extension service) takes a look at how local governments use broadband and the importance of high capacity, reliable connections that they can actually afford.
iProvo for Dummies
Jesse Harris, of the Free UTOPIA blog, gave a presentation explaining broadband network concepts and definitions without technical jargon. He also offered a history and recent events update about iProvo in a special meeting.
Sascha Meinrath on Broadband
A short video of Sascha Meinrath discussing the power of community networks, the need for broadband competition, and why the National Broadband Plan misses the mark.
A video from Chelan shows the benefits of a publicly owned fiber-to-the-home network in a rural public utility district in Washington State. The network has literally saved lived with tele-medicine applications.
Hilarious old school video but it covers PUDs well, allows you to understand where they come from (electrical, water, etc)
Debate over Muni Broadband Competing With Private Sector
An oxford-style debate hosted by the Information Technology Innovation Foundation in Washington DC. Jim Baller and Christopher Mitchell defend local authority to build community networks over the course of a two hour debate. This is an excellent policy discussion.