Governments build roads, sewer systems and occasionally power grids. So why not a communications infrastructure in a era when the Internet is considered a must?
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Sandy, Oregon developed its own municipal fiber network and brought a gig to the community for under $60. Sandy is one of the few municipal FTTH networks that has been built without having a municipal electric department. This video, made in cooperation with Next Century Cities, shares their story of local self-reliance.
In a video calling for "Broadband Equity," the Tennessee Fiber Optic Communities have released a video explaining why communities must have their local Internet choice restored.
We encourage you to Like and Follow their campaign on Facebook.
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!
Glasgow, Kentucky, was the first community broadband network and also appears to have been the first city in the United States with citywide broadband access. This 10 minute video explores their story. Watch the video on Vimeo here.
On April 28, 2012, 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The video was produced the FTTH Council of Europe for a general audience on what fiber to the home means.
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.
EPB Fiber has produced several testimonials from real Chattanooga residents on their switch.
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.
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.
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.
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.