The Community Networks Initiative of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance provides information to help local communities determine their best course of action with connectivity decisions that affect everyday life. By delving into what works and what doesn’t, we have documented challenges, risks, and solutions. We have developed a variety of resources for communities interested in expanding Internet access at

Frequently Asked Questions

We also answer some of the most popular questions.
What is a community network? Why fiber? What about DOCSIS 3?
Find the answers here.

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Interactive Community Network Map

We launched a comprehensive map of communities that have built wired citywide networks. We continue to add communities that have made investments in Internet access infrastructure. The map also displays key information such as barriers to community networks. Go to the community network map.

In-Depth Reports

We develop our own research and case studies, and curate a clearinghouse of others’ research. If it is not our own, we describe the report and link to it instead of reposting it. We want to give credit where it is due. Read the reports on community networks.


Fact Sheets

For a quick overview, we have created fact sheets on key issues, such as economic development, public cost savings, and financing community networks. Download community network fact sheets.


We produce a variety of videos including short animations, panel discussions, and spotlights of specific communities. The Community Connections weekly video series follows MuniNetworks expert Christopher Mitchell as he interviews key leaders, building community networks and influencing public policy. Watch Community Connections or check out select videos.


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Community Broadband Bits Podcast

This long-running weekly podcast is between 10 and 30 minutes long. MuniNetworks expert Christopher Mitchell speaks with local officials across the country, small business owners, and public policy experts on the impact of community networks. Listen to the Community Broadband Bits Podcast.



We also create infographics to share on Facebook and Twitter. Quick and easy to understand, these infographics are full of information. Choose one to share here.

Noteworthy Articles

We collect the best articles published elsewhere that focus on issues around community networks. We create a short explanation of its importance and link to the original. Read the collection here.

Key Quotes

We also highlight key passages and points throughout our website. Every page on displays a quote pulled at random about the importance of community networks and local control. Check out all of our hand-picked quotes.


Some of the terms throughout this website are technical jargon. Our glossary provides a quick overview. When those terms appear for the first time on a page, they are linked to a definition. Hover your cursor over the term to learn more: for example, Gigabit. Read the entire glossary here.


All content on is organized by tags. Save time and energy by finding related content through the tag cloud.