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 MuniNetworks.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We also highlight key passages and points throughout our website. Every page on MuniNetworks.org 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.
In hindsight, KPN [a Dutch telephone company] made a mistake back in 1996. We were not too enthusiastic to be forced to allow competitors on our old wireline network. That turned out not to be very wise. If you allow all your competitors on your network, all services will run on your network, and that results in the lowest cost possible per service. Which in turn attracts more customers for those services, so your network grows much faster. An open network is not charity from us, in the long run it simply works best for everybody.