Reports Highlighted by MuniNetworks.org

Burlington Telecom Case Study

Publication Date: 
September 1, 2007
Author(s): 
Christopher Mitchell - Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Burlington Telecom, a city department in the largest city of Vermont, offers a world class fiber-to-the-home network offering cable television, fast broadband, and telephone services. This case study explains how they did it.

ILSR issued a report in 2011 that updates this case study: Learning from Burlington Telecom: Some Lessons for Community Networks

Localizing the Internet: Five Ways Public Ownership Solves the U.S. Broadband Problem

Publication Date: 
January 15, 2007
Author(s): 
Becca Vargo Daggett

A new report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance argues that a publicly owned information infrastructure is the key to healthy competition, universal access, and non-discriminatory networks.

“Localizing the Internet: Five Ways Public Ownership Solves the U.S. Broadband Problem” notes that high speed broadband is becoming ever more widespread. But, it argues, the way in which that broadband is introduced may be as important as whether it is introduced.

Is Publicly Owned Information Infrastructure A Wise Public Investment for San Francisco?

Publication Date: 
August 14, 2006
Author(s): 
Becca Vargo Daggett

San Francisco has launched an initiative to provide wireless access everywhere in the city. A number of Supervisors and residents have raised the possibility of the City following in the footsteps of over 200 other U.S. cities that already own information networks. To date, the City has not addressed that question, or at least no such study has been forthcoming.

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Publication Date: 
August 10, 2006
Author(s): 
Common Cause

Cable, telephone and Internet industry giants are fiercely lobbying, using every tool at their disposal to gain a competitive advantage in telecom reform legislation. Some of those tools are easy to spot - campaign contributions, television ads that run only inside the Beltway, and meetings with influential members of Congress. Other tactics are more insidious.

The Need to Permit Broadband from Public Entities

Publication Date: 
May 22, 2006
Author(s): 
Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Esq. - Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
Marjorie Heins, Esq. - Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law

This report was written by Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Esq. and Marjorie Heins, Esq. of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law to inform a Nebraska Task Force tasked with evaluating a ban on municipally owned broadband networks throughout the state of Nebraska. Unfortunately, the Task Force was stacked with proponents for privately owned networks and seemed unable to consider any other viewpoints (more details here. From the Executive Summary:

The Case for Public Fiber-to-the-User Systems

Publication Date: 
March 6, 2006
Author(s): 
Jim Baller - Baller Herbst Law Group
Casey Lide - Baller Herbst Law Group

Jim Baller and Casey Lide are two of the foremost experts on municipal broadband systems in the United States. This report offers a clear and rational defense of publicly owned broadband systems. The discussion takes on philosophical, economic, and pragmatic arguments and comes to the conclusion that communities should not be prevented from building their own networks.

Who Will Own Minnesota's Information Highways?

Publication Date: 
June 13, 2005
Author(s): 
David Morris
Becca Vargo Daggett

Competitive broadband service and pricing is within reach of most Minnesotans if anti-competitive polices and practices are removed and municipal governments build broadband infrastructure, according to a new report released today by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). The findings are contained in "Who Will Own Minnesota's Information Highways?", a report issued by the New Rules Project of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

"Minneapolis and Saint Paul have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop an affordable, high quality broadband infrastructure that would benefit city offices, consumers and businesses," said co-author Becca Vargo Daggett, a former information systems administrator for a private company.

Community Broadband: Bridging the Digital Divide

Publication Date: 
May 17, 2005
Author(s): 
Digital Divide Committee: Lafayette

In 2005, when Lafayette, Louisiana was considering a community broadband network, it created an excellent report discussing how a publicly owned network can work to improve digital inclusion. Six years later, the report remains well worth reading.

Public ownership provides more tools for making sure advances in communications technology benefits everyone.

Report Overview

Telco Lies and the Truth about Municipal Broadband Networks

Publication Date: 
May 11, 2005
Author(s): 
Ben Scott, Free Press
Frannie Wellings, Free Press

The telecom and cable kings of the broadband industry have failed to bridge the digital divide and opted to serve the most lucrative markets at the expense of universal, affordable access. As a result, local governments and community groups across the country have started building their own broadband networks, sometimes in a purely public service and more often through public-private partnerships. The incumbents have responded with an aggressive lobbying and misinformation campaign. Advocates of cable and DSL providers have been activated in several state capitols to push new laws prohibiting or severely restricting municipalities from serving their communities. Earlier this year, Verizon circulated a “fact sheet” to lawmakers, journalists and opinion leaders proclaiming the so-called “failures” of public broadband. Many of the statistics come from a widely discredited study of municipal cable TV networks published in 1998. This paper debunks these lies case by case, juxtaposing information direct from the city networks with quotations from the telco propaganda. The results are unequivocal and damning.

Pages