Tag: "jobs"

Posted February 1, 2021 by sean

For communities across the country considering whether to invest in building a municipal broadband network, a new study published last week on the economic value of the EPB fiber network in America’s first “gig city” is a must-read.

The independent study, conducted by Bento Lobo, Ph.D., head of the Department of Finance and Economics at the Rollins College of Business at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, found that the celebrated city-owned fiber network has delivered Chattanoogans a $2.69 billion return on investment in its first decade.

In 2010, EPB Fiber, a division of Chattanooga’s city-owned electric and telecommunications utility formerly known as the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, became the first city in the United States to build a Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) network offering up to 1 Gig upload and download speeds. In 2015, EPB began offering up to 10 Gig speeds.

It cost approximately $220 million to build the network, however, “the true economic value of the fiber optic infrastructure for EPB’s customers is much greater than the cost of installing and maintaining the infrastructure,” Lobo said. “Our latest research findings show that Chattanooga’s fiber optic network provides additional value because it provides high speeds, with symmetrical uploads and downloads, and a high degree of network responsiveness which are necessary for the smart grid and other cutting-edge business, educational and research applications.”

Among the study’s key findings:

  • Job creation and retention: The fiber optic infrastructure directly supported the creation and retention of 9,516 jobs which is about 40% of all jobs created in Hamilton County during the study period.
  • Lower unemployment rate: According to the study, since Chattanooga’s fiber optic network was deployed, it has helped keep the local unemployment rate lower. This effect...
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Posted January 5, 2021 by Ry Marcattilio-...

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national nonprofit working to empower communities by striking at the roots of monopoly power. We use in-depth research, reporting, and data analysis to work with communities as well as produce influential reports and articles. Our analyses are frequently featured in national news media and sought out by policymakers. We work closely with a broad range of allies to move these ideas and policies.

ILSR is looking for a Broadband Writer/Researcher within the U.S. to join a growing team within ILSR focused on ensuring all Americans have fast, affordable, and reliable Internet access. This person will work with Sean Gonsalves and Ry Marcattilio-McCracken to develop research as well as create short- and long-form content focused on improving Internet access both in urban and rural areas. This might seem like a dry and technical issue, but it is a vibrant and exciting field that is also one of this generation’s biggest equity and justice challenges.

Check out the job duties and skills needed below.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Writing stories for MuniNetworks.org, a clearinghouse of the latest news, comprehensive reports, and statistics about community broadband networks.
  • Writing and collaborating with the team on larger reports.
  • Managing research ongoing on the cities and cooperative that are building networks.
  • Monitoring an overwhelming number of Google alerts and other streams of information to keep track of local developments around community networks.
  • Working with the team to develop and review research projects and creative efforts to share our work.

A successful candidate is:

  • An exceptionally good writer with the ability to convey complex ideas in a clear and compelling way. Able to write quickly when needed.
  • Able to design, undertake, and complete original research with little direction on familiar topics.
  • Has experience with research and writing projects that make use of sources like news coverage, legislation, agency reports, municipal documents, etc.
  • Possesses a genuine enjoyment of collaboration with a willingness to give and receive honest feedback. Skilled at helping team members improve the articles they contribute.
  • Passionate about the ILSR’s mission of countering corporate monopolies and building community power.
  • ...
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Posted September 9, 2020 by Ry Marcattilio-...

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is looking for a Broadband Writer/Editor to join a small team within ILSR focused on ensuring all Americans have fast, affordable, and reliable Internet access. 

With Katie leaving to add her acumen, insight, and research skills to ILSR's Energy Democracy team across the virtual hall, there's a signifcant void to fill. Coverage of electric cooperatives here might never recover, and we'll certainly miss her.

Check out the job duties and skills needed below.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Writing stories for MuniNetworks.org, a clearinghouse of the latest news, comprehensive reports, and statistics about community broadband networks.
  • Writing and collaborating with the team on larger reports.
  • Managing research ongoing on the cities and cooperative that are building networks.
  • Monitoring an overwhelming number of Google alerts and other streams of information to keep track of local developments around community networks.
  • Working with the team to develop and review research projects and creative efforts to share our work.

A successful candidate is:

  • An exceptionally good writer with the ability to convey complex ideas in a clear and compelling way. Able to write quickly when needed.
  • Attentive to accuracy, detail, and nuance.
  • Strongly motivated.
  • A strong analytic thinker who can identify the pivotal questions and gaps in a piece.
  • Possesses a genuine enjoyment of collaboration with a willingness to give and receive honest feedback. Skilled at helping team members improve the articles they contribute.
  • Passionate about the ILSR’s mission of countering corporate monopolies and building community power.
  • Enthusiastic about puns, alliteration, or some other means of playing with words.

Preferred qualifications:

  • More than 1 year of experience in journalism or writing and editing – ideally on broadband policy, tech, or related fields.
  • Strong knowledge of public policy processes or a tech/telecom background.
  • A bachelor’s degree.

This position is full-time working with a team based in Minnesota, but we currently work remotely and welcome applications from anywhere within the U.S. Position includes 100% employer-paid health plan,...

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Posted June 15, 2020 by Katie Kienbaum

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) is looking for a new Research and Policy Director to help raise awareness of digital equity issues and support digital inclusion practitioners across the country.

The position is full time and remote, with an expected salary range of $60,000 - $65,000, dependent on experience.

For more information and to apply, visit NDIA’s website. NDIA will consider applications on a rolling basis.

Position Details

According to NDIA, responsibilities of the Research and Policy Director include:

  • Conducts statistical research and analysis to guide and support NDIA’s advocacy as well as affiliate development.
  • Learning from NDIA’s affiliates and in collaboration with affiliates and partners, conduct and guide development of NDIA’s policy positions. Written work includes official comments to government agencies, white papers, blog posts, and guidebooks.
  • Contributes to the NDIA website and social presence by publishing blog posts and assists with other communication tasks as requested.
  • Participates in local, state, and national meetings and conferences.
  • Speaks at events and on webinars.
  • Works with partners and policymakers to identify how policies can be improved to support digital inclusion work.
  • Monitors and engages on federal, state, and local policies that impact digital equity and the efforts of our affiliates.
  • Speaks with media to explain on the ground digital inequities and advocate for needed policy changes.
  • Support NDIA’s national conference, Net Inclusion, by helping craft the agenda, identify speakers and encourage participation.

Desired qualifications:

  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to convey technical information to a variety of audiences.
  • Strong data analysis experience and skills. May include work with large datasets, GIS mapping programs, demographic studies, and similar.
  • Demonstrated understanding of how to advocate for policy at the...
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Posted March 17, 2020 by Katie Kienbaum

Ready to see your name in lights? (Okay, okay, just 12 point font.)

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is seeking a Broadband Writer and Editor to join the Institute’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Community Broadband Networks team works to ensure all Americans have fast, affordable, and reliable Internet access by researching, reporting, and advising on issues such as community-owned broadband, network neutrality, and universal access. The new Broadband Writer and Editor will manage our site, MuniNetworks.org, and work closely with rest of our small but dedicated team.

View the listing on ILSR.org or below.

Responsibilities:

  • Managing MuniNetworks.org (this site!), a clearinghouse of the latest news, comprehensive reports, and statistics about community broadband networks. This includes researching, interviewing people over the phone, and authoring articles as well as managing posts, podcasts, and research material created by the team (65%)
  • Managing our archive of materials about municipal networks, cooperative networks, and other approaches in the broadband area (10%)

    Monitoring an overwhelming number of Google alerts and other streams of information to keep track of local developments around community networks (15%)

  • Working with the team to develop and review research projects and creative efforts to share our work. (10%)

A Successful Candidate Is:

  • An exceptionally good writer with the ability to convey complex ideas in a clear and compelling way. Able to write quickly when needed.
  • Attentive to accuracy, detail, and nuance.
  • A strong analytical thinker who can identify the pivotal questions and gaps in a piece.
  • Possesses a genuine enjoyment of collaboration with a willingness to give and receive honest feedback. Skilled at helping team members improve the articles they contribute.
  • Passionate about ILSR’s mission of countering corporate monopolies and building community power.
  • Enthusiastic about puns, alliteration, or some other means of playing with words.
  • Interested in helping to produce and potentially edit podcasts.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • More than 3 years of experience in journalism...
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Posted January 14, 2020 by lgonzalez

If you're a regular visitor to MuniNetworks.org, you may also be someone ideally suited for a position we recently learned about with the Minnesota Department of Commerce. They're hiring a Telecommunications Analyst. The position application period is open until January 23, 2020, so now is the time to apply.

Check out the position posting here, where you can learn more about qualifications, salary, and benefits.

From the job summary:

This position performs a variety of tasks to fulfill the Department's statutory responsibilities with respect to the telecommunications marketplace. The telecommunications unit seeks to protect consumers from abusive tactics, and works to advance competition in a manner that is consistent with the public interest. The successful applicant will review new and existing telecommunications carrier petitions to determine compliance with statutory requirements and Minnesota rules.  The position will investigate problems experienced by consumers, and competitors in the marketplace; draft reports for actions before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission; and enforce statutes, rules and Commission orders.

Good luck and remember, the application deadline is January 23, 2020.

Posted December 30, 2019 by lgonzalez

When it comes to opportunity for startups, the folks at Inc. Magazine turned to Startup Genome, an innovation policy company that examines important factors to develop its Surge Cities index. Startup Genome looked at seven of the most important indicators, including seed funding and job creation, and created a top-50 list of places most friendly for startups. Chattanooga came in at 36 on the list, mostly due to its fiber optic network.

Inc.com described Chattanooga as the Gig City "where approachability meets opportunity" and went on to write:

In 2010, Chattanooga became the first U.S. city to offer inexpensive gigabit-speed internet to all of its residents. Since then, the Tennessean city's economy has flourished, entrepreneurial activity has spiked, and resources for startups have proliferated. These include the Company Lab, a nonprofit accelerator that hosts Chattanooga’s annual Startup Week, and the INCubator, a massive 127,000-square-foot complex currently housing 55 startups, including 3-D printed builder Branch Technology, which has $9.5 million in funding. Today, it ranks 25th in the country for net business creation. Entrepreneurs are also drawn to the area because of its big city culture and small town vibe, says Alexis Willis, director of small business and entrepreneurship at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. “Hearing about Chattanooga's [high-speed] internet may have brought them here, but then they’re like, ‘I want to move my whole family here’ and they end up sticking around,” she says. --Cameron Albert-Deitch

According to the Executive Director of CO.LAB Marcus Shaw, the EPB Fiber Optic network turned a congenial city into one roaring for entrepreneurs. "The gig was the impetus for this next generation of entrepreneurship," Shaw said. "This modern era of entrepreneurship is less than 10 years old, and where we've come in 10 years is phenomenal."

CO.LAB works with startups, offering courses on the information and skills that help innovators breed success in new endeavors.

Startup Genome looked at these factors when considering what cities made the list:

  • Job Creation
  • Population Growth
  • Net Business Creation
  • Rate of Entrepreneurship
  • Wage Growth
  • High-...
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Posted December 23, 2019 by Jess Del Fiacco

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance seeks a GIS and Data Visualization Intern to support ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative in Minneapolis, MN. We are looking for candidates that have a passion for policy and visualizing data. We work on a wide range of issues including universal Internet access, network neutrality, and municipal broadband. You will be working alongside the GIS and Data Visualization Researcher for the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the opportunity to learn aspects of GIS and data analysis specific to a public policy setting.  We strongly value a diverse workforce and are committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity. ILSR promotes an environment free of discrimination and harassment and our Minneapolis office is located in a welcoming neighborhood. 

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Create informative maps using public databases
  • Compile statistics related to Internet access
  • Work creatively with the Community Broadband Networks Team to develop visual resources to educate policymakers and activists on issues around Internet access
  • Do ongoing research for longer reports and projects
  • Occasional projects for other initiatives as needed

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Strong writing, research, and communications skills
  • Proficiency with statistics and GIS applications, experience cleaning data
  • Background knowledge of public policy and/or economics (preferred, but not required)
  • Creative - graphics, videos, audio, maps, etc.
  • Ability to work independently and juggle multiple tasks
  • Enthusiasm for policy work to improve Internet access for everyone
  • Experience using Python or R is a plus

You do not need to know much about broadband policy or telecommunications when you start.

COMPENSATION:

Position includes 15-20 hour work week, a $15/ hour wage and a dynamic workforce of dedicated and friendly policy wonks trying to make the world a better place. 

TO APPLY:

Please use the subject line “Mapping and Data Research Intern” when sending your materials to mandrews(at)ilsr.org. Include a cover letter, resume, and example of a map or data visualization product. Applications are due Friday, January 17, 2020 but we will begin to review applicant materials before the deadline. Never hurts to try. Please do...

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Posted December 11, 2019 by lgonzalez

The city of Fairlawn, Ohio, has less than 8,000 residents, but daytime population swells to around 40,000 because the Akron suburb is a hotspot for commerce. When city leaders decided to develop the FairlawnGig broadband utility in 2015, they knew that it was necessary to retain businesses and they were right - the fiber optic infrastructure is spurring economic benefits. People who live in and around Fairlawn, however, are also reaping the rewards. In a video released by Corning about the city's investment, we learn more about both business and residential subscribers who make the most of the city's broadband utility.

Success in the Numbers

In addition to increased home resale values of 8.7 percent the first year and 8.2 percent in year two, 257 new jobs have come to the community within the FairlawnGig footprint. There are 15 new businesses in the community, in part because commercial subscribers can sign up for 10 gigabit per second connectivity. For Enterprise subscribers, 100 gigabit service is available. There are factors that contribute to the boon, of course, but before the municipal network utility, potential businesses cited Fairlawn's poor Internet access as a reason for locating elsewhere.

Subscribers in the community pay around 7.5 cents per Megabit per second (Mbps); in the past they paid around $4.23 per Mbps from the incumbent. Residential subscribers can sign up for service that they describe as "half the cost and twice the speed" and can get Internet access of up to a gig.

Testament

In this video, you'll see resident and City Council person Barb Potts describe how her children and grandchildren have tested the limits of the gigabit service, which comes through with flying colors. 

Several residents that also run businesses in Fairlawn, praise the city's foresight in making the investment. They appreciate local leadership's efforts to improve economic opportunities and develop a utility that provides an affordable and reliable critical service such as Internet access. By implementing a project that brings a much-needed improvement to the region, city leaders have boosted their credibility along with local connectivity.

The owner of the Akron/Fairlawn...

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Posted November 7, 2019 by lgonzalez

Last week, we unveiled the new podcast project we're working on with the nonprofit NC Broadband Matters, whose focus is on bringing ubiquitous broadband coverage to local communities for residents and businesses in North Carolina. The ten episode podcast series, titled "Why NC Broadband Matters," explores broadband and related issues in North Carolina.

In episode two, “Fiber Rich Wilson, Why and What's Next?”, Christopher talks with Gene Scott, General Manager for Outside Plant for Greenlight, a division of the city of Wilson, North Carolina. If you've heard many of our podcasts, you know all about Wilson and their municipal Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network. We've followed the development of the network for years and have reported on many of their innovations.

logo-nc-hearts-gig.png Gene gives us an inside perspective. He shares a brief history of the network's development and why the community chose to use an architecture that is fiber rich. Gene helps us to understand some terminology that most of us aren't familiar with unless we're in the field, and he gets into the many benefits of fiber over copper.

Christopher and Gene also discuss how Greenlight and the city have been working with the local community college to prepare more people to work in the growing industry. It isn't all climbing poles and hanging wires and the need for high-quality Internet access guarantees there's plenty of future opportunity in the public and private sectors.

To learn more about the story behind Wilson's Greenlight Community Network, check out our ...

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