Tag: "jobs"

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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Posted October 31, 2019 by lgonzalez

Lawrenceville, Virginia, only has around 1,000 people living in the community, but they anticipate a boost in jobs in the near future, thanks to the local electric co-op, a partnership, and fiber optic connectivity. 

Small-Town Guys Getting It Done

Virginia Business reports that Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) is in the process of wiring a former bank facility with Fiber-to-the-Premise (FTTP) in order for the next tenant to use the building as a call center. Echo World Communications, based in Bedford County, will take up residence and bring approximately 152 new jobs to Lawrenceville.

According to Virginia Business:

It never would have happened if the building couldn’t have been equipped with high-speed, reliable Internet, says Michael Dotti, business director of the Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority. “It’s a huge amount of technology. This was like small-town guys getting it done.”

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) is wiring the bank building this fall at no cost to Brunswick, with funding from Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp. (MBC), which started in 2004 as a cooperative to bring fiber-optic networks to rural Virginia. The broadband cooperative also has installed about 90 miles of fiber cables in six Southern Virginia counties, with 45 more miles planned by the end of 2020.

Productive Partners

This isn't the first time we've seen these two entities partner to expand access to broadband in southern Virginia. About two years ago, we reported on a project similar to the one in Lawrenceville in which MEC and MBC connected last mile and middle mile fiber to reduce costs and reach more premises.

The Virginia Business article also mentions that MEC is looking to acquire a local telephone cooperative, if the telephone co-op members approve.

MEC also has proposed the purchase of Buggs Island Telephone Cooperative (BIT) by MEC affiliate Empower Broadband. The merger is contingent on BIT’s 4,500 customers, who have been asked to submit votes by Nov. 13.

“We expect it will speed up the process of putting fiber in this area,” says David Lipscomb, MEC’s vice president of member...

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Posted October 30, 2019 by lgonzalez

Eugene, Oregon’s publicly owned EUGNet is helping create jobs and fill empty office buildings in downtown Eugene, reports KMTR Channel 16.

Gigabit connectivity from service providers operating via the city’s dark fiber infrastructure are charging around $79 per month, allowing more interest in downtown locations and better economics for local entrepreneurs. 

This makes it a game-changer for software firms, graphic art firms, medical- just about anyone that handles large amounts of data.

“Before we had EUGNet, we just couldn't do this product, it would be impossible,” said Pipeworks Studio Technical Director, Daniel White.

Since using the network, Pipeworks has grown tremendously. A faster network means more work and that increase in productivity has allowed them to hire 50 new employees.

“The door was always there, we just couldn't open it...but now you can. Yes, It allows us to do projects we couldn't have done before, it's very reasonably priced... it's super reliable,” said White.

Vacancy in the downtown district has dropped from ten percent to seven percent since 2017.

“The economic impacts from this project are everything we thought they would be and I think even more.,” said City of Eugene Economics Strategies Manager, Anne Fifield, “We have seen the cost of Internet service really come down and service levels go up.”

Watch local reporting on the results of Eugene's fiber optic network investment:

Posted October 22, 2019 by Jess Del Fiacco

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) seeks a Communications and Podcast Production Intern to support ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We are looking for candidates with audio editing experience and an interest in communications strategy. We work on a wide range of issues, including universal Internet access, network neutrality, and municipal broadband. 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:

  • Review and edit audio for the Initiative’s weekly podcast series 
  • Edit transcripts for podcast episodes 
  • Create engaging social media content 
  • Assist with press outreach to promote our work
  • Track relevant news stories for sharing on our website and social media 
  • Other projects as assigned

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Strong writing and editing skills
  • Experience editing audio (familiarity with Audacity software is a plus)
  • Creative - graphics, videos, audio, etc.
  • Ability to work independently and juggle multiple tasks
  • Enthusiasm for policy work to improve Internet access for everyone

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

HOURS AND COMPENSATION: 

15-20 hours per week 

$15/hour 

TO APPLY:

Please use the subject line “Communications Internship Application” when sending your materials to delfiacco(at)ilsr.org. Include a cover letter, resume, and a writing sample. Applications are due Wednesday, Nov. 6.  

Posted August 21, 2019 by lgonzalez

When a company processes 180,000 medical claims each year and prides itself on embracing high tech in medical care, access to fiber connectivity is a no-brainer. When a city like Tullahoma offers reliable, fast, and affordable services via their municipal fiber network minus the expense of a big city, it makes sense to bring the company to the town. EnableComp is joining need and solution while creating new jobs in Tullahoma, home of LightTUBe.

Attracted by the Light

EnableComp, headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, now employs about 240 people who work for the company processing medical claims. Over the next five years, EnableComp will add 200 more positions, all in Tullahoma. They will invest an additional $1 million to develop an office facility.

According to Tullahoma Area Economic Development Corp executive director Thom Robinson, LightTUBe was “a key reason” for the company’s decision to expand in the city of about 19,000 people.

Tullahoma Mayor Lane Curlee said:

“This announcement continues the exciting growth that we are seeing in Tullahoma, and I want to thank EnableComp for their investment in our City. This project brings a diversity of economic growth to our area, and I know the strong development of our infrastructure, including our state-of-the-art Fiber Optic system has prepared us to welcome this company, as well as others that may follow."

The Oasis

EnableComp’s investment in Tullahoma is the latest in a string of economic development results that relate to LightTUBe. Before the city invested in the network, job growth in Tullahoma lagged behind the rest of the state, but within two years after the city began offering broadband, that statistic changed. Job growth in the city doubled Tennessee’s statewide rate.

Since Tullahoma developed the municipal network, they’ve continued to be one of the areas in Tennessee with solid economic development. As...

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Posted August 16, 2019 by lgonzalez

Earlier this year, Anacortes, Washington, shared an update on their plans for developing their Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network. Their project has been moving along and now they’re seeking an Outside Plant Coordinator as they work on construction. If you’re interested, note that the job posting closes on August 23, 2019.

Check out the complete job description here.

Some of the responsibilities of the Outside Plant Coordinator will be:

  • Plan and oversee the design, permitting, construction and maintenance of the OSP portion of the Municipal Fiber Network (MFN).
  • Act as the MFN’s primary interface with owners of network infrastructure that the MFN must attach to, occupy or otherwise use.
  • Act as the MFN’s primary interface with entities from whom the MFN must obtain construction permits, right-of-way permits or easements.
  • Identify the equipment and supplies needed by the MFN to construct, install and maintain the OSP portion off the MFN.
  • Estimate MFN’s cost to extend its network to new customer sites.

In addition to other requirements, applicants should have:

Associate degree in Construction Management, Project Management, Business Management, or related field, OR any combination of training and experience which provides equivalent knowledge, skills and abilities.

At least three years of experience in any combination of the following:

  • Aerial cable deployment, maintenance and/or repair
  • Underground cable and/or conduit deployment, maintenance and/or repair
  • Inside wiring deployment, maintenance and/or repair
  • Right-of-way permit application preparation
  • Utility pole attachment application preparation
  • Telecommunications OSP infrastructure as-built documentation

PLUS at least two years of experience in any combination of construction management, project management or business management OR any combination of training and experience which provides equivalent knowledge, skills and abilities.

For more details on the requirements, salary, expectations, and how to apply, take a look at the...

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Posted August 15, 2019 by lgonzalez

You are interested in Internet policy issues, but there aren't too many places that offer internships to suit your requirements. You feel the need to help build more resilient economies and encourage a more vibrant democracy and believe that your interest in technology is a great place to start. You love research and writing. And, hey, you should be able to enjoy your surroundings and work with cool colleagues, right?

You should apply for this internship! Don't delay - deadline for applications is August 23, 2019.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance seeks a part-time paid intern for our Community Broadband Networks program.

Our Ideal Intern:

  • Is enthusiastic about technology policy and believes in balancing private interests with public interests
  • Writes compelling, well-researched and concise articles on a short deadline
  • Can juggle multiple tasks
  • Works independently and is good at managing their time
  • Is confident calling people to interview them over the phone
  • Is self-directed
  • Has a keen interest in economics and public policy

The Kinds of Things We Do:

  • We run MuniNetworks.org – the hub of the community networks movement
  • Create fact sheets, reports, videos, podcasts, and the occasional comic
  • Advise communities on ways to improve Internet access for businesses and residents
  • Educate the media and policymakers on Internet policy

We offer a competitive wage, flexible hours, and the opportunity to gain experience in the growing high tech public policy field.

How To Apply

  • Send an email to broadband@muninetworks.org with Subject Line: Internet Policy Intern Application
  • Explain in 3 BRIEF paragraphs why you are the ideal intern. Apply by August 23, 2019.
  • Attach a resume and writing sample.

No calls, please!

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Posted May 9, 2019 by lgonzalez

Summer is quickly approaching, which means we’re opening up opportunities for interns looking to gain some experience while classes are not in session. This year, we hope to find a Graphic Design Intern to help us develop more resources to help spread the word about publicly owned Internet networks. We want a creative person to fill this June 2019 - August 2019 opening; check out the posting below and apply before May 22, 2019.

Graphic Design Internship (Summer 2019)  — Minneapolis, MN 

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is looking for a paid graphic design intern to work primarily with our Community Broadband Networks initiative. Our ideal candidate is enthusiastic about working to make the world a better place. You will get real life experience in educating the public on hot topics while learning how a nimble nonprofit policy organization works. You will have some tasks assigned but we want someone who can jump in with their own ideas as well.

This internship is paid $15/hour.

Application materials due: Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

Term of internship: June 2019 – August 2019 (these terms are negotiable, given school schedule and/or other commitments).

Position description: Designing in-house web and printed materials, including research reports, fact sheets, and promotional materials. 

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Applicants should be pursuing (or have acquired) a degree in graphic design, marketing, or a related field.
  • Experience with Pages, Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop
  • Strong creative skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Access to a computer for work use is preferred

To apply, please submit cover letter and resume to Broadband(at)MuniNetworks.org using the subject line: Graphic Design Intern Application

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Posted May 10, 2018 by lgonzalez

Dynamic Communications Manager — Portland, Maine; Minneapolis, Minn.; or Washington, D.C. Offices

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is looking for a dynamic, enthusiastic Communications Manager to join our excellent non-profit team. This position is responsible for enacting the communications strategy for all of ILSR’s media platforms and different program initiatives.

Hours per week: Full Time

Compensation: Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience

Application Due: May 17th, 2018

OUR IDEAL CANDIDATE IS:

  • A nimble and dynamic individual able to switch between multiple tasks and program areas within a single work day, and to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • A skilled time manager asked to maintain multiple projects and detailed communications work, which may have varying priority, length, and supervisors.
  • Ready to sharpen existing skills and learn new ones, including: editing podcast audio, maintaining a WordPress-backed website, copy-editing blogs, commentaries, and articles destined for ILSR and other publications, writing press releases and social media materials, and cultivating relationships with reporters.
  • Passionate about ILSR’s mission of countering corporate monopolies and building community power.
  • A detail-oriented supervisor of a very small communications team able to delegate efficiently and catch mistakes before they go live.
  • Unafraid of admitting mistakes, because they happen and we learn from them!

JOB DUTIES INCLUDE:

  • Maintaining, updating, and enacting strategy for all of ILSR’s social media platforms and for its different program initiatives.
  • Writing press releases, media advisories, and reporter outreach for a variety of ILSR original research, resources, and local technical assistance. This task includes developing and maintaining relationships with multiple reporters across subject areas.
  • Producing and providing technical support for the Building Local Power podcast, including booking guests and writing ILSR.org blog posts to accompany episodes, and perhaps even occasional hosting duties!
  • Helping to maintain the ILSR website, including: copy editing, selecting images and infographics, and ensuring site-wide consistency alongside senior staff.
  • Being...
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