Access to high-speed, broadband Internet facilitates economic development. Over the years, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance has documented economic successes brought about by community broadband networks. We chose some of the most compelling examples, organized them by topic, and put them in one place for easy reference.
Unfortunately, in some communities, a lack of broadband Internet continues to stunt economic growth - and has even forced businesses to relocate or shut down. In many cases, incumbent Internet service providers like AT&T and CenturyLink are not willing to provide business customers or local residents with next-generation fiber networks.
To boost economic development, local communities create their own fiber networks. Municipal fiber networks typically provide faster, more reliable, more affordable Internet access than incumbent networks because municipalities have a vested interest in seeing their community succeed.
Stories and examples of economic development resulting both directly and indirectly from community broadband networks abound, but until now these anecdotes and statistics were not consolidated into one place.
In our economic development page, the benefits of municipal networks are separated into various categories - ranging from job creation to advances in healthcare - with concrete examples from community broadband networks across the country. Take a look.