Tag: "general"

Posted January 20, 2011 by Christopher Mitchell

MuniNetworks.org is happy to welcome a new contributor to the site, Mitch Shapiro.  Mitch will author pieces from time to time, the start of our efforts to broaden the contributions to and reach of MuniNetworks.org.  If you are interested in contributing on a one-time or semi-regular basis, please let us know at broadband@muninetworks.org.

Mitch Shapiro has been an analyst, author and consultant in the telecom, media and broadband industries for more than 25 years. His interest in community-controlled networks dates back to his graduate school days at Michigan State University, which included two internship in Washington DC, the first helping to draft a manual for local communities wanting to deploy a cable TV cooperative, the second working for Intelsat, a cooperatively organized global satellite network. That interest remains strong today, and is informed by more than two decades of experience analyzing broadband technologies, business models, competitive dynamics and economic impacts.

Mitch currently serves as CEO of Broadband Market Analysis, a research and consulting firm, and Rural Fiber Works, which supports cooperative and municipal utilities in developing strategies for open-access community fiber networks. He is also a consultant with Strategic Networks Group, a leader in helping public and private entities understand and maximize the economic benefits of broadband networks.

Throughout his career, Mitch has been a leader in recognizing and projecting the impacts of key industry developments. In the mid-1980s, as Research Director of the Michigan Citizens Lobby, he managed a statewide study of the impacts of the AT&T divestiture on Michigan’s low-income households. In the late 80s and early 90s, as lead technology analyst for Paul Kagan Associates, he was early to recognize the significance of the cable industry’s migration to the “hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC)” architecture, which enabled it to expand from a TV-only service to today’s “triple-play” of voice, video and Internet. Shortly after passage of the 1996 Telecom Act, Mitch authored a 375-page report published by Probe Research, which projected the financial impacts of the legislation on cable and telephone companies, including the role of then-emerging broadband and “triple-...

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Posted September 10, 2010 by Christopher Mitchell

In a light cap to a light-posting week, I wanted to note a post from Fiberevolution regarding speed tests. Many of us are frustrated with the available speeds and just how they compare to what we are promised.

We have long seen a variety of criticisms of speed tests (including that operators like Comcast game the system by allowing greater speeds than one normally achieves to sites in practice), but few realized that one of the most well known tests (provided by Ookla) suffers from what appears to be a structural deficiency:

"Samples are sorted by speed, and the fastest half is averaged to eliminate anomalies and determine the result."

I wish my grades had been calculated like that back in school.

I have come around to believing we need to collect greater data about what broadband we have available in order to compare providers (naturally, I suspect we will find that community networks do a better job of offering faster speeds). M-Labs has a good start and will be essential in this endeavor.

More to come...

Posted May 28, 2010 by Christopher Mitchell

It has been a year now that MuniNetworks.org has been live. For those who only read the feed, we have updated the logo on top of the site to make it more attractive. When we launched the site, we threw the theme together quickly and focused on getting good content. Now we are improving the look and feel, as befitting the great content we have collected.

We are also on Twitter with an account just focusing on Community Networks - you can follow @communitynets to stay up to date on our news and work.

As it has been a year, I wanted remind readers that we are always interested in ideas for improving the site, so please feel free to email us ( broadband@muninetworks.org ) with any thoughts.


Posted November 17, 2009 by Christopher Mitchell


MuniNetworks.org is a project of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a non-profit that has worked with communities to maximize their potential for 35 years. Today is "Give to the Max Day" - meaning that any contribution you can make to us will be matched by local foundations in Minnesota. Additionally, the foundations will generously cover transaction fees, ensuring your support will give us the most benefit.

Please contribute anytime between 8:00 AM CST on Tuesday, November 17 and 8:00 AM on Wednesday, November 18 by visiting this site and clicking the Donate button.

Thank you for your support.


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