Tag: "annual report"

Posted July 23, 2020 by Ry Marcattilio-...

July has seen the release of two complementary reports which shed light on two of the topics we care about a great deal around these parts: availability and affordability of Internet access, and municipally-enabled networks.  

The Open Technology Institute at New America recently released “The Cost of Connectivity 2020” [pdf], which digs into the factors (some of which are explicit and others hidden) dictating how much Americans can expect to spend for Internet access in comparison to Europe, Asia, Canada, and Mexico. They conclude that, compared to the rest of the world, a lack of competition, regulation, and accurate data collection by the FCC has led to higher prices, slower speeds, exorbitant data cap fees, and deep digital divides running between those with high-speed access and those in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and low-income parts of American cities. And among its most compelling policy recommendations — based on data points from 296 standalone Internet plans in the United States — is that municipal networks offer a solution. 

If OTI’s report outlines the deep and persistent problem of connectivity in the United States, US Ignite and Altman Solon’s “Broadband Models for Unserved and Underserved Communities” [pdf] provides a clear and thoughtful roadmap for local communities who ask “What can we do?” Above all else, the guide shows that high-speed broadband is a solvable proposition, and sketches out five models for local governments to follow according to their unique conditions. Like the OTI report, US Ignite and Altman Solon highlight the many inherent benefits of community-enabled networks. 

Download the full reports at the bottom of this post.

Digging into the Data

The OTI report is based on data from 760 standalone Internet plans across 28 cities in North America, Europe, and Asia collected between June 2019 and March 2020 (though it also incorporates lessons learned from the current public health crisis). Across every type of connection (DSL, cable, and fiber) it found the U.S. to lag behind in at least one metric...

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Posted December 16, 2016 by lgonzalez

As we head into a turbulent era of government, the values and goals of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) remain steadfast. Every day we help communities tap into their own power in order to build a more democratic, equitable, and sustainable future. Our 2016 annual report, Decentralizing Economic Power, Reinvigorating Democracy, illustrates how ILSR’s initiatives have gained important victories, connected with people across the country, and moved the needle on our most important economic and political conversations.

With the generosity of people like you, ILSR, which includes the Community Broadband Networks Initaitive, has been at the forefront of advancing policies and models that support locally driven economies while protecting the climate and reducing inequality. Please take a look through our annual report and donate to support our work.

Here are a few highlights to our work in 2016 that gives insight towards what we’re working toward in 2017:

  • Working alongside grassroots groups, ILSR is changing the rules so that decentralized solar energy, once viewed as a bit player, is beginning to displace centralized, utility monopolies. This year, we launched a Community Power Map to illustrate these successes, and in 2017, we’ll add a power-packed toolkit to help communities across the country take charge of their energy future.
  • Scores of communities have drawn on ILSR’s resources and expertise as they have built publicly-owned telecommunications networks that offer a viable alternatives to the big telecom monopolies. Thanks in large part to our work, Federal Communications Chair Tom Wheeler told members of Congress this year that the restoration of local municipal broadband authority should be their “A-Number One” priority.

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  • ILSR’s widely-covered...
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