Tag: "institute for local self-reliance"

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 July 24, 2019 by lgonzalez

An increasing number of local communities are realizing that investing in publicly owned Internet network infrastructure will lead to better connectivity. In order to help these communities in the early planning stages, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and NEO Partners LLC have developed the Community Networks Quickstart Program.

Learn more at cnquickstart.com or email info@cnquickstart.com for more details.

We're Considering A Community Network, But….

Fiber optic, fixed wireless, a hybrid network…there are different possibilities for what type of technology is right for your community. You will also need to decide where to deploy and where to begin that deployment in order to help improve future success. You’ll want to hire engineers and consultants, but it would be helpful to have that extra dose of knowledge about facts and figures prior to working with them You want to know what questions to ask.

The Community Networks Quickstart Program will guide you through different deployment options — full Fiber-to-the-Premise, full wireless, and hybrid — each based specifically on your community and its specific needs. We use data that includes the size, population, and other characteristics of your community; we offer resources and advice to help you get started on the right foot. You also receive a recommended design that you can use when you apply for funding and refer to when you work with engineers, designers, and consultants. Our goal is not to replace the in-depth work that will come later, but to enhance it and to make your time with your consultants and other professionals more effective.

If your rural county has limited funds to dedicate toward broadband infrastructure deployment, one of your biggest challenges is deciding where to target that investment. The Community Networks Quickstart Program will help by examining different options so you can determine where your investment dollars will be most effective.

We're Helping People

Rock Island, Illinois, IT Director Tim Bain said:

"As we reached year-end I was able to identify a source of funds to proceed with the study in December 2018, and we had the results by January of 2019.

I believe the study was a worthy investment. It provided the outside review we...

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Posted June 28, 2019 by Jess Del Fiacco

Decades after bringing electricity and telephone services to America’s rural households, cooperatives are tackling a new challenge: the rural digital divide. New updates to our report Cooperatives Fiberize Rural America: A Trusted Model for the Internet Era, originally published in 2017, illustrate the remarkable progress co-ops have made in deploying fiber optic Internet access across the country. 

Download the updated report [PDF] here.

All versions of the report can be accessed from the Reports Archive for this report.

The report features new maps showing overall growth in areas served by co-ops, as well as expanded information about state legislation that supports co-op investment in broadband networks. A few important takeaways:

More than 140 co-ops across the country now offer residential gigabit Internet access to their members, reaching more than 300 communities. 

Co-ops connect 70.8 percent of North Dakota and 47.7 percent of South Dakota landmass to fiber, and residents enjoy some of the fastest Internet access speeds in the nation.

Georgia and Mississippi have overturned state laws banning co-ops from offering Internet access, and other states, including Colorado, Maryland, North Carolina, and Texas, have implemented legislation that will further ease the way. 

Co-ops have proven that this is a model that works. With increased support from federal and state governments, they will continue to connect rural Americans to economic and educational opportunities otherwise denied to them. 

Read Cooperatives Fiberize Rural America: A Trusted Model For The Internet Era [PDF] here.

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 February 26, 2019 by lgonzalez

Winter has not been kind this year. In addition to interrupting our kids’ learning with numerous snow days, stranding the Minnesota office in our homes due to dangerously cold weather, and interrupting our typically prolific workflow with day after day of shoveling, minor ice related traffic accidents, and sick kids, there’s one other unforgivable offense that rests square on the shoulders of Mother Nature: the cancellation of the D.C. screening of Do Not Pass Go. An impending winter storm forced the cancellation of the event, which was scheduled for February 20th. The organizers are ready to try again, however, and the new event date is March 26th, 2019, 5 - 7 p.m. The venue will be the same — the offices of the National League of Cities/National Association of Counties at 660 North Capitol Street NW.

Register for the free screening and the discussion.

The Coalition for Local Internet Choice (CLIC), Next Century Cities, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), and the National League of Cities (NLC), will lead the discussion about the film and the policies that influence the events of the film and the people living in Pinetops, North Carolina. 

Do Not Pass Go, a documentary by Cullen Hoback, tells the story of Pinetops, where the community finally obtained high-quality Internet access when their neighbor, Wilson, connected Pinetops to Greenlight. The Greenlight community fiber optic network later had to disconnect Pinetops, however, when the state chose to protect incumbents from competition. Hoback’s film tells the Pinetops story and examines how lack of competition has negatively impacted rural communities.

After the screening, the group will discuss regulatory and legislative barriers, and actions that local and federal government can adopt to help communities that consider municipal networks an option.

The panel will include:

  • Christopher Mitchell from ILSR
  • Terry Huval: Former Director, Lafayette Utilities System, Lafayette, LA
  • Suzanne Coker Craig...
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Posted February 5, 2019 by lgonzalez

The story of tiny Pinetops, North Carolina, and how large corporations blocked their ability to obtain high-quality Internet access from a nearby municipal network comes to life in Do Not Pass Go, a documentary by Cullen Hoback. On February 20th, you can attend a screening of the film and stay for the discussion after. The event will be in Washington, D.C., at the office of the National League of Cities/National Association of Counties from 5 - 7 p.m.

Register for the free screening and discussion.

Join the Coalition for Local Internet Choice (CLIC), Next Century Cities, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), and the National League of Cities (NLC), who will be guiding the discussion about the film and the policies that come into play. The group will discuss regulatory and legislative barriers, and actions that local and federal government can adopt to help communities that consider municipal networks an option.

After the screening, a panel discussion will include:

  • Christopher Mitchell from ILSR
  • Terry Huval: Former Director, Lafayette Utilities System, Lafayette, LA
  • Joanne Hovis: Co-Founder and CEO, Coalition for Local Internet Choice; President, CTC Technology & Energy
  • Dr. Christopher Ali: Assistant Professor, Department of Media Studies, University of Virginia; Faculty Fellow, Benton Foundation; Fellow, World Economic Forum
  • Suzanne Coker Craig:Managing Director, CuriosiTees of Pinetops LLC; former Commissioner, Pinetops, NC

Following the panel discussion, the Networking Reception will allow participants to continue the conversation and share their individual experiences.

Register online for the free D.C. screening.

Pinetops, Wilson, and Greenlight

Greenlight, Wilson’s municipal Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network has created benefits for folks in Wilson since 2008. Pinetops and other neighbors have asked Wilson to expand in order to take advantage of the fast, affordable, reliable Internet access but state law prevented Wilson from serving beyond...

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Posted December 24, 2018 by lgonzalez

The year 2018 is almost behind us. We hope that you've learned a little from your time at MuniNetworks.org and will consider donating to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Your donation helps us continue the important work of raising the profile of broadband networks that bring fast, affordable, reliable connectivity to local communities, encouraging economic development, local savings, and a high quality of life. Go to ilsr.org/donate to help.

As he reflected on 2018, Christopher shared his thoughts:

As 2018 draws to a close, we are seeing the rising anti-monopoly movement gain strength and visibility. This is an exciting time as people turn toward local solutions and recognize the need to build local power to improve their lives. 

We are seeing the increased threat of preemption - where states are limiting local authority - across the board. But on matters of broadband Internet access, our coalition has stopped new efforts to stop municipal networks and even rolled back minor barriers in California and Washington. We will be working to further restore local authority in the coming year but will undoubtedly face new threats to preserve the cable and big telco monopolies. 

As I write this, I am staying with family in northern Minnesota... and though I am stuck on very slow DSL, I passed thousands of homes with fiber-optic service from cooperatives on the drive up here. Our team was among the first to recognize the power of cooperatives to build the high-quality networks rural America needs and we have elevated those efforts in local communities, state capitals, and DC. 

We need your help to extend these victories in 2019. Though cooperatives are the single best solution in rural regions lacking local providers, too many policymakers haven't yet learned that lesson. Metro regions are increasingly flirting with municipal fiber options, but face powerful cable monopoly lobbyists that are...

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Posted November 23, 2018 by lgonzalez

The Community Broadband Networks Initiative is only one of several research areas at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. It’s common for people who follow the work of one initiative to find overlapping interests in other initiatives at ILSR. In addition to the effects of concentration of power from large corporate entities, local power and how best to exercise it for the community are common themes in all our initiatives. That’s why the ILSR Building Local Power Podcast and our host, Hibba Meraay, occasionally take time to touch base with initiative directors. In October, Hibba interviewed Christopher for episode 57 of the podcast.

In addition to sharing information about some of the publicly owned network models making recent headway, Hibba and Christopher discussed initiatives in Colorado, California’s network neutrality legislation, and 5G. It’s a broader level conversation we don’t always have on the Community Broadband Bits podcast. The show lasts about 30 minutes.

Check out the other Building Local Power podcasts, that span all the ILSR initiatives. Subscribe to the podcast feed: iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS/XML.

New episodes are published bi-weekly on Thursdays. Sign up to get new podcast notifications.

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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Posted April 30, 2018 by lgonzalez

Interest is booming in cooperative and municipal Internet infrastructure and related issues. We're looking for someone passionate about working to develop policies related to Internet access, network neutrality, and publicly owned broadband. If that's you, let's talk. Are you our next creative Research Associate? Applications are due May 11th.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Write compelling, well-researched documents:

  • Articles
  • Policy Briefs/Reports,
  • Fact Sheets

Manage data projects:

  • Data cleaning and analysis
  • Map design and GIS
  • Background research for coworkers or reporters as necessary
  • Collaborate on Initiative-wide projects
  • Assist with outreach on large projects
  • Support other projects as assigned

Perform administrative tasks:

  • Take notes at staff meetings
  • Organize and purchase office supplies

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Effective writing and communication skills
  • Background knowledge of public policy and economics
  • Able to work independently and juggle multiple tasks
  • Experience with a statistics program (Examples: R, Stata) or ability to learn quickly
  • Some experience with GIS (Examples: ArcGIS, QGIS) or ability to learn quickly
  • Innovative with publicly available databases
  • Comfortable making cold calls to public officials
  • Creative: graphics, video, audio, interactive maps, etc.

BENEFITS:

Salary is commensurate with experience. Position includes employer-paid health plan, retirement match, generous vacation, a laptop for work use, and a dynamic workforce of dedicated and friendly policy wonks trying to make the world a better place.

HOW TO APPLY:

Send your materials by May 11th. It never hurts to try after that date but the ship may have sailed.

Submit all materials to broadband@muninetworks.org with the subject line “Research Associate Application”

  • Resume
  • Writing Sample and/or Creative Work
  • Cover Letter

Please do not call.

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