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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Feb 26, 2015

Cable Companies Lose Big at FCC, Barriers to Community Broadband Struck Down

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/barriers-community-broadband-struck/

Two southern cities today persuaded the Federal Communications Commission to recognize their right to build their own publicly owned Internet networks where existing providers had refused to invest in modern connections. The 3-2 FCC vote removes barriers for municipal networks in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina, to extend their high-quality Internet service to nearby areas.

The FCC decision sets an historic precedent for towns working to offer municipal broadband networks in twenty states that have enacted limits or bans on local governments building, owning, or even partnering to give local businesses and residents a choice in high speed Internet access. Three-quarters of Americans currently have either no broadband or no choice of their Internet provider.

 

Said Christopher Mitchell, Director of Community Broadband Networks at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance:

 

“Cable companies lost their bet that millions spent on lobbying to stifle competition was a wiser investment than extending high-quality Internet to our nation’s entrepreneurs, students and rural families.

 

“Preventing big Internet Service Providers from unfairly discriminating against content online is a victory, but allowing communities to be the owners and stewards of their own broadband networks is a watershed moment that will serve as a check against the worst abuses of the cable monopoly for decades to come.”

 

Christopher Mitchell, the Director of Community Broadband Networks at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, has traveled to over 20 states and spoken with over 100 community groups looking to provide high-quality Internet for their residents. He has also advised members of the FCC on related telecommunications issues in the lead-up to the decision.

For interviews around the FCC decision, please contact Rebecca Toews at 612-808-0689 or rebecca@ILSR.org, or Christina DiPasquale at 202.716.1953 or at christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com. To view a map tracking local government investments in wired telecommunications networks and state laws that discourage such approaches, please visit: http://www.muninetworks.org/communitymap.

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Featured Article filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Feb 27, 2015

Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Advanced Composter Training Course

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/neighborhoodsoilrebuildersadvancedcomposter/

Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders is a community composter training program with a community service component. It was developed by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and ECO City Farms in order to train a new cadre of community leaders in the art and science of community composting. Continue reading

Photo: Open Streets in northeast Minneapolis.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Feb 23, 2015

The Do-It-Yourselves Downtown

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/do-it-yourselves-downtown-investment-cooperative-model/

In the vacuum left by both traditional economic development and Wall Street’s approach to finance, community real estate investment cooperatives offer a glimpse of a better way to channel capital, with benefits that include new jobs in the neighborhood, strong incentives for people to shop locally, local sources for key goods, closer ties with neighbors, and a return on investment. Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Feb 26, 2015

Who Decides?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/decides/

Who decides? Conservative Republicans in Texas are split on the issue. Darren Hodges, a Tea Party councilman in the West Texas city of Fort Stockton, fiercely defends his town’s recent decision to ban plastic bags. City officials have a “God-given right” to make that decision he tells the New York Times. James Quintero of the… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Feb 18, 2015

Answering Questions About Title II and Munis – Community Broadband Bits Episode 138

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/answering-questions-title-ii-munis-community-broadband-bits-episode-138/

As we near the FCC open meeting at the end of next week, when it will decide on both the Chattanooga and Wilson petitions regarding their wish to expand as well as a proposal to reclassify Internet access a Title II service in order to ensure it can maintain the same open Internet we have… Continue reading