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Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | 14 Comments | Updated on Dec 1, 2012

Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy: Stacy Mitchell’s TEDx Talk

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

In this TEDx talk, delivered on October 20, 2012 at TEDxDirigo‘s Villages conference at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine,  conference, ILSR Senior Researcher Stacy Mitchell argues for a new phase in the local economy movement. She notes that there’s been a resurgence of support for small farms, local businesses, and community banks, but argues: “As remarkable… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | 16 Comments | Updated on Dec 1, 2012

How Walmart is Devouring the Food System (Infographic)

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

Walmart now captures $1 of every $4 Americans spend on groceries. It’s on track to claim one-third of food sales within five years. Here’s a look at how Walmart has dramatically altered the food system — triggering massive consolidation, driving down prices to farmers, and leaving more families struggling to afford healthy food. Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Dec 1, 2012

Why Wi-Fi Performance Varies Greatly

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/why-wi-fi-performance-varies-greatly

Why can Wi-Fi be so great in some places but so awful in others? (Ahem… Hotels.) Time to stop imagining Wi-Fi as magic and instead think of it just as a means of taking one connection and sharing it among many people without wires. If you take a ho-hum connection and share it with 10… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | 1 Comment | Updated on Nov 29, 2012

ILSR Releases New Public Savings Fact Sheet

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/ilsr-releases-new-public-savings-fact-sheet/

This new resource shares real world examples of public savings directly connected to municipal networks. Publicly owned broadband networks provide opportunities for local savings to taxpayers. Local and regional governments find new and unexpected ways to cut costs when they build their own next-generation networks. In addition to saving connectivity fees for administrative facilities, local… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Nov 29, 2012

Welcome to The Gigabit Club, BTES!

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/welcome-gigabit-club-btes

Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES) announced November 19th that it now has the capability to offer 1 Gbps service. While the BTES rates do not reflect a standard cost for the service yet, 1 Gbps is offered as an option to businesses and households. From the BTES press release: “Bristol now has one of the… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Nov 28, 2012

Fibrant Network Gains Subscribers Despite Technical Difficulties

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/fibrant-network-gains-subscribers-despite-technical-difficulties

As we emphasize time and time again, communities build their own networks because they have to, not because they want to. North Carolina’s Fibrant network in Salisbury is no exception and a recent technical headache is a reminder that no network is built without problems developing. Fortunately, Salisbury’s strong reputation for providing great, local customer service is… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Nov 27, 2012

We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/we-cant-shop-our-way-better-economy

Our colleague at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Stacy Mitchell (too brilliant to be a relation of mine), recently gave an incredible presentation that focuses on some of the threats to our economy and how we can build stronger, more resilient communities. She doesn’t discuss broadband explicitly, but much of her critique of the largest… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Nov 27, 2012

Going Local Gives More Value to Solar Power

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

Update: you can now read the whole essay – Wide-scale Implementation of Solar Power I just read an essay by a Canadian utility executive arguing that solar is the most economic energy source, and he systematically dismantles the notion that “cheap baseload coal” is more competitive that solar electricity. First: Solar is Cheaper Than Coal… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Banking | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 27, 2012

Free Checking is Rare at Big Banks, Common at Small

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/free-checking-rare-big-banks-common-small/

While just 24 percent of big banks offer totally free checking, more than 60 percent of credit unions and small banks do, according to a new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. The report also found that credit unions and small banks have lower fees on average and do a better job of disclosing fees to prospective customers. Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Nov 27, 2012

Community Broadband Bits 23 – Harold Feld from Public Knowledge

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/community-broadband-bits-23-harold-feld-public-knowledge

One hundred years after Teddy Roosevelt and AT&T agreed to the Kingsbury Commitment, Harold Feld joins us on Community Broadband Bits podcast to explain what the Kingsbury Commitment was and why it matters. In short, AT&T wants to change the way telecommunications networks are regulated and Harold is one of our best allies on this… Continue reading