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open-access-network-in-mount-vernon-washington-created-more-jobs-and-government-savings
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 21, 2013

Open Access Network in Mount Vernon, Washington Created More Jobs and Government Savings

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/open-access-network-mount-vernon-washington-created-more-jobs-and-government-savings

Mount Vernon, Washington, started building their own fiber optic network in 1995 and over the past 18 years have continued to add incrementally. While the network started as a way to connect a few municipal facilities, it has since expanded to nearby Burlington and the Port of Skagit. The network now serves government, schools, hospitals… Continue reading

PG-investor-heads-and-cheering-320x213
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Mar 20, 2013

Two Ways Americans May Get More Ownership of their Energy Future

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/ways-americans-ownership-energy-future/

Three years ago, the prospects for Americans to own their energy future seemed relatively bleak. There were almost no replicable models for doing community-based energy projects or investment, despite falling costs and technology – solar and wind – that lend themselves to local development. But thanks to recent opportunities in community solar and crowdfunding, we… Continue reading

virginia-town-provides-free-wi-fi-in-city-park-fiber-to-community-anchors
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 20, 2013

Virginia Town Provides Free Wi-fi in City Park, Fiber to Community Anchors

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/virginia-town-provides-free-wi-fi-city-park-fiber-community-anchors

Last summer, the city of Staunton, Virginia, sent out a press release about its new citywide free wi-fi service. Four hours later, a destructive storm ripped through Gypsy Hill Park knocking down trees and damaging buildings. Nevertheless, the equipment held on. Five days later, celebrants at the city’s July 4th party used the free service… Continue reading

in-washington-mt-vernon-attracts-businesses-with-open-access-network-community-broadband-bits-episode-38
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Mar 19, 2013

In Washington, Mt. Vernon Attracts Businesses with Open Access Network – Community Broadband Bits Episode 38

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/washington-mt-vernon-attracts-businesses-open-access-network-community-broadband-bits

Nearly 20 years ago, a small community between Seattle and Bellingham, Washington, began building a fiber optic network to connect key municipal facilities. In the years since, Mt Vernon has expanded the network to many community anchor institutions and businesses locally, including in two nearby towns. Information Systems Director Kim Kleppe and Community & Economic… Continue reading

cedar-falls-utility-gets-high-bond-rating-from-moodys
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Mar 19, 2013

Cedar Falls Utility Gets High Bond Rating from Moody’s

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/cedar-falls-utility-gets-high-bond-rating-moodys

We have long been impressed with Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) in Iowa. They built an incredibly successful municipal cable network that has now been upgraded to a FTTH network. CFU transfers $1.6 million into the town’s general fund every year, reminding us that community owned networks often pay far more in taxes than the national… Continue reading

video-burlington-telecom-coop-effort-moving-ahead
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 18, 2013

Video: Burlington Telecom Coop Effort Moving Ahead

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/video-burlington-telecom-coop-effort-moving-ahead

In December, 2012, a group of local residents decided to engage in an effort to turn beleaguered Burlington Telecom into a coop. The effort has advanced and the organization, Keep BT Local, continues to gain pledges. To date, the organization has collected pledges in the amount of $108,000 for equity and $156,000 in loan pledges…. Continue reading

to-improve-minnesota-broadband-look-to-lessons-of-electrification
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Mar 16, 2013

To Improve Minnesota Broadband, Look to Lessons of Electrification

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/improve-minnesota-broadband-look-lessons-electrification

Steve Downer is the Associate Executive Director of the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association, MMUA, and he previously served on the Blandin Foundation Strategy Board. He offered these thoughts on page 4 of the “The Resource” [pdf] from January 2013 and has allowed us to reprint them below. According to online reports, House Commerce Chairman Joe… Continue reading

in-georgia-monroe-muni-network-created-jobs-lowered-bills
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 15, 2013

In Georgia, Monroe Muni Network Created Jobs, Lowered Bills

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/georgia-monroe-muni-network-created-jobs-lowered-bills

As we monitored Georgia’s HB 282, a bill to limit the capacity of local governments to invest in Internet networks that spur economic development, we learned of many existing networks that have helped communities to thrive. Brian Thompson, Director of Electric and Telecommunications in Monroe took some time to tell us a little about their… Continue reading

Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Mar 14, 2013

Christopher Mitchell at Freedom to Connect 2013

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/christopher-mitchell-freedom-connect-2013

My presentation from Freedom to Connect on why we should support Community Owned Internet networks. Unfortunately, the video starts about 1 minute into the presentation. Please leave feedback below. Continue reading

Cost of 10 Percent Solar for MN
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Mar 14, 2013

The Making of a Midwestern Solar Energy Standard

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

Last night, the House Energy Policy Committee in the Minnesota state legislature voted 8-6 to approve a 4% by 2025 solar energy standard, with an innovative new approach to financing solar power.  It’s a powerful first step for what would be one of the more robust policies to support distributed, local solar power in the… Continue reading