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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, 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

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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jan 15, 2015

National Press Follows President Obama to Cedar Falls, Iowa

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/national-press-president-obama-cedar-falls-iowa/

On January 14th, President Obama visited Cedar Falls, Iowa, to share his strategy to expand high-speed connectivity to more Americans, encourage competition, and galvanize economic development. Obama’s plan centers around community networks and he announced that the next step will be eliminating barriers in 19 states that usurp local authority to invest in publicly owned… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Feb 5, 2015

Supporters Rally Behind Wheeler, Chattanooga, and Wilson: “I Recommend Approval”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/supporters-rally-wheeler-chattanooga-wilson-i-recommend-approval/

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler released a statement yesterday supporting the concept of local authority for community broadband infrastructure. Chattanooga and Wilson filed petitions to scale back state restrictions last summer. In his statement, Wheeler officially recommended the Commission approve the petitions. If approved, the petitions have the potential to liberate local communities from state restrictions. Along with… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jan 14, 2015

President Obama Speaks Against Barriers to Community Networks

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

When we started to hear rumors that the White House was investigating community owned networks, we were excited but not sure what to expect. I have to admit that seeing President Obama – the President of the United States – saying that Cedar Falls was smart to invest in themselves was much more powerful than… Continue reading