Date: 5 Mar 2008 | posted in: information, MuniNetworks, Press Release | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Minneapolis, Minn.– (March 5, 2008).  The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) congratulates the 25 Vermont towns that have voted to join the East Central Vermont Community Fiber Network.  These rural towns have rejected dependency on outside providers in order to build the infrastructure they need.

At least nine of the towns were unanimous in their support of the publicly owned fiber network.  Many of the other towns still registered over 90% support for the measure. 

“These towns have made the right decision,” said Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative at ILSR.  “Small towns across the United States have suffered from under-investment in telecommunications and these communities realized they can solve their broadband problems with smart public investments.”

Mitchell recently published a report on municipal networks entitled “Municipal Broadband: Demystifying Wireless and Fiber-Optic Options. ”  The report examines available broadband technologies and explains why fiber is a sound community investment. 

Theproposed Vermont network will be state-of-the-art, offering residents faster broadband speeds than experienced from cable or DSL– which are generally unavailable to them currently.

Tim Nulty, who built the nearby Burlington Telecom fiber network, will manage the EC Community Fiber Network construction.  He is committed to wiring every last person in each town.  “We will even run the network to the house in the hollow down the dirt road,” proclaimed Nulty.

“Vermont Businesses and citizens alike are starved for modern connectivity to conduct transactions and participate in modern media,” noted Mitchell. “Not only will many of these communities finally have access to broadband, the network will wholesale network access to other providers, offering subscribers true choices and competition.”

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Christopher Mitchell

Christopher Mitchell is the Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with ILSR. He is a leading national expert on community networks, Internet access, and local broadband policies. Christopher built MuniNetworks.org, the comprehensive online clearinghouse of information about local government policies to improve Internet access. Its interactive community broadband network map tracks more than 600 such networks. He also hosts audio and video shows online, including Community Broadband Bits and Connect This!