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Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 10, 2016

Monopoly Power and the Decline of Small Business: The Case for Restoring America’s Once Robust Antitrust Policies

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/monopoly-power-and-the-decline-of-small-business/

The United States is much less a nation of entrepreneurs than it was a generation ago. This report suggests that the decline of small businesses is owed, at least in part, to anticompetitive behavior by large, dominant corporations. Drawing on examples in pharmacy, banking, telecommunications, and retail, it finds that big companies routinely use their size and their economic and political power to undermine their smaller rivals and exclude them from markets. This report presents three compelling reasons to bring a commitment to fair and open markets for small businesses back into antitrust enforcement and public policy, and concludes by outlining several specific steps to revive competition and small business. Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Jul 14, 2016

The Secrets Behind Partnerships to Improve Internet Access

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

A growing number of US cities have broken up monopoly control of the Internet marketplace locally. They’re promoting entrepreneurship, and giving residents and businesses real choice in how they connect and reach new audiences. They’ve brought a new wrinkle to an old model: the public-private partnership. “Communities desperately need better Internet access, but not all local… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on May 12, 2016

Minnesota’s Broadband Grant Program: Getting the Rules Right

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/mn-border-to-border-grant-program/

Minneapolis, MN —In its first two years of implementation, the Minnesota Border-to-Border program distributed $30 million to 31 rural Minnesota communities. But the state has not put enough money into the program and needs to put more focus on getting investment in Greater Minnesota cities to spur economic development. “This funding is essential to greater Minnesota… Continue reading

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Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 26, 2016

Report: Beyond Sharing – How Communities Can Take Ownership of Renewable Power

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-beyond-sharing/

Browse the Report Introduction Benefits of Community Renewable Energy U.S. Barriers to Community Renewable Energy Barrier Busting Exceptional Community Energy Projects Community as City A Community Renewable Energy Gold Standard Conclusion Appendix Footnotes The electric utility monopoly is breaking up, but will renewable energy become another form of wealth extraction or will community renewable energy… Continue reading

Photo: Lost our lease.
Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Apr 20, 2016

New Report: How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It

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

As the cost of leasing commercial space soars in many U.S. cities, a new report from ILSR examines what’s behind the skyrocketing rents and explores six broad policy strategies that elected officials and community leaders are proposing to keep commercial space appropriate, accessible, and affordable for independent businesses. Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Apr 18, 2016

RS Fiber: Fertile Fields for new Rural Internet Cooperative

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-mn-rural-fiber/

21ST CENTURY FARMS REQUIRE 21ST CENTURY CONNECTIVITY. Denied Access by telephone and cable companies, they created a new model. Winthrop, MN — A new trend is emerging in rural communities throughout the United States: Fiber-to-the-Farm. Tired of waiting for real Internet access from big companies, farmers are building it themselves. Communities in and around Minnesota’s… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 29, 2016

Report: Re-Member-ing the Electric Cooperative

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-remembering-the-electric-cooperative/

by John Farrell, Matt Grimley & Nick Stumo-Langer Electric cooperatives have been the backbone of the nation’s rural electrical system for more than 80 years. Their mission and business model now face more challenges than ever, from financial to contractual to basic member control. But the opportunity is equally great, with a chance for member-driven investment… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Mar 3, 2016

Report: Mighty Microgrids

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-mighty-microgrids/

Communities all over the country are finding ways to break the macro barriers to microgrids. As we flip from a top-down to bottom-up grid management structure, major policy barriers must be lifted in order to expand energy democracy to customers and producers. DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT   Executive Summary The electric grid is no longer… Continue reading

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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Feb 10, 2016

Independent Businesses Report Growing Sales and Hiring, but Policies Tilted in Favor of Large Companies Hold Them Back

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/2016-independent-business-survey/

The 2016 Independent Business Survey finds that independent businesses experienced brisk sales and a sharp increase in hiring in 2015, but that biased policies and other obstacles are limiting their success. Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under General | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Nov 18, 2015

Building Local Equity: ILSR’s Impact in 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/building-local-equity-ilsrs-impact-in-2015/

ILSR’s forward-thinking, bottom-up solutions have never been more needed.   Please help us expand our impact in 2016 by making an online tax-deductible donation to ILSR. Since our founding, building equity has been a core value and aim of our work. The word “equity” originally meant fairness or equality. Today the term has degenerated into a… Continue reading

SandyNet Goes Gig
Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Nov 9, 2015

SandyNet Goes Gig: A Model for Anytown, USA

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/sandynet-goes-gig-a-model-for-anytown-usa/

Many of the most beautiful communities in the United States are in remote areas where incumbent cable and telephone companies have decided not to offer modern, high-quality Internet connectivity. Sandy, Ore., is one of them. Some 10,000 people live there among the lush green forests and beautiful vistas of the “Gateway to Mount Hood,” 25… Continue reading

Hawai'i at the Energy Crossroads
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 6, 2015

Report: Hawai’i at the Energy Crossroads

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-renewable-hawaii/

UNDER THE SPECTER OF A MAINLAND UTILITY TAKEOVER, ISLANDERS MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN A LEGACY OF LARGE CENTRALIZED POWER OR A BURGEONING NETWORK OF DISTRIBUTED ENERGY Matt Grimley and John Farrell October 2015 DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT Executive Summary On the one hand: Sky-high electricity prices. A 20th century electricity system burning fuel oil and controlled… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jul 30, 2015

New Handbook on Next Generation Connectivity From Gig.U

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/new-handbook-on-next-generation-connectivity-from-gig-u-2/

Gig.U, a collaboration of more than 30 universities across the country has just released The Next Generation Network Connectivity Handbook: A guide for Community Leaders Seeking Affordable, Abundant Bandwidth. The handbook, published in association with the Benton Foundation, is available as a PDF online. One of the authors, Blair Levin, has been a guest several… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Jul 22, 2015

Comcast’s Big Gig Rip-Off

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/comcasts-big-gig-rip-off-2/

For some five years now, many have been talking about gigabit Internet access speeds. After arguing for years that no one needed higher capacity connections, Comcast has finally unveiled its new fiber optic option. And as Tech Dirt notes, it is marketed as being twice as fast but costs 4x as much (even more in… Continue reading

5 gigs municipal solar
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 1, 2015

Report: Public Rooftop Revolution

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/public-rooftop-revolution/

There are a lot of stories on residential rooftop solar but few if any on what cities are doing to make themselves energy self-reliant by using their own buildings and lands to generate power. In Public Rooftop Revolution, ILSR estimates that mid-sized cities could install as much as 5,000 megawatts of solar—as much as one-quarter… Continue reading