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Featured Article, Resource filed under General | Written by John Bailey | No Comments | Updated on Nov 28, 2017

ILSR’s 2017 Annual Report: Building Local Power

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/2017-annual-report/

With the generosity of people like you, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) has reinforced our role in the vanguard to advance policies and models that support locally driven economies, a cleaner environment, and more equity. With the abdication by the federal government of its role in protecting the public welfare, building and exercising local… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Hannah Trostle | No Comments | Updated on Nov 28, 2017

The Fiber Future is Cooperative: Policy Brief On Rural Cooperative Fiber Deployment

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/the-fiber-future-is-cooperative-policy-brief-on-rural-cooperative-fiber-deployment/

Rural communities across the United States are already building the Internet infrastructure of the future. Using a 20th century model, rural America is finding a way to tap into high-speed Internet service: electric and telephone cooperatives are bringing next-generation, Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) networks to their service territories. This policy brief provides an overview of the work that cooperatives have already done, including a map of the cooperatives’ fiber service territories. We also offer recommendations on ways to help cooperatives continue their important strides.

Download the policy brief, Cooperatives Fiberize Rural America: A Trusted Model For The Internet Era here. Continue reading

Photo: Street with stores.
Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Nov 27, 2017

Amazon Is Hurting 90% of Independent Retailers, but Indies Also Report Distinct Strengths That Give Them an Edge Over the Chains

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

The retail industry is experiencing significant upheaval, as Amazon continues to grow and as big-box stores and malls go dark. Reporting on the issue, however, has focused almost exclusively on national chains. Now, a new national survey finds that while independent retailers are being negatively impacted by Amazon’s rise, shifts in the retail sector are also playing out differently for independents than they are for the chains. The survey, which gathered data from over 850 independent retailers across the U.S., yields valuable insight into how independents are weathering the retail storm — and what they perceive as their distinct advantages. Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Nov 2, 2017

Comcast’s Election Investment: Policy Brief On Seattle, Fort Collins, & Broadband Ballots

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/comcasts-election-investment-policy-brief-on-seattle-fort-collins-broadband-ballots/

Comcast is doing its best to buy elections in Seattle and Fort Collins and this new report from the Community Broadband Networks team found out why: the telecom giant stands to lose millions in customer’s service if their preferred option loses at the ballot. Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 7, 2017

Report: Choosing the Electric Avenue – Unlocking Savings, Emissions Reductions, and Community Benefits of Electric Vehicles

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

The U.S. vehicle market will undergo a massive technology disruption from electric vehicles in the coming decades. Many analysts see the potential for surging sales of these efficient vehicles to enable smart grid management, but few have explored the local impact of electric vehicles: promoting energy democracy. Electric vehicles offer a natural use for solar energy, a pathway to pump more local solar power onto the grid, and a source of resilient power when the grid goes down. Ultimately, electric vehicles are another tool to miniaturize the electricity system, providing unprecedented local control.

Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jun 1, 2017

Addressing UPenn Report on Municipal Broadband: Dud Data, Unsuitable Approach

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/addressing-upenn-report-on-municipal-broadband-dud-data-unsuitable-approach/

For the second week in row, our staff has felt compelled to address a misleading report about municipal networks. In order to correct the errors and incorrect assumptions in yet another anti-muni publication, we’ve worked with Next Century Cities to publish Correcting Community Fiber Fallacies: Yoo Discredits U Penn, Not Municipal Networks. Skewed Data =… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on May 24, 2017

Report: Correcting Community Fiber Fallacies

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

Usually, we ignore the misinformation released by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) but their latest efforts are so shady, we felt it was our responsibility to shine a light on its lack of validity and the organization’s credibility. Our report, Correcting Community Fiber Fallacies: Taxpayers Protection Alliance Edition, takes a deeper look at the TAP’s most recent… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Composting, Mid-Atlantic Recycling & Economic Development, Stop Incineration, Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Apr 3, 2017

Report: Why Should Baltimore Recycle More?

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

There are two primary reasons why Baltimore should invest in more recycling. Establishing high recycling levels will position the city’s residents and businesses for the future, when the costs of incineration and landfill will be more expensive. The city could save citizens and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars by shrinking its waste stream for the next generation. Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under General | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Dec 15, 2016

Decentralizing Economic Power, Reinvigorating Democracy: ILSR’s Impact in 2016

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

ILSR’s forward-thinking, bottom-up solutions have never been more needed.   Please help us expand our impact in 2017 by making a donation to ILSR. As we head into a turbulent era of government, the values and goals of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) remain steadfast. Every day we help communities tap into their own power… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Nov 29, 2016

Report: How Amazon’s Tightening Grip on the Economy Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities

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

Amazon has quietly positioned itself at the center of a growing share of our daily activities and transactions, extending its tentacles across our economy, and with it, our lives. In this new report, we pull back the curtain on the company, and find that it’s at the center of increasing inequality and diminishing opportunity, and that it’s concentrating power in ways that endanger competition, community life, and democracy. We also examine how public policy should address Amazon’s high costs. Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 11, 2016

Report: Inclusive Financing for Efficiency and Renewable Energy

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

Download the Report   Browse the Report Executive Summary A Huge Opportunity      Challenges to Reaching Most Customers      A Necessary Paradigm Shift A Powerful Universal Tool: Inclusive Financing      Program Design       Key Results      Immediate Savings      Universal Access      Simplicity      Bigger Savings  … Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 12, 2016

Report: Sparking Grid Savings Starts at Home

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

  Download the Report   Browse the Report Introduction Big Potential Savings     Peak Reduction from Commercial Buildings     Peak Reduction from Homes Deepening of Peak Energy Reduction in Homes Powerful Examples Automated or No? Conclusion Footnotes Introduction In the past decade, two major trends have threatened the ability of electric utilities to… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Oct 11, 2016

Report: North Carolina Connectivity – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-north-carolina-connectivity-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

North Carolina’s digital divide between urban and rural communities is increasing dangerously in a time when high quality Internet access is more important than ever. Rural and urban areas of North Carolina are essentially living in different realities, based on the tides of private network investment where rural communities are severely disadvantaged. The state has… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 30, 2016

Report: Is Bigger Best in Renewable Energy?

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

  Download the Report   Browse the Report Introduction: The Savings of Size?     Renewable Energy Economies of Scale Evidence to the Contrary     Limits to Scale in Wind     Limits to Scale in Solar     Does Big or Small Grow Fastest? Why Economics Isn’t the Issue Summary Footnotes   Conventional wisdom… Continue reading

Monopoly Report: Cover Image
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 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