A new report released by BioCycle — with research led by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance — details the growth of residential access to food scrap collection services, both through curbside and drop-off programs. Food scrap recovery is increasingly recognized as a key to reaching high waste diversion levels, protecting the climate, and feeding the soil.… Read More
In each of our wide-ranging initiatives, we work alongside community leaders to provide the hard data, detailed policy expertise, and compelling narratives needed to support effective advocacy, organizing, and real-life projects. ILSR was busy in 2017, check out the progress we’ve made this year.… Read More
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.… Read More
The retail industry is experiencing significant upheaval, but almost all of the reporting on the issue has focused on national chains. Now, a national survey finds that shifts in retail are playing out differently for independents. While 90% of independent retailers report that Amazon is negatively affecting their businesses, they also say that their distinct strengths are helping them weather the storm better than many national chains.… Read More
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.… Read More
A wave of consolidation has swept across the U.S. economy over the past decade, reshaping already-powerful corporations into financial and political powerhouses. The trend has taken particular hold among electric utilities, a sector where monopoly reigns virtually unchecked.
Consolidated, investor-owned utilities now have service territories that span several states and include millions of customers. They say gobbling competitors delivers operational efficiencies and cost savings. But who sees the benefits? And what are the unspoken costs?
This report explains how concentration of power in monopoly utilities delivers fewer customer benefits than alleged, and how the unmentioned costs of concentrating power in a few firms undermines protection of the public interest.… Read More
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.
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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 … Read More
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 attempt, which is filled with errors and a blatant disregard for the truth.… Read More