New Report Concludes: To Be Competitive, Cities Must Own High Speed Information Networks

Date: 22 Jan 2008 | posted in: MuniNetworks, Press Release | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

For Immediate Release

CONTACT: 612-276-3456

New Report Concludes: To Be Competitive, Cities Must Own High Speed Information Networks, Minn.– (January 22, 2008). The United States, creator of the Internet, increasingly lags in high-speed access to it. In the absence of a national broadband strategy, hundreds of communities have invested in broadband infrastructure to solve their problem locally. A new report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) explores this essential infrastructure and the options now available to communities.

The ILSR Report contends that DSL and cable networks fail to offer the speeds and capacity necessary for the digital future.

“As broadband has gone from convenience to necessity, communities can no longer rely on private providers to satisfy their broadband needs,” explains Christopher Mitchell, author of the study and Director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative for ILSR. “As we transition from copper-based networks to fiber optic networks, each community has an opportunity to build the network they need for their stakeholders.”

Communities are continuing to invest in broadband networks — both wired and wireless. Mitchell’s study, Municipal Broadband: Demystifying Wireless and Fiber-Optic Options, serves to inform communities about these technologies and the tradeoffs of each.

“This study helps communities to understand the broadband world — a complicated place — so they can make informed decisions to meet their needs now, and in the future, ” says Mitchell.

The full report, Municipal Broadband: Demystifying Wireless and Fiber-Optic Options, can be viewed online at

About ILSR: The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is a nonprofit organization founded in 1974 to advance sustainable, equitable, and community-centered economic development through research and educational activities and technical assistance. More at

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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, 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!