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ILSR Releases New Community Networks Map

| Written by Lisa Gonzalez | 1 Comment | Updated on Feb 26, 2013 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance has released a new interactive map showcasing 342 community owned networks throughout the United States that serve local businesses and residents.

The Community Internet Map, available at, includes,

  • 89 communities served by publicly owned Fiber-to-the-Home networks
  • 74 communities served by publicly owned cable networks
  • 179 communities with fiber optic connections available in some areas of town, owned by the community
  • 35 communities in 10 states with access to a gigabit from a community owned network
  • 19 states that have barriers to discourage community owned networks

The Community Internet Map explores wired networks that serve non-public subscribers.  Though most fiber optic networks can offer gigabit connections, we are tracking networks that either advertise a gigabit service or have a customer subscribing to that level of service.

These local governments have invested in networks for a variety of reasons, but economic development is often the most significant motivation. In many cases, local businesses approached the municipality about expanding access to the Internet.

Unfortunately, nineteen states limit local government investments in this essential infrastructure. The map provides detailed information on the nature of those limitations.

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About Lisa Gonzalez

Lisa Gonzalez researches and reports on telecommunications and municipal networks’ impact on life at the local level. Lisa has worked in politics, education, and as a freelance journalist. In addition to her contributions at, Lisa writes for and produces the Broadband Bits podcast. More

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  • Ernest Sanders

    Is it possible to get a list of how many “Community Owned Networks” are in Illinois? And more specifically, Chicago. Thank you!