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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 rural Sibley County are going from worst to best after building a wireless and fiber-optic cooperative. While federal programs throw billions of dollars to deliver last year’s Internet speeds, local programs are building the network of the future.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Next Century Cities present this in-depth case study co-authored by Scott Carlson and Christopher Mitchell.

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DOWNLOAD THE REPORT

In “RS Fiber: Fertile Fields for New Rural Internet Cooperative,” the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) and Next Century Cities (NCC) document a groundbreaking new model that’s sprung up in South Central Minnesota that can be replicated all over the nation, in the thousands of cities and counties that have been refused service by big cable and telecom corporations.

From the technologies to the financing, rural communities can solve their problems with local investments.

“This cooperative model could bring high quality Internet access to every farm in the country,” says Christopher Mitchell, director of ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks initiative. “It’s time we stop giving billions of dollars to the big telephone companies that have refused to meet local needs. There is a better way, there are better models emerging. We can do this. RS Fiber proves it.”

In the report you’ll meet:

Mark Erickson of the city of Winthrop. Erickson is the local champion that has breathed life into RS Fiber. Without the project, the city of Gaylord would have not attracted the forthcoming medical school. “We have that opportunity because of the FTTH network. Without it, no medical school.”

Linda Kramer of Renville County. Kramer’s family farm relies on the Internet to upload soybean and wheat reports to business partners. DSL connections are simply not fast enough to handle the massive amount of data agricultural businesses need in order to stay competitive with the Farming Industrial Complex that is the reality of the 21st century.

Jacob Rieke, a 5th generation family farmer. Rieke’s motivation for backing the project was his pre-school aged daughters. Not wanting to put them at a disadvantage to their peers in other cities, he considered moving to a different location in order to have access to Internet.

 

Read ongoing stories about these networks at ILSR’s site devoted to Community Broadband Networks.  You can also subscribe to a once-per-week email with stories about community broadband networks.

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by ILSR | No Comments | Updated on Apr 6, 2016

More Colorado Communities Shut Out State Barriers At The Voting Booth

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/more-colorado-communities-shut-out-state-barriers-at-the-voting-booth/

Once again, local communities in Colorado chose to shout out to leaders at the Capitol and tell them, “We reclaim local telecommunications authority!” Nine more towns in the Centennial State voted on Tuesday to opt out of 2005’s SB 152. Here are the unofficial results from local communities that can’t be any more direct at… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by ILSR | No Comments | Updated on Mar 28, 2016

AT&T Tries to End the Magic of One Touch Make-Ready

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/att-tries-to-end-the-magic-of-one-touch-make-ready/

On the border of Kentucky and Indiana a fight is brewing as AT&T and Google Fiber have both announced plans to bring Gigabit Internet service to Louisville, Kentucky. Home to over half a million, the city could see major economic development with new ultra high-speed Internet access, but there’s a problem: the utility poles. AT&T… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Banking, Broadband, Energy, Independent Business, The Public Good, Waste to Wealth | Written by ILSR | No Comments | Updated on May 3, 2016

Video: Break the Chains, Build Local Power

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/break-the-chains-build-local-power/

Since our founding in 1974, we have worked to rewrite the rules and empower communities to choose their own future. Across several vital economic sectors, we help break the corporate stranglehold that extracts wealth from local economies and undermines democracy. We give communities the tools to build a strong local economy themselves. From banking to energy, healthy… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by ILSR | No Comments | Updated on Mar 25, 2016

Mancos Voters The Latest To Decide Local Authority In Colorado

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/mancos-voters-the-latest-to-decide-local-authority-in-colorado/

 Mancos, a rural community of about 1,300 in rural southwest Colorado, hopes to join over 50 other communities across the state that have reclaimed local telecommunications authority. On April 5th, the town will decide whether to exempt itself from SB 152, Colorado’s 2005 state law that removed local choice from municipalities and local governments. Located… Continue reading