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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Dec 4, 2017

Sage Advice On Growing Your Grassroots Broadband Group

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/sage-advice-on-growing-your-grassroots-broadband-group/

As the threat to network neutrality seems imminent, an increasing number of local people are organizing grassroots groups and are looking for the best steps to start local initiatives. When you decide that your community needs to make a change that isn’t happening organically, it’s time to nudge that change along. Starting a grassroots movement with like-minded citizens will help educate the community, build support, and generate ideas as you all consider what is the best solution for your unique situation. We’ve talked with local folks over the years who have shared lessons learned with us and we’ve gathered together some of the best grassroots stories with resources to share.

Seek Out The Masters

Of course, there’s nothing better than getting tips from some one who’s already climbed the mountain. John St. Julien from Lafayette passed away in 2016, but his voice and work lives on. We interviewed him in the early days of the Community Broadband Bits podcast for episode 94 in 2014and he had some great advice on engaging other people in the community and keeping the momentum positive.

logo-LPFBanner.pngWe also obtained permission to archive and preserve some of the writings on the Lafyette Pro Fiber Blog, John’s brainchild he developed as Lafayette struggled against the many challenges by incumbents who wanted to preserve their monopoly.

Hanging’ With Buds

Often it is a mutual and familiar need that brings grassroots organizations together. In North Carolina, NC Hearts Gigabit started as a way to connect to each other when they don’t feel connected to the current political process, want better Internet connectivity in North Carolina, and need to get out from behind a desk. They organize their meetings around lunch and, hey, we all need to eat amiright? Christopher spoke with the people who got the group off the ground, with Economic Development Consultant Christa Wagner Vinson, CEO of Open Broadband Alan Fitzpatrick, and Partner of Broadband Catalysts Deborah Watts. Listen to episode 280 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Nov 30, 2017

Internet Connectivity in Indigenous Communities (Episode 34)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/indigenous-internet-blp-episode-34/

Building Local Power podcast host Christopher Mitchell asks Matthew Rantanen, the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association‘s Director of Technology and director of the Tribal Digital Village: “What difference does adequate Internet access make in people’s lives?” Rantanen, after taking a moment to answer, responds: “Well, the difference it makes in people’s lives is clearly access… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Nov 28, 2017

Resources to Combat Network Neutrality Repeal from ILSR

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/resources-to-combat-network-neutrality-repeal-from-ilsr/

The FCC is set to vote on whether or not to repeal network Neutrality under the deceptive guise of “Restoring Internet Freedom” on December 14th. Like others who study broadband and telecommunications policy, we’re distressed by the possibilities for the Internet and its users, should the Commission decide to repeal these protections. Because we use the Internet for so much in our daily lives, reversing network neutrality will give big ISPs like Comcast and Verizon undue power over what information we receive, our online business, and the result may negatively impact innovation. Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Matthew Marcus | No Comments | Updated on Nov 30, 2017

Electric Cooperative Provides Southeastern Missouri Counties with Fiber-to-the-Home

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/electric-cooperative-provides-southeastern-missouri-counties-with-fiber-to-the-home/

Southeastern Missouri residents in three counties will soon have Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) available through the Pemiscot-Dunklin Electric Cooperative. The new project marks yet another opportunity for rural residents and businesses to obtain high-quality connectivity from their electric service providers. 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