In the pathway to 100% renewable energy lie electric utilities. Despite some changes to market structure in past decades, most utilities still have enormous market, and political power. How do they wield it, and how does it impact the shift toward cleaner energy?… Read More
In the News: Christopher Mitchell January 11th, 2019 Media Outlet: Pew Charitable Trusts Some state laws actually make it harder for rural communities to gain quality Internet access, despite the availability of federal funding for broadband. Christopher Mitchell, director of ILSR’s … Read More
In our latest Local Energy Rules podcast, John Farrell joins leaders from Farmers Electric Cooperative in Iowa and Kit Carson Electric Cooperative in New Mexico, to discuss how rural areas can source their power locally and renewably. Rural electric co-op leaders Warren McKenna and Luis Reyes share from experience how local renewable energy provides win-wins for co-ops, member-owners, and their local economy.… Read More
Nearly 100 U.S. cities of different sizes have made formal commitments to 100 percent renewable energy. In our sixth episode of Voices of 100%, a multi-part series of Local Energy Rules, we feature the small town of Abita Springs, the first city in Louisiana to set such a goal. LeAnn Magee, who chairs the grassroots, volunteer-led Abita Committee for Energy Sustainability that helped pass the town’s resolution, speaks with co-director of ILSR and Energy Democracy initiative director John Farrell about the motivations for and approach to Abita Springs’ commitment — starting with municipal buildings and advocating for community solar.… Read More
Nestled at the base of the Ruby Mountains in northeastern Nevada, Spring Creek is a small town of about 12,300 people that originally formed in the 1970s as three large housing sections. The municipality mainly serves as a bedroom community for businesses and industries in the nearby City of Elko. The economy is mostly based on gold mining, with limited ranching, tourism, and manufacturing also providing jobs. Former Nevada governor, Jim Gibbons, who now owns a 40-acre ranch in Lamoille and Tariq Ahmad of Satview Broadband Ltd.founded the co-op in order to serve the 57-square-mile-area in Elko County where those services still do not exist.… Read More
Within the top five fastest ISPs, two are municipal networks: #1 NextLight from Longmont, Colorado, and EPB Fiber Optics from Chattanooga. Two others involve publicly owned conduit — #3 Sonic in San Franciscoand #5 Allo, operating in Lincoln, Nebraska.
When local communities have the opportunity to make investments to improve connectivity, they typically know what will work best for them. We’ve documented how each of these communities have improved economic development, improved Internet access for schools and other institutions, cut costs, and improved digital inclusion.… Read More
CC has served rural and farming communities north of Columbus since the 1930s. It currently provides electric in Delaware and Morrow counties, as well as slices of six other surrounding counties. It also provides some fiber access to area school districts and businesses through its brand Enlite, partially by harnessing CC’s electric infrastructure.
Last October in a Facebook post, CC cited a member survey wherein “many members in our serving area report insufficient access to reliable Internet service.” The co-op says it’s broken ground on constructing its new fiber network earlier this spring, and will begin offering services sometime in June for select high-need clients in western Delaware County.… Read More
Holston Electric Cooperative (HEC) in Hamblen and Hawkins County, Tennessee, is about to begin Phase I of its plan to deploy fiber optic connectivity to more than 30,000 members. The multi-year project will bring broadband to the rural area and create smart grid efficiencies for the electric system.… Read More
At the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, we create maps analyzing publicly available data to show disparities in access and highlight possible solutions. We’ve recently taken an in-depth look at Georgia and want to share our findings with two revealing maps. According to the FCC’s 2018 Broadband Deployment Report, 29.1 percent of the state’s rural population lacks broadband access, but only 3 percent of the urban population shares the same problem. Cooperatives and small municipal networks are making a difference in several of these rural communities.… Read More