Community Broadband Networks

Gig City, U.S.A.: Bringing Google Fiber to Kansas City, 2012
This case study explores Google’s initiative to bring ultra-fast internet connection speeds to Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. It is part two of a three-part series exploring how cities are developing innovative models for tackling complex urban issues and strengthening their local economies. This series was developed in partnership with Next American City

Gigabits Around the County, 2012
This blog post explores why cities develop their own community networks and what some of the challenges and benefits are. It takes a look at Chattanooga, TN's network, the nation's first municipal network with gigabit speeds.

Gigabit Around the Country - Part 2, 2012
This blog post looks at Danville, VA's municipal network and the hallmarks of successful local initiatives.

Cities Build Their Own, Faster Broadband Networks, 2012
Some of the fastest broadband networks are being built by local governments, according to a recent report titled “Broadband at the Speed of Light” from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the Benton Foundation. Providing service to less populated areas can prove to be unprofitable for the private sector, so city-built networks are often the only way to provide these areas with modern broadband access.

How a Municipal Network Can Help Your City, 2012
Some of the fastest broadband networks are being built by local governments, according to a recent report titled "Broadband at the Speed of Light" from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the Benton Foundation. A community-run network is a useful tool for several reasons. First, it can provide much faster speeds and higher levels of service to city departments, local businesses and residents. These networks lower the prices for everyone by creating real competition and often lead to efficiencies in the operation of a variety of city services, including public safety, education, healthcare and transportation. In that way, municipal networks are not just a business opportunity for cities, they can also impact the way services are provided. 

This webinar featured Bristol, VA, Chattanooga, TN, and Portland, OR to discuss some of the strategies they implemented that lead to the success of their municipal networks. While these examples might not be replicable for all cities, the lessons learned here can encourage all local governments to think strategically about feasible long-term solutions for broadband access that take into account existing limitations such as state regulations and industry monopolies.

Other Resources

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR)
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is a non-profit organization working to provide innovative strategies for community development.  They work on a variety of issues, including broadband.

Community Broadband Networks
Community Broadband Networks was created and is maintained by the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative of the New Rules Project of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.  Their aim is to provide information on the various options localities have when considering the development of their own community or municipal broadband networks.