Institute for Local Self-Reliance releases new interactive map of publicly owned fiber-to-the-home and cable networks.
Contact: Christopher Mitchell
Even as AT&T tries to swallow up T-Mobile, further consolidating the telecommunications sector, a new phenomenon is maturing that promises to give communities a vehicle for influencing their own telecommunications future: publicly owned networks.
A new map just released by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) shows the location of over one hundred communities that have rejected the tyranny of existing carriers and built their own networks.
“The Community Broadband Map reveals the depth and breadth of publicly owned networks,” says Christopher Mitchell, Director of ILSR’s Telecommunications as Commons Initiative. “Many of these were the first to bring broadband to their residents. Others offer some of the best deals available in the country.”
The Community Broadband Map lays the foundation for a new report released by ILSR, Publicly Owned Broadband Networks: Averting the Looming Broadband Monopoly. The report argues that community networks offer the only potential form of future broadband competition for most Americans.
Mitchell argues that both wired and wireless networks are offering less competition, “In wireless, we effectively choose between AT&T and Verizon. In wired, cable networks increasingly offer a substantially faster and more reliable product than DSL, leaving the majority of us with only one option for high-speed access to the Internet.”
The report calls on the Federal Communications Commission to protect the right of communities to build broadband networks by preventing heavily lobbied state legislatures from stripping their authority to do so.
The new report is a followup to ILSR’s release in 2010 of the most comprehensive report available on Community Networks – Breaking the Broadband Monopoly: How Communities Are Building the Networks They Need.”
The Community Broadband Map is available here: http://www.muninetworks.org/communitymap
Publicly Owned Broadband Networks: Averting the Looming Broadband Monopoly is available here: http://www.newrules.org/information/publications/publicly-owned-broadband-networks-averting-looming-broadband-monopoly
Breaking the Broadband Monopoly is available here: http://www.muninetworks.org/reports/breaking-broadband-monopoly