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Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 1, 2014

Two Big-Box Decisions Show How Smart Planning Policies Protect Good Jobs

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/smart-planning-policies-protect-good-jobs-cities-vote-big-boxes/

Although few cities take full advantage of them, planning and zoning powers are among the most potent tools communities have for shaping their economies. Two recent decisions, in Massachusetts and Wisconsin, underscore why land use planning matters and how smart policies can strengthen the local economy and protect good jobs. Continue reading

massbroadband-123-complete-in-massachusetts
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 5, 2014

MassBroadband 123 Complete in Massachusetts

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/massbroadband-123-complete-massachusetts

The Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) just announced that the 1,200-mile fiber network MassBroadband 123 is now complete. According to the official announcement, the middle-mile network will eventually serve over 1,200 community anchor institutions. The open access network, constructed with $45.4 million in stimulus funding and an additional $40 million in state bond proceeds, lit up… Continue reading

an-increasing-call-for-community-owned-networks
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Feb 27, 2014

An Increasing Call for Community Owned Networks

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/increasing-call-community-owned-networks

While Comcast focuses on increasing its market power rather than improving services in the communities it monopolizes, no one should be surprised that we are seeing a surge in interest for building community owned networks. We’ve heard from many people who want to learn how they can start – more than we can always respond… Continue reading

opencape-local-ideas-to-maximize-fiber-infrastructure
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Feb 24, 2014

OpenCape: Local Ideas to Maximize Fiber Infrastructure

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/opencape-local-ideas-maximize-fiber-infrastructure

The OpenCape Network launched about eight months ago to bring better middle mile connectivity to Cape Cod. Reporter Sean Gonsalves explored other possibilities for the 350-mile infrastructure in a recent Cape Cod Online article. Gonsalves spoke with OpenCape CEO Dan Vorthems. The network was funded with $32 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)… Continue reading

middleman
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Jan 9, 2014

The High Cost of the Solar Middleman

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/cost-solar-middleman/

If there’s no such thing as a free lunch, then how can Americans get solar on their roof with “zero money down” and lower their electric bill?  Solar leasing, as it’s often called, is a clever market solution to poor federal and state policy design that otherwise requires Americans to do financial acrobatics to power… Continue reading

new-case-study-of-leverett-mass-muni-network
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jan 8, 2014

New Case Study of Leverett, Mass, Muni Network

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/new-case-study-leverett-mass-muni-network

We first reported on Leverett in the spring of 2012. Leverett, a small town of 2,000, also attracted Susan Crawford’s attention. Crawford and Robyn Mohr recently wrote a case study on the community’s efforts to build its own fiber network. The Berkman Center for Internet & Society released the paper on December 16, 2013. Readers… Continue reading

in-western-mass-holyoke-gas-and-electric-brings-broadband-community-broadband-bits-episode-65
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Sep 24, 2013

In Western Mass, Holyoke Gas and Electric Brings Broadband – Community Broadband Bits Episode #65

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/western-mass-holyoke-gas-and-electric-brings-broadband-community-broadband-bits-episode-65

Holyoke Gas & Electric has been connecting community anchor institutions and local businesses in Western Massachusetts with fiber networks for years. Rather than using exception access to the Internet as a competitive advantage over more poorly connected neighbors, the Municipal Light Plant (in the parlance of Massachusetts law) is helping nearby towns to establish their… Continue reading

leverett-on-track-for-fiber-network-in-massachusetts
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jul 30, 2013

Leverett On Track for Fiber Network in Massachusetts

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/leverett-track-fiber-network-massachusetts

We have followed developments in Leverett since we first learned about the small town’s decision to build its own next generation infrastructure. The community has faced some challenges but is determined to get its residents connected. After an overwhelming vote to support a bond measure and minor tax increase to fund the network, Leverett encountered… Continue reading

winchester-massachusetts-defeats-plan-for-town-and-school-technology-fund
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jul 10, 2013

Winchester, Massachusetts, Defeats Plan for Town and School Technology Fund

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/winchester-massachusetts-defeats-plan-town-and-school-technology-fund

Winchester, Massachusetts, recently offered voters the chance to create a special fund earmarked for school and government technology infrastructure. The question came during the special election to fill an empty Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry. The technology fund proposal, to be funded by taxpayers, did not pass but offers an interesting… Continue reading

Cape Cod
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 1, 2013

Here’s One Smart Way to Handle Big-Box Stores

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/heres-smart-handle-big-box-stores/

Cape Cod is the rare community that considers regional economic impacts when weighing big-box retail development, and that makes all the difference. Continue reading