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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

sun-prairie-ponders-fiber-network-investment-in-wisconsin
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jan 27, 2014

Sun Prairie Ponders Fiber Network Investment in Wisconsin

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/sun-prairie-ponders-fiber-network-investment-wisconsin

The Sun Prairie City Council met on January 14th to discuss a possible investment in a municipal fiber network. Thank you to local resident Jonathan Kleinow for alerting us to developments in the south central Wisconsin town. The Star published an article about the meeting in which The Motive Group presented information to the Committee… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jan 10, 2014

Wisconsin Gets a Gig in Reedsburg

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/wisconsin-gets-gig-reedsburg

The latest addition to the growing list of gigabit communities is Reedsburg, Wisconsin. For residential customers, the service is available for $274.95/month when bundled or $299.95/month standalone. The network has long delivered gigabit services to local businesses but the residential offer is new. In a recent press release the Reedsburg Utility Commission (RUC) announced it now… Continue reading

att-lobbying-likely-to-increase-wisconsin-school-library-telecom-costs
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jul 11, 2013

AT&T Lobbying Likely to Increase Wisconsin School, Library Telecom Costs

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/att-lobbying-likely-increase-wisconsin-school-library-telecom-costs

The University of Wisconsin recently withdrew from its contract with WiscNet, threatening the future of the network. Stop the Cap! reports the University bowed under pressure from Republican lawmakers and threats of litigation from the likes of AT&T, CenturyLink, and the Wisconsin State Telecom Association (WSTA). Costly litigation could interrupt UW’s research and educational work and UW must… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jun 11, 2013

Responding to “Crazy Talk” – Community Broadband Bits Episode #50

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/responding-crazy-talk-community-broadband-bits-episode-50

For our 50th episode, we’re trying something new: Lisa and I respond to three common claims made by opponents of community owned networks. We owe these three particular arguments to the Executive Director of the trade association of Wisconsin telephone companies. Each of the clips we respond to come from claims he made at a… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 21, 2013

Steve Johnson: Episode 3 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/steve-johnson-episode-3-local-energy-rules-podcast/

In this edition of Local Energy Rules, John Farrell and Wade Underwood speak with Steve Johnson of Convergence Energy about a successful 660 kilowatt community solar project near Delavan, WI.  The project required 33 separate LLCs to take advantage of the state’s net metering rules, and also used the limited-time federal cash grant program to… Continue reading

waukeshas-wecan-now-provides-1-gbps-to-the-internet
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Oct 3, 2012

Waukesha’s WECAN Now Provides 1 Gbps to the Internet

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/waukeshas-wecan-now-provides-1-gbps-internet

Waukesha, Wisconsin now offers an ultra-fast connection for educational and government members. WiscNetWire reports that the region’s Community Area Network (CAN) obtained 1 gigabit Internet capability in August. We have reported on Wisconsin’s efforts to expand connectivity using the CAN model of collaboration. The people of Wisconsin are hard at working connecting to each other… Continue reading

Article filed under The Public Good, The Public Good News | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Aug 17, 2012

Anti-public schools candidates crushed in Wisconsin

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/anti-public-schools-candidates-crushed-wisconsin/

With public schools under attack everywhere, a inspiring victory came out of Wisconsin last week.  The American Federation for Children (AFC), a pro school privatization group funded by billionaires from Michigan and millionaires from several other states, entered a slate of candidates in Democratic primaries for the state Assembly and Senate. The battle was joined… Continue reading

collaboration-alive-and-well-in-wisconsin-broadband-expansion
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Apr 16, 2012

Collaboration Alive and Well In Wisconsin Broadband Expansion

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/collaboration-alive-and-well-wisconsin-broadband-expansion

Wise people say that collaboration often leads to a better result than individual efforts. Recently, I was reminded of the benefits of different levels of collaboration, as they relate to community networks, in two separate articles about fiber-optic expansion in Wisconsin. First, is a recent Randy Happel article in Trenchless Technology, about how UW-Extension is… Continue reading

Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Apr 11, 2012

Wisconsin To Stop Doing Cost-Benefit Studies Because They Find Public Is Better

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/wisconsin-stop-cost-benefit-studies-find-public/

Back in 2005,  Wisconsin state agencies were found to be spending more contracting out for services than if they were done by existing public employees.  In response the legislature, with bipartisan support, passed a bill requiring agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before privatizing large public contracts. By far the biggest state government outsourcer was… Continue reading