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Catalyzing Connectivity: Triumphs and Trials in Community Broadband Initiatives - Episode 580 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast

Countdown To Last Building for Digital Equity Event Of The Year

Blue River Latest Colorado Town To Eye Community Broadband

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Latest Stories

Summit County, Ohio Defends Community Broadband from State Opposition and Forges Ahead with Plans to Bolster Economic Development

Summit County has put together a multi-part, $75 million broadband plan to improve connectivity in the area: a middle-mile institutional fiber ring to connect the county’s public safety facilities and expand its broadband capacity, a new datacenter, and a fiber investment to specifically target residents and businesses in the county’s underserved areas and economic activity hubs.

Tribal Broadband Bootcamps Bring Broadband Solutions to Indian Country

An effort to foster digital sovereignty and support tribal citizens to build and operate their own broadband networks in Indian Country is gaining momentum. Responding to the challenges of COVID and the opportunities created by the federal attention and investment into tribal broadband, our own Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, prominent Tribal broadband advocate and 20-year veteran behind the Tribal Digital Village, Matt Rantanen, along with a loose coalition of public interest tech people have organized a series of trainings to help tribes tackle building and running networks for themselves.

A Michigan Electric Coop Gives Thumbs Up to Fiber Internet Service

Nearly 85 years after first delivering electricity to Michigan's Thumb region, the Thumb Electric Cooperative (TEC) has “started to lay the groundwork” for the construction of an $80 million fiber-to-the-home network to serve its 12,300 members across three counties. The project, expected to be completed over the next five years, will deploy 1,500 miles of aerial fiber and connect to another 600 miles of underground fiber, which will allow the co-op to extend service beyond its current footprint thanks to its recent purchase of Air Advantage, a Thumb-area Internet Service Provider. 

 

A New Municipal Broadband Advocacy Organization is Born

With an unprecedented opportunity for local communities to build their own ubiquitous high-speed Internet infrastructure, a new national organization has been formed to advocate on behalf of municipal broadband initiatives and to give local governments a seat at the table as federal and state officials craft legislation and grant programs to close the digital divide.

The United State(s) of Broadband

Tens of billions of dollars in federal funding are poised for new broadband infrastructure deployment over the next five years. But a crucial step in allocating funds from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program lies in knowing where fast, affordable, reliable broadband access currently is, so that they know where to drive new investment. A new federal broadband map is currently under construction, but many states aren't waiting around and have begun to develop their own broadband maps. In classifying the various state-led efforts, we've developed a new resource we're releasing today to serve as an easy reference guide. It shows how states are going about mapping Internet access, and which ones we think are doing it better than others. We’re calling it our United State(s) of Broadband Maps.

New Resource: Exploring Digital Equity Fact Sheet Series

The Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR), with support from AARP, has created the Exploring Digital Equity Fact Sheet Series. The series contains six user-friendly, easy-to-understand fact sheets to help demystify the challenges associated with creating digital equity by highlighting how expanding Internet access to everyone who wants it isn’t an infrastructure problem alone. Achieving digital equity for everyone in a community is a multi-faceted endeavor, and requires engaging and activating an array of stakeholders. These fact sheets unpack the issues, challenges, and opportunities today.