Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
Municipal Broadband Networks Get Top Billing in Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports - June 20, 2017
Are City-Owned Municipal Broadband Networks Better?
Written by James K. Wilcox
Cable providers are among the least-loved companies in Consumer Reports surveys. Some of the biggest—such as Comcast and Spectrum—earn low scores in multiple categories, including value and customer service.
Unfortunately, consumers have few options. A 2015 White House study found that three out of four Americans had access to only one broadband provider offering speeds of at least 25 Mbps, the threshold for high-speed service recognized by the Federal Communications Commission.
One response to this problem is municipal broadband, in which towns and cities launch their own internet services to serve both residents and local businesses. But these networks can be controversial. Some have faced lawsuits from private providers, and about two dozen states have passed laws that discourage municipalities from acting.
Where Municipal Broadband Works Well
Most municipal broadband providers are too small to make it into Consumer Reports' ratings. One exception is EPB-Chattanooga, a municipal broadband provider in Tennessee that is one of the top-rated services.
EPB launched as a public power company back in 1935 and added its internet service about 15 years ago. According to MuniNetworks.org, a website that tracks municipal broadband deployments, it is one of more than 500 such networks in the U.S. run directly by a local government or in cooperation with a private company.
CNN Shares Stories of Disconnected Rural Residents During Pandemic, Quotes Christopher Mitchell
Not only has the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic exposed our nation’s dire lack of medical equipment and protective gear, but it has also shone a light on the inadequacy of our rural broadband networks.
Press Release: FCC Efforts to Track Broadband Have Failed
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. (April 24, 2020) - The Federal Communications Commission has concluded that broadband is being deployed “on a reasonable and timely basis” across America.
Christopher Mitchell Joins Broadband Breakfast Live Online
Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Networks initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, recently appeared on Broadband Breakfast Live Online on March 31 to discuss the impacts of the pandemic in the broadband sector. Along with Christopher, the panel discussion was joined by host Drew Clark, Editor and Publisher at Broadband Breakfast, Gigi Sohn from Benton Institute for Broadband and Society, and Ben Bawtree-Jobson, CEO of SiFi Networks. The panelists explained policies to support universal broadband access, shared issues with telehealth, and suggested short-term solutions to bridge the homework gap.
Orlando Sentinel Op-Ed: Big Wireless Providers’ Growth Limits Local Choice
Katie Kienbaum, Research Associate at ILSR, wrote an op-ed that the Orlando Sentinel published on March 5, 2020.
Christopher Mitchell Interviewed by Wisconsin Public Radio
On February 17, Christopher Mitchell spoke on Wisconsin Public Radio's "Central Time" about the need for broadband access in unserved areas and how communities have taken a different approach to increase reliable and affordable Internet access. The discussion also touches on funding program, which is an important factor for local providers to expand broadband infrastructure in rural areas.
Christopher Mitchell Discusses Rural Networks and Huawei Concerns on Marketplace Tech
Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Networks initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, recently appeared on Marketplace Tech to discuss security concerns around Chinese equipment used in many rural broadband networks.