I added these links to our link section in the right column, but wanted to note them explicitly. One of the goals of this site is to catalog what groups around the country are organizing for better networks that put the community first - if you know of groups, please let us know.
In California's El Dorado County, the Camino Fiber Network Cooperative is seeking ways to finance building broadband to people who currently have no options. Thanks to Eldo Telecom for tipping me off.
In Massachusetts, many communities in the western half of the state have no or poor broadband access, which is why Wired West is investigating options for a publicly owned, open access network.
Thanks to a coalition of local digital equity advocates inroads are being made on fixing long-broken California cable franchise law as Digital Equity LA celebrates a major victory in pressuring the California Public Utilities Commission to produce more accurate maps that will be used to determine where the state's broadband funds should be targeted. These efforts come as California is putting its $7 billion broadband expansion plan into place with an eye on boosting competition and driving down consumer costs.
With a new supportive city manager in office, Cambridge city leaders have agreed to continue to investigate the options laid out in a recently published feasibility study. The study found that for Cambridge to construct a financially sustainable citywide fiber network “a significant public contribution would be required” of between $150 and $200 million.
Quincy, Massachusetts is moving full speed ahead on a long-percolating plan to bring faster and more reliable broadband to a community long neglected by regional telecom monopolies. If successful, the resulting open access fiber network should dramatically boost competitive options in the city, driving down costs for what many view as an essential utility.
The U.S. Treasury Department recently awarded more than $740 million in new American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funding to the states of California and Pennsylvania, providing a major boon to both states’ efforts to expand access to affordable broadband.
Representing 26 towns across Massachusetts, from Cape Cod to Chelsea, an informal group of mostly town officials have formed the Massachusetts Broadband Coalition in search of a way out of a broken monopoly broadband market to ensure that everyone in their individual communities has access to high-speed Internet. The newly-formed coalition has recently started to meet monthly to share information about what kind of alternatives there might be, or could be, to the big cable monopoly provider in their towns.
Digital Marin, currently housed within the Marin County Information Services and Technology Department, is coordinating a fiber project and leaning towards a municipally-owned, open-access solution modeled after Ammon’s standout network in Idaho.