Tools for Cities and Citizens
You know what is best for your community’s infrastructure needs. The time is ripe to reap the benefits of community-owned fiber.
Fiber optic internet is the future of broadband. Need a little help understanding it? Click here or on the title below and get ready to explore the world of fiber.
- This easy-to-understand guide tells you everything you need to know about fiber Internet, including how it works and how to build it.
Learn from Others
- This clear, concise proposal demystifies the somewhat daunting idea of building a locally-controlled fiber network by providing a clear picture of how it can be done, how much it will cost, and how much revenue it might generate.
- This 2-page How-to Guide shows you how to adapt Saltspring’s proposal to your own community.
- This easy-to-read report models how Canmore, Alberta has approached their municipal broadband plan. It provides a great template for other local governments to follow and includes a needs assessment, a feasibility study, a best practices review, and broadband strategy recommendations.
Community Broadband Podcasts
Community Broadband Bits is a short weekly audio show featuring interviews with people building community networks. Listen and discover how communities are investing in their own Internet infrastructure to promote economic prosperity and improve quality of life. Click here and enjoy the show!
These short, engaging info sheets were created by the US-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a community broadband superstar. Click on the document titles below, and the guides will open in a new window. Happy reading!
- A handy guide to the basics of broadband terminology and technology for policymakers and concerned citizens.
- High-quality connectivity needs to be fast, affordable, and reliable. Satellite is none of the three.
- Community networks have a variety of models, from offering full retail services to dark fiber approaches. Each comes with its own strengths and weaknesses and will appeal differently to different communities.
- Local governments spend millions building electric systems, water lines, roads, and bridges. They subsidize the development of airports, sports stadiums, and public parks. Hundreds of communities across the U.S. have now also invested in municipal broadband networks that provide residents with affordable, high-quality Internet access.
- Given the importance of Internet access to modern businesses and quality of life, some local governments have invested in networks that have revitalized local economies and saved taxpayers dollars. Many of these networks allow local Internet Service Providers to use the infrastructure, creating competition.
- The communities profiled here have found cost-effective ways of delivering high-speed broadband connections.
- Community-owned fiber networks deliver the highest capacity connections at far greater levels of reliability than wireless, cable and DSL companies — they are focused on helping local businesses, not extracting monopoly profits.
- Hundreds of local governments across the U.S. are offering Internet access to local businesses and/or residents, often in reaction to a lack of fast, affordable, and reliable connections in their community. Contrary to popular belief, none of the most common means of financing the network involves increasing local taxes. These are the three most common methods, but many networks have used a combination of these tools.
- Local leaders are finding creative ways to pay for publicly owned infrastructure. In addition to the three most common methods of funding municipal networks — revenue bonds, interdepartmental loans, and avoided costs — communities are using new low risk, low cost techniques to deploy much needed fiber optic networks.
An overview of the change in prices and speeds for Tennessee’s municipal networks.