community-scaled Internet service providers are far more effective at delivering fast, affordable, and reliable Internet access

Access to high-quality broadband is more important than ever, but monopoly control of essential public service leaves many disconnected, underserved, or paying too much for substandard service. Recommended:

  • Removing state laws that discourage or prevent local governments from building or partnering for broadband networks.
  • Supporting a diverse range of locally-based solutions, including municipal broadband networks, partnerships between communities and locally-owned companies, and telephone and electric cooperatives expanding into broadband service. 
  • Establishing state broadband grant programs and  issuing state bonds to help localities build broadband infrastructure.

ILSR’s full series on fighting monopoly power throughout other sectors of the economy can be found here.

Owning is better than renting internet: Fiber condominium approach pairs collectively owned network infrastructure with equity boost that comes with bringing symmetrical gigabit access to residential housing

BY VIRGIL MCDILL | 27 JAN 2021 | ILSR

The digital divide is leaving millions of Americans behind — and corporate telecom monopolies are only making the problem worse. 

 A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance sheds light on this under-reported problem. ILSR’s report finds that at a time when access to high-quality broadband is more important than ever, monopoly control of this essential public infrastructure is leaving many Americans — particularly people in rural communities and communities of color — disconnected, underserved, or, at best, paying too much for substandard service.

While monopoly telecoms continue to dominate the market and provide substandard service, our report finds that community-scaled Internet service providers are far more effective at delivering fast, affordable, and reliable Internet access.

The report is the latest in a series from ILSR focused on fighting monopoly power throughout several sectors of our economy, including Banking, Electricity, Food and Farming, Pharmacy, Waste and Recycling, and Small Business.

Called “How Telecom Monopolies are Blocking Better Internet Access, and What We Can Do About It,” the report recommends a range of policy actions for improving broadband at the local level, including:

  • Removing state laws that discourage or prevent local governments from building or partnering for broadband networks.
  • Supporting a diverse range of locally-based solutions, including municipal broadband networks, partnerships between communities and locally-owned companies, and telephone and electric cooperatives expanding into broadband service. 
  • Establishing state broadband grant programs and  issuing state bonds to help localities build broadband infrastructure.

ILSR’s full series on fighting monopoly power throughout other sectors of the economy can be found here.

January 28, 2021 | ILSR by Ry Marcattilio-McCracken

In a livestream just before Thanksgiving, Christopher was joined by Althea Networks CEO Deborah Simpier and NetEquity Networks Founder and CEO Isfandiyar Shaheen to discuss an innovative financing model for building Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) with the potential to bring quality broadband connections to the millions of homes around the country that are currently un- or underserved. Best described as a  “fiber condominium” approach, it pairs collectively owned network infrastructure with the equity boost that comes with bringing symmetrical gigabit access to residential housing.

In a new video, Shaheen explains how it works in both the short term and over time, with last-mile fiber connections made by leveraging Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) in modest amounts from local credit unions and a payment arrangement that covers everything from the construction to customer service calls. 

The meat of the discussion starts around 6:35, with Shaheen describing how a $60-70/month payment for fiber Internet access breaks down. It covers everything needed, including payments for the HELOC to the local credit union, transit rates for the middle-mile network operator, maintenance fees, and an organizing entity like NetEquity Networks to bring all these stakeholders together and manage the connection.

It’s a fascinating model, with some new relationships that need to be created but no revolutionary technology or fundamentally new financing structures. 

Watch the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/pO8KfNOxN1kTags: broadband cooperativefinancingpilot

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