Here we are in 2020 and millions of Americans have poor Internet access – whether due to slow speeds, unreliable connections, high prices, or several other potential problems. One obvious solution for some is to directly build their own network or partner with an independent Internet service provider to improve access locally. But some 19 states maintain deliberate barriers to discourage local Internet choice. Some additional states – like New Hampshire – do not specifically discourage municipal networks or partnerships but state law does not allow enough local authority to finance such investments in the most common ways communities do this.
LocalBroadband.org is dedicated to ensuring communities have the option – if they choose to exercise it – to build community networks or partnerships to ensure that all Americans have fast, affordable, and reliable Internet access. This project has been spear-headed by the Community Broadband Networks initiative of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, but also draws inspiration from the Coalition for Local Internet Choice, the Local Solutions Support Center, Next Century Cities, and many other groups that are working to increase investment in better networks to help communities thrive.
We are working with local groups in many states already and may be able to help you plug-in even if your state is not yet listed.