Here’s a little light reading and easy listening. I’ve accumulating a huge amount of broadband lessons, stories and resources that can help you, your staff and your private and nonprofit partners. Over the holidays or down time in trains, planes, and automobiles, you might find some “catch-up time.” Enjoy.Community Broadband Snapshot ReportsThese qualitative analysis reports help community stakeholders make better decisions and build networks that better meet constituents’ needs. They combine communities’ experiences, perspectives and insights. The reports tackle states’ anti-muni network laws, new sources of broadband funding, broadband’s impact on economic development and other vital topics.Gigabit NationIn over 230 archived interviews since 2011, I explore broadband issues, policies, and community broadband success stories. Guests on the show include mayors, broadband project leaders, government agency leaders and managers, public advocates. It’s a resource that keeps on giving – and growing. Analysis of Completed Broadband NetworksThis on-going directory of highspeed Internet network infrastructure that is owned by municipalities, public utilities, co-ops and public-private partnerships. This resource highlights communities’ goals, initial network investments, impacts that justify those investments and communities progress retiring broadband debts.Books on broadband topicsSince Craig Settles initial book on the subject of community broadband, Fighting the Good Fight for Municipal Wireless, I’ve written additional books on the subject. In my latest, Building the Gigabit City, I establish criteria for community broadband success, presents the business case for the networks, and offers needs assessment guidance, broadband funding tactics and sound marketing practices.Communities United For Broadband (Like us on Facebook)This Facebook page is open to anyone who shares the dream of community broadband – networks that are run buy local government, public utilities co-ops or public private partnerships. Get advice and recommendations to help you manage wired and wireless broadband networks. We encourage you to add content, discussions and links to resources to further help members.It’s always a pleasure hearing from you and your colleagues. If you’ve got some ideas for new reports or articles, send them my way (craig at cjspeaks com).
If you believe that closing the digital divide is critical, community networks are something everyone can support. These are ‘do it yourself’ networks built by people for the people often with no technical expertise. Community Networks are something you can promote, donate to, or even build yourself.This page will get you started.Together we can help build a digital future that puts people first.
NeighborSQUAD is researching how a Token Economy might help to jump start bringing in early adopters interested in forming Worker Owned Coops that would provide service and support for Community Owned Networks.
Diminishing UX/Network Effects: New Token-Based Incentivizes for Early AdoptersBefore blockchains and the digital scarcity of tokens, it was difficult to attract early users to a new network. But now, a company can “pay” early adopters in a native token and those early adopters will be incentivized to increase the value of their tokens. I personally love Fred Ehrsam’s description and visual for this:So how do you get people to join a brand new network? You give people partial ownership of the network. Just like equity in a startup, it is more valuable to join the network early because you get more ownership. Decentralized applications do this by paying their contributors in their token. And there is potential for that token (partial ownership of the network) to be worth more in the future. This is equivalent to being a miner in the early days of Bitcoin. …When the network is less populated and useful you now have a stronger incentive to join it.This system has been used by startups for years to attract employees to a young company, and now decentralized apps are using it to incentivize all potential users around the world to join the app early on.
There are legitimately viable ways of preserving freedom on the web while taking the platform forward and keeping it competitive against proprietary alternatives from tech giants. But it can only happen if the web takes a courageous step towards its next level. If it stays in its current form, the web has little chance of being relevant while America’s FCC kills Net Neutrality rules, the W3C favors DRM, and tech giants build their web-less vision of the future.The community of peer-to-peer technologists has brought to the world several revolutionary technologies: USENET, Napster, BitTorrent, Kazaa, Skype, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and actually even the web itself. Once again, we can turn to this community to seek digital solutions that defend freedom. Many months ago I quit my job in order to join a group of peer-to-peer programmers and help build technology that can rescue our digital freedoms. I want to share with you our plan, which in short is:Build the mobile mesh web that works with or without internet access, to reach four billion people currently offline.
A new study out of Harvard once again makes it clear why incumbent ISPs like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T are so terrified by the idea of communities building their own broadband networks.According to the new study by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, community-owned broadband networks provide consumers with significantly lower rates than their private-sector counterparts.The study examined data collected from 40 municipal broadband providers and private throughout 2015 and 2016. Pricing data was collected predominately by visiting carrier websites, where pricing is (quite intentionally) often hidden behind prequalification walls, since pricing varies dramatically based on regional competition.