Increased Wellness and Economic Return of Universal Broadband Infrastructure: A Telehealth Case Study of Ten Southern Rural Counties

In a new report, published in partnership with the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative (SRBWI), the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) Community Broadband Networks Initiative examines the link between high-speed Internet infrastructure, access to healthcare, and the economic implications involved. It shows the even small communities that commit to universal, affordable, reliable service can avoid millions in healthcare costs, recouping financing in short order and leading to healthier populations.

The Problem(s) of Broadband in America

As the Biden Administration is working with Senate Republicans and Democrats on a proposed infrastructure deal which now includes a $65 billion federal investment to expand broadband access, the details of how that money should be spent and where those investments should be targeted have yet to be decided. In a new policy brief, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance looks to provide clarity for policy-makers by exploring the real challenges of America’s connectivity crisis. The brief aims to clear up a common misunderstanding of exactly where the digital divide is located.

Shopping for Broadband: Failed Federal Policy Creates Murky Marketplace

A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) examines Internet Service Providers’ (ISPs) transparency — or lack thereof — around the Internet service packages they offer. Shopping for Broadband: Failed Federal Policy Creates Murky Marketplace finds that locally-controlled broadband networks are the most transparent around key service details. Large ISPs, on the other hand, are more likely to make information like upload speed and pricing difficult or impossible to find.

Six Community Broadband Networks Demonstrate Diversity of Approaches to Connectivity Challenges

There are more than 600 wireline municipal broadband networks operating across the United States today. And while the ongoing discussion about our information infrastructure by Congress has placed a renewed emphasis on publicly owned endeavors to improving Internet access, the reality is that cities around the country have been successfully demonstrating the wide variety of successful approaches for decades.

Minnesota Broadband: Land of 10,000 Connectivity Solutions

In a new report, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance showcases the diverse range of approaches communities and local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have taken to expand affordable, high-quality Internet access in Minnesota. It includes a series of case studies that detail how communities are meeting the connectivity challenges of a broken marketplace shaped by large monopoly service providers. 

Building Indigenous Future Zones: Four Tribal Broadband Case Studies

The rate of connectivity in Indian Country lags behind the rest of the country. As of December 2018, only 60% percent of Tribal lands in the lower 48 states had high-speed Internet access. A new case study report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance delves into the experiences of four Native Nations — the Coeur d’Alene, the Nez Perce, the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe, and the St. Regis Mohawk — as they constructed their own Internet service providers. 

Profiles of Monopoly: Big Cable and Telecom

The report explores the extent of monopoly control by the largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) across the United States, and finds that most Americans have little choice when it comes to broadband where they live. In this version, we updated the maps and other information in the report with the most recent broadband deployment data from the Federal Communications Commission.

Broadband Models for Unserved and Underserved Communities

This paper from US Ignite and Altman Solon covers five approaches that communities can take to improve Internet access, from full private broadband to full municipal broadband with varying types of public-private partnerships in between. Of all the well-connected American cities (where 50 percent of residents have access to 250 Megabits per second broadband speeds), the paper finds that 8% are served a form of municipal network.

Community Broadband: The Fast, Affordable Internet Option That's Flying Under the Radar

New America’s Open Technology Institute has a new report out called “Community Broadband: The Fast, Affordable Internet Option That's Flying Under the Radar.” It offers a brief look at the problem of broadband access across the United States, points out of the many benefits of the community networks which have stepped in to fill the gaps left by private Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and provides a snapshot of a few examples that have overcome legislative hurdles and monopoly ISP lobbying to bring fast, reliable Internet service to people around the country.