Local governments do not favor themselves on taxes or right of ways or otherwise compete unfairly with incumbent telecommunications and incumbent cable companies. To the contrary, private incumbents enjoy a wealth of state and federal subsidies, guaranteed rates of return, regulated rates for pole attachments, etc. In addition, local telephone companies enjoyed years of regulated monopoly status to build positions of dominance they continue to enjoy. To pretend that these local incumbents, with their subsidies and regulated access, need to “level the playing field” to protect a “free market” against local government systems flies in the face of reality.
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"I think you guys are on to something and understand better than anyone else about what I was talking about, about closing the leaks of equity out of our communities. I thank you for all of the diverse work that you've done." - Bill Moyer, executive director of the Backbone Campaign
As a reader of Community Broadband Networks, I hope you agree with Bill.
For nearly 40 years the Institute for Local Self-Reliance has worked to address the structural barriers that undermine local economies. The research is in and we’re betting on humanly scaled institutions and economies.
Since our work resonates with you, please support it by making a year-end donation to ILSR.
This year we saw many examples of the growing appreciation for community. The most striking was the national and local response to Hurricane Sandy. It was an almost perfect demonstration of the importance and effectiveness of mutual aid.
In the coming year, ILSR will build on this interest in the common good by advancing policies and models that engage citizens and support community resilience.
Your gift will support public education, research, and direct assistance to communities around the nation. This work at the state and local level is essential if we are to translate local gains from interesting developments on the margins of the economy to a
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Happy holidays and thank you for partnering with us! Click here to donate.
Christopher Mitchell and Lisa Gonzalez
PS. Please take a moment to look over our year end report [pdf] to see the amazing strides we made this year. These accomplishments would not be possible without support from people like you. Thank you!