The Institute for Local Self-Reliance has put together a useful interactive map plotting the locations of community broadband networks, primarily in the U.S., but also highlighting several in other countries.

The map contains flag markers for each project, indicating whether the project involves citywide cable, citywide fiber or fiber in a portion of a city. By clicking on a flag, users can see the name of the city in which it is located and can click again to link to the coverage of that project on the Community Broadband Networks website.

According to a summary released by the ILSR, the map shows:

  • 89 communities served by publicly owned fiber-to-the-home networks
  • 74 communities served by publicly owned cable networks
  • 179 communities with fiber optic connections available in some areas of town, owned by the community

Interestingly, the ILSR also found 35 communities in 10 states with access to a gigabit from a community owned network. In an announcement about the map, the ILSR notes that “though most fiber optic networks can offer gigabit connections, we are tracking networks that either advertise a gigabit service or have a customer subscribing to that level of service.” Communities with gigabit offerings are flagged with a special marker, as are projects offering dark fiber and projects that were funded by the broadband stimulus program.

The map also color codes states to indicate which ones have barriers to community owned networks. Surprisingly many of those states already have some community owned networks, suggesting that the barriers may have been erected in response to existing projects.

Community owned networks have come under attack from some people who say they are not financially viable – and established cable and telephone companies in some cases have mounted aggressive campaigns to stop projects in the planning phase. Organizers of community networks typically say they tried unsuccessfully to persuade local service providers to deploy broadband and felt they had no choice but to take matters into their own hands.

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One thought on “Interactive Map Plots 35 Community Networks Offering 1 Gigabit Service

  1. ~ shows the 20 communities in the USA that have the same FTTH unthrottled broadband upstream as downstream.

    If these 89 communities do not offer the same broadband, unthrottled, upstream as downstream they are not much better than the cable companies (100% throttle bandwidth) who promise 20Mb/2Mb but throttle to less than 300Kbps/40Kbps, thus making DSL broadband a smarter, faster and better for internet access than any cable offering.

    Hint: if you do not use DD-WRT, tomato or OpenWRT firmware (open source firmware) on a supported device (firewall/router) you will not see this throttling that 100% of cable internet providers perform. Ironically when you pay the $10 extra for better bandwidth, that throttling does not change…so do not waste your money!

    All Speed Tests mislead and misinform: The millisecond that Speed Test ends, the throttling begins, you can see it only if you have the right opensource firmware on supported hardware. DD-WRT turns a supported device costing between $15 and $200 to have the same capabilities as a corporate (Cisco) router costing $3,000. Don't take my word for it, just get one. Finally see your true bandwidth in real time 24 X 7 X 365.

    Of course they fight (mount aggressive campaigns against FTTH) the FTTH build-outs as they refuse to attempt to compete for a customers service with unthrottled broadband. They could, but they mislead and tell you they can not, when in reality they do not want to. Its no mistake that they tell their financial backers that they have a great business model, that they can raise their rates in perpetuity, unless their customers have an alternative. In many communities they do not have another option!

    In almost every city where the community wanted FTTH, the telcos, cable companies and cellular companies put forth not just one, but two or even three legal suits in vain attempts to stop the FTTH build-outs. Except for the 14 states where they have passed laws against competition (anti-competitive, anti-FTTH laws) they have utterly failed, only costing those citizens money. They should have to pay court costs when they lose! Ironically, many of these companies first refuse to provide the service that the community wants first and after the elected leaders push through FTTH, start with the failed legal suits against the community.

    How dare they put up a lawsuit after refusing to provide the service that their customers want! The only way they can get away with this is to put forth anti-freedom, anti-competition, anti-FTTH legislation. Sadly they have done this in 14 states.

    Those 74 communities where the networks are owned by the public have a better chance of getting FTTH, than any of the others…no surprise there either. Especially when they learn that for a cost between $1,500 and $3,000 per home, that home owner increases the value of that property by at least $5,000.00. Its a no brainer unless your public officials are corrupt or fearful. That is what elections are for, get rid of em and get FTTH, your children will thank you!

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