Community Broadband

House Vote Threatens Local Broadband Initiatives

July 18, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a lot on its plate right now.

Growing Attention for Local Public Broadband

June 23, 2014

Local public broadband networks continue to get more attention in Washington. On June 10th Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote a blog post “Removing Barriers to Competitive Community Broadband.” As the title suggests, many communities today are prevented from building network like those in Chattanooga, TN, and Wilson, NC.

The Art of the Possible: An Overview of Public Broadband Options

  • By
  • Benjamin Lennett,
  • Patrick Lucey,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Joanne Hovis and Andrew Afflerbach, CTC
May 6, 2014
Broadband has become a critical infrastructure for communities in the 21st century. From a variety of sectors, including commerce, education, healthcare and government services, the demands for more advanced, reliable, and affordable broadband is challenging local governments to develop effective strategies for connecting their citizens, businesses, and institutions.

A Network Model of Broadband Adoption: Using Twitter to Document Detroit Future

  • By
  • Joshua Breitbart,
  • Greta Byrum,
  • Georgia Bullen,
  • Kayshin Chan,
  • New America Foundation
May 1, 2014

From 2010 to 2012, the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition (DDJC) conducted a federally-funded training program in digital media that they called “Detroit Future.” The purpose of the program was to use broadband adoption as a means of strengthening economic development and community organizing in Detroit. To that end, the DDJC developed a “networked” model of broadband adoption as part of its implementation of the program. The coalition documented the program with the Twitter hashtag #detroitfuture.

OTI's Red Hook Digital Stewards Bring Internet Access to New York City Housing Authority Facility

July 30, 2013


Tiwan Burrus (RHI) and Katherine Ortiz (RHI) attaching a PicoStation to a roof mount.

A 20-computer public computer center hosted at the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Miccio Recreation Center now has Internet access following a day of installations by young adults trained by the Open Technology Institute (OTI), the Red Hook Initiative (RHI) and Brooklyn Fiber. Five Red Hook “Digital Stewards,” young adults engaged in a New York City workforce development effort, installed 6 new wireless routers into the Red Hook WiFi network in the beginning of July 2013. The Stewards connected two new partner institutions to RHI’s existing Red Hook Network with these installations - adding a local school and the NYCHA Miccio Recreation Center to a set of partners including churches, local residents and the Red Hook Initiative’s building. The public areas surrounding these buildings now have access to the Internet as well as local applications running on the neighborhood website.

The 2013 Allied Media Conference MagicNet, powered by Digital Stewards and Commotion

July 17, 2013
At this year’s Allied Media Conference, the Open Technology Institute partnered with local Detroit Digital Stewards and Red Hook Digital Stewards from Brooklyn to construct a conference-wide mesh wireless network, MagicNet.

OTI heads to the National Conference on Media Reform in Denver!

April 2, 2013
NCMR Announcement Poster

This week a group from the Open Technology Institute (OTI) will join the thousands of media makers and journalists, activists, advocates, policymakers, and technologists convening in Denver at the National Conference on Media Reform.

The Open Technology Institute endorses the Battle of the Mesh v6

March 26, 2013
Wireless Battle of the Mesh Logo

Since 2009, wireless mesh enthusiasts and community networking activists from across the globe have come together for a tournament of a social nature:  "Wireless Battle of the Mesh"

Mobile Leapfrogging and Digital Divide Policy

  • By
  • Philip Napoli,
  • Jonathan Obar,
  • New America Foundation
April 1, 2013

This paper examines the emerging global phenomenon of mobile leapfrogging in Internet access. Leapfrogging refers to the process in which new Internet users are obtaining access by mobile devices and are skipping the traditional means of access: personal computers. This leapfrogging of PC-based Internet access has been hailed in many quarters as an important means of rapidly and inexpensively reducing the gap in Internet access between developed and developing nations, thereby reducing the need for policy interventions to address this persistent digital divide.

Susan Crawford: An Internet Connection Should Be Like Water, Not Oil

March 4, 2013
Publication Image

“Information and data is the oil of our era,” explained telecom policy expert Susan Crawford at the New America Foundation on Thursday.

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