Institute for Local Self-Reliance
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is thrilled to welcome DeAnne Cueller to the Community Broadband Networks Initiative, where she will serve as the Community Broadband Outreach Team Lead. With the confluence of local, state, and federal energy pouring into finding the right broadband solutions joining an unprecedented amount of money flowing over the next few years, the opportunity exists to move the needle in connecting local broadband champions to each other, as well as the resources and tools they need to build more locally accountable, transparent infrastructure.
In a large number of communities across the United States, shopping for Internet access is really challenging. It can be hard for someone to identify exactly what it is they will be getting when they order any given service, as well as how much they will pay for it. Significant information gaps, as well as inconsistently presented information, make it difficult for people to navigate the Internet service market.
With American Rescue Plan funds flowing into state government coffers, about a third of the nation’s 50 states have announced what portion of their Rescue Plan dollars are being devoted to expanding access to high-speed Internet connectivity. As expected, each state is taking its own approach. California is making a gigantic investment in middle-mile infrastructure and support for local Internet solutions while Maryland is making one of the biggest investments in municipal broadband of any other state in the nation.
Cities Corinth and Lake Dallas as well as towns Hickory Creek and Shady Shores (TX), collectively known as the Lake Cities, are seeking a public-private partnership to deploy a fiber network to households and businesses in the area. The project, with the help of $4 million in American Rescue Plan funds, would include building a middle-mile fiber ring to support government services around the four cities, connecting public buildings and facilities.