“There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest… and this public passion must be superior to all private passions.” – John Adams, 1776
In 2017, cities and states have become central architects of a progressive, democratic and sustainable future.
Defensive against the encroachment of monopolies, be they in the telecommunications or retail or solid waste or energy sectors, on behalf of independent businesses, decentralized technologies, and a healthier balance between the public and the private. See below for Net Neutrality .
David Morris, Co-Founder Institute for Local Self-Reliance
During the last 11 months the FCC and Congress have engaged in an unprecedented flurry of Internet-related decision-making to achieve one disastrous goal: the abdication of their responsibility to protect the public interest. Congress ended our right to privacy. The FCC lifted price caps for data services for businesses, allowed telecom giants to control the flow of data, and reclassified telecommunications services to severely restrict its own authority to oversee this central infrastructure of modern economies.
What is to be done? Communities need to take back the Internet by owning the distribution networks. With ownership comes the ability to fashion fair and equitable rules. Happily as many as 6 million Americans can access high speed broadband from over 300 cooperatively owned fiber networks, mostly in rural areas, and over 150 municipal networks.
We need a national movement, from the ground up, to multiply that number two, three, even fifty fold to make public ownership and effective competition the norm rather than the exception.