MAG-Net Digital Dialogue: “Beyond Access: Owning Community Broadband Networks” 1/25 #CommunityBB #broadband #fiber @mediaaction

Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net)On January 25 2012 the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) will host a ‘Digital Dialogue’ conference call: “Beyond Access: Owning Community Broadband Networks”.
This digital dialogue will feature experts and community members who have been working on the community broadband issue for many years. Participants are encouraged to think about possible broadband projects in their neighborhood as well as share any experiences they have with launching a network.

What: “Beyond Access: Owning Community Broadband Networks”
When: Wednesday, January 25th 2012 – 10am PST/1pm EST (Length: 60 minutes)
How: Free. RSVP to get a unique number for the call.
Webcast: Call will be archived.
Twitter: @mediaaction | #mediajustice | #CommunityBB

Betty Yu, Center for Media Justice
Danielle Chynoweth, Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center
Christopher Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Traci Morris, Native Public Media

In the last few years local communities, governments, non-profit organizations and neighborhood residents from across the U.S. have successfully launched community broadband initiatives. 54 U.S. cities own citywide fiber networks and another 79 own citywide cable networks. These local initiatives, in rural and urban areas alike, have served as community scale infrastructures that are sustainable and allow participation and decisionmaking on the most local level. Research has shown that community scale infrastructure is more cost effective to build out and lowers the cost of sustaining connectivity at the community level. As we know broadband Internet access is vital for civil engagement and integral to our daily lives. For community media advocates it’s not just about having access to broadband services, it’s also about owning the infrastructure and gaining access, rights and power to media that provide marginalized community members with needed broadband access. Moreover, these broadband networks are directly accountable to the community they serve.