Internet For All!
Recent politico-economic events have led to a strong interest, among residents in many towns in the Pioneer Valley Area (Easthampton, Northampton, Amherst, Springfield, Hadley, ex) of Massachusetts, in the establishment of a net-neutral, cooperatively run internet provider. Some Pioneer Valley residents met two weeks ago to discuss the way forward to bringing this idea to fruition and a general consciences was reached that we needed to find out if there is truly a large interest in this endeavor and whether it is legally and practically feasible. Since this time, interest has grown and we think there is a ground swelling of support for the change we seek.
On the legal end of things, using a Massachusetts regulation called Municipal Light Plant* ( https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXXII/Chapter164/Section47c ) a number of towns have already, or are beginning to implement, a community run internet provider ( https://wiredwest.net/ ). The process is not a quick fix, and there are a number of things we need to consider before we decide this is definitely what we want. If done right though, this will ensure access for all citizens in the town, to an even greater level than was insured by the FCC until the December 2017 overturn and is currently in place in Massachusetts: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/massachusetts-law-about-internet-and-online-privacy. If you are interested in getting involved, there is a fairly active listserve that is the main method for organizing: https://lists.riseup.net/www/info/internet-for-all and a Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheInternetIsForAll/ .
NERD Summit Presentation
Northampton Specific Group:
After a bit of discussion, we have decided on some general goals that our group has been established with the aim of meeting:
Fast (broadband quality) connectivity
Reliable (robust and neutral – not subject to disruptions or throttling)
Private (meaning ensured Privacy)
Our Control (meaning that other institutions cannot impose control over functionality because it is a structure which is owned, understood and controlled by those who use it)
Empowerment for a more informed society (providing people the tools necessary to make informed decisions and the ability to use them to contribute to society productively)
*The reason it is just called “Light Plant” is because it is about 100 years old and there was no internet back then
Gigabit Wireless Projects:
Open source hardware:
Closed source, but very reliable and cheap, hardware solutions:
Article on open internet
Greenfield’s municipal internet
Community Broadband Networks
Fiber-Optic-To-The Home for Leverett, Massachusetts
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Open Garden turns your phone into a hotspot and securely shares your WiFi connectivity to other Open Garden users in range. Other users never see your personal information or content. Connected neighbors make good neighbors!