Finding Community Broadband Funding


Funding forms come in three flavors: a self-sustaining business case, public and/or private subsidization, or a combination of the two. The preferred solution is a self-sustaining solution.

So many times we have been told that there is no business case for rural and remote broadband deployment and quite often upon investigation we find prospective customers paying $60 to $80 per month for satellite TV plus, plus at least $40 per month for a cell phone, and then an additional $20 per month for a fixed line phone service, all with exorbitant initial installation and/or setup fees.  As long as a service provider can deliver similar services, or more, over their broadband network there is more than a business case given technology today.

I advocate establishing a Community Development Cooperative which in turn could establish a Community Foundation, a non-profit through which local philanthropy can be fostered as well as applying for various grants.  Through this cooperative look at cooperative crowdsource funding.  Also, look at the obvious public funding programs, such as municipal infrastructure programs which if you’re going to get funding for sewers you should be contemplating laying fiber as well.

There is no reason why a community should not control and host its own content through a community owned network. For instance, revenue from hosting local businesses websites could be quite substantial.  It is a sorry state of affairs for any community, in particular, any municipality, to leave the importance of information highways, which have become increasingly more critical than transportation highways, to companies outside of the community with no real local vested interest, especially with respect to employment, other than extracting revenue from the community’s organizations, businesses and residents, and spending it elsewhere. It is even a sorrier state of affairs for a community to be perceived as non-responsive to local companies with a vested interest in the community and more than a willingness to invest more into the community.  Lastly, it is the sorriest state of affairs that the municipality does not recognize and expediently address its progressive short comings especially with respect to jobs and revenue.

The community stakeholders, such as schools, clinics, institutions, associations, and libraries are all vital as anchor tenants in local community broadband endeavors; yet, they form they own networks at taxpayer expense.  They could as easily and readily be served through secured virtual networks and truly contribute to the community in other ways.

Most importantly, the development of a community portal is the key, or corner-stone, to the subsidization of community broadband deployment through local advertisements, affiliate programs, mobile applications, etc.  Furthermore, by augmenting the portal with aspects such as a “walled garden” the community becomes empowered through control of local content. 

Think of the social implications of a community portal.  Through a community development cooperative a funding capability similar to Facebook could be set up with purchase credits to foster local buying.  Advertising, affiliate marketing, and community based applications could also generate revenue.  You can have specialized virtual stores.  You can have local stores without storefronts.  You can have big box stores with big boxes.  These all can be achieved through a revirtualized catalogue store in the community which may serve a multitude of other purposes. 

Bear in mind that it is all about content not just connectivity.   You put the best ice cream parlor into the community and people will find a way to get there.  Finding community broadband funding is not like finding Waldo.  The only limiting factor to finding community broadband funding can be found in the mirror.

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community!

Cooperative Crowdsource Funding


Something tells me we are going to be eclipsed shortly by an aboriginal awakening within all of us, taking us all back to our ancestral roots.  We are going to come to the realization that the cooperative movement in this International Year of the Cooperatives has its roots long before a bunch of weavers in the U.K. first formed what we now refer to as a co-op or a cooperative.  The very fundamental value of a cooperative is that each member has only one vote.  Well, guess what, tribes have operated on this philosophy for millenia.  Native Americans and Canada’s First Nations are way ahead and have quite naturally taken for granted what everyone else is naively and blindly striving for.

Of course our political system aspires to the same philosophy through a voting process; but corporations now have become a subterfuge in the rights of individuals.   They are undermining the democratic process in the Western World through the Machiavellian pathocracy of globalists expounding a New World Order fraught with feudalism while a judicial system looks the other way.

Look at what has created jobs and opportunities never before realized over the past few decades.  Look at the space program, or, how about the personal computer, or the Internet, and now the smart phone.  Each of these have a common perspective and that is empowerment; national empowerment, personal empowerment, corporate empowerment, or a combination thereof.  Yet, as we move towards centralization, removal of individual rights, those very empowerment aspects are being decimated.  Cooperatives are very much a democratic movement fostering empowerment of all kinds but most importantly individual and community empowerment.

A fundamental cooperative funding aspect called membership is for the most part another variation on crowdsourcing and it is legal.  If you’re not familiar with crowdsourcing you might want to explore the top ten website platforms for crowdsourcing: http://dowser.org/top-ten-crowdsourced-funding-platforms/ and what their impact is becoming on society.

I read recently, “Currently, in both Canada and the U.S. it is illegal for a startup to sell equity in its business to a group of small outside investors.  Only “accredited investors,” typically family members, angel investment firms or venture capitalists, are allowed to pour money into the companies. Should a company want to raise funds from individual investors, the company must seek a stock listing on a publicly traded exchange.  Crowd-sourced funding, or “crowd funding” as its being called, would be overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). the U.S. national securities regulator, to protect investors.”

Even though laws are being changed to provide better access to entrepreneurial funding through crowdsourcing, wouldn’t it be better to realize and act upon crowdsource funding through cooperative endeavors.

Crowdsourcing has led to crowdfunding and here is a great video explaining both:

 

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