Monetizing Broadband through Cooperacy


Monetize means to convert something to money and this can be achieved quite simply by selling something.  Another way might be to take a tool or service that you have and use it in different ways to create money perhaps by utilizing it in such a fashion as to save your money being spent on other purposes. 

What then are the best ways to monetize that broadband connection that you have or should have? How do you monetize that communications service that you pay for.  How does your community monetize its broadband network?  The obvious ways are to use the Internet not just for data but for voice, television, and security systems. What are some others?

I’m thinking that there has to be others that are offered either free or at very little cost.  There is of course VOIP services like Skype which you can use to stay in touch with friends and family.  You can get a VOIP service provider to give you virtually all the capabilities and features you have on your analogue phone.

I got to thinking about this as my son doesn’t watch television anymore, nor I, especially now, since we cancelled it.  He doesn’t use the phone which we still have, perhaps mostly for nostalgia, as he talks with his friends, actually conferences with several at a time, over the Internet, or uses his cell phone.

What is this future generation watching? I know Youtube is one, but I’m wondering what other free channels, that is, URLs, as well?  I’m surprised that there is not a new version of  TV Guide called Free TV Guide.  Television was initially free.  Remember all those TV antennae on the roofs of houses with rotators.  All you had to do was to buy a television and an antenna, a one time charge.  Now you have to pay monthly to watch advertisements.  Have we been duped?  Shouldn’t the advertisers be paying for our service?

Well, we can still listen to radio free of charge and even monetize our broadband further by being able to listen to radio stations in other cities and countries, thanks to Internet radio.

You have a smart phone but no cell coverage.  With a soft phone app on your smart phone you can communicate using WiFi on your smart phone to take even more advantage of your residential broadband Internet gateway while lowering your cellular usage costs.

For HAM operators we can even use the Internet to make connections throughout the world.

For rural and remote communities, distance learning has to be another way of monetizing that broadband connection. You no longer have to pay for  travel to get to class.  Anyone else with some thoughts on reducing your costs by monetizing your broadband connection and virtual vacations don’t count?

Just thought of another one, not so direct, but still appropriate, and that is selling all those items we possess that are no longer used through classified ads or bartering.

Basically these are personal and family ways to monetize that broadband connection.  Now, how many ways are there for a community to monetize their broadband?  Well, in order to even think about this the community really needs to own their network infrastructure, otherwise the monetization process benefits others.

Assuming then that your community owns their network, hopefully through a cooperative endeavor, cooperacy, and not local municipal government, some of the ways that this broadband network may be monetized are: local phone service; promote local buying through a community portal; local web hosting; community WiFi for tourists and visitors; local radio broadcasting; local video streaming for council meetings and event coverage; Big Box stores without big boxes through affiliate marketing; promote local trade; local coupons; local classified ads; surveillance; water monitoring; meter reading; precision farming; and local fund-raising online.

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Highwaymen of Today


We have a new breed of highwaymen, informational highwaymen, not only laying in wait for you to travel the information highway, the Internet, but now enticing you with e-mail, websites, ads, and applications, all meant to extract your personal information.  They have spyware to detect and anticipate your movements on the highway.  They are devious and clever and invade your home and life with cookies, pop-ups, malware, rogueware, and propaganda.  They break into your home and business through hacking your computer.

The business social network, LinkedIn, was hacked with over 6 million passwords being stolen.  Given that information is readily and naively shared publicly by LinkedIn participants it makes you wonder why someone would bother.

There are even modern-day Robin Hoods travelling these highways; most notably, Anonymous.

These highwaymen are not just individuals but corporate information thugs who even monitor and track your cell phone and smart phone usage: “AT&T admits it tracks cell phone customers in quest for additional profits” .

This entire website, Community Development Cooperative,  is dedicated to how best to mitigate the actions of these perpetrators through local community cooperative endeavors and putting the broadband applications into the community with appropriate firewalls and increased security.

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

Community Broadband Funding Secret


Here is a secret: community broadband, and bundled entertainment, can be had for a fraction of the cost of television programs and channels that you pay for and don’t watch.

A few months ago I looked at my cable television bill and wondered why I was paying big bucks for television programs and stations that we didn’t watch? 

In reality, entertainment is already more cost effectively bundled into your broadband offering. You don’t need to pay for something now that you don’t watch.

Before dropping our cable television we found that with all the advertisements we could flick and forth between two programs without missing the story lines. Then it occurred to me that we’re paying to watch advertisements; that doesn’t make sense. 

My family now gets their shows, news, movies, etc. through the Internet. We use a Sony DVD player with WiFi, http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&partNumber=BDPS790 to connect our television.  This set top box also has Skype and video capability making it ideal for connecting to those friends and relatives across the pond, or wherever.

We still have an antenna on the roof with a rotator; remember those?  I think that I might just see what we can pick up with the old antenna then replace it with a digital antenna.  I wonder why television stations didn’t use their spectrum for two way communication? I know that the technology exists.  It would have seemed to be a logical progression to readily address rural and remote broadband.

Here is another perspective on this growing trend: “8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained”, http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained .

Furthermore, a community media center and a local community development cooperative could enlighten residents to these trends and opportunities.

What is everyone else doing for online entertainment?

Think In-a-Box; Think about-a-Box: Think!


When is thinking in-a-box a good thing when we should be thinking out of the box to resolve community broadband issues.  I’ve thought outside of the box so long I don’t know where it is anymore and sometimes need direction  to find it.  For all you other non-conformists start thinking about solutions in a box. 

Anyone recall a company in the 1900s called Whistle Communications, whose product the InterJet was meant for a turnkey corporate Internet solution and was picked up by many ISPs for an ISP-in-a-box solution.  The company was acquired by IBM in 1999, http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/2155.wss and the solution was basically shelved, www.whistle.com .   Then along came Net Integration Technologies Inc. with its Mark product.  Again, this company was acquired by IBM in 2008,  http://www-3.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/23325.wss and once again shelved, www.nitix.com.  So, all you local ISPs out there who have piecemealed together comparable in-a-box systems you should see a pattern and an opportunity.  There is a South African firm, inX, putting together a virtual in-a-box solution using cloud computing, a revirtualized ISP-in-a-box solution.  Also Wireless Mundi out of Spain has put together a number of box lunch solutions including an ISP-in-a-box solution and, get this, a cloud-in-a-box solution, finally someone gets it.  Look for acquistion by globalists shortly.

Every local community ISP or WISP has basically thought outside of the box and piecemealed comparable in-a-box solutions ready to be packaged and commercialized.

Look at your community as an enterprise which essentially needs the same fundamental aspects such as an Intranet and Extranet capability. Why not view the community as a corporation, a cooperative?

An Intranet of course basically uses an internal communications network and server to facilitate the coordinated sharing of information within the corporation and an Extranet shares some of that information with those outside of the corporate network. The corporate network is double fire walled to prevent unwarranted intrusion from within and from without. Basically the infrastructure and the corporation’s applications are a corporate cloud and appliances have been built to facilitate this cloud.

The corporate cloud is a type of community cloud. There is the community’s Intranet where local retailers, associations, and institutions are like divisions within a company supporting the community internally and then there is the community’s Extranet where the community’s businesses are the trading window of the community’s products and services.

Resolving urban, suburban, rural and remote broadband can be easily achieved through a cooperative community cloud appliance complete with an Intranet and Extranet.

Well, I’m sure that you’ve heard about community-in-a-box but have you heard of radio-in-a-box?  Regardless, think about a box, a co-op-in-a-box!

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Cooperacy through Community Stakeholders and Shareholders


Cooperacy is defined as the four C’s: Community, Content, Connectivity, and Cooperation.  Community Development Cooperatives, CDCs, represent demographic areas which may be rural and remote communities, incorporated or unincorporated municipalities, urban or suburban communities.  CDCs may collectively organize as a federation of cooperatives to the benefit of a larger geographic and demographic area which may then encompass counties, districts, states, and countries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative_federation

Perhaps to make things more simplistic a graphical representation of what your community needs to do to empower itself with its own resources is needed.  So, below you have on the left community stakeholders made up of the community’s residents, businesses, associations and institutions in the form of a cooperative, either for profit or not for profit.  On the right you have an enterprise, a company, a corporation with shares controlled 51% by the community development cooperative.  The remaining 49% may be made up of investments by individuals or corporations or institutions.  Those investors may have an exit strategy in which case the enterprise could become wholly owned by the CDC and eventually become a cooperative endeavor itself.  The enterprise may return profits in the form of dividends back to the shareholders and hence the stakeholders, the CDC.  The enterprise could be a cannery, lumber company, casino, utility company, or whatever; but for our broadband purposes and its importance to local economic development, let’s call the enterprise a community media centre.

Separating stakeholders from shareholders has the initial advantage of efficiency and bringing resources through incentives to a community that might not have the necessary resources.  It also has the advantage of protecting the interests of incumbents and fostering their business, such as the local ISP or local newspaper.

The biggest difficulty is finding a community champion and getting started.  I advocate initially creating C-3PO which could in turn evolve into a CDC.  Basically, a few companies and/or individuals with required skills may get together to create a community cloud cooperative, a community portal cloud, the community’s economic development content seed.

A great example of this cooperacy is in Sangudo, Alberta, Canada, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgZzi80Jwns where the local development cooperative, Sangudo Opportunity Development Co-operative, facilitated a custom meat packer.  Cooperacy follows a tribal model, just as Native Americans and Canada’s First Nations have been creating businesses such as lumber companies, canneries, casinos, etc. using this methodology. 

A CDC would then form a community foundation.  Local government could transfer public land into the foundation for bond issues to facilitate schools or other community needs.  

The possibilities are immense.

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!

Cooperatives Bridge More than the Digital Divide!


Bridging the digital divide has undoubtedly huge implications on realizing and resolving local economic and community empowerment concerns.  There are many initiatives worldwide using a co-operative structure to facilitate local broadband to bridge the digital divide.  Interestingly enough though, is that, if these initiatives were to raise their local perspective one notch higher from being a community broadband cooperative to a community development cooperative more than just the digital divide may be bridged.

Think about it!  Whatever their reason and purpose, true co-operative endeavors bridge religion, culture, race, creed, and political differences while fostering a mutual respect of members in attaining local self sustaining prosperity and empowerment whatever their cause.  Regardless of your neighbor’s different beliefs hopefully their basic ones are really no different than yours in seeking happiness for yourself, your family, your relatives, your friends, and your community.  As a member of a community development cooperative it doesn’t matter what your religious or political beliefs are, for you are united in a more worthy cause of mutual respect.

The Internet and social media networking have created a new and sometimes different awareness of world events that needs to be protected from central control and over regulation.  The best way that this can be achieved is through a local community development co-operative which capitalizes on local social resources.  The realization of local social capital can be far more effective than that of financial capital.

Those with faith in their advocacy of mutual respect, as well as churches regardless of religion, need to become united to fight a common war against the corporate tyranny led by the pathocracy of globalists of the New World Order rather than allow them to instigate wars through false flags.  The actual current worldwide war that needs to be recognized is that between those with conscience and those without.  Bear in mind the same sociopathic and psychopathic individuals that have gained control of our media, money and military can infiltrate the most conscionable cause under the most seemingly righteous and believable veneer of pretentions and premises.  Beware of those that lie, and particularly those whose lies and actions hurt others!

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