New program brings together communities, investors, designers, builders and maintainers of networks to light up communities across the country.
Secure, stable access to information via the internet is the fresh water equivalent of our time: broadband networks are the 21st century bridges between our communities and economic opportunity.
A reliable, affordable Internet connection has become an essential public good for communities fighting to keep pace with the ever-changing economic, social and environmental landscape; community owned broadband networks spur economic development, increase digital equity and income equality, advance research, encourage innovation and create new growth opportunities — all alongside generating local tax revenue and lowering the price of Internet access.
We believe communities across the country can and should build their own networks to secure universal access to information, build resilience and boost self reliance.
That’s why we’re launching the Neighborly Networks Accelerator designed to supercharge community broadband ambitions. As part of the program, communities will have access to industry experts, service providers, Neighborly financing at a competitive, below industry rate cost and the Neighborly Capital Network.
According to FCC estimates, approximately 19 million Americans — 6 percent of the population—still lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds. In rural areas, nearly one-fourth of the population —14.5 million people—lack access, and in tribal areas, nearly one-third of the population is being left behind.
In every single state, some portion of the population does not have access to broadband, and some residents have no Internet access at all. Even with significant federal and state subsidies in recent decades, incumbent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have failed to provide equitable and affordable broadband access.
“For too long, we’ve operated in this sub-optimal status quo; for too long, residents in communities across the country have been disconnected from access to information and cut-off from economic opportunity,” said Neighborly Founder and CEO, Jase Wilson. “We believe communities can and should own their own broadband networks and we want to bring together all the experts and services they need to make their broadband ambitions a reality.”
The Neighborly Networks Accelerator will guide communities through a beginning-to-end program. Admission to the program is free and will include:
- Tools to map, multiply & accelerate community engagement, including demand aggregation technology and marketing collateral to build a grassroots movement
- Education sessions with leading experts who will share best practices for generating local support, working with civic leaders, overcoming legislative barriers, and designing, building and maintaining a network
- Access to industry partners, including ISPs, network engineers, network builders, local utilities and advocacy groups at a local and national level
- Neighborly financing at a competitive, below industry rate cost, and access to the global Neighborly Capital Network
Want to build a broadband network for your community? Take a look at our principles for open access networks and apply here to join the Accelerator by September 28, 2018. Successful applicants will be announced in November.
We're delighted to be working with the following partners on this project, and we thank them for their earlier and enthusiastic support:
Colorado Statewide Internet Portal Authority
Grow Smart Maine
Local Government Commission
Maine Broadband Coalition
Municipal Broadband PDX
Municipal Broadband Coalition of America
Next Century Cities
SF Federal Reserve Bank
Neighborly is a technology company connecting communities with the capital they need to fund critical public projects like schools, parks, libraries and the roads connecting them. Neighborly also works to ensure that public finance can rapidly deliver the next generation of innovative, resilient infrastructure, such as community broadband networks and community solar microgrids. With Neighborly, individuals and businesses can invest directly in their communities and the civic projects they care about. Investors include Emerson Collective, 8VC and Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures.
Securities Offered Through Neighborly Securities, member FINRA/SIPC and Registered with MSRB. Neighborly is not a Municipal Advisor under Regulation MA.