Eliminate Google From Your Life


As one of the greatest monopolies that ever existed, Google poses a unique threat to anyone concerned about health, food, supplements and their ability to obtain truthful information about these and other issues

While not the sole threat to privacy, Google is one of the greatest. It catches every single thing you do online when using a Google-based feature, and builds powerful personality profiles of all users

Google’s data collection on users is said to be primarily for marketing purposes, but the profiles could just as easily be used for more nefarious and liberty-infringing purposes

Aside from monopolizing the internet, Google also has a strong presence in childhood education, health care and even the food industry, and is engaged in social engineering pursuits, as well as artificial intelligence and military applications

Monopolies like Google pose a serious threat to democracy and basic liberties. Take back control by boycotting Google-based services, including Gmail, Google search engines, Google Docs and Chrome

Ban Censorship By Thomas L. Knapp August 16, 2018

In a recent tweet, US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) warned that “Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart.” His solution: “These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it.”

Yes, odd as it might seem, Senator Murphy believes that the future of America can only be secured by suppressing information and discussion he doesn’t like. That sentiment seems to be going around. David McCabe of Axios reports on a leaked policy paper from the office of US Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). Two of its most dangerous proposals:

“[N]ew federal funding for media literacy programs that could help consumers sort through the information on online platforms. ” In other words, well-financed government propaganda to make sure we hear what Mark Warner wants us to hear (and think what he wants us to think about what we hear elsewhere).

“[R]equiring web platforms to label bot accounts or do more to identify authentic accounts, with the threat of sanction by the Federal Trade Commission if they fail to do so.” America’s long tradition of anonymous and pseudonymous political speech — not least among it the Revolution-era pamphlets of Thomas Paine — shouldn’t be subject to the veto of Mark Warner or Chris Murphy.

Then, a good laugh: “The size and reach of these platforms demand that we ensure proper oversight, transparency and effective management of technologies that in large measure undergird our social lives, our economy, and our politics.”

Since when has government ever produced proper oversight, transparency, or effective management of anything? And what could possibly go wrong with eviscerating the First Amendment to give these jokers “oversight” or “management” powers over technologies that undergird our politics? What’s really going on here?

Political blogger Michael Krieger answers that question with a simple headline: “Censorship Is What Happens When Powerful People Get Scared.” The American political establishment has spent the last decade quaking in its boots over the next potential disclosure from WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden, or whistleblowers yet unknown. This isn’t about “our democracy.” It’s about “their power.”

The US government’s use of putatively “private sector” social media outlets as proxy censors has been going on for some time, but the Russiagate scandal lent it new momentum. And it’s not just some alleged lunatic fringe that they’re after. Recent victims of Twitter’s ban policy include non-interventionist foreign policy analysts like Scott Horton (editorial director of, former Foreign Service Officer Peter Van Buren, and Ron Paul Institute director Daniel McAdams.

We don’t need “more government oversight” of social media. What we need is for it to be recognized, and treated, as a criminal abuse of power (and a violation of US Code Title 18 § 241 — “conspiracy against rights”) for government officials or employees to attempt to “oversee” or “manage” social media’s content standards.

Let me reconfigure Chris Murphy’s authoritarian statement to name the stakes: The survival of our freedom depends on it.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( He lives and works in north central Florida.

10 Best Quicken Alternatives: Free Options When You’re Sick of Sync and Support Issues The reality is that Quicken isn't what it used to be. It's hard to innovate on a platform first built in 1983. Back then, cell phones were bricks and apps were what you ordered at a restaurant. While it has been re-written and re-built, it's faced all sorts of technical issues (Did you have trouble logging into your account in early April? Everyone did.) and its standing has eroded. (if you own Quicken for Mac, you know this headache first hand!)

CountAbout CountAbout was designed specifically to be a Quicken alternative. Founded in mid-2012, it is the only personal finance app that will import data directly from Quicken. costs a mere $9.99 for the Basic. won't get annoying ads like you do with Mint. Does split transactions.

EveryDollar Dave Ramsey? Many folks swear by his teachings. Much like YNAB, it's a budgeting tool that uses the principles of zero-based budgeting. Every dollar is assigned a role (given a job, in YNAB parlance) and nothing is left to chance. It's a level of rigor that can be refreshing or restricting, depending on your personality. The app itself is beautiful, available on your smartphone, and you there is both a free and paid version. The paid version costs $99 a year.

GoodBudget a free budgeting app based on the envelope budgeting method. Envelope budgeting is when you set aside a prescribed amount for each category of spending, then spend it down each month. It's one of the most popular money management techniques in personal finance. The envelope refers to the manual method of managing these types of budgets where you put the money into an envelope. When you run out of money, you either borrow cash from another envelope or you make do. It's available for both iOS and Android phones.

DollarBird Calendar based personal finance management designed for real life. Add past, future or recurring transactions and categorize them with a bit of AI help. Track them on mobile and plan ahead on the web, or just mix things up.

Tiller If you're quitting Quicken and want to move to a spreadsheet you can customize to EXACTLY what you need, Tiller will automate all the data collection for you. You build a Google Sheets document either starting with their template or from your own and Tiller will pull the data for you, saving you a ton of time and hassle.

The easiest way to manage your money in a Google Spreadsheet.

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Gmail Should Be Banned, Please Stop Using It Dr. Mercola

And if you value your privacy, steer clear of liking anything on Facebook or using any other Google-based feature too. Between them, this 'deceitful duo' is going far beyond what most people realize is even possible.

Google and Facebook are two of the largest and clearest monopolies in the world and, between them, the harvesting of your personal information goes far beyond what most people realize is even possible

Ninety-eight percent of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising, totaling $39.9 billion last year alone. The more personal information you share, the greater Facebook’s profit stream

Cambridge Analytica is accused of creating a system to profile individual U.S. voters using “improperly gleaned” data from 87 million Facebook users to target them with personalized political ads during the presidential campaign

Google is not only the largest monopoly in the world, it’s also the world’s greatest artificial intelligence (AI) company, which facilitates the company’s ability to sort through all your data with deep learning algorithms to detect patterns that can be exploited for profit

The data harvesting going on between Facebook and Google is enormous. A summary of the kind of information these two corporations collect, track and store on each and every single user is included

An Overview of Who’s Fighting for and Against Net Neutrality When the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality, many felt that the internet as we know and depend on it was doomed. But lawmakers all over the country have banded together in an effort to reinstate neutrality and protect access to the internet. What started out as 16 senators pledging to introduce congressional legislature against the repeal has grown to a group of 26 who are fighting for a vote to prevent the dissolution of neutrality.

The developing resolution would overrule the FCC’s vote through the Congressional Review Act. Under this act, Congress would have 60 days to overturn and block the FCC’s decision. It also grants Congress the ability to block the agency from making similar decisions in the future. It’s not an easy task to undertake, but in spite of the many roadblocks that exist, the 26 senators are focused, informed, and dedicated.

Net Neutrality is Not Left Vs. Right, It’s the Establishment Vs. Your Freedom

Email from Protect Our Internet, 11.27.17

Verizon Owns The FCC.

Free Press read through the FCC's order on Net Neutrality and called it "thin on substance and reasoning, cruel, willfully naive — and it’s everything that ISPs like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon could have wanted (and more)."

In short...
It Will End Net Neutrality and Break the Internet.


So Here's What We Need to Do:

1. As per our previous emails: KEEP CALLING!
Yes, we are nagging you but we really can't overestimate the importance of the next few weeks.

Congress has the power to stop the vote.
We have the power to push Congress.

2. Go to a Verizon Store!
The Team Internet Coalition will descend on Verizon Stores across the country on December 7th to demand that Congress stop Verizon's puppet FCC from destroying the internet. Get more info and sign up or organize your own local event here:

Email from Socialist Equality Party, 11/26/17:

Net neutrality and the drive to censor the internet

Wednesday’s move by the Trump administration to end net neutrality marks a milestone in the offensive by the US government and major corporations to put an end to the free and open internet, paving the way for widespread government censorship of oppositional news and analysis.

Under the current law, upheld by numerous court decisions and reaffirmed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2015, companies that provide internet access to users, known as internet service providers (ISPs), cannot block or impede their users’ access to any website or service.

But the draft proposal published by FCC chairman Ajit Pai Wednesday, and expected to sail through the approval process next month, would put an end to the decades-long treatment of internet services as a public utility, allowing the internet monopolies Comcast, Charter, AT&T and Verizon full ability to block, throttle and promote internet traffic at will.

This will allow them to block or limit access to websites, such as the World Socialist Web Site, WikiLeaks and other sources of politically critical news, entirely at their discretion, as well as peer-to-peer file sharing networks, which were used by news outlets to bypass censorship in the past.

Google’s Eric Schmidt admits political censorship of search results

Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, confirmed this weekend that the world’s largest Internet company is, in close coordination with the state, manipulating search results to censor sites critical of the US government.

Responding to a question about the “manipulation of information” on the Internet during an appearance at the Halifax International Security Forum, Schmidt announced that Google is working on algorithms that will “de-rank” Russian-based news websites RT and Sputnik from its Google News services, effectively blocking users’ access to either site.

FCC determined to kill neutrality of Internet and boost corp. profits

Today, We May Learn How the FCC Plans to Destroy Net Neutrality Later on today, the FCC will reportedly unveil its plans for a "full repeal" of net neutrality. It's expected that these rulings will benefit internet service providers at the cost of the end user.

When FCC chairman Ajit Pai detailed his plan to dismantle net neutrality legislation earlier this year, there was enough public outcry to crash the commission’s website. However, it seems that this wasn’t enough to dissuade Pai, as more information about the dismantling of net neutrality has now been released, ahead of a vote scheduled for December.

The proposed plan is being described as a “full repeal” that will undo previous rulings which classified broadband internet as a utility. As such, providers will be free to tweak the services they offer depending on the content being accessed; allowing them to throttle speeds, charge extra fees, or even block certain sites outright.

John Oliver video on net neutrality.

“In a few short weeks, the big broadband providers will be free to double their prices, extract extra tolls on fast lanes for online businesses, and track and sell their customers’ web browsing activity,” said Gigi Sohn, ex-counselor to former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, in a statement published to her website. “When they’re 'e, what will remain of consumer protection on the Internet will be nothing more than a carcass.”

Hard Censorship Hits the Internet By Paul Craig Roberts October 08, 2017

US Media Credibility Collapses

According to this report [], YouTube has shut down all independent media coverage of the Las Vegas shooting in a desperate maneuver to protect the official narrative.

I am aware of books by former insiders that describe the CIA’s alliance with members of the media. When I was a member of the congressional staff, I was warned of the Washington Post’s collaboration with the CIA. And we have the case of Udo Ulfkotte, whose book, “Purchased Journalism,” was a best seller in Germany, but the English translation was yanked from the market. Ulfkotte, an editor with one of Germany’s main newspapers, wrote that he and most European journalists post articles handed to them by the CIA.

The way that the One Percent rules is by controlling the explanations. They do that through official statements endlessly parroted by the presstitutes who have sold their souls.

Remember, the presstitutes sold to the public the false story of “Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction,” the false story of “Assad’s use of chemical weapons,” the false story of “Iranian nukes,” the false stories about Gaddafi, about “Russian invasion of Ukraine,” about Afghanistan, and on and on. When the presstitutes are willing to lie at the expense of the destruction of millions of peoples, the infrastructures of the countries, and millions of refugees inflicted upon Europe, how can we believe the presstitutes about Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, etc., especially when contradictions in the official stories are never cleared up and in place of hard evidence we are given only assertions and photoshopped photos?

Evidence of Google blacklisting of left and progressive sites continues to mount By Andre Damon 8 August 2017

A growing number of leading left-wing websites have confirmed that their search traffic from Google has plunged in recent months, adding to evidence that Google, under the cover of a fraudulent campaign against fake news, is implementing a program of systematic and widespread censorship.

Truthout, a not-for-profit news website that focuses on political, social, and ecological developments from a left progressive standpoint, had its readership plunge by 35 percent since April. The Real News , a nonprofit video news and documentary service, has had its search traffic fall by 37 percent. Another site, Common Dreams , last week told the WSWS that its search traffic had fallen by up to 50 percent.

As extreme as these sudden drops in search traffic are, they do not equal the nearly 70 percent drop in traffic from Google seen by the WSWS.

“This is political censorship of the worst sort; it’s just an excuse to suppress political viewpoints,” said Robert Epstein, a former editor in chief of Psychology Today and noted expert on Google.

Google blocked every one of the WSWS’s 45 top search terms By Andre Damon 4 August 2017

An intensive review of Internet data has established that Google has severed links between the World Socialist Web Site and the 45 most popular search terms that previously directed readers to the WSWS. The physical censorship implemented by Google is so extensive that of the top 150 search terms that, as late as April 2017, connected the WSWS with readers, 145 no longer do so.

These findings make clear that the decline in Google search traffic to the WSWS is not the result of some technical issue, but a deliberate policy of censorship.

Video: FCC Voted to End Net Neutrality and DESTROY the Internet FCC voted 2 to 1 to gut Internet

Video: Net Neutrality: What You Absolutely Need to Know and What No One’s Telling You about controlling your speech; gov't wants to treat as a utility: it can be taxes, regulated, licensed, it can be shut down, it can be censured,

The Truth About 'Net Neutrality'

Why You Rarely Hear About Net Neutrality On MSNBC

Net neutrality in danger again 5/10/74

email from Popular Resistance:

Two years ago we won the battle to defend Net Neutrality from the big Telecoms and now we've picked up the fight once again! If we can establish Net Neutrality is the standard in the United States, we will be in a better position to protect it from dangerous digital trade provisions in the future. Yesterday we canvassed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's neighborhood, spreading the word to all of his neighbors that he plans on selling us out to the big ISP's including his old employer, Verizon. While he claims Net Neutrality stands in the way of innovation and open access, it's actually the EXACT OPPOSITE. #PaiLies and we're calling him on it!

Protect our Internet

It Begins: Trump’s FCC Launches Attack on Net Neutrality Transparency Rules The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to eliminate open internet transparency protections for millions of consumers, in the Trump administration's most overt salvo yet in its nascent campaign to dismantle net neutrality protections.

As a result of Thursday's action, "thousands" of small and medium-sized internet service providers (ISPs) around the country are no longer required to give their customers detailed information about broadband prices, speeds and fees, according to the FCC.

The dark side of the web -- exploring darknets | Kyle Terry | TEDxSalem

SaferWeb downloaded as AdBe

City Owned Internets

‘Chilling Effect’ of Mass Surveillance Is Silencing Dissent Online, Study Says By Nafeez Ahmed March 19, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Motherboard"

Thanks largely to whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013, most Americans now realize that the intelligence community monitors and archives all sorts of online behaviors of both foreign nationals and US citizens.

But did you know that the very fact that you know this could have subliminally stopped you from speaking out online on issues you care about?

Now research suggests that widespread awareness of such mass surveillance could undermine democracy by making citizens fearful of voicing dissenting opinions in public.

Censorship on Rise as Global Internet Freedom Continues Downward Spiral by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer. Published on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 by Common Dreams

Well over half of all internet users live in countries where criticism of the government, military, or ruling family has been subject to censorship online

For the fifth year in a row, global internet freedom continued its downward trend in 2015, with more governments censoring information of public interest while simultaneously expanding surveillance and thwarting privacy tools, according to the annual assessment by the U.S.-based Freedom House released Wednesday.

How blazing Internet speeds helped Chattanooga shed its smokestack past Chattanooga's transformation has been decades in the making, but the construction of one of the largest and fastest Internet networks in the Western Hemisphere will be key to helping the city write the next chapter for the 21st century. The city represents the vanguard of communities pushing for better Internet service and serves as a model for the benefits that can stem from broader online access. The Gig, as the locals call its network, has attracted billions of dollars in new investment and a flock of entrepreneurs to the city, who may come to the city for the promise of superfast broadband, but stay for the easy, affordable lifestyle, abundant outdoor activities and hip culture.

Chattanooga may seem like an unlikely place for a tech hub, but a long history of progressive thinking has put the midsize southeastern city -- two hours north of Atlanta -- in an enviable position. In 2010, Chattanooga turned on its so-called gigabit service, an industry term for a network able to connect to the Internet at 1 gigabit per second, or 50 to 100 times faster than your average US Internet connection, through a faster fiber-optic line. That was two years before Google broke ground on its first gigabit market in Kansas City.

Today, the network, which has been recognized as a model of innovation by President Barack Obama, is the largest and longest-running deployment of gigabit broadband in the nation, spanning 600 square miles and covering the entire population of Chattanooga -- 170,000 -- with access to ultra high-speed broadband.


Video: Anonymous Documentary - How Anonymous Hackers Changed the World Full Documentary

Video: National Geographic The Story of Aaron Swartz Anonymous Full Documentary

'The Dream of Internet Freedom is Dying,' Warns Top Civil Liberties Attorney Jennifer Granick, addressing security professionals at the annual Black Hat conference in Las Vegas on August 5, said "the Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse: terrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers, and money launderers" are allowing the government to push for even more regulation and control of the Internet.

The dream is dying, she said, because "we’ve prioritized things like security, online civility, user interface, and intellectual property interests above freedom and openness." And governments, for their part, have capitalized on the fear of "the Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse: terrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers, and money launderers" to push for even more regulation and control, she added.

Granick's dire pronouncement, which echoed similar assertions made by security experts and civil liberties groups, comes just over two years after National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden cracked open the seal on the U.S. government's online spying capabilities and revealed just how little security and secrecy remain on the World Wide Web.

Late last month, Snowden himself made a direct plea to technologists to build a new Internet specifically for the people.

The NSA Has Taken Over the Internet Backbone. We're Suing to Get it Back. byPatrick Toomey. ACLU is suing.

Building an Internet Movement from the Bottom Up

Hightower: Why Corporations Are Doing Everything They Can to Destroy Net Neutrality

FCC adopts Net neutrality rules to ban Internet discrimination categorize high-speed Internet service as a telecommunications service. Consumers have long been guaranteed the right to call any phone number they desire and phone companies have to treat all calls equally... The new rules, which will apply to both wired and wireless Internet connections, include several major restrictions on Internet service providers. They may not slow down or block access to legal content, applications or services. They also may not create "fast lanes," speeding up some traffic in return for additional fees.

Chattanooga Network Thanks to an ambitious roll-out by the city’s municipally owned electricity company, EPB, Chattanooga is one of the only places on Earth with internet at speeds as fast as 1 gigabit per second – about 50 times faster than the US average.

How Maine Saved the Internet The town's Internet access connection didn't have enough room to handle the school's demands, and private companies would charge too much to be a realistic option... That is, until this week, when Rockport opened its own gigabit-scale municipal fiber optic network -- meaning it can transmit a thousand megabits of data a second. Weston is jubilant: Given the inexpensive, world-class connectivity, she can make the school's courses available to people in other states and countries -- and persuade her students to make a life in Maine.

Megabits Find A Home In Rockport: First municipally-owned, ultra high-speed internet service debuts! Prior to the installation of the fiber network, a typical user's download bandwidth was 9.18 Mbps with an upload bandwidth of 4.29 Mbps. Post-fiber network installation in Rockport Village, the fiber optic Internet connection is 100 times faster than typical connections. The new fiber optic bandwidth now provides a download speed of 84.16 Mbps and an upload speed of 84.50 Mbps. By comparison that’s 35 times faster than, say, the household service for a resident of San Francisco, arguably the heart of the tech industry.

Should the Internet Be Like the Public Library? Wednesday, 13 August 2014 15:21 By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed. In fact, one recent study put the U.S. at number 31 in the world in overall download speed, lagging behind much smaller and less developed countries like Estonia, Hungary, and Slovakia... Internet speeds in the U.S. average out around 20.77 megabits per second, which is less than half of the average internet speed in Hong Kong, which has the world's fastest internet. For a country like ours, the country that invented the internet and is home to some of the world's most powerful tech companies, this is just embarrassing. But now residents of the small town of Rockport, Maine will get to experience the kind of super high-speed internet that the rest of the world has access to on a daily basis.

Rockport installs its own super-fast Internet network For the first time in Maine, a town spent public dollars to build an Internet network that, albeit small, represents a break from business as usual in the state, where there is relatively little consumer choice when it comes to buying Internet access.

First municipally-owned ultra-fast internet network Debuts in Rockport, Maine Also attending the press conference at the invitation of Senator King was Susan Crawford, who served as President Barack Obama’s Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy. She is the author of “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age,” in which she suggests that high-speed Internet access in the U.S. is as essential as electricity, but is currently too slow and too expensive.

Municipal broadband Wireless public municipal broadband networks avoid sometimes unreliable hub and spoke distribution models and use mesh networking instead.[3] This method involves relaying radio signals throughout the whole city via a series of access points or radio transmitters, each of which is connected to at least two other transmitters. Mesh networks provide reliable user connections and are also faster to build and less expensive to run than the hub and spoke configurations. Internet connections can also be secured through the addition of a wireless router to an existing wired connection – a convenient method for Internet access provision in small centralized areas.

Wireless public municipal broadband networks avoid sometimes unreliable hub and spoke distribution models and use mesh networking instead.[3] This method involves relaying radio signals throughout the whole city via a series of access points or radio transmitters, each of which is connected to at least two other transmitters. Mesh networks provide reliable user connections and are also faster to build and less expensive to run than the hub and spoke configurations. Internet connections can also be secured through the addition of a wireless router to an existing wired connection – a convenient method for Internet access provision in small centralized areas.

Chattanooga's super-fast publicly owned Internet Chattanooga, Tenn., may not be the first place that springs to mind when it comes to cutting-edge technology. But thanks to its ultra-high-speed Internet, the city has established itself as a center for innovation -- and an encouraging example for those frustrated with slow speeds and high costs from private broadband providers.

Fast Internet Is Chattanooga’s New Locomotive “Gig City,” as Chattanooga is sometimes called, has what city officials and analysts say was the first and fastest — and now one of the least expensive — high-speed Internet services in the United States. For less than $70 a month, consumers enjoy an ultrahigh-speed fiber-optic connection that transfers data at one gigabit per second. That is 50 times the average speed for homes in the rest of the country, and just as rapid as service in Hong Kong, which has the fastest Internet in the world.

Baltimore for Broadband Op-Ed Demands Local Authority believe that in order for Baltimore to continue its development into a haven for young people, minimize pernicious digital inequalities, and ensure economic growth, the City must take charge of its fiber assets

Other Washington D.C. area communities - such as Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia - are currently in the process of launching their own community broadband projects. Same goes for Harford County, Maryland. Some forward-thinking Maryland communities, such as Howard County, MD have been working to increase fiber availability for years

133 US cities now have their own broadband networks If you want 100Mbps symmetrical broadband—which offers the same upload and download speeds—and you live in the state of North Carolina, you have only one choice: a city-owned broadband provider. The city of Wilson's "Greenlight" ISP recently bragged about signing up "North Carolina's first homeowners" with the service, which costs $150 a month if packaged with other services.

Such publicly owned networks can offer services that incumbents ''t, such as the 1Gbps fiber network in Chattanooga, Tennessee, run by the government-owned electric power board. And they sometimes have more incentive to reach every resident, even in surrounding rural areas, in ways that might not make sense for a profit-focused company.

More than 130 US cities now operate such publicly owned broadband networks, according a comprehensive new map developed by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). The group compiled what it calls the first-ever such list of 54 city-wide fiber networks and 79 city-wide cable networks "whose objective is to maximize value to the community in which they are located rather than to distant stockholders and corporate executives."

ILSR, as its name suggests, believes that local communities must be able to build the networks so important to their own futures, rather than leave something as vital as Internet connectivity to huge corporations, often based far away.

This is especially important now that "the Federal Communications Commission has all but abdicated its role in protecting open and competitive access to the Internet."

The map shows that most community-owned networks exist in the eastern half of the US—and this isn't just because of population density. The northwest quadrant of Iowa, for instance, has eight such networks, most in small communities. California has only a few in the entire state.

Let America’s Cities Provide Broadband to Their Citizens In cities and towns across the U.S., a familiar story is replaying itself: Powerful companies are preventing local governments from providing an essential service to their citizens. More than 100 years ago, it was electricity. Today, it is the public provision of communications services.

Mayors across the U.S. are desperate to attract good jobs and provide residents with educational opportunities, access to affordable health care, and other benefits that depend on affordable, fast connectivity -- something that people in other industrialized countries take for granted. But powerful incumbent providers such as AT&T Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc. are hamstringing municipalities.

At the beginning of the 20th century, private power companies electrified only the most lucrative population centers and ignored most of America, particularly rural America. By the mid-1920s, 15 holding companies controlled 85 percent of the nation’s electricity distribution, and the Federal Trade Commission found that the power trusts routinely gouged consumers.

Less than 8 percent of Americans currently receive fiber service to their homes, compared with more than 50 percent of households in South Korea, and almost 40 percent in Japan. Where it’s available, Americans pay five or six times as much for their fiber access as people in other countries do. Fully a third of Americans '’t subscribe to high-speed Internet access at all... America is rapidly losing the global race for high-speed connectivity.

Right now, state legislatures -- where the incumbents wield great power -- are keeping towns and cities in the U.S. from making their own choices about their communications networks. Meanwhile, municipalities, cooperatives and small independent companies are practically the only entities building globally competitive networks these days. Both AT&T and Verizon have ceased the expansion of next-generation fiber installations across the U.S., and the cable companies’ services greatly favor downloads over uploads.

Congress needs to intervene. One way it could help is by preempting state laws that erect barriers to the ability of local jurisdictions to provide communications services to their citizens.

Send comments to, Colby Glass, MLIS, Professor Emeritus