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Community Broadband Initiative (CBI)

What are we doing?

Joint Venture’s Community Broadband Initiative (CBI) is a coalition between academia, residents, local governments, businesses, and the communications industry working together to improve affordable gigabit broadband infrastructure in under-served Silicon Valley neighborhoods. CBI will pioneer a new partnership-driven model for financing, installing, and operating open source broadband networks and services.

Focus Areas:

  • Open Source Hardware & Software
  • Rural and under-served communities
  • Digital Inclusion - Public wireless, Point-to-Multipoint, Community Broadband

Our Strategies:

  • Expand Coalition - Encourage dialog between local governments, businesses, residents, and academia. Create coalitions to help build human-centric smart city systems that solve problems and create efficiencies. Determine areas where scale can be realized through partnerships. Lead those partnerships in tactical ways.
  • Use Open Source Hardware & Software - Drive down deployment costs by leveraging accessible low-cost solutions via commodity and readily-available hardware
  • Participation & Reuse - Leverage efforts of early adopters to learn and teach a wider community.
  • Build for Self-Sustaining - Drive long-term success by encouraging participation of invested users/customers. Avoid creating systems that result in "digital welfare". Train users to self-support, and encourage small businesses.

Why are we doing it?

Despite massive investment in broadband, many areas of Silicon Valley remain under-served - creating a broadband gap. As the region's economic boom continues, people seeking housing are forced to move away from city centers, but in doing so they often must give up access to fast and reliable connectivity. Recent developments in hardware and software will enable neighborhood and community groups to obtain and deploy their own broadband networks.

Who's Involved?

Our project will be guided by a Steering Committee consisting of academia, local government, and corporate leaders. If you're interested, please contact us.

What are the next steps?

  • Pursue funding through grant opportunities.
  • Form a Steering Committee.
  • Build coalition.

Where do I find out more?

To learn more about the Community Broadband Initiative, to request a briefing, or to inquire about membership please contact:

Dr. Mohammad Shakouri

Community Broadband

Joint Venture's Community Broadband Initiative is focused on enabling local community and neighborhood groups in un-served and under-served regions of the Silicon Valley.

Community Broadband Partners

  • County of Alameda
  • City of Hayward
  • City of San Leandro
  • East Bay Economic Development Alliance
  • East Bay Broadband Consortium
  • California State University, East Bay
  • University of California, Berkeley

Community Broadband Drivers

81% of US residents live in urban areas, and this will rise to 87% by 2050. (Source: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2014)