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Christopher Mitchell
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Christopher Mitchell is the Director of the Telecommunications as
Commons Initiative with the New Rules Project of the Institute for
Local Self-Reliance. He has worked as a server administrator, web
geek, and in automated quality assurance for software. He earned a
Master's degree in Public Policy from the Hubert Humphrey Institute of
Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor’s degree
in Political Science from Macalester College.

Mitchell is a leading national expert on community broadband and
speaks at conferences across the United States on the subject,
occasionally to directly debate opponents of public ownership.

On a day-to-day basis, Mitchell runs, the
comprehensive online clearinghouse of information about community
broadband. His research and reports are available online at In May, 2010, he
published the comprehensive report on publicly owned broadband
networks titled “Breaking the Broadband Monopoly: How Communities Are
Building the Networks They Need.” In April 2011, Mitchell released
the Community Broadband Map, the first map to plot all the wired
community owned networks in the nation.

His Twitter identity is @communitynets

He is also a professional sports photographer, shooting regularly for
Minnesota’s Golden Gophers and other clients in Minnesota.

Entries by Christopher Mitchell

Comcast Aims to Buy Seattle Mayor, Intimidate Others

(5) Comments | Posted November 3, 2013 | 4:58 PM

In a reminder of the power embodied in massive corporations like Comcast, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is facing a challenger buoyed with sizeable contributions from the nation's largest cable and Internet company.

Why is Comcast so interested in defeating Seattle's mayor? Like a playground bully, it comes down to both...

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The FCC Chief Is Awesome at His Job if You Own a Big Cable Company

(21) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 12:18 PM

2013-01-18-genachowskiphoto.jpgIn a recent column, Chairman Genachowski explains why the U.S. Needs 'Gigabit Communities.' He's right, but refuses to do anything meaningful to get us there. It starts off with an accurate observation...

Walking the floor of the Consumer Electronics Show last...
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Louis C.K. Takes the Internet Seriously

(20) Comments | Posted December 22, 2011 | 4:28 PM

Louis C.K., the comedian responsible for the FX show Louie and for making people laugh at his brutally candid assessment of how much his young daughter's opinion about anything matters, has bypassed the major studios, channels, and cable distribution systems to sell one of his concerts directly to his...

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Comcast vs. Community: The Future of Broadband Competition

(2) Comments | Posted October 25, 2011 | 6:48 PM

Longmont, Colorado has become ground zero for the battle over the future of access to the Internet. Because big cable and telephone companies have stopped us from having a real choice in Internet Service Providers and failed to invest in adequate networks, a number of communities have built their own...

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Comcast: Internet Access Is Temporarily a Civil Right

(10) Comments | Posted August 9, 2011 | 10:36 AM

As a condition of its massive merger with NBC, the federal government is requiring Comcast to make affordable Internet connections available to 2.5 million low-income households for the next two years.

In promoting the program, Comcast's Executive VP David Cohen, has made some unexpected admissions:

"Access to the...
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Want Cable/Broadband Competition? Build Community Networks

(26) Comments | Posted July 15, 2011 | 1:24 PM

How can it be that the big companies who deliver some of the most important services in our modern lives (access to the Internet, television) rank at the top of the most hated? Probably because when they screw up or increase prices year after year, we have no choice...

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Community Broadband Beats Cable, DSL Companies in Speed, Price

(16) Comments | Posted July 6, 2011 | 1:45 PM

With the vast majority of Americans greatly overpaying for slow and unreliable broadband compared to connections in Europe and Asia, hundreds of communities have started building their own networks. Notable success stories (and the best places to get broadband in the US) are Chattanooga, Tennessee; Lafayette,...

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