Crowdfunding for Broadband Gathers Steam. Get on the Train!

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Blacksburg, VA raised $91,000 to build a 1 gig network downtown using crowdfunding (bit.ly/ZVsVIz). A Kansas City neighborhood crowdfunded a wireless network buildout. Have we found the key to unlocking a big increase in broadband networks?

As interest in this tactic builds, two community broadband veterans are rolling out a Web tool to crowdfund, aggregate demand and coordinate stakeholders. The design of this service reflects a belief that funding is just one of the challenges communities must address.

Crowdfiber co-founders Greg Richardson and Bailey White advocate an integrated approach to broadband deployment that builds a pre-launch subscriber base while simultaneously raising money to fund the network. In addition, communities must be adept at organizing and project management.

Listeners come away from this interview with a better understanding of:

* crowdfunding best practices;
* using the Google “fiberhoods” tactic to map demand; and
* organizing stakeholders (a.k.a. herding cats).

 

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