December 5, 2023: Our legal name remains as Broadband Institute Foundation. Our new DBA is: Internet Public Commons Platform Cooperative.
We are Restoring the Internet as a Public Commons
One community at a time: While we support digital navigators, who assist people to connect to the dominant system (incumbent ISPs), our ultimate goal is to work with community stakeholders to build and own their Internet infrastructures in an emergent system.
The world changes as pioneers of an emergent system, find each other and work together. That is the goal of our community.
Berkana Two Loop Model of System Change
Give people fish?
Teach people to fish?
Change the fishing industry?
Addressing the digital divide is a complex problem that requires fundamental systemic change to produce a sustainable outcome. The dominant system (the incumbent ISP’s) created the digital divide, e.g. digital redlining. Various government projects and certain nonprofits have been acting as stabilizers to address inequities with efforts, such as subsidies like the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). “Hospice Work” for the declining system would include things like digital navigator programs, that assist, underserved populations with help to apply for ACP. This website is part of the effort to recruit pioneers that we assist in connecting and building networks, from interpersonal connections to physical Internet infrastructure networks that are owned by the local community. It is thus our goal to form communities of practice that nourish each other and help the new emergent system to grow in influence.
A Bit of Internet History
Before the privatization of the Internet during the 1990s, as discussed by Ben Tarnoff, there was NSFnet, which existed as a Public Commons. The following quote is by David Bollier (link to his membership on this site). He is the author of The Wealth of the Commons, a World Beyond Market & State.
The end-to-end principles of the Internet and its shared protocols constitute a vital infrastructure for creating countless online commons. This lecture gives a brief overview of this history, with readings by Lawrence Lessig, Richard Stallman, Eben Moglen, David Bollier, Elinor Ostrom and Charlotte Hess.Listen to this podcast by David Bollier
What is a Platform Cooperative?
Do you have 90 seconds to watch?
How about 90 minutes for this video?