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[Press Release] AAPB Publishes Guide Empowering Communities to Build Their Own Broadband Networks

AAPB Public Broadband Handbook
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Washington, D.C. | March 6, 2024—The American Association of Public Broadband’s (AAPB) newly launched handbook will guide communities in building their own broadband networks, bringing local control and choice to cities and towns across America.

“With nearly 650 community-owned broadband networks and co-ops across the United States, we are witnessing a pivotal moment for public broadband,” said Gigi Sohn, Executive Director of AAPB. “This handbook is a key part of AAPB's strategy to double the number of public networks in the next five years, supporting communities in leveraging these networks for economic development, smart city initiatives, and attracting new residents."

This essential guide, published by the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, outlines in simple terms the crucial decisions and steps required to establish a successful public broadband network. Packed with resources, it aims to ensure communities can benefit from everything that broadband enables.

“The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society is proud to collaborate with the American Association for Public Broadband,” said Benton Executive Director Adrianne B. Furniss. “Every community has a stake in this broadband moment—and they must have the tools they need to decide how they will meet their connectivity needs. We trust that this handbook is one of many tools communities will use to assess their situation and plan for a connected future.”

Authored by veteran public broadband advocate Bill Coleman, the handbook offers community leaders concrete steps to tackle logistical, technical, financial, and political challenges. The handbook also provides a list of resources that can help—including law firms, financial advisors, public relations firms, construction firms, equipment vendors, grant applications and management platforms, operational and business support systems, and firms that design, build, and operate networks.

The handbook's forthcoming online version will further enrich this resource with additional information and tools. Communities and leaders eager to explore the potential of public broadband are encouraged to consult this handbook as a first step toward realizing their connectivity goals.

The American Association for Public Broadband proudly represents community-owned broadband networks and co-ops that are fueling the nation's economic future through reliable high-speed internet access. With more than 650+ networks across 33 states, public––or municipal broadband––is answering America's call for reliable, affordable, and accessible internet for all. Visit to learn more.

The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society is an over 40-year-old nonprofit focused on broadband policy, working to make sure everyone in the United States can use and benefit from high quality, affordable broadband. We strengthen local, state, and national leadership by providing the timely information, rigorous evidence, practical guidance, and advocacy needed to articulate and implement a broadband for all agenda. Visit to learn more.

Media Contact

Aaron Alberico




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