Community Broadband Initiative

What are we doing?

Joint Venture’s Community Broadband Initiative 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-owned 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 is guided by a Steering Committee consisting of:

  • County of San Mateo - Ulysses Vinson (Dir SMC Labs), Benny Lee (Dir Public WiFi)
  • City of San Leandro - Tony Batalla (CTO & Head of IT), Richard Brennan (HOA President)
  • City of East Palo Alto - Kamal Fallaha (Dir Public Works), Jerry Chang (FUSE Executive Fellow )
  • Telrad Networks - Chris Daniels (CEO Broadband)
  • Next Level Networks - Darrel Gentry (CEO)
  • Purdue University - David Broecker (CIO Purdue Research Foundation), Jonny Park (CEO WHIN)
  • Sectigo -Damon Kachur (VP IoT Solutions)
  • American Tower - Piyush Raj (Dir Technology Innovation)
  • Facebook - Moe Motamedi (Telecom Infra Project)

Joint Venture Board Champion: TBD

What are the next steps?

  • Pursue additional funding through grant opportunities.
  • Expand on success model of work completed in County of San Mateo, City of East Palo Alto, Town of Woodside, and others.
  • Continue work with the Rural/Agriculture Supercluster via NIST's Global City Teams Challenge.

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 San Mateo
  • City of San Leandro
  • City of Gilroy
  • Telrad Networks
  • Next Level Networks
  • Purdue University
  • Microsoft
  • Sectigo
  • American Tower

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)