Does anyone have a film recommendation that links cooperative business and community to telecomm industry / Internet / broadband?
April 6, 2012 9:56 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have a film recommendation that links cooperative business and community to telecomm industry / Internet / broadband?

I've been working with a group of people in upstate NY to develop a community of cooperative business enthusiasts and future entrepreneurs. See for our work so far.

We intend to follow up the Summit we just held with additional activities such as educational sessions and even a business "pitch" competition.

A local group is working on a 501(c)12 plan to create a cooperative broadband access initiative, and they want to hold an event to promote the project, and through a teach-in, educate the public who attend. They would like to do it in partnership with, and they thought a film/discussion would be a good format.

So we need to find an appropriate film. Any ideas?
posted by franklen to Work & Money (5 answers total)
That's highly specific...maybe RevolutionOS could fit, though.
posted by rhizome at 3:36 PM on April 6, 2012

This really is highly specific!

This likely isn't what you're looking for — but I want to mention it here anyway since you've gotten such sparse response. Western Union, a 1941 Western made by Fritz Lang that revolves around the construction of the telegraph system. Again, probably not what you're looking for as it's very much pre-internet and about 'cooperative business' only insofar as it concerns several different parties variously collaborating on and sabotaging an epic telecomm project — but perhaps you'll find it interesting.
posted by bubukaba at 1:11 AM on April 7, 2012

Thanks rhizome and bubukaba, at least your suggestions may be jumping off points. I'll check them out this weekend!
posted by franklen at 8:06 AM on April 7, 2012

I've been thinking about this question all weekend. The first two examples I thought of -- rural telephone cooperatives and emergency ham radio operators -- are pretty good examples of telecom projects resulting from people joining together for the common good, but finding films -- either fiction or documentary -- that deal with either of those is pretty tricky!

However, there was some press coverage of WQRZ, a Mississippi non-profit community-supported low-power FM station (itself an outgrowth of the emergency ham radio initiative in the area) that famously was one of four broadcast stations to stay on the air after Hurricane Katrina (out of 41!), and became an invaluable lifeline to people in the area (to the point that the FCC authorized an unprecedented emergency power boost for the station, and FEMA distributed radios pretuned to the station's frequency).

Bill Moyers' Journal, a PBS program, devoted a segment to WQRZ (and the LPFM debate surrounding it and other stations like it). The entire program is available as a stream from PBS, and WQRZ has posted a copy of the 22 minute WQRZ segment on their Myspace page. There's also a followup post about the station on the Bill Moyers blog, as well as a nice profile of the station from Prometheus Radio.
posted by orthicon halo at 8:36 PM on April 8, 2012

We've received permission for a one-time screening of a new film called Industria Argentina. not exactly telecomm/internet/broadband topically, but relevant to the cooperative subject area, and we have a local community member with experience in Argentina, so we're going to expand the focus a bit it appears. Thanks again for the recommendations.
posted by franklen at 8:40 AM on May 7, 2012

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