Mountain Area Information Network

Wally Bowen

Wally Bowen is founder and executive director of the nonprofit Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) in Asheville, N.C. Bowen is a nationally-known advocate for local self-reliance and social capital formation via local ownership of media infrastructure.

MAIN provides high-speed wireless Internet access and webhosting, operates a low-power FM radio station (MAIN-FM 103.7), and was instrumental in obtaining public, education and government (PEG) cable TV channels for Asheville and Buncombe County. MAIN was recently elected to the national Media and Democracy Coalition.

Bowen was an early advocate of locally-owned “middle-mile” fiber networks, such as ERC Broadband and Pangaea, while representing western North Carolina on the N.C. Rural Internet Access Authority. He is the author of “Local Network Cookbook” (2009).

He has spoken on media reform at the Aspen Institute, all three National Media Reform Conferences, and most recently at the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), the New America Foundation, and the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communications. In 2008, he was one of three media reform advocates featured in Google's launch of a “Free the Airwaves” campaign for reform of U.S. spectrum policies.

Interviews:

Free Speech TV: What would Rupurt Murdoch do?

Connecticut Public Radio: Closing the Digital Divide

Democracy Now!: Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Recent Articles:

Block the broadband power grab

Don't sell public airwaves to the highest corporate bidder

The Battle for Broadband

FCC Needs To Reclaim Broadband Authority

The Enclosure of the Internet?

Is there a ‘Cloud’ in Asheville and Western North Carolina’s Future?