Preparing for the End of Net Neutrality, City Tech Leaders Warn of Widening Digital Divide

As municipal governments in New York City, Seattle and elsewhere vocally oppose a repeal, leaders also say they are preparing resources to monitor its impact once it happens.  City gov tech leaders said that a repeal is all but certain to make it more difficult for municipal governments to foster digital equity. As Internet access has become essential to modern life — for applying for jobs, helping kids with homework, finding health care, etc. — cities have increasingly dedicated resources toward ensuring that all residents have access to the Internet, as well as to the equipment they need to use it and the skills to efficiently navigate the space.

New York City Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño said one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s priorities is to make New York the fairest big city in America. Equitable access to technology is a vital part of that. The FCC rollback, however, would greatly hamper these efforts. Seattle’s director of digital engagement, Jim Loter, said repeal will lead to higher Internet prices and greater confusion of choices for consumers, which will hurt low-income families to whom price is already a barrier for accessing the Internet. It would also hamper economic growth.


Preparing for the End of Net Neutrality, City Tech Leaders Warn of Widening Digital Divide