Next Century Cities
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program continues to have a positive impact on many communities nationwide, but persistent challenges to accessing the benefit limit full participation.
This report documents broadband initiatives at the county and city levels in areas statewide. It also highlights specific broadband access and adoption programs launched in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Corian Zacher, Next Century Cities’ Policy Counsel for State and Local Initiatives and lead researcher, said, “Ohio is well-known for innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship.
There is an ongoing need to improve broadband data collections with community-level perspectives, affordability metrics, and adoption rates. Inaccurate federal broadband mapping data impacts broadband deployment efforts throughout the United States states and its territories. Using Federal Communications Commission data, state mapping, and submissions from local leaders, this report provides a state-by-state review of broadband access.
As local governments begin to look at the communications networks present in their communities, they must not only focus on how to expand them so that all their citizens are connected but develop strategies to ensure that they remain operational under the most stressful conditions. During a natural disaster, cellular and broadband connections are used to get weather updates, procure information regarding evacuations, shelter in place orders, or other governmental alerts that are intended to keep citizens appraised of the current situation.
In February 2021, Next Century Cities collected feedback from local officials on ways to improve broadband over the next four years. This letter includes several of their submissions. Their words echo sentiments of local leaders nationwide, calling for higher broadband Internet speeds, lower prices, and improved service quality. The Biden-Harris Administration’s leadership would not only have an immediate impact on their communities and others but would pave the way for inclusive and equitable broadband policies for years to come.
Next Century Cities Submits Comments on the FCC’s Request for Response to the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
Next Century Cities submitted comments in response to the Wireline Competition Bureau’s January 4th public notice requesting comments on how the Federal Communications Commission should implement the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program as designated in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. NCC’s comments focus on developing an inclusive and competitive list of participating providers, incorporating pricing disclosure requirements to help the FCC assess affordability, and partnering with local and state officials who are critical partners for promoting the program.
Next Century Cities is focused on improving broadband access and increasing adoption while advocating for a robust, competitive broadband marketplace. The high-level priorities below provide examples of NCC’s work at various levels of government. Each is aimed at providing access to high-speed, affordable, and reliable internet connections to every resident in every community.
Known for its deep roots in music and unforgettable food, Memphis is also known for its long-standing digital divide. Broadband connectivity has always been elusive to segments of Memphis’ population, a reality that has crippled their ability to adapt when COVID-19 encroached into their neighborhoods. Remote learning and work from home mandates have, since, forced connectivity challenges onto the priority lists of local government leaders. Meanwhile, community leaders and private sector partners have acquired critical support to expand broadband access and boost adoption.
This case study analyzes the housing-related financial strain felt by Long Beach residents and explores the intersection of housing and internet access in Long Beach. The qualitative data for this case study was gathered through one-onone interviews with public officials, local social service professionals, a review of city budgets from 2014-2020, and a review of press coverage and studies that focus on housing and internet adoption in Long Beach. Based on this research, the following recommendations could improve connectivity for residents.