Next Century Cities
Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s Gives A Comprehensive Overview of a Problem That We Can Solve
At a time when millions of Americans still do not have access to broadband of any kind, Next Century Cities is a resource for local leaders who are searching for connectivity solutions. Lifting up the voices of local broadband advocates, our work helps to ensure that lawmakers and policymakers understand what is at stake for our member communities, especially those that are still struggling to provide reliable, affordable broadband access for their residents.
In sent a letter to Congressional leadership on behalf of our 200+ member municipalities, Next Century Cities said that since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the United States, Americans have faced profound disruptions and been inundated with illustrations of why broadband is essential. Aside from schools and businesses having to embrace digital platforms, local governments found a way to stay operable while providing real-time health and safety updates for their residents in the face of a national emergency.
The Lifeline program and pole attachment rights are inextricably linked to the Federal Communications Commission’s Title II authority. The FCC's decision to reclassify broadband internet access service (BIAS) as an “information service” removes BIAS-only providers from the statutory scheme that governs pole attachments. If a portion of those who would provide broadband-only services are unable to attach, that will limit the FCC’s ability to promote broadband build-out.
Like many school districts nationwide, COVID-19 forced the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) to brainstorm ways to provide internet access for families in need. It partnered with Wander, a company with high-speed internet options at $25 per month, to provide free access to its fixed wireless networks for the remainder of the school year.
Local Officials Share Insights on How Broadband Impacts Population Growth, Economic Development, and Education in Illinois
The University of Illinois Extension Local Government Education Program and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Illinois Office of Broadband partnered with the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society to implement the Developing Broadband Leadership Webinar Series. The leadership series is a four-part workshop launched as part of the Connect Illinois initiative, a phased $420 million initiative implemented to expand broadband in unserved and underserved municipalities statewide. On May 13, 2020, Illinois Governor J.B.
Next Century Cities sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to collaborate with mayors and other local officials on broadband deployment. As residents are forced to work, access virtual classrooms, obtain medical care, and more from their homes, local officials have been working tirelessly to ensure that every resident stays connected during the national coronavirus (COVID-19) shut-in. Next Century Cities asks the FCC to consider the following points.
How will 2020 – the first online census – offer new challenges? Historically, the census has always been completed using paper forms. But in 2020, the census will be conducted primarily online for the first time. While there will still be options to respond with a paper form or via phone, most homes will receive an invitation to complete the census online.
Senior Program Manager Cat Blake presented on Fiber and the Future of Mountain Communities, an informational panel hosted by the town of Breckenridge (CO). Panelists discussed the importance of investing in broadband infrastructure and the future of connectivity in the region. The discussion began with a question on the value of internet access in a community like Breckenridge, with panelists noting potential job growth and new educational resources.