During his State of the Union remarks last night, President Obama testified to the importance of high-quality infrastructure to a thriving future, including broadband Internet alongside more traditional infrastructure projects such as highways and railroads. As the President observed, “21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure — modern ports, stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest internet.” The address continued by exhorting Republicans and Democrats alike to come together in support of infrastructure investments.

The President’s remarks at the State of the Union come in the wake of last week’s unveiling of an exciting new broadband initiative. The initiative looks to empower and equip local communities to develop the broadband networks they will need in the 21st century, free from burdensome regulations and legislative restrictions. The announcement took place as the Federal Communications Commission considers petitions against state laws, in Tennessee and North Carolina, which restrict the expansion of leading-edge gigabit networks.

We welcome the President’s acknowledgment of the critical importance of Internet infrastructure, and agree that the Internet is not a partisan issue. Next Century Cities is thrilled to see national attention focused on this crucial issue!