For Immediate Release
February 26, 2015
Contact: Deb Socia
617-251-8358
deb@nextcenturycities.org

Statement by Next Century Cities Executive Director Deb Socia
welcoming FCC decision to provide relief from state laws curbing local Internet choice

Hails support for community choice

Washington, D.C. (February 26, 2015) – Deb Socia, Executive Director of Next Century Cities, released the following statement in response to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to support the petitions of two Next Century Cities member communities Wilson (NC) and Chattanooga (TN) seeking relief from state laws preventing the expansion of their successful broadband services to surrounding residents:

“Today the FCC stood behind local leaders in Wilson and Chattanooga and their call for local choice. But this decision is about more than these two communities—it is a major step forward for all communities seeking next-generation Internet to transform the way we learn, work, and live.

“Choice and competition are key ingredients to broadening the reach and opportunities afforded by this vital infrastructure. This decision is a win for local choice and a win for competition. It sets a powerful precedent nationwide that cities should be free to choose when it comes to high-quality Internet.”

“In January, mayors and elected officials from 38 of our member communities wrote urging the FCC to respect the principles of local choice and self-determination. Today the FCC demonstrated a commitment to these communities by supporting competition to expand the reach of high-speed broadband.”

“Next Century Cities stands ready to work with every city that believes in the importance of the Internet for our future.”

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Background

Next Century Cities is a city-to-city initiative founded to support communities and their elected leaders, including mayors and other officials, as they seek to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet. As innovative municipalities across the country recognize the importance of leveraging gigabit level Internet to attract new businesses and create jobs, improve health care and education, and connect residents to new opportunities, Next Century Cities will celebrate these successes, demonstrate their value, and help other cities to realize the full power of truly high-speed, affordable, and accessible broadband. For more information, visit www.nextcenturycities.org.

Next Century Cities Letter to FCC

The full text of the January, 2015, letter to the FCC, signed by elected officials from 38 communities participating in Next Century Cities, can be found here: http://nextcenturycities.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/FCC-Letter.pdf