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

Next Century Cities Featured in Congressional Hearing on Broadband Infrastructure Investment

Executive Director Deb Socia Testifies on Importance of Next-Generation Internet Access for Communities Nationwide

Washington, D.C. (July 22, 2015) – Next Century Cities Executive Director Deb Socia acted as a witness during a congressional hearing on “Promoting Broadband Infrastructure Investment,” held today by the House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Ms. Socia, speaking on behalf of the over 100 communities in Next Century Cities, offered Committee Members successful examples from cities that have developed high-quality broadband networks and discussed the need for policies at all levels of government that support broadband as critical infrastructure for all citizens.

Next Century Cities is a bipartisan city-to-city collaborative of over 100 mayors and city leaders who are working to ensure fast, affordable, and reliable Internet access for their residents. Today’s Congressional Hearing follows the recent release of a Policy Agenda by the initiative, with concrete policies and actions for local, state, and federal governments, as well as community members and philanthropic organizations.

“Across the country, community leaders know the importance of leveraging next-generation Internet access to grow their economies, improve health care and education, and offer residents new opportunities,” said Deb Socia, Executive Director of Next Century Cities. “Today, Members of Congress heard how the development of high-speed, affordable, and accessible broadband has allowed communities in Next Century Cities to thrive. The issue of investing in critical broadband infrastructure is one that spans political party, geography, and sector—the mayors of Next Century Cities know this and today’s hearing was an important step in the national broadband conversation.”

Next Century Cities new Policy Agenda, “Connecting 21st Century Communities,” is a guide intended to describe ways all stakeholders can work together to make tangible progress in creating the broadband Infrastructure needed today. Ms. Socia cited specific recommendations from the Policy Agenda during her testimony, including federal government actions such as encouraging competitive local markets and requiring more robust data collection.

Next Century Cities testified in the interest of the organization’s diverse membership and affirmed before the United States House of Representatives the initiative’s commitment to helping all communities achieve access to high-quality Internet, regardless of the path they pursue. The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Members also heard testimony from four other experts and leaders in the field regarding the need for stronger investments in broadband infrastructure in order to create thriving communities across the country.

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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.