Next Century Cities Identifies Policies to Expand Broadband in New Agenda

Emerging Issues Policy Agenda Showcases Successful Connectivity Efforts and Offers Creative Policy Recommendations

 

Washington, D.C. (April 4, 2017) — Today, Next Century Cities released its 2017 Emerging Issues Policy Agenda, offering policy recommendations that support the expansion of high-quality, affordable broadband access to all. The agenda also explores some of the latest challenges to expanding next-generation internet access and innovations to tackle such barriers. Next Century Cities communities are leading the way in implementing these policies and practices across the country.

 

“Local governments are the key to better internet access for more Americans,” Next Century Cities Executive Director Deb Socia said. “Next Century Cities’ new Policy Agenda helps communities make the best use of the resources available to them, and gives a diverse group of stakeholders the tools to develop needed broadband infrastructure. These policies and recommendations for tackling emerging issues can drive communities’ broadband future nationwide.”

 

In 2015, Next Century Cities released an initial Policy Agenda for Broadband Stakeholders that offered commonsense policy recommendations for specific stakeholders groups — federal, state, local, philanthropic, and community. This 2017 Emerging Issues Policy Agenda builds on the first agenda with recommendations for policymakers at all levels of government to tackle some of the latest issues around increasing broadband access.

 

The policy agenda includes information and recommendations on issues such as local municipal authority, competition in multiple dwelling units, high-quality access for low-income households, small cell deployment, and One Touch Make Ready policies. For each policy issue, this new resource gives examples of local innovation and success, as well as policy recommendations to drive better competition and increased broadband access locally.

 

The policy agenda also explores principles for government when developing legislation and undertaking broadband infrastructure investments, which is timely given the interest in Congress and at the state level for new investments in broadband.

 

“The 166 mayors and city leaders in Next Century Cities have always felt strongly that internet access is basic and critical infrastructure, for people in their day-to-day lives — and now state and federal policymakers on both sides of the aisle agree,” Deb Socia continued. “The question we face in 2017 is how to help communities across the nation achieve and expand high-quality internet access to more Americans. This new policy agenda from Next Century Cities explores the emerging issues that communities leading the way on broadband are tackling every day, and offers learning from these local leaders.”

 

The newly released policy agenda aligns with Next Century Cities’ founding tenants that local governments can make substantial gains in expanding fast, affordable, and reliable internet access by enacting the right policies. What is right for any given community may not be right for another, but with multiple models available and potential partners to work with, local governments have more tools than ever to improve access and bring the opportunities offered from next-generation internet to more citizens.

 

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Next Century Cities is a non-profit membership organization of 167 communities, 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 access. Next Century Cities celebrates broadband successes in communities, demonstrates their value, and helps other cities to realize the full power of truly high-speed, affordable, and accessible broadband. For more information, visit www.nextcenturycities.org.