0 Member Cities

Albany, NY


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Albuquerque, NM


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Alexandria, VA

Mayor Silberberg

Allison Silberberg Headshot

On Alexandria: As a vibrant, innovative community, the City of Alexandria understands the importance of high speed fiber for residential and commercial users. High-speed broadband is crucial for attracting and keeping business. It is a valuable asset for business development, a critical step toward improving our residents’ broadband experience, and a necessary tool for providing quality public education.

On Next Century Cities: Next Century Cities provides a forum and expertise that are incredibly helpful to communities that are committed to gigabit Internet. The City values the opportunity to share best practices and successful examples of progress toward a gigabit community. As a community dedicated to job creation, business development, and educational improvement, the City appreciates the leadership role of Next Century Cities in the area of gigabit-level Internet.

What Alexandria is working on: As a top 10 Digital City, the City of Alexandria continues to work on the initiative of providing gigabit level Internet service to businesses, residences, and schools. The City recently issued a Request for Information from the private and nonprofit sectors for provision of gigabit service to the City. In the coming months, the City will be evaluating options and a path forward in exploring the possibility of a public private partnership for gigabit Internet. The City’s leadership recognizes the importance of high-speed Internet as a catalyst for shared prosperity.

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Alford, MA


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Ammon, ID

ammonnMayor Dana Kirkham

On Ammon: “Fast, affordable and reliable Internet service is an essential part of any municipality. It has become the town square where people come to organize, get educated, and participate in their community.”

On Next Century Cities: “Next Century Cities provides us with an important opportunity to share our experience with other cities, but more importantly allows us to learn from other pioneers in the industry. We are confident that the value of this collaboration will lead to enormous success for all involved.”

What Ammon is working on: In 2009 the City of Ammon identified broadband telecommunications as a basic and essential service which could be cared for by a municipal utility. In 2010 the City began work on a City owned and operated fiber optic system which would provide broadband access to meet the needs of the City departments, public safety organizations, other publicly owned and operated facilities, community anchor institutions, businesses and residents.

Since then the City has installed some 30 miles of underground fiber optic cable which serves the City’s operational and public safety needs. Additional system capacity is made available to Ammon area schools, businesses, residents and service providers as infrastructure.

The City of Ammon is particularly interested in advancing public safety through the use of its fiber infrastructure. In 2012, the City was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to demonstrate network slicing for emergency communications in partnership with the University of Idaho. Today the City is a phase 2 contestant in the National Institute of Justice’s Ultra High Speed App Challenge.

The City of Ammon is also working to further develop the open access model by opening up the infrastructure through virtualization for the benefit of service providers and their subscribers.

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Arlington, WA


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Arvada, CO

Mayor Marc WilliamsCity Council

On Arvada: “Broadband is quickly becoming essential for both Arvada businesses and residents–on par with water, wastewater, power, and other municipal services. The strategic goals adopted by the Arvada City Council cannot be achieved without including broadband as part of the equation.”

On Next Century Cities: “We believe in the  principles upon which Next Century Cities is founded. By collaborating with other cities, we can learn  about and share diverse strategies to improve the broadband availability for our community.”

What Arvada is working on: The City of Arvada has recently embarked on a new way of doing business by adopting city-wide strategic planning and performance measurements. The goal of this new system, called FOCUS, is to continue to achieve and maintain service excellence by building a data-driven, results-oriented, customer-focused organization. Of our critical strategic goals, a number of them are around providing adequate broadband connectivity in our city. The following initiatives are included in the City’s strategic plan:

  • By 2015, 90% of street reconstruction and new street construction projects located on the City Conduit Map will include conduits for fiber optics and dry utilities.
  • By 2019, 97% of the geographic area of the City will have wired or mobile high speed network connectivity for City employees who provide City services.
  • By 2019, 90% urban centers and corridors have high speed internet connectivity available to residents, businesses and visitors


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Auburn, IN

auburninmayorMayor Norman E. Yoder

On Auburn: “Demand and reliance on broadband services has grown exponentially in recent years. The catalyst for Auburn to provide these services was born out of the need to retain a large local business that employed many residents. Yet, today, our fiber optic network has evolved into a true community asset that not only has helped retain businesses, but attract and recruit others seeking to establish roots or expand operations in our region.”

On Next Century Cities: “Next Century Cities is a natural fit for the City of Auburn. It brings together a conglomerate of cities with the foresight to leverage technology to keep their communities viable and positioned for future growth. For Auburn, being one of founding members of Next Century Cities validates the work and investment we’ve made in our infrastructure. Even as a small community, we’re on par with some larger cities—that’s exciting for our community partners, subscribers and businesses to see.”

What Auburn is working on: Auburn Essential Services (AES) was born out of the need to provide a large local employer with reliable, enterprise grade broadband. Auburn expanded its already existing optical infrastructure to provide high-speed Internet, private data and co-location services to this anchor business. Since then, we’ve expanded to include phone & TV services to other businesses and residents—all in a phased manner that enabled us to avoid taking on any external debt.

AES has experienced steady upward growth since our inception. As a small, local operator, we differentiate ourselves with responsiveness and reliability.
Our reputation—and our services—has grown outside our electric service area and city limits. Through several special opportunities and unique partnerships, we’ve extended fiber network beyond our service area, at first to our county’s own airport and a private school system. More recently, we’re collaborating with neighboring cities to establish their first fiber to the business networks. AES continues to be focused on building up our network to increase capacity and coverage. We’ve been a conduit for community progress—and we believe we’re just getting started!

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Austin, TX

What Austin is working on: The City of Austin has a long history of undertaking and championing broadband projects. In 1991, the City partnered with six other public entities to create the Greater Austin Area Telecommunications Network (GAATN), a metropolitan-wide network for public sector members. The GAATN network is 371 miles of fiber that carries voice, data, video, and radio circuits to the seven members and expands their communication services.

The City established Austin Free-Net in 1995, and continues to maintain it, to provide public access to computers and the Internet to those who cannot afford it. Additionally, the City has administered the Grant for Technology Opportunities (GTOPs) program since 2001. This matching-fund grant program supports local non-profits and organizations in their efforts to include all Austinites in an emerging digital society through digital literacy and broadband access programs.

Participation in the digital world is now a necessity. As Austin undergoes a broadband revolution with the introduction of ultra high-speed Internet, it is also undertaking efforts to be digitally inclusive. The Austin City Council directed the drafting of a strategic plan to address the digital divide in Austin. This plan will outline ways to increase access to and understanding of the Internet and its possibilities.

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Baltimore, MD


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Berkeley, CA

Mayor Tom Bates Mayor of Berkeley

On Berkeley: State-of-the-art internet access is vital as everything–homes, cars, education, business, and government–evolves along with the way people interact with information. Investing in broadband service for our citizens, schools, libraries, and businesses will allow Berkeley to continue to harness the collective intellect of its diverse and talented citizenry. Moreover, as data-driven policymaking becomes more prevalent, the need for cities like ours to expand access to data and efficiently manage it becomes crucial.

On Next Century Cities: Berkeley and NCC share the principles of equity, choice, and education. We are taking advantage of this knowledge-sharing partnership to help inform our strategic fiber-infrastructure plan.

What Berkeley is working on: Berkeley has just embarked on the first phase of a strategic fiber-infrastructure plan, making this often overlooked opportunity to serve citizens a priority across city departments. Along with road pavings and collaboration with utility companies, the city is taking steps to enter into mutually beneficial public-private partnerships and leasing agreements to connect every citizen and business to gigabit internet.

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Beverly Hills, CA

Mayor Julian A. Gold, M.D.Gold_01_5x7F

On Beverly Hills: We in Beverly Hills are committed to becoming a world leader in residential, commercial and municipal technology. Our goal is to harness this technology to assure our position in the new global economy. Access to the fastest and most secure internet connections will provide a key advantage for local businesses and a welcome benefit for residents and visitors.”

What Beverly Hills is working on: The Beverly Hills City Council has established an initiative to provide high speed broadband to the businesses and residences of the City of Beverly Hills.  We believe a high-speed connection to the Internet is a matter of necessity in the new global economy.  The Beverly Hills FTTP initiative will provide super-fast and secure networking solutions to our users.  The City of Beverly Hills currently owns and maintains a scalable high-speed fiber optic network.  This resilient network has been designed to support additional capacity to benefit businesses and residents.

Our Municipal Wireless Project provides integrated voice, video, and data communications for city staff.   Additionally, we have a public Wi-Fi network that is available to city guests.  With over 250 wireless access points, we offer a secure wireless network with Internet speeds up to 1 gigabit per second.   We continue to expand this program each year.

Our Community Security System program consists of over 300 cameras deployed across public spaces and critical city infrastructure.  This program supports our Smart City/ Safe City initiative which supports elements of the City’s Homeland Security and Disaster Strategic Plan.

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Bexley, OH


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Biloxi, MS

MayorGilich Biloxi

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich

On Biloxi: “Biloxi is one of the oldest communities in the country, having first been settled in 1699 by French-Canadian explorers. Today, the city is a cultural melting pot, with a year ’round schedule of celebrations, offering small-town charm set against a backdrop of sugar-white sand beaches, great deep-sea or freshwater fishing, an array of championship golf courses, museums and historic sites, tantalizing seafood restaurants, and the excitement of 24-hour non-stop casino resorts. Tourism, buoyed by more than 4 million visitors a year, is our No. 1 industry, along with Keesler Air Force Base and seafood production.”

On Next Century Cities: “As a former software programmer who has provided services to communities across the country, I am well aware of the benefits of embracing 21st Century tools and technology. Biloxi can and will become a gigabyte city in the near future. Who wouldn’t want to connect to the rest world, 200 times faster? This will greatly enhance our efforts to improve our quality of life and attract new businesses in all sectors (entrepreneurship and economic development, education, entertainment, public safety, medical, manufacturing and telecommunications.)”

What Biloxi is working on: Biloxi and neighboring cities across the Mississippi Gulf Coast are working to create a fiber-optic ring that would help ensure the timely, universal and affordable delivery of ultra-high speed Internet for all of our residents and businesses. The fiber-optic ring, the so-called “middle mile,” would create the infrastructure backbone to encourage private Internet service providers to complete the “final mile,” service to a growing number of forward-thinking businesses and residents. Of chief concern is to provide ultra-high speed Internet service to everyone and every public space.

For more information about Biloxi, visit biloxi.ms.us. For more about our broadband efforts along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, visit coastbroadband.org.

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Bloomington, IN


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Boise, ID


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Boston, MA

bostonmamayorMayor Marty Walsh

On Boston: “Boston is home to world-renowned academic and medical institutions and important technology companies that rely on broadband internet to educate, heal and innovate. We see continued improvement in broadband speed and affordability as an essential element to driving growth and creating economic opportunity for the people of Boston.”

On Next Century Cities: “We are joining Next Century Cities to share knowledge and help develop tools that can advance the state of broadband in Boston and cities around the country.”

What Boston is working on: The City of Boston, incorporated as a town in 1630 and as a city in 1822, is the largest city in Massachusetts and the capital of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Boston is home to about 620,000 residents and as the economic hub of New England, Boston is a center for professional, financial, higher educational and medical services, and the focal point of tourist and convention travel in New England. These industry sectors demand access to broadband to grow and succeed in their respective fields and their customers expect nothing less. Affordable broadband is critical to economic development, quality of life, and opportunity for the residents and small businesses in our City.

The City of Boston actively advocates for broadband investment and video competition throughout our city and particularly in under-served and lower-income neighborhoods. We encourage the introduction of new technologies and competition through innovative policies and investments. For example:

  • The City invests over $9 million annually in the city’s fiber network to support broadband for use by constituent services and our public schools and plans to invest an additional $10 million over the next five years in fiber expansion to connect even more of the city’s public buildings including its schools.
  • The City developed informal and expedited franchising processes. In Boston, we renew, transfer, amend and dissolve franchises, quickly, as the situation(s) warrant, in order to be responsive to changes in law, regulation and/or market conditions.
  • Boston has taken the lead in piloting an affordable wireless solution for our residents through the Boston Wicked Wi-Fi Project. Public Wi-Fi has been rolled out in many of Boston’s parks, schools, and downtown locations. The city’s fiber network is supporting the internet connection in public areas.
  • The City streamlined access for broadband and wireless telecommunications businesses seeking to provide services to Boston’s residents and businesses, establishing a single point of entry for telecommunications services applicants.
  • Boston has negotiated agreements with providers such as Comcast, RCN, Crown Castle, American Tower and Extenet in order to introduce some measure of competition and new technologies in wired and wireless communications.
  • Boston engaged in aggressive Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) initiatives through programs including Technology Goes Home Readiness (OLLR) to reach schoolchildren and families in need of technical skills and training. TGH also provides online training to small businesses in under-served neighborhoods and new immigrants.

Collectively, all of these efforts are designed to provide our citizens, neighborhoods and businesses with the broadband and training resources necessary to succeed in a digital economy.

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Boulder, CO

What Boulder is working on: Although the City of Boulder has had no plans in place to create a public broadband utility or engage in new public-private partnerships, passage in November 2014 of a ballot measure (2c) exempting the city from state limitations on telecommunication services, has enabled the planning and future execution of new public initiatives to begin. The Boulder community would significantly benefit from more economical, higher-capacity broadband services, given the tech-savvy demographic, readiness for next-generation services, and publicly available fiber-optic infrastructure. As an initial step, a Broadband Working Group composed of community representatives has been established to aid staff in:

  • Assessing needs, contributing ideas and helping guide the initial vision for Boulder’s broadband efforts.
  • Designing and executing initial public participation, communication and marketing strategies.
  • Advising on the design and execution of an RFP for a consulting partner to perform a comprehensive broadband feasibility study.

Aided by the Broadband Working Group, a visioning discussion began during the first quarter of 2015, with a draft vision statement completed in May. A formal RFP was issued in June to conduct a comprehensive Broadband Feasibility Study. The purpose of the study is to engage a highly-qualified and experienced consulting firm to assist in providing detailed, actionable guidance for the planning and implementation of a successful community broadband initiative. The results of this study are intended to contribute considerably to the achievement of the city’s broadband vision with the highest quality and greatest return for our community stakeholders. With a consulting partner anticipated to begin the project by mid-August, it is staff’s hope that preliminary findings and recommendations will be presented to the City Council late in the fourth quarter of 2015.

In the interim, the City has been analyzing the feasibility of small projects that would have a positive impact on public spaces, similar to the current availability of Wi-Fi in the Boulder Public Library. In April, the first such project – an outdoor public Wi-Fi network called “Connect Boulder” – began service in the downtown Civic Area. This and related projects would not be possible without the recent exemption vote.

Media coverage: https://bouldercolorado.gov/connect-boulder and here: http://www.dailycamera.com/local-election-news/ci_26863615/boulder-ballot-issue-2c-give-city-broadband-authority

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Bryan, TX

Mayor Jason BienskiBienski

On Bryan: “Today, broadband access to the internet is truly a commodity; just like electricity and water. Increased internet bandwidth will continue to help spur economic development in Bryan. With a lower cost of service, more businesses will look to move here. Additionally, working from home and home-based businesses as well as an increase in research will become a viable option in our city with a higher connectivity speed along with lower costs.”

On Next Century Cities: “Joining Next Century Cities will help us continue the momentum gained by the work of the Research Valley Technology Council (RVTC) that was formed in the spring of 2014 represented by both the Cities of Bryan and College Station, Brazos County, Texas A&M University and the Brazos Valley Council of Governments. The RVTC was formed to focus on encouraging broadband investment in our communities with a focus on economic development. One major milestone already accomplished is our local incumbent provider has increased bandwidth while lowering the cost of service.”

What Bryan is working on: The City of Bryan is one of five members of the Research Valley Technology Council, a division of the Research Valley Partnership. The RVTC led the charge in convincing the incumbent provider to invest millions of dollars to increase speeds to the home. By the second quarter of this year, the incumbent provider is scheduled to begin the rollout of gigabit speeds to the City of Bryan and to the larger area surrounding it known as the Brazos Valley. Once the rollout begins, the City of Bryan and the Brazos Valley will be among the first in Texas with community-wide gigabit speeds to the home.

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Burbank, CA


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Burlington, WA


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Canton, OH

Mayor Bernabei Thomas M. Bernabei

On Canton: “Internet connectivity is a critical resource for economic development. The City of Canton recognizes the importance of technology-driven business, and seeks to develop infrastructure with new transformative technologies that will offer opportunity and rewarding careers for new and prospective residents. I am excited to be a part of Next Century Cities and connect our businesses and residents with quality broadband services!”

On Next Century Cities: “My administration is committed to providing broadband capabilities to new businesses and residents. Next Century Cities is a vital partner to in this development. I look forward to working with Next Century Cities to make city-wide broadband access a possibility for our community!”

What Canton is working on: Our current broadband initiatives involve a collaborative effort between the City, County, and State as an option to lower existing costs associated with our current commercial broadband provider.  This effort involves identifying and utilizing existing City and County owned fiber to connect our existing locations to OARnet.  Once connected we believe we can significantly lower our current broadband spend and provide additional opportunities related to offsite storage and disaster recovery.

Links to media coverage: Canton Council Voices Support for Broadband Utility (May 23, 2016), Stark County Broadband Team Hires Consultant (May 23, 2016) Editorial: Time Is Right for Broadband (May 3, 2015)

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Carbondale, IL

Mayor Mike HenryWhat Carbondale is doing: Carbondale has been at the forefront of fiber deployment in the Southern Illinois region.  In 2010, Clearwave Communications, was awarded $31.5 million in grant funds to install a high-speed fiber network across a 23-county region of southern Illinois. This project provides gigabit service and has connected Carbondale to anchor institutions in many of the region’s rural and economically distressed counties.

In 2013, Carbondale formed a partnership with Frontier, Southern Illinois University, and Connect SI, and received a $1.5 million grant to build a fiber network in Carbondale. As the region’s first “gigabit city”, this network is up to 100 times faster than speeds currently available. These improvements will help us recruit new business to the region and enable SIU scholars, innovators and entrepreneurs to connect globally. In addition, the gigabit network has created telemedicine opportunities which has enhanced the ability of local healthcare providers to expand their services and capabilities. Our most recent project seeks to provide a robust wifi network throughout our downtown and adjacent neighborhoods which will appeal to the 60% millennial population for which Carbondale is home. Collectively, these improvements will offer Carbondale’s residents, businesses, and anchor institutions a state-of-the-art amenity that is unique within our region.

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Carl Junction, MO


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Cedar Falls, IA

What Cedar Falls is working on: Cedar Falls, Iowa is home to one of the first and most successful community broadband systems in the nation. Founded in 1994, today the Cedar Falls Municipal Communications Utility (CFU) provides affordable gigabit broadband city-wide through a fiber-to-the-premises network. More than 14,000 homes and businesses choose CFU for internet and/or television services.

Separate, one-hop fiber paths connect CFU’s local network to diverse upstream providers, including the three most highly connected networks in the world. This robust external network delivers superior reliability and low latency to subscribers, and enables CFU to meet the bandwidth and/or transport capacity needs of virtually any business.

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Centennial, CO

What Centennial is working on: The City of Centennial’s fiber optic infrastructure began in 2008 as a Public Works effort to improve connectivity between City assets, including traffic signals and other public facilities.

This was also an effort to improve traffic flow and reduce traffic congestion within City limits and throughout its major arterials that service neighboring communities.

To date, the City has installed more than 60 miles of infrastructure (conduit, dark and lit fiber) suitable for broadband deployment while spending less than $600,000. Our “dig once” policy and the value of the infrastructure continues to expand daily and is conservatively valued at more than $6 million. The network’s traffic signalization capacities take priority over secondary uses such as telecommunications and other types of data transmission.

Colorado is one of the States that has laws in effect to prohibit municipalities (SB-05-152) from offering or partnering with the private sector and as such we were required to do a ballot referendum last November 5, 2013. Centennial citizens passed Ballot Question 2G with an overwhelming vote of over 76% approval. This exemption now allows the City to begin exploring opportunities associated with indirect, competitive and non-exclusive service provision models to support the transmission of high-speed internet, advanced telecommunications and other services to residents and businesses by private companies providing such services.

The City is now studying a variety of potential models for deploying broadband throughout the community and is expected to bring the results forward for public comment and possible implementation as early as 2015.

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Centerville, UT

Mayor Paul Cutler

Paul Cutler Headshot 5On Centerville: “High quality fiber infrastructure, and a choice of providers improve the quality of life for our residents and businesses.  We have seen a number of high quality business move to our community to take advantage of the fiber.  Competition has improved pricing and customer services for everyone—both on and off the community network.”

On Next Century Cities: “Next Century Cities has brought together Cities that have the same understanding and vision of the future needs of our communities.  That future is true high speed telecommunications.  Next Century Cities demonstrates that there a growing number of Cities that have grasped on to the future of the economic vitality and livability of our cities, and that telecommunications is as necessary of a utility as electricity in the last century.  Together we can have a greater voice in its future of our and other sister cities to provide this needed infrastructure.  We have learned from our success and failures and want to help other communities the best we can to deploy telecommunications to their communities.  Next Century is a great resource to all cities that are on the forefront of sustaining there city.”

What Centerville is up to: Centerville City Utah has a population of 16,250 and is located approximately 15 mile north of Salt Lake City.  Centerville is a founding a member of the Utah Telecommunications Open Telecommunications Infrastructure Agency, known as UTOPIA.  UTOPIA was created in 2004 by 16 Utah cities to build an open fiber to the premise network.  The founding cities had the foresight of the need of advance telecommunications for business and residence.  Fiber was the future proof technology that would be essential for business and quality of life.  UTOPIA began providing service to Centerville in 2011, with a gig capable all fiber network available to more than 95% of the Cities residents and businesses.  The network provides the infrastructure and but does not provide service direct to customers.  The network currently has 9 service providers for customers to choose from. Currently there are more than 1,200 residential and business connections in the City.   The residential take rate is nearly 30%.  The City has connected all of its public facilities with a gig capable network. The City provides free Wi-Fi at its public buildings and parks.



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Champaign, IL

What Champaign is working on: UC2B is an intergovernmental consortium of the University of Illinois and the cities of Urbana and Champaign dedicated to building and operating an open-access fiberoptic broadband network throughout the Champaign-Urbana area. The project is made possible by a $22.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The State of Illinois provided a $3.5 million grant and local matching funds added an additional $3.4 million to fund the project.

The foundation of the UC2B network will be the fiber-optic “backbone” infrastructure that will be constructed with the grant money. The grant also will provide “fiber-to-the-premises” (FTTP) connectivity directly to well over 150 Community Anchor Institutions throughout Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy and to households in several underserved neighborhoods in Champaign and Urbana.

This direct connectivity will enable improved access/support to health care, educational and recreational institutions, public safety and government agencies, and social service and religious organizations, as well as increased access to public computing centers.

and a sustainable adoption and educational outreach program for vulnerable populations.

Training, entertainment, and social networking opportunities will also be enhanced.

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Chapel Hill, NC

What Chapel Hill is working on: The Town of Chapel Hill continues efforts to increase the number of service providers and quality of broadband service in the community. This includes membership in the North Carolina Next Generation Network, a regional partnership that in 2014 produced a master development agreement with AT&T to bring gigabit service to the member communities. These efforts also led to Chapel Hill’s inclusion in Google’s January 2015 announcement of the next metro areas to receive Google Fiber service.

In addition to working with private providers, Chapel Hill maintains 34 miles of municipal-owned fiber, which connects and serves the Town’s public facilities. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are available throughout downtown Chapel Hill and in most Town buildings. Computer hardware and technical support are provided to several Town-run computer labs that serve children, teens, and low-income families. The Town is currently exploring several methods of delivering free Internet service to families in the Town’s public housing communities, through its own means and through partnerships with private providers.

The Town’s Community Broadband project team coordinates these efforts.

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Charlotte, NC

Mayor Jennifer Robertsmayor roberts charlotte

On Charlotte: “Now, more than ever, home Internet service is essential to the everyday lives of American families. This includes everything from applying for jobs and getting health information, to keeping up on the world around them and learning new things.”

On Next Century Cities: “Broadband is fundamental to the infrastructures of modern economies. It is critical for cities to collaborate, share knowledge and assist each other in developing broadband networks to improve the lives of all of their residents.”

What Charlotte is working on:  In 2015 the City of Charlotte began working with numerous community partners to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for bridging the digital divide in Charlotte. The vision for this plan is for every Charlotte resident to have the opportunity to be fully engaged in 21st Century opportunities. Developing a digital inclusion strategic plan provides an opportunity for Charlotte to collaborate on setting goals, inventory existing digital resources, identify gaps in services and develop a road map toward achieving digital inclusion. This effort requires a long-term commitment with multiple sectors working together including local government, community organizations, businesses, education and learning institutions, the faith community, foundations, healthcare and residents. Over 95+ partners have been engaged in envisioning a connected Charlotte. Together we brainstorm about affordable, home Internet connection providing high-speed access for under $10/month so no one is left behind. We explore wi-fi hot-spot lending programs that make digital resources available to low income families. Our partners are collaborating to make digital resources more accessible, such as the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools ‘One Access initiative that unlocks online public library resources for over 145,000 local school children and their families from anywhere, anytime there is internet access. Our public school system is putting Chromebooks into the hands of students to create lifelong learners who can think critically, collaborate and create. With our partners we are creating a playbook that individuals, families, non-profits, and others can draw from to create a plan and options that will work for them and their communities. We have invited our community partners to join the cause as we seek to co-create options for digital inclusion for Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Visit digitalcharlotte.org for more information.

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Chattanooga, TN

Mayor Andy BerkeMayor Andy Berke, Chattanooga, TN

On Chattanooga: “The Gig infrastructure changed the way we see ourselves in Chattanooga, it changed the idea of what our city could be. Mid-sized Southern cities in the U.S. are not generally thought of as being ahead of the technological curve. The Gig changed that. We are now ahead of the curve, with other cities looking to us as a leader in the Innovation Century.”

On Next Century Cities: “Right now, there is an excitement over what cities can accomplish and Next Century Cities can help take that excitement to the next level. From building Innovation Districts and the resurgence of entrepreneurship to supporting growth through infrastructure, the environment, and economic development, cities are developing and implementing innovative solutions that make life better for communities across the county.”

What Chattanooga is working on: Chattanooga, Tennessee, is home to the fastest, most pervasive and least expensive Gigabit service in the Western Hemisphere. Owned and operated by our municipal electric power distributor, EPB, the system includes over 8,000 miles of fiber optics. With our Gigabit infrastructure as well as a focus on startups and the creation of an Innovation District, Chattanooga is fast becoming a leader in innovation and technology.

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Chesterton, IN

Town Manager Bernie Doyle, Chesterton, INOn Chesterton: “As electricity was essential to positive growth at the beginning of the 20th century, broadband with high speed internet is now essential to quality of place for the rapidly changing 21st century for business, schools and residents. Chesterton will not wait for broadband to come to us as we are presently engaged in recruiting selective hi-tech industry to the area and need to be ready ahead of time in order to be competitive in the Chicago market.”

On Next Century Cities: “It is relevant to belong to Next Century Cities with its extensive outreach of resources to better enable communities such as ours to make the transition to being a broadband community as smooth as possible.”

What Chesterton is Working on: Chesterton is at present engaged in the second phase of a three phase project leading to a complete broadband network throughout our municipality. Phase one is planning, phase two is selection of the firm to install the fiber and phase three will be the selection of the company to manage the network.

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Chewelah, WA


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Chicopee, MA


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Chula Vista, CA


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Clarksville, TN

clarksvillemayorMayor Kim McMillan

On Broadband: “CDE Lightband’s broadband services and their 1 Gigabit Internet offering is very important to the economic development plans for our community. We are excited to be positioned as one of the fastest growing cities in the nation and feel that by offering gigabit services in our city we will only continue to grow and develop as one of the more progressive communities in the country.”

On Next Century Cities: “Clarksville’s participation in the Next Century Cities initiative is built on our commitment to maximize the benefits of our fiber network and our gigabit Internet services to the betterment of our community and our citizens. The collaborative nature of the group and the opportunity to work with communities with similar infrastructure is important to us and to the goals we have set for our community.”

What Clarksville is working on: CDE Lightband began construction of their active Ethernet, fiber to the premise network in 2007, with the primary goal of providing more reliable and economical delivery of electric services. As the network grew and the potential of the fiber infrastructure was realized, CDE Lightband entered into the delivery of digital IP television, Internet and voice over IP phone services. Since its launch in 2008 the broadband services provided to the citizens of Clarksville has grown to offer a minimum speed of 50 Mbps up to 1 Gigabit for both residential and commercial services. The services are being used by the local university, Austin Peay State University, private schools, hospitals and medical offices and various types of businesses from banking and finance to real estate and development. CDE Lightband’s broadband services are now being utilized by 18,0000 residential and commercial customers and continues to enjoy rapid growth on an annual basis.


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College Station, TX

Mayor Nancy BerryMayorBerry2

On College Station: “The City of College Station has shown a clear commitment to stay on the leading edge of ultra-high-speed internet connectivity for our citizens. We’re pleased with the results of our work with the Research Valley Technology Council and our RFI process, knowing we’ll be among the top metros in the country for high-speed internet service.”

On Next Century Cities: “College Station is excited to join Next Century Cities. Through that coalition, we can share with others what we’ve learned while continuing to learn from our peers throughout Texas and across the U.S.”

What College Station is working on: In 2013, the Research Valley Technology Council issued an RFI to achieve these primary goals: Attract a fiber-optic broadband network to stimulate growth and competitiveness; to bring residential connectivity to 1 Gbps and business connectivity to 10-100 Gbps; to introduce a competitive market for services and providers; to allow for future expansion and upgrade; and to bring wireless network canopies to parks and public spaces.

Culmination of the process was Suddenlink committing to Bryan-College Station being the first market for its “Operation GigaSpeed” rollout, meaning 1 Gbps service deployed by summer 2015 — approximately 10 times faster than the fastest service it now offers.

“Plain and simple,” Research Valley Technology Council Chairman James Benham said, “if your success relies on ultra-high-speed connectivity, Bryan-College Station just became your best option in Texas.”

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Columbus, OH

What Columbus is working on: In 2007 the City of Columbus held a two day retreat to develop a Broadband Strategic plan. The participants consisted of leadership from the private sector, the government sector; (State, local, and county), higher education, Public Safety and neighborhood leaders. The purpose of the retreat was to formulate a roadmap on how we as a city could continue to be a leader in the 21st Century through the deployment and use of a fiber optics network.

The plan was built upon 4 principles. The first is to enhance safety, the second is to enhance economic development, the third is operational efficiency, and the last principle is to positively impact digital inclusion.

As a result, today Columbus has over 500 miles of fiber in operation with 200 additional miles planned in the near future. This fiber is going to most of our city-owned facilities, including City Hall, Recreation and Park facilities, also Police and Fire Stations. The City’s plan is to have fiber optics going to every city-owned facility and traffic signal the city manages.

The ultimate goal is to make Columbus one of the most connected cities in the nation and the world!

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Colville, WA


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Condon, OR

On Next Century Cities: “Next Century Cities principles that high speed internet is necessary infrastructure, the internet is nonpartisan, communities must enjoy self-determination, high speed internet is a community wide endeavor, meaningful competition drives progress and collaboration benefits all seem to fit in perfectly with our strategic plan. This group will allow us resources to connect with other cities to reach our broadband goals.”

What Condon is working on: Condon realized that we had lagged far behind technology in the way of high speed broadband and started the process in October 2015 to come to a solution.  It started as with asking questions of local providers, attending regional workshops on broadband sponsored by USDA, meeting with regional providers to determine if they could assist with the process and did a survey of local needs of internet service.  It was determined that what was important to Condon and its residents was fast, affordable, reliable and an open access that would allow competition. Condon City Council approved their Broadband Adoption & Utilization Strategic Plan April 2016 and a Broadband Partnership Request for Proposals in August 2016.  The Condon Fiber Committee is in the process or evaluating the four responses and hopes to award a Letter of Intent by mid-November 2016.  The strategic plan and RFP can be found on the city’s website — cityofcondon.com.

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Cortez, CO

Mayor Karen SheekCortez Mayor

On Cortez: “Almost every facet of our lives has been impacted by the internet, and individuals with access to reliable, affordable, high-speed internet will be at a greater advantage going forward than those without.  Such access is especially critical for rural communities like Cortez because it will provide expanded opportunities to enable us to compete on a global scale, help enrich the lives of our citizens and expand our economies.”

On Next Century Cities: “Years ago, Cortez community leaders and city staff recognized the importance of providing internet access to our citizens. We are now on the cusp of moving to the next level. We believe that collaboration through the Next Century Cities project will provide us with vital information and strategies to move forward faster and with fewer setbacks than we might have navigating on our own. Collaboration allows us all to build on our strengths, learn from one another, and avoid unnecessary pitfalls.”

What Cortez is working on: [More information coming soon…]


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Culver City, CA

What Culver City is working on: In May 2013, the City Council authorized initiating a project to study the feasibility of deploying a municipal fiber network with the objective of providing businesses with high speed broadband access. In depth analysis was completed to understand the demographic makeup of Culver City businesses, their Internet access needs, and emerging industry trends. The City also conducted business outreach meetings inviting business stakeholders to discuss with the City their broadband requirements and challenges. The results of the City’s analysis indicated that there were significant unmet needs in the area of broadband services particularly for small to mid-sized business. The City is currently examining how it can leverage its current fiber network infrastructure and further expand the infrastructure to deploy a network that will support providing high speed Internet access to local businesses and the school district.

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Dahlonega, GA


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Davidson, NC

Mayor John WoodsMayor John Woods

On Davidson: “We believe so strongly in broadband access for our citizens that in 2007, we bought a cable/broadband/telephone company (MI-Connection) with one of our neighboring towns to ensure quality service and access for all in our community.”

On Next Century Cities: “Prior to the creation of Davidson nonprofit E2D (Eliminate the Digital Divide), the Town of Davidson was like many small communities within prosperous regions: vaguely aware of what a “digital divide” is, but utterly unaware of the extent to which sizable portions of our community are jeopardized by its existence. Once an assessment of needs was conducted, E2D and leadership for the Town of Davidson resolved to achieve a 100% rate of digital inclusion and, with solid effort, began closing the digital divide.  We are so pleased to be part of Next Century Cities to network with and learn from other partner cities.”

What Davidson is working on: The ownership of MI-Connection, our local cable, phone, and internet company, allows us to lay fiber around town to benefit our residential and commercial customers. Our ability to partner with E2D to help eliminate the digital divide in Davidson, Cornelius, and Huntersville, plays right into E2D’s mission to insure that every student in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system has the proper computer technology and support to achieve academic success.The Town of Davidson also hopes to provide access to the internet in all public places around town, our town green, parks, playgrounds, etc. to benefit our citizens.

MI-Connection: www.mi-connection.com

E2D: http://www.e-2-d.org/

Town of Davidson: www.townofdavidson.org

Media Coverage



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Duluth, MN


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Egremont, MA


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Emmett, ID

Mayor Gordon PetrieGordon Petrie

On Emmett: “As we embark on the next generation of connectivity, the City of Emmett embraces the value and necessity of fielding a high speed and reliable broadband infrastructure. It will be a significant benefit to our community by enhancing our ability to educate, communicate, and promote economic development.”

On Next Century Cities: “We consider Next Century Cities to be a valuable mentor for us as we begin our journey.  Strongly agreeing with the organization’s six principles, Emmett finds particularly attractive Next Century Cities’ laissez-faire approach to communities developing access to the next-generation broadband on an individual basis.  For us, such an approach harkens back to fundamental principles that made this country great.  We are excited about this partnership and look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration.”

What Emmett is working on: As the 5th city in the State of Idaho to join the Idaho Technology Council, we are committed to nurturing a positive technological impact for our residents, particularly within the context of the broadband tool. We believe this will help us not only locally, but across our great state, as we model how small communities can economically develop and deploy broadband infrastructure. Emmett’s recent efforts include self-deployment of a fiber optic network to various city facilities and equipping public spaces with Wi-Fi connectivity. Our system, by design, will also have the capacity to grow into what we envision as being a municipal fiber optic network.  Our network will enhance productivity, education, and small business development by meeting the demands of the digital world at an affordable cost.  Our partnership with Next Century Cities is crucial to the accomplishment of our vision.

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Erie, PA


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Eugene, OR


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Fairburn, GA


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Fairlawn, OH


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Fayetteville, AR

Mayor Lioneld Jordan

On Fayetteville: “The City of Fayetteville believes our digital backbone infrastructure is just as important as our physical infrastructure for roads, bridges, trails, parks, and utilities.  Our digital city will continue to be an engine for Fayetteville’s economic health, targeting businesses and workforce development for today’s economy.”

On Next Century Cities: “Fayetteville has joined with Next Centurmayor fayettevilley Cities to be among this coalition of community leaders across the country who recognizes the importance of leveraging digital assets to attract new businesses and create jobs, and to connect residents with new opportunities.  I look forward to learning from my peers across the country who are modeling best practices.  Through a recently launched economic development strategic planning process, Fayetteville will determine its unique opportunities for creating the Fayetteville Broadband Strategy.”

What Fayetteville is working on: Fayetteville is the fastest growing city in Arkansas, and was recently named the third best city to found a company outside of Silicon Valley and New York.  In 2015, Fayetteville received second place in the small city population category by the Center for Digital Government’s Digital Communities and has been recognized as a small city that rivals big cities in its digital practices.  Our digital city is being built through a deliberate design to mirror that of our urban infrastructure. Fayetteville has established a “dig once” policy for city initiatives and is planning an institutional network to connect its public facilities.

We know that transparency and accountability build trust. Because of our emphasis on service to citizens via online accessibility, Fayetteville will continue to find ways to enhance access to broadband for its citizenry.  Social equity demands digital inclusion for all of our citizens. Through workforce training partnerships, we plan to make strides toward income equality by establishing facilities for remote access to online learning and certification programs that can enable our workforce to prepare themselves for better jobs and better wages, and help us draw the new businesses we want to attract for our community to continue to prosper.

Media Coverage:




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Fort Collins, CO

Mayor Wade Troxell


Wade Troxell PRPAOn Fort Collins: “Fort Collins has established itself as a community with a desirable quality of life and a strong mix of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. As we build on our success we understand the need to ensure our citizens and businesses have access to the level of broadband service required to maintain and grow these qualities.”


On Next Century Cities: “As we embark on the creation of a Broadband Strategic Plan for our community we recognize the benefit that Next Century Cities brings to this arena.  As municipalities we share common goals and having a network to draw upon for best practices, lessons learned, and idea sharing brings out the best for all of us.”


What Fort Collins is working on: Fort Collins is in the initial stages of creating a Broadband Strategic Plan.  We are fortunate to have a very engaged innovation community and we will be working with our citizens to determine their needs and desires regarding our future in broadband service.

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Fountain Valley, CA


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Fresno, CA

Mayor Ashley SwearenginMayor Portrait Teal 2014

On Fresno: As mayor of the 5th largest city in California, I am committed to advancing the economic vibrancy of our community. Digital access and literacy for all of our citizens, particularly our students, is a crucial part of supporting everyone’s path toward success. Access to affordable high speed broadband is essential in our community and Fresno is implementing initiatives to make this need a reality. I’m proud to say that the City of Fresno is helping the nation close the digital divide for our citizens.”

On Next Century Cities: “Next Century Cities provides a mechanism for collaboration for communities that are committed to broadband and digital efforts. The organization allows communities to gain valuable information as well as share information on their initiatives. It is an important source of information, and the City of Fresno is honored to be a member.”

What Fresno is working on: The City of Fresno is continually working on our digital presence. We have implemented a Dig Once Policy as part of our General Plan. We have collaborated with multiple neighboring agencies and educational institution utilizing our dark fiber through our e-Government agreement which allows data sharing and connectivity between agencies. We are part of and support Fresno’s ConnectHome project partnering with the Fresno Housing Authority and the educational institutions as a means to help close the Digital Divide. For our constituents, we have implemented FresGo, which is our digital communications system allowing them to submit citizen requests. Additionally, we are working on Fiber and Digital initiatives to better serve our citizens with broadband connectivity.

Fresno In the press:




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Gainesville, TX

What Gainsville is working on: In 2013, the local municipality was at a crossroads of maintaining multiple “loosely” integrated networks or integrating them into one. The plan was to move to fiber, integrate the networks and save on overall costs. During RFP drafting and information gathering, a bold proposal emerged that would not only benefit local government but also the greater community.

City officials in cooperation with a local service provider, Nortex Communications, devised an expanded solution that increased the scope of the project to include not only fiber for the city’s needs, but also an expansion of broadband services throughout the core business corridor of the city and beyond.

Instead of running a few fibers to meet the city’s needs, expanded fiber counts were placed through major thoroughfares bringing gigabit-capable broadband, voice and video services. Immediately, the city enjoyed much greater speed and reliability that has since been brought to the business community and is expanding to the local residential community.

Through this partnership, the city gained a locally sourced, but world-class partner while Nortex was able to cost-effectively expand its network and gain access to a new customers. Ultimately, a small network investment was leveraged to bring gigabit internet to much of the business community and is envisioned community-wide.

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Garden Grove, CA

Mayor Bao Nguyen

Bao Nguyen-2014_Mayor_WebHiResOn Garden Grove: “Throughout human history, person to person connectivity has driven commerce and developed economies. With today’s technological advancements, we have the potential for greater communication and efficiency and access with existing and potential commercial partners across time and space. Universal broadband access is a critical component in the development of Garden Grove’s local and global standing. Our bandwidth will be the measure of success. As mayor, I want the City of Garden Grove to meet the high expectations of an increasingly educated and tech savvy global citizenry. That way, we take full advantage of NCC’s guidance & the unique circumstances of our time.”

On Next Century Cities: “The world has become connected in a way that defies traditional methods that were once solely dictated by time and distance. Broadband Internet has broken down those barriers and has opened the door to limitless human potential in the areas of collaboration and commerce.  It would be shortsighted to not want to give the people and businesses of Garden Grove every possible avenue to take advantage of what instant digital access can offer.”

What Garden Grove is up to: 20 years ago, Garden Grove installed a fiber network beneath its streets as part of our Traffic Management program with the expectation of other potential uses including a Metropolitan Area Network, connecting various City facilities, offering the option of high speed Internet at new construction sites, and providing wireless connectivity at our parks and other public spaces.

Today, we are encouraging companies big and small to invest in high speed Internet infrastructure for both our businesses and residents by making them aware of the Garden Grove Unified School District’s and the city’s existing fiber installations and by streamlining the planning & building process for internet infrastructure upgrades.

The City is also considering the acquisition of street lights outfitted with Wi-Fi transmitters to deepen Garden Grove’s connectivity. With over 7300 lights in the city and a backbone of fiber lines, we will have a robust platform for a fully connected city that can meet the digital demands of all stakeholders.

Garden Grove wants to empower and retain its educated youth and attract new industry by connecting everyone with affordable, reliable, unfettered, high-speed internet access and we believe we can do this best with the help of our friends at NCC.

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Gaylord, MN

Mayor Don Boeder

img_0173On Gaylord: “As Mayor of a small city I believe high speed broadband internet is essential for economic growth in rural communities.”

On Next Century Cities: “Next Century Cities brings cities large and small together to collaborate their experiences for all communities to have high speed broadband from coast to coast.”

What Gaylord is Working on:  RS Fiber Cooperative is a collaborative effort of 10 cities and 17 townships to make the build out possible. Six years of planning and putting together financing has come to fruition, and in the past year, the communities of Gaylord and Winthrop have been hooked up and running. Also, to generate funds, RS Fiber is now offering air broadband to rural customers. As the build progresses, these customers will have the choice to hook up to cable, which will bring the high speed advantage to their  farms.

Opportunities are already happening because of the RS Fiber project with the building of a new elementary school in Gaylord, and the city taking possession of the old one. Gaylord is also working with a developer to bring a medical school to town, which would not have been possible without high speed broadband internet.

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Grand Junction, CO

Mayor Phyllis Norris

Grand Junction MayorOn Grand Junction: “In this day and age, robust broadband is no longer a “nice to have” – it is a “must have”. It has become an imperative to fostering and sustaining a healthy business environment and spurring economic development. In Grand Junction, we are working together with our partners to find collaborative ways to move toward increased internet speeds for our community.”

On Next Century Cities: “Becoming a Next Century City was the next logical step for the City of Grand Junction in our effort to build upon high speed internet for our community. The resources New Century Cities brings to the table including access to best practices, marketing materials and networking opportunities made this an easy decision for us.”

What Grand Junction is working on: The City Council of the City of Grand Junction is keenly aware of the importance of having a robust broadband capability to support economic prosperity and growth.  The relationship has been amply demonstrated in other communities and Grand Junction is convinced that high speed internet is essential for the success of the citizens, businesses and community partners in growing, achieving and maintaining economic development in Grand Junction.

In April 2015, Grand Junction voters approved an override of Colorado Senate Bill 05-152 by 77%. That vote was the first step on the path of improvement in the speed and capability of the high-speed internet toward development of a reliable and forward-looking broadband system.  The City is currently working with our regional government, economic development, and private sector partners to identify solutions and investment opportunities to increase the bandwidth in our community.

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Grandview, MO


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Granville, OH


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Gresham, OR

Mayor Shane BemisMayor Bemis

On Gresham: “Andrew Carnegie believed that the single best path out of poverty is access to knowledge, so he built libraries.  Imagine how much opportunity and potential can now be available to those in need, when they are able to access more information with a few keystrokes than a researcher spending a week in a Carnegie Library. That widespread, high-speed access is the reason that we’re working to bring broadband internet to Gresham and why we believe it is important for communities across the country.”

On Next Century Cities: “The City of Gresham is joining Next Century Cities so that we can collaborate with other Cities that have already implemented broadband internet or who share our goal to do so. By working together, we can share best practices and ensure that we’re being as effective as possible with our efforts.”

What Gresham is working on: The 2015 Council Work plan includes a Fiber project in which the City will advocate for and support efforts to build high speed fiber infrastructure in the City. We will analyze alternatives, including a municipal fiber network, should market-based approaches be insufficient.

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Hagerstown, MD

Mayor Dave GysbertsMayor Dave Gysbert, Hagerstown, MD

On Hagerstown: “High speed broadband is now widely considered an essential utility, not just for activities of daily living, but also serving as a driver for growth and economic development.  High-speed Internet is one of the first features a company will look for in a community they are looking to locate or re-locate into, and we need to be able to compete for that type of company in our community.”

On Next Century Cities: “Joining NCC is an affirmation of the core principles that high speed internet is necessary and nonpartisan and that we as a community are looking to drive our local economy forward by encouraging meaningful competition in the marketplace.  Being able to collaborate and learn best practices from other communities is another benefit of joining NCC.  We pride ourselves as an innovative and progressive community and want to attach ourselves to other communities of similar nature that we can learn and grow from.”               

What Hagerstown is working on: Hagerstown is currently seeking information to develop a high-quality, next-generation fiber network. The City’s goals include developing a 1 GB network in a targeted commercial corridor, offering free wireless services in select public spaces, and expanding both wireless and wired Internet services outside the City Center. These goals support the City’s efforts to become a location of choice for high‐tech business opportunity, as well as for those looking to establish a residence in a high‐tech serviced area.

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Hartford, CT

Mayor Luke BroninLuke-Stoop-683x1024

On Hartford: “Municipalities such as Hartford are rapidly facing new challenges to their historical response processes that impact social and economic development issues, all of which have profound effects on healthcare, education, public safety and e-government. Providing every home and business access to high-speed internet and telephone services at a reasonable cost would be a monumental step toward meeting those challenges and ensuring our residents and businesses have every opportunity to succeed.”

On Next Century Cities: “The City of Hartford is excited to be a part of this forward-thinking national effort. We look forward to collaborating with and learning from all the partner cities.”

What Hartford is working on: The City of Hartford has committed to the CT Gig Project, an effort by the state’s municipalities to provide low-cost, ultra-high-speed internet service to all residents, businesses and organizations across the state. The City signed on to a Request for Quotation (RFQ) seeking potential telecommunications firms to install a fiber optic network that would provide internet service at speeds of up to one gigabit per second. We are also the first City in Connecticut to launch an Open Data portal. Learn more here: https://data.hartford.gov

Media coverage on Hartford Open Data:





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Hays, KS

What Hays is working on: In 2012, Hays, Kansas saw the completion of a three year project to bring fiber throughout this community of over 20,000 in northwest Kansas. With upgrades completed in 2014, Hays is now a gigabit community, able to deliver 1 gigabit speeds to homes, and over 10 gigabit speeds to businesses.

Located halfway between Denver and Kansas City on I-70, the City of Hays is the hub for retail, healthcare, employment, and education in northwestern Kansas.  With gigabit internet speeds, Hays seeks to add technology hub to that list as well.  An integral part of the technology drive is Fort Hays State University with over 13,000 students enrolled both on campus and in their virtual college. The University is a leader of technology driven academics, and is a designated National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance.  Hays Regional Medical Center, the largest employer in Hays, utilizes their access to high speed telecommunications to support a network of small rural clinics and hospitals with telemedicine services: consultations, diagnostics, image transmissions, teleconferencing, and more.

From start-ups to established industry players, the City of Hays is seeking to meet the needs of business as technology changes and opportunities expand.

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Highland, IL

Mayor Michaelis mayor of highland

On Highland: “The City of Highland places great importance on providing broadband internet to our community. Our notoriety has grown immensely since the implementation of our Highland Communications Services. In this 21st century, the ability to quickly send and receive vast amounts of data is a major selling point for the retention and recruitment of potential businesses and residents interested in establishing roots in a community.”

On Next Century Cities: “The City of Highland recognizes the importance of creating synergies with surrounding communities that will be mutually beneficial for all involved. In joining the Next Century Cities, we hope to further cultivate partnerships that will enable the City of Highland to stay on the forefront of community innovation efforts.”

What Highland is working on: Highland Communication Services (HCS) is a municipally owned telecommunications company that provides advanced fiber optic services, including Gigabit capacity data, voice and video, to better serve the needs of the local businesses and residents. HCS was developed in response to overwhelming support from citizens to create a fiber-to-the-premises system. The growing, enthusiastic organization strives to improve Highland’s quality of life and strengthen business opportunities.

The city is recognized as a statewide fiber provider, meaning after it can offer all Highland residents its high-speed fiber plans, it can expand to other cities in the state, potentially giving it an additional revenue stream down the road. City officials haven’t yet decided if they will pursue those opportunities.

Highland is also beginning to focus on additional ways to utilize its network. In addition to attracting tech companies, the city would like to help equip its residents with the skills necessary to make them attractive candidates in the 21st century economy, specifically in IT related fields.  The main purpose of these workforce development programs will be to develop coders who can one day be hired by a company, or start his or her own business, right here in Highland, Il.

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Honolulu, HI


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Huntington Beach, CA


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Independence, OR

What Independence is working on: The City of Independence is linking technology companies and startup culture to rural Oregon through smart agriculture and STEM education.

The City has worked with Intel, Verizon, and the Technology Association of Oregon to host smart Ag meetups, link tech companies with farmers for pilot projects, and build an ecosystem of entrepreneurship around smart Ag. Looking to the future, the City has partnered with Innovate Oregon to bring Agile Learning to Independence’s schools, and is working with Chemeketa Community College and IBM to create dual-credit courses to train the next generation of tech workers and innovators.

The City is now using its strong connections with the tech and Ag sectors as well as nearby universities and community colleges to explore creation of an incubator and maker space devoted development of agricultural technologies.

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Islesboro, ME


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Jackson, TN

jacksonmayorMayor Jerry Gist

On Jackson: “Economic development is becoming less about winning prospects from other potential communities and more about having the infrastructure to compete on a regional, national, and global economy. Fiber connectivity is a major part of that infrastructure—like we have with Jackson Energy Authority. The fiber-to-the-home network—equips our businesses and residents in the ever-expanding world of e-commerce and e-learning. Gigabit broadband will have a significant economic impact in our community through the retention of existing businesses, attracting new industry, and empowering our youth to have the best access to educational content from around the world, all right here in Jackson, Tennessee.”

On Next Century Cities: “In the 21st development and education or stand the chance of failing their citizenry. Connectivity between communities and across the world is our best insurance for an improved standard of living and a well-educated, competitive workforce. Collaborating with Next Century Cities connects us to resources to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet.”

What Jackson is working on: Jackson, Tennessee, is pleased to join Next Century Cities. The proximity to I-40, major highways, and railways conveniently connects Jackson, Tennessee, to regional, national and global markets. The city of Jackson infrastructure also offers fiber lines that connect to the world via broadband. Our local utility provider, Jackson Energy Authority, built a fiber-to-home network ten years ago delivering broadband speeds to our city. This reliable high-speed data connection is important when it comes to attracting business and industry to our community.

Jackson Energy Authority is one of few public utilities in the United States offering customers all major utility services from one company. Residential, business and industry consumers in Jackson, Tennessee and parts of Madison County are served.

Jackson Energy Authority launched EPlus Broadband in 2004 and set out to build a unique community-owned fiber to the home broadband network to deliver an extraordinary level of service and value to customers. By understanding the goals of our community as it relates to economic growth, education, and quality of life, we have adapted and expanded the service. The next generation of broadband will ensure Jackson Energy Authority and the city of Jackson embraces and provides for the needs of our community.

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Jefferson, GA


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Kansas City, KS

kcksmayorMayor Mark Holland

On Kansas City, KS: “High-speed internet is no longer a luxury, it is a utility. Everything is online including job applications, education, entertainment, and even health care is moving in that direction.”

On Next Century Cities: “A high percentage of our residents are not online and it is our duty to work with all partners to develop and expand the delivery of internet service to close the digital divide. We also see residents being online as a vital communications tool in our community particularly in the absence of news coverage”

What Kansas City, KS is doing: “Kansas City, Kansas is widely known as the first market to host Google’s ultra-high speed fiber network, Google Fiber. AT&T recently announced plans to bring a gigabit network to Kansas City as well. The Unified Government is working with Kansas City Digital Drive on a “Digital Playbook”, a detailed strategy for digital advancement in our region. Partnerships with progressive organizations have also helped advance other Unified Government initiatives.

In the area of civic innovation, the UG recently partnered with Code for America to develop a marketing and learning application for entrepreneurs called BizFriendly. The Unified Government is also developing an “open data” initiative to streamline our processes and make our agency more transparent and efficient.”

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Kansas City, MO

kcmomayorMayor Sly James

On Kansas City, MO: “Access to technology is imperative to our neighborhoods and broadband access is where the rubber meets the road. Broadband increases opportunities for individuals in terms of employment, education and quality of life. Most of all, it helps ideas spread and that is how communities move forward.”

On Next Century Cities: “Next Century Cities is precisely the type of collaboration needed to ensure we use the Internet and technology to move our communities forward. A huge benefit to technology is its ability to bring people and ideas together and we’re certainly seeing the impact of that with Google Fiber here in Kansas City. I’m happy that our City is a founding member of Next Century Cities and I look forward to seeing the impact of this new partnership.”

What Kansas City, MO is working on: In May 2011, Google Fiber announced that Kansas City, Missouri would be joining sister city, Kansas City, Kansas, as the first Google Fiber cities in the country. To date, Google Fiber has laid over 7,000 miles of fiber and passed over 204,000 households. Google Fiber is providing symmetric gigabit broadband plus television service in this Fiber to the Home (FTTH) deployment. Google Fiber is a game-changer in Kansas City’s economy. The project is also a lightning rod for startup entrepreneurs from across the country – attracting talent from both coasts and retaining local talent within the community. The City of Kansas City, Missouri is supporting the project with waivers of permit fees, access to right-of-way and City-owned property and coordinated project management. In exchange, Google Fiber is providing 300 City-owned buildings, community centers and schools with free gigabit internet services. Initially announced as a test, Kansas City has assisted Google Fiber in proving the concept as a viable business model and in changing the national broadband conversation to providing gigabit speed services. Google Fiber is nearing completion of the fiber to the home portion of the project and is implementing a pilot program for small and medium business class services.

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Lafayette, LA

What Lafayette is working on: LUS Fiber is Lafayette, Louisiana’s community-owned telecommunications system, providing video, gigabit Internet, and phone service to residents and businesses over the city’s only 100% fiber optic network.

LUS Fiber began as a fiber system to improve the operations and reliability of Lafayette Utilities System, and it has grown into a catalyst for local economic development, educational innovation and enhanced video, Internet and phone services for residents and businesses.

With overwhelming community support, voters approved a bond issue in 2005 resulting in the creation of LUS Fiber and allowing the sale of telecommunications services starting in early 2009, making LUS Fiber one of the first municipal fiber-to-the-home providers in the country.

With a fiber infrastructure prepared for the future, Lafayette is poised to develop new technological tools and applications that will help us work smarter, educate our students more effectively, deliver healthcare more efficiently and improve our overall quality of life.

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Lake Oswego, OR

Mayor Kent StudebakerMayor Kent Studebaker, Lake Oswego, OR

On Lake Oswego: “For many or our residents and businesses, access to world-class broadband service is as important as roads or water and sewer utilities. It’s critical for economic development, education, and for more and more of the things we are taking for granted in our daily lives.”

On Next Century Cities: “As cities take a more proactive role in ensuring their communities have FTTP broadband service at a reasonable cost, it only makes sense to share experiences and build a common knowledge base.”

What Lake Oswego is working on: Along with Portland and three other cities in the region, Lake Oswego was recently considered by Google as one of the next Google Fiber communities. For a variety of reasons, the company chose to concentrate their current expansion elsewhere, but in the process the Lake Oswego City Council heard from many residents and businesses who were excited about the prospect of gigabit service. This has created the opportunity to consider a public-private partnership in which the city would create a truly open-access municipal broadband utility, contracting with a private partner which in turn would construct and finance the FTTP network. The city is now seeking letters of interest from potential private partners, with a goal of entering into a formal agreement by the end of 2015. For more information, see http://lakeoswego.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=190&meta_id=12235

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Lakeland, FL

Mayor Howard Wiggs

2014 H WiggsOn Lakeland: “Lakeland must become a Gigabit City to accomplish our established Vision, Mission and Goals. Sustainable economic development, growth, opportunity and innovation are dependent on affordable high speed internet access – this is essential for Lakeland to become a “World Class Community”. City vision and leadership will help ensure our community has the broadband infrastructure necessary to meet our businesses and citizens growing demand for high speed access. We will engage local business leaders and service providers and leverage existing City assets for the greatest benefit to our citizens and community business partners.”

On Next Century Cities: “We believe that for Lakeland to be successful our region and our country must also be successful. We believe that Broadband infrastructure is critically important and it must be a national concern. It will be through the efforts of Next Century Cities and other concerned organizations that these issues will be properly addressed by both government and business.”

What Lakeland is up to: The City of Lakeland currently owns and manages over 330 sheath miles of fiber which is used primarily by the Electric Utility to manage the electric grid and by other Departments in the City for business communications. We also currently lease some dark fiber which provides revenue for the City. It is our desire to utilize City resources to the greatest benefit of our Citizens and our local businesses. Therefore a selected consultant will be engaged to help the City create a Strategic Broadband Plan. The plan will map the future of this important fiber infrastructure and will consider how all aspects of the Lakeland plan integrate with the broader Polk County Plan and other regional plans. It is our desire to be a progressive local and regional partnership leader ensuring our communities have the required Broadband infrastructure necessary to meet the needs for economic growth and sustainability.


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Lawrence, KS


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Layton City, UT


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Leverett, MA

leveretteSelect Board Member

On Leverett: The impetus for Leverett’s FTTH project includes need for both Internet access and telephone service. The Town currently lacks broadband Internet and reliable telephone service. This is a serious impediment to public good and public safety, affecting police, fire, and highway departments, the school, and residents generally.

(1) Internet: Leverett has no cable provider and only a small neighborhood served by DSL. The majority of residents rely on satellite, with fixed wireless available in some areas. Old, inadequate copper distribution lines compromise DSL service. High latency compromises satellite service. High cost for low bandwidth compromises DSL, satellite, and fixed wireless.

(2) Telephone: The copper-based landline system is so prone to disruption that the town was included in a state investigation of voice service quality by the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable. That investigation was settled with an agreement requiring improvements to the landline infrastructure; but problems persist, especially in wet weather.  Leverett has extremely limited wireless telephone service.

(3) Fast, reliable Internet and telephone service will attract new businesses and promote economic expansion by existing residents. High-speed symmetrical bandwidth will support advanced applications such as video relay service (VRS) and next-generation 911, as well as a telemedicine system in partnership with regional hospitals. ‘Smart grid’ applications are under discussion with the local electric utility—Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECO)—to deploy ‘smart’ switches on transmission lines. The town is eager to partner with the utility to advance grid security, especially in light of severe weather that has recently occurred in the region.

On Next Century Cities: Leverett is joining Next Century Cities to support and benefit from the opportunity to collaborate on municipal broadband planning, development, and deployment issues. Our experience as a small rural town that voted to tax itself to build a ‘last mile’ FTTH network provides a wealth of information we are happy to share with other municipalities. We look forward to learning from the experience of others as we go forward together to encourage states and the federal government to increase their efforts to create state-of-the-art telecommunications for all residents.

What Leverett is working on: Leverett is a rural community in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, with a population of nearly 2000 in about 800 households in 22.7 square miles: approximately 88 persons per square mile (See: http://www.leverett.ma.us/content/general-leverett-information). The project will serve all Town households, businesses, and anchor institutions. The Leverett Municipal Light Plant (MLP) was created by the Town of Leverett to undertake development of a ‘last mile’ Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network.

The network is currently under construction, with a planned completion date of December 2014. The capital costs of the project are funded by a general obligation municipal tax bond in the amount of $3.6M. The Leverett network will provide 1G symmetrical Active-Ethernet access and full-featured IP-based telephone service. Connection to the Internet will be through the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) ‘middle mile’ (funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). the FTTH design includes future proofing and potential for scalability. The basic network architecture and equipment are designed to easily handle an expansion of bandwidth from symmetrical 1G to 10G and For further information, see:


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Lewiston, ME


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Lexington, KY

Mayor Jim GrayJimGray2

On Lexington: “Lexington must join the ranks of Chattanooga, Kansas City and Austin to ensure that our people and businesses have access to ultra-fast Internet connections. There is pent-up demand in Lexington for this kind bandwidth because we are a University City, with high levels of educated talent, ideas and entrepreneurship.”

On Next Century Cities: “To build or attract fiber-optic networks, there is no single model that fits all cities. And the models that do exist are relatively new and evolving. Any city exploring gigabit Internet should, like Lexington, join Next Century Cities to share information and ideas.”

What Lexington is working on: Lexington, Ky., a vibrant University City of more than 300,000, is working on bringing gigabit Internet speed to its citizens and businesses. Mayor Jim Gray launched the effort with the understanding that current constraints within telecommunications companies prevent them from investing in fiber-optic networks to serve current and future bandwidth demand.

The project is just now getting underway. An interdepartmental Fiber Team is now exploring models followed by the few cities that have successfully made the transition. But the Fiber Team is not limiting itself to existing models. It is open to exploring a range of public-private partnerships that can drive dramatically faster internet speeds for residents and businesses while closing the digital divide.

Next steps include a request for information (RFI) to gather interest from private partners, scheduled to be issued in Q1 of 2015.

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Lincoln, NE


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Longmont, CO

Mayor Dennis CoombsMayor Coombs

On Longmont: “Like electricity, the Internet has become a crucial utility for American families and businesses. Longmont’s residents want and need reliable high-speed Internet. And through NextLight, they’re getting access to the fastest and most dependable network around.”

On Next Century Cities: “When other cities have the same interests and the same challenges, it just makes sense to learn from them. There’s no sense in reinventing the wheel. We know that cutting-edge broadband is vital to Longmont’s homes, schools, and businesses, and by working with Next Century Cities, we can share our NextLight™ experience while also learning from our partners. It makes all of us better.”

What Longmont is working on: NextLight™ is our 100% fiber-optic broadband network, built and operated by Longmont Power & Communications, the city’s community-owned electric utility. The name reflects Longmont history. In 1912, the city turned its “first light” on by providing its own electricity despite fierce industry opposition. Today, the light and glass of fiber optics provide Longmont with its “next light,” a high-speed network that was rated the fastest in the U.S by Ookla Speedtest in May 2015.

Longmont built its core fiber-optic loop in 1997, but plans for a citywide network were stalled in 2005 when the Colorado Legislature adopted Senate Bill 152, forbidding local governments from offering telecommunications services. Local voters restored those rights to the city in 2011, despite an industry-led opposition campaign that spent nearly $420,000.

In 2014, Longmont sold $40.3 million of voter-approved bonds, began construction, and offered service to the first NextLight customers. It also provided the St. Vrain Valley School District with a 10-gigabit wide-area network, connecting the increasingly tech-heavy Longmont schools.

Demand for NextLight was high from the first day, largely because of a “Charter Member” offer of residential gigabit service for $49.95 to customers who sign up early. LPC expects to complete the citywide rollout in 2016, allowing NextLight to empower homes and businesses across Longmont.

Media Coverage:

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Los Angeles, CA

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Bob BlumenfieldblumenfieldRetrato_oficial_del_alcalde_Eric_Garcetti

On Los Angeles:  “Having Los Angeles as a Gigabit Community will enhance  our position in the global economy by encouraging high-tech companies to move to or stay in  this great city.” Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles

“Bridging the digital divide requires access by all to affordable broadband. In particular, we need to ensure that our students are poised for success with digital advances in education.” Councilman Bob Blumenfield of Los Angeles.

On Next Century Cities: “Los Angeles is a large and diverse community that can both contribute to and learn from other members of the Next Century Cities since many have already traveled the hurdles we are facing.” Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles.

“Los Angeles needs to be part of Next Century Cities to encourage other communities around the United States that broadband success is a local issue and we need to work with each other to determine how we can deliver services to our citizens.” Councilman Bob Blumenfield of Los Angeles.

What Los Angeles is working on: Los Angeles has initiated the LA Community Broadband Network (LACBN) with a goal of getting fiber to every facility in Los Angeles along with a ubiquitous WiFi network to enable visitors and students to get access to broadband anytime and any place.  A portion of this network must be free to serve our low income and 30% of our Angelenos that today are without a PC or broadband access.  In April 2014, LA released a request for information to industry to get ideas on a model that would work to maximize the number of responses to a Request for Proposal which will be released after March 31, 2015.

www.lacbn.org, @LACBN


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Louisville, KY

louisvillemayorMayor Greg Fischer

On Louisville: “A high-speed broadband network has quickly become viewed as critical urban infrastructure, similar to electricity, water and roadways. As a city we want to create a world-leading gigabit capable network with comparable and reasonable prices that will foster innovation, drive job creation and stimulate economic growth.”

On Next Century Cities: “Joining Next Century Cities is a great way for Louisville to work with other cities facing similar challenges. Collaboration is imperative and it fuels the exchange of ideas which contributes to the success of cities around the country. Next Century Cities will help provide an adequate foundation to propel Louisville forward in a technology-based economy.”

What Louisville is working on: Louisville is home to the Kentucky Derby, the Louisville Slugger Museum & Bat Factory, bourbon and so much more! On the banks of the Ohio River, Louisville is a city on the move, especially when it comes to broadband.

From the start, Louisville made a commitment to make general, business-friendly, fiber-friendly policy changes to attract companies. In 2013, Louisville issued a global call for companies and organizations to consider building a high speed gigabit network in Louisville. The request’s three goals:

  • Creating a world-leading gigabit-capable network across the city to foster innovation, drive job creation and stimulate economic growth;
  • Providing free or heavily-discounted gigabit 100MB (minimum) internet service over a wired or wireless network to underserved and disadvantaged residents;
  • Delivering gigabit internet service at prices comparable to other gigabit fiber communities across the nation.
  • After a successful RFI/RFP process, Louisville’s Metro Council, in July, approved three new 20 year franchise agreements for fiber network buildout with: BGN, SiFi and FiberTech.

Louisville continues to focus on grassroots support for the future network from city residents, academics and the business community.

Engagement occurs through a web-based tool, Louisville Fiber, providing information on the three vendors, project updates and basic facts about fiber infrastructure.

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Lowell, MA


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Madison, WI

Mayor Paul SoglinMayor Soglin headshot

On Madison: “Madison, Wisconsin is a City where the exchange of ideas and knowledge is celebrated and critical to our economic success. We are home to one of the largest research universities in the nation and many employers dependent upon connectivity. All of Madison’s residents must be able to fully access the internet in order to be fully integrated into our wired community.”

On Next Century Cities: “President Obama’s recent support for greater flexibility in the provision of next-generation broadband service opens new opportunities for Madison to insure that all of its residents have connectivity to the internet. By partnering with Next Century Cities and its member cities, we can learn about what is working and not working elsewhere, and apply this knowledge to our community.”

What Madison is working on: The City has implemented a large high speed fiber optic network that is currently serving anchor institutions including the City, County, Madison Public Schools, Madison College, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hospitals, Community Centers, Libraries, other municipalities and a number of commercial businesses. Our plan is to leverage this infrastructure to provide broadband service to residents as well.  Madison is currently moving ahead on a pilot project to provide internet service to low income neighborhoods.  In addition, we are initiating a study to determine the feasibility of creating an internet co-op utility to provide internet services to city residents.

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Marina, CA

City Manager Layne Long

Marina, CAOn Marina: “Marina is a growing coastal community with unlimited opportunities presented by the closure of the former Fort Ord military base with large vacant parcels of land transferred to the city for future growth, development and open space enhancement. High speed broadband is an important part of our economic development plans in not only attracting new businesses and residential homes, but improving connections with our community.”

On Next Century Cities: “Next Century City will provide opportunities to exchange information, collaborate and interact with other municipalities to help us learn ways to better connect our community.”

What Marina is working on: The City of Marina is developing policies, procedures and best practices that will encourage the development and expansion of broadband in the City.


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Martin County, FL


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Medina County, OH

Commissioner Adam FriedrickMedina County Commissioner Adam Friedrick

On Medina County: “Broadband services are the new infrastructure roadways of the future. Economic development is dependent on these new roadways. In Medina County, we employ an open architecture network which allows carriers to connect to the Medina County fiber, bringing new services into our county.”

On Next Century Cities: “The proliferation of high-speed broadband is a necessity in the United States. Ranked 13th in the world, the United States has fallen behind in leveraging infrastructure to solve municipal challenges. The onset of municipal networks provides a roadmap to municipal self-preservation by extending a shared-service environment to neighboring counties and cities.”

What Medina County is working on: The Medina County Fiber Network is one of first open fiber network in the country. The County provides transport for customer locations but all other services are provided by strategic business partners. Services such as Internet, voice, video, offsite file storage and hosting, network management and data center, just to name a few, are provided through partners.

The open network approach allows a customer to choose a single service provider or multiple providers. If a provider’s service does not meet a customer’s expectations, it’s as simple as choosing a different service provider without having to build a new entrance into your building. The Medina County Fiber Network is a technology aggregator, working with all the providers on the customer’s behalf. These partnerships provide connectivity for customer locations outside of Medina County that require enterprise connectivity.

The capabilities of fiber opens new avenues for businesses because the fiber medium can support additional technologies that traditional copper products cannot support. Any profit from the network is reinvested in Medina County as part of the Medina County Economic Development strategy. Bringing more businesses into Medina increases the tax base which funds additional services for the County.

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Mendocino County, CA

Supervisor Dan Hamburg

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-2-25-12-pmOn Mendocino County: “Mendocino County is a rural and geographically diverse county of 3800 square miles, and combined with our low population density this has made deployment of broadband infrastructure in many areas of the county a major challenge. We recognize that in order for Mendocino County to thrive economically in the 21st century, and to be a place where our kids have decent jobs and want to raise their families, affordable high-speed broadband for businesses and residents is essential.”

On Next Century Cities: “Joining Next Century Cities means the sharing of ideas and experiences, and receiving inspiration from others who have successfully traveled this road. This collaboration is the opportunity to learn from others, share resources, avoid pitfalls, and model best practices.  It will connect us with communities nationwide that are taking the initiative to bring high-speed broadband to their citizens.  Cities and towns that are successful have seen tremendous benefit and growth in their economies.  Mendocino needs to adopt effective strategies for infrastructure development to create such opportunities for our residents.”

What Mendocino County is working on: Two grassroots groups have been working in Mendocino County for years to advocate for broadband deployment to close our digital divide, and to raise awareness of its importance for economic development and innovation, education, employment opportunities, public safety, and nearly all aspects of 21st century life. County government is taking a leadership role with the creation of a Broadband Working Group to identify broadband-related Goals & Strategies, and to develop an overall Broadband Plan. The County is also actively working to remove barriers to deployment through actions such as streamlining the permitting process for small wireless broadband projects. There is strong interest in two of our unincorporated towns in exploring options for a community-wide fiber network, including one that already owns a municipal utility.  We look forward to learning how other rural towns and counties have overcome the enormous challenges similar to the ones we face.

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Mesa, AZ

Mayor John Giles

Mesa MayorOn Mesa: “Infrastructure has always been key to growing and sustaining any great city. In Mesa, we understand that high speed broadband is now a part of that core infrastructure essential to attracting innovative, cutting edge companies, fueling entrepreneurial startups, and enabling a greater quality of life for our residents.”

On Next Century Cities: “We have found great benefit in sharing best practices and learning from the experiences of cities all across the country on any number of issues. Next Century Cities provides another great forum to continue this practice. The partnership will help to ensure that each of us are equipped with the best strategies and tools as we continue to roll out this critical broadband infrastructure throughout our cities.”

What Mesa is working on:

Mesa provides connectivity across the City today:

  • Free Public Wi-fi is available at many City public spaces and growing. An active project is underway that will provide Wi-Fi services to additional City locations
  • In ground assets of 423 miles of conduit and 357 miles of abandoned utility pipe
  • In ground assets of fiber 69 miles of 144 strand city backbone, 24 miles of 72 strand from our data center to Phoenix
  • Connectivity project to AT&T Tier 1 Internet Peering Point

Fiber Friendly – Dig Once – Economic Development

Focus right of way management and permitting processes to speed time to market, coordinate city infrastructure projects to include right of way, vertical and projects.

Grow economic development and partnership opportunities with our private providers to deliver the connectivity and broadband that business and residents need through:

  • Leasing/Use opportunities of existing city conduit or abandoned utility or carrier lines to private providers to reduce trenching costs and right of way impact and strategically plan for high priority economic development centers of the city
  • Joint trenching opportunities for private providers
  • Engage private providers in economic development discussions as new businesses or development projects seek connectivity
  • Develop partnerships with public agencies, commercial grants and affinity groups
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Miami-Dade, FL


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Middletown, RI


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Missoula, MT


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Montgomery County, MD

County Executive Isiah LeggettCounty Exec Leggett

On Montgomery County: “Fiber networks are fundamental to Montgomery County’s economic future.  We need to move our economy at the speed of our ideas.”

On Next Century Cities:  “Local communities are the lifeblood of innovation.  Next Century Cities provides us with a national connection to the best broadband ideas and innovation happening around the country in communities like ours that are dedicated to creating superior broadband ecosystems.”

What Montgomery County is working on:  “Our flagship project is called Ultra Montgomery, an umbrella program that will include many of the County’s current and future programs.  At its core is FiberNet, our 600-mile fiber-optic communications network, which connects 450 County institutions and has additional capabilities that we will leverage to support advanced research and next-generation Internet innovation.  To enhance our broadband connectivity, we are considering a range of options, including requirements to improve building access for broadband networks and policies to add conduit for fiber installation in road and transit projects.  To enhance our economic development, we are working to identify and nurture forward-looking businesses and have opened the County’s Thingstitute, a new Internet of Things lab to encourage and demonstrate innovation.  By lowering infrastructure deployment costs and creating public-private partnerships, Ultra Montgomery will expand knowledge-based jobs and businesses within the County.  We want to continue to connect Montgomery County to other gigabit economies to share in a national gigabit community of ideas and innovation.”

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Monticello, MN


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Montrose, CO

Mayor Rex SwansonMayor Rex Swanson


What Montrose is working on: In April 2014, Montrose voters approved an exemption to an anti-municipal broadband state law by a 3 to 1 margin. The overwhelming 3-to-1 margin of support for the exemption is viewed as a mandate from our citizens to address local needs with local solutions. With this major obstacle cleared, we have been able to be innovative in finding the right solutions for Montrose.

Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA), a rural electric cooperative serving eastern Montrose County and Delta County, has announced its commitment to install a fiber to the premise (FTTP) project which will pass every meter in their service territory. Montrose is the largest municipality in the DMEA territory and excited to be one of the first areas for this deployment. As of the spring of 2017, construction has begun in several neighborhoods of Montrose. We expect every residence and business will have access to fiber with the next 3-4 years. DMEA has announced residential 100 MB symmetrical service will be offered at $49.95/month. Residential 1 GB (1000 MB) service is offered at $79.95/month.
In addition to the DMEA FTTP project, Montrose has been very involved in a regional middle-mile/community anchor institution initiative. The community anchor institution project is nearing completion and will establish a carrier-neutral location in Montrose and will operate this network on an open-access model.
Montrose views our robust broadband environment as just one of the necessary factors in our “Economic Gardening” efforts. The Proximity Space (proximity.space) coworking facility is a great example of a successful public/private partnership which is paying huge dividends for Montrose. Rated the “Best Coworking Space in the World” by Forbes, this space has turbocharged our business development efforts. The City recently hired a Director of Innovation to help attract and grow small businesses in Montrose. The availability of gigabit internet is one of the key ingredients in this effort.
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Morristown, TN

morristownmayorMayor Gary Chesney

On Morristown: “Fibernet broadband in Morristown is a nice example of a growing community at the cutting edge of 21st century expansion both for residential and industrial customers. Allowing municipalities to build their own high speed fiber networks provides competition to incumbent ISPs that previously had no competition and little incentive to improve consumer options.”

On Next Century Cities: “New Century Cities is an important foundation providing a stage for cities to share areas of success and promote municipal broadband to other cities striving to control their own future.”

What Morristown is working on: In response to complaints on increasing prices, slow broadband, and poor customer service, City of Morristown leaders reacted by turning to its utility system to provide competition and improve services. Accepting the challenge, in 2006 Morristown Utility Systems (MUS) built a Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) passive optical network passing the businesses and residences in the City. Branded as FiberNet, MUS offers video, broadband and telephone service at lower prices. This forced incumbents to improve, which provides a win-win to the City as millions of dollars stay local. Business customers favor FiberNet for phone service and high-speed broadband to improve operations and lower costs. Our local TV station fosters community involvement through programming, advertising and coverage of events.

Today Morristown is an elite Gigabit enabled city providing improved quality of life and enhancing our economic development. MUS is the technology leader of our community with backbone services for City and County government, education, healthcare, business and industry. Strategically positioned near railroads and interstate systems, Morristown is an economic hub for seven counties and fiber optics is another essential infrastructure for continued success. Last, the FTTH network is the backbone for Smart Grid delivery of electric and other services, placing Morristown with leading edge technology for its citizens.

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Mount Vernon, WA

mtvernonmayorMayor Jill Boudreau

On Mount Vernon: ”City Hall is the closest and most connected body of governance to the American public, providing services and daily interaction with millions of Americans. Our sole mission is the well-being of our communities. Our modern world has created an essential need for access to the Internet as a basic service which is just as important as roads, utilities, and public safety services.”

On Next Century Cities: “Joining Next Century Cities is a crucial step in advocating for the best interest of our citizens and ensuring the freedom of broadband based economic development, education, and commerce. We must support access as a fundamental piece of infrastructure, just an many other countries around the world have already accomplished.”

What Mount Vernon is working on: The City of Mount Vernon, Washington invested in a fiber optic infrastructure beginning in 1995 by partnering with local agencies and building an Institutional Network. This initial build out wisely included excess capacity, which provided businesses the chance of getting fiber optic services through licensed providers in 2002. Mount Vernon has designed the Fiber Network to be an Open Service Provider Network (OSPN) system allowing as many service providers as possible and feasible, facilitating fair and open competition.

The City’s fiber infrastructure is connected redundantly to a buried ring that links the entire Puget Sound extending to Vancouver, British Columbia to the north and to Seattle, Washington to the south. The Puget Sound ring is connected to multiple fiber rings in the state. With this capability and redundancy the City currently has nine providers that can offer data and voice solutions up to 1G at rates well below what the bigger urban areas can provide.

The City has also partnered regionally with other municipalities and economic drivers of Skagit County. Through these partnerships the City of Mount Vernon fiber optic infrastructure has allowed cost effective expansion to the neighboring City of Burlington and the highly successful commercial industries of the Port of Skagit County. The City has worked in partnership with Skagit Regional Health by connecting regional hospitals, medical clinics, and a regional “health information exchange.”

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Murray City, UT

Mayor Ted EyreMurray City Mayor Ted Eyre

On Murray City: “Our goal is for all Murray City businesses and residents to have faster speeds and broadband access. Murray City is a very independent city–providing all our own public and safety services to our residents. This is just one additional infrastructure that will help our residents stay on the cutting edge of technology.”

On Next Century Cities: “We are excited to be part of Next Century Cities. We look forward to being able to share thoughts and ideas and learn from others. As cities join together, there will be a greater opportunity to continue making an impact in the industry.”

What Murray City is working on: Murray is one of the cities that comprise a company called the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA). UTOPIA was originally started in 2002 and operates an open-access model that owns and manages the infrastructure and leases the lines to private Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who then delivers the services to its subscribers.

UTOPIA is a fiber-optic infrastructure that utilizes light to transfer information, making it one of the fastest communication technologies on the planet.

Through the years, there have been many changes to the business model which started as a retail service provider of fiber. Although Utah legislation changed the model, the company is still operating at a wholesale level which provides the fiber and competition for other telecommunication services.

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New Bedford, MA

Mayor Jon MitchellCreated by Readiris, Copyright IRIS 2009

On New Bedford: “Now, more than ever, access to technology is essential here in New Bedford, Massachusetts and across the nation.  High-speed internet access is not only an important communication tool but it has become integral to nearly every aspect of our lives from healthcare to education, employment and more.”

On Next Century Cities: “Next Century Cities is a great opportunity for New Bedford to work collaboratively with other communities across the country to achieve our shared goals of providing our communities with fast, reliable and affordable internet access.”

What New Bedford is working on: Over the past several years the City of New Bedford has been installing a 10 Gigabit fiber network to improve communications between all city facilities.  This has resulted in a much faster, affordable and reliable network and internet connection. The network project is 90% complete.

In March of 2015 the City of New Bedford began transitioning to a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone system to dramatically cut the city’s monthly phone costs.

The City used the Police Department’s camera infrastructure to install free WiFi to the Custom House Square and the Wings Court areas of downtown.  New Bedford plans to continue incorporating this infrastructure whenever public safety camera installations are being constructed at parks and open spaces throughout the City. New Bedford relies on its cable provider to provide broadband coverage to the City. The provider also offers reduced price internet packages to low income households and has started a project to blanket residential and commercial areas with continuous Wi-Fi coverage.  Their newest WiFi routers will turn into a public hotspot, and will create a wave of wireless Internet that will emit from every home, business and public waiting area.

All City Libraries, Senior Centers and recreational facilities are equipped with public access computers and free WiFi access points.  The computers all have free internet access along with the latest word processing and spreadsheet applications, and a security system that protects against malicious viruses and malware.  Other City offices that provide free WiFi access points include: City Hall, all Public Safety buildings, the Department of Public Infrastructure, Community Development and the Health Department.


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New Haven, CT

Mayor Toni Harp

Mayor HarpOn New Haven: “New Haven needs one gigabit capacity to transport the medical data, financial transactions, and research information that are the currency of New Haven in 2015.…This will be to the undeniable benefit of each city and town and all those who live, work, study, and do business there in those towns—and certainly here in this town.”

On Next Century Cities: “We…shared a vision of Connecticut leading the way with a statewide system for instant communication and ability to transmit staggering amounts of data without breaking stride. Look at us today. Those of us here represent a virtual army of cities and towns anticipating Internet speeds up to 1,000 megabits per second, something close to 100 times faster than what is now the average home speed of Internet services”

What New Haven is working on: As one of the original three cities to spearhead the effort to make Connecticut the first gigabit-Internet state, New Haven has long been at the cutting edge of developing infrastructure for the twenty-first century. In 2014, New Haven and a coalition of forty-five other municipalities, representing over half of Connecticut residents, joined with Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz, and others to issue a joint Request for Qualifications on developing high-speed gigabit networks across the state via public-private partnerships.

“That so many Connecticut cities have joined this effort is heartening and confirms for me the pent-up demand for high-capacity digital connectivity in support of commerce, research, and 21st century life in our state,” said Mayor Harp. “I think this demonstrates the potential return on investment for a qualified supplier of next-generation infrastructure to drive economic growth and social progress in Connecticut.”

Mayor Harp testified about the need for ultra-high-speed Internet in New Haven and across Connecticut at a hearing in February 2015. New Haven also hosted a conference on “Moving towards a Gigabit State” in May 2015.








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Northampton, MA

Mayor David Narkewicz12753507-mmmain

On Northampton: “Northampton has experienced positive economic growth in both residential and commercial development over the past few years.  As we work to attract new businesses and jobs in a technology-driven economy, the City considers it very important to invest in its valuable municipal fiber infrastructure. Broadband-enabled Internet service has become an essential utility for businesses and residents alike. The City would like to expand consumer options by pursuing the development of municipal gigabit-level services.”

On Next Century Cities: “Joining Next Century Cities (NCC) connects the City of Northampton to a network of communities that are committed to continuous innovation and facing similar challenges. NCC is a great resource in our exploration of gigabit-level Internet service development as an essential infrastructure to strengthen our local economy and expand information and technology access for residents.”

What Northampton is working on: The City of Northampton is currently exploring the feasibility of expanding its municipal fiber ring to provide broadband-enabled services to private enterprise customers and residents. The goal of this project is to leverage the significant investment we have made in our existing municipal fiber ring by developing a gigabit-level network around the existing infrastructure. First, we intend to conduct a Broadband Assessment of existing broadband services in the city and a Feasibility Study to address the possibility of Northampton providing broadband and broadband-enabled services to private enterprise customers in proximity to its existing municipal fiber network. In addition to the municipal fiber network, we will consider any other network elements or capabilities that the city may own or lease that may complement service solutions provided over the fiber network.

Massachusetts General Law allows municipalities to form a Municipal Light Plant (MLP), a citizen owned, not-for-profit Utility Enterprise. Municipal Light Plants are authorized and certified to provide telecommunications, electricity and energy services. Consideration of the formation of a MLP for Northampton is part of our current assessment. Such a development would allow the City of Northampton to pursue various public-private partnerships in order to improve health care and education services, and connect residents to new opportunities.

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Oakland, CA

Mayor Libby Schaaf 

On Oakland: “High speed internet connectivity is notOakland Mayor Libby Schaaf a luxury. It’s a lifeline that fuels our economy and community. As Mayor of Oakland, I am committed to net neutrality and bringing to my city the broadband infrastructure that helps to connect all of our residents to businesses, vital city services and one another.”

On Next Century Cities: “The explosive and unprecedented growth and application of internet technology has fueled international commerce and the global exchange of ideas. Like the internet, our cities must transcend jurisdictional boundaries to collaborate in applying this technology in order for our nation to compete on the world stage. This is what it means to be a Next Century City.”

What Oakland is up to: The City of Oakland is pursuing three key approaches to bring greater broadband access to our city:

  1. Conducting a five-year master plan for Oakland’s fiber optic network to identify the assets currently in place and to help determine how to develop moving forward.
  2. Developing a “Dig Once Ordinance” that would allow a creative way for local governments to utilize their public rights-of-way. A Dig Once ordinance facilitates the laying of necessary infrastructure, namely fiber and conduit, to expand broadband service.
  3. Encouraging innovation and public-private partnerships. Examples include Oakland’s 2014 designation as a Code for America fellowship city and our partnership with BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), the Port of Oakland and AC (Alameda County) Transit to allow fiber sharing.


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Opelika, AL

Mayor Gary Fullergfuller

On Opelika: “Our decision to become a ‘smart’ city is one that will put Opelika on the map as never before. Our broadband technology is the most advanced in the world and easily makes Opelika the smartest city in the state of Alabama and one of the smartest in the world. Opelika Power Services, owned by the citizens for over 100 years, has a proven past and now we are future focused with our ultra-high-speed internet, video and telephone services.”

On Next Century Cities: “We want to be a part of Next Century Cities so we can learn from those who came before us and to share our knowledge and experience with those who will come after us. There is strength in numbers and I believe that many of us taking this giant step will benefit from collaboration.”

What Opelika is working on: The City of Opelika has owned and operated its electric utility since 1911. Today, Opelika is the first municipal in the state of Alabama to deploy a true fiber to the premise network, and will be available to every home and every business in Opelika.

The construction of the fiber network began in 2011 and was completed in 2013.  Over 425 miles of fiber now blanket Opelika. Through Opelika Power Services (OPS), the city not only provides the electric utility, it also provides triple-play services to residents and businesses. Internet speeds up to a GIG, upload and download, Phone services are crystal clear, and HD TV services provide clarity and color, pictures that are breath taking. OPS also has a dedicated channel for local content, providing our customers with local events and happenings around Opelika.

At OPS, “It’s not Business as Usual” – we have a local office with local numbers, and provide local 24/7 customer care and support. Our employees live, work and play right here in Opelika. Our service is second to none!

The City of Opelika cherishes its rich tradition but clearly has a vision for the future. With the fiber network, probabilities have turned into possibilities. Our infrastructure will spur economic development, creating new opportunities and new jobs, while allowing existing businesses to become more efficient and more competitive.

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Orem, UT


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Palo Alto, CA

Mayor Gregory ScharffMayor Greg Scharff


On Next Century Cities:  Palo Alto is a unique hub for technological innovation and is widely known as a premier startup center.  Many tech giants got their start in Palo Alto – Facebook, Google, and Hewlett Packard, to name a few.  In the 1990s, the City of Palo Alto made an investment in fiber-optics, which has proven to be a significant factor in the City’s economic growth and health.  The City’s principles and Next Century Cities’ principles for broadband expansion are closely aligned, and focus on the importance of leveraging gigabit-speed Internet to attract new businesses and create jobs, improve health care and education, and connect residents to new opportunities.


What Palo Alto is working on:   The City of Palo Alto’s 49-mile Dark Fiber Optic Backbone Network was conceived in the mid-1990s. The City’s strategy was to build a dark fiber ring capable of supporting multiple network developers and/or telecommunication service providers. The fiber network also supports the City’s communication needs and critical municipal services, including electric, gas, water, and wastewater utility services provided by City of Palo Alto Utilities.


The City licenses “dark fiber” for commercial purposes and provides service connections to more than 100 customers, including several value-added “resellers” that deliver a variety of telecommunication services.  The network is also connected to the public schools in Palo Alto.


The City has evaluated various business models to expand the City’s fiber network for citywide use. With the escalating interest in deploying gigabit-speed networks, the City intends to explore public-private partnership opportunities to build a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network capable of providing gigabit-speed broadband and other services for businesses and residents.  To that end, the City has developed a Fiber-to-the-Premises Master Plan and Wireless network Plan to guide future investment in its fiber optic asset.

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Pasco County, FL


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Pikeville, KY

Mayor James A. Carter

James A Carter Head ShotOn Pikeville: “As a regional leader and as the educational and economic hub for Eastern Kentucky, Pikeville is a natural fit to become a gigabit community.  As the State of Kentucky launches it construction phase of bringing Dark Fiber throughout the state, Pikeville is preparing to implement a plan bringing fiber to the premises.  As the educational hub, we have a top ranked school district in the state as well heavily vested in higher education such as a Technical College, 4-year University, Business College, Medical School and an upcoming optometry school.  Pikeville is also home to the region healthcare network with a magnificent state of the art hospital, Pikeville Medical Center.   Bringing broadband internet to this area would bring immense growth to the education and healthcare in this area, not to mention, economic development.  With the quick demise of the Coal Industry, in an attempt to diversify and redefine our regional economy the City has recently invested nearly $40 million dollars to construct a new 400 acre Industrial Park with the intent of attracting new industry and jobs.   Using broadband to become a gigabit community would allow us to compete on a global level for expansion opportunities in technology, industry, and manufacturing that would not be available to us otherwise. Our community is eager for how the new Dark Fiber will allow us the opportunity to compete while improving the quality of life for those who call Eastern Kentucky home.”

On Next Century Cities: ““Being a member of Next Century Cities give us the ability to collaborate, network, and share information with other cities. Since there is not one-size-fits-all method to becoming a gigabit community, it is important to explore new, different ideas, and coordinate them with what works with our City. Next Century Cities gives us the opportunity to change and improve our community while helping those we serve.”

What Pikeville is working on: “Pikeville is in the beginning stages of our broadband strategy and are currently researching what would work best for our particular community. At this time, the city has secured the services of a leading broadband expert, Joanne Hovis, with CTC Technologies for our broadband initiatives is conducting a full feasibility study and we are eagerly awaiting the results to help further guide us to become a gigabit community.”

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Pittsburgh, PA


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Ponca City, OK

poncacitymayorMayor Homer Nicholson

On Ponca City: “Today our residents live in a technology heavy environment. Whether it be for school, business, health care, or at home, they all require access to massive amounts of information. Without the larger broadband capacity networks, the internet as a medium sharing mechanism cannot be fully recognized. Whether that sharing is a business transaction, medical records and x-rays, text book for homework, or someone wanting to play a game or watch a movie on the internet, the demand on the average network is taxing or non-existent. With access to the larger, high speed Internet pipe, all residents enjoy what they require to satisfy their daily life.”

On Next Century Cities: “As more and more cities look at the pros and cons of becoming an Internet provider it helps to have an organization for them to look to for getting answers on how to get high speed, anywhere, anytime Internet. Next Century Cities brings the largest of these providers together to encourage that more cities can join the ranks of communities providing technology to their residents.”

What Ponca City is working on: “Ponca City has installed over 360 miles of fiber that is used by businesses, schools, medical professionals, government, and provides the back haul as well for its 17,500 daily wireless Internet users, for free. Anytime, anywhere. Currently Ponca City is designing the next phase of technology for its residents. Ponca City has won many awards over the last few years on its various networks.”

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Portland, OR

portlandmayorMayor Charlie Hales

On Portland: “Portland is a city of innovators, of makers. From our education community, to our nonprofit community, to our faith community, broadband will prove a boon to the entire city, and will help secure our position in the international economy.”

On Next Century Cities: “As a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, I have learned the value of sharing best practices with our counterparts throughout the nation. Next Century Cities will provide the city to-city, and state-to-state nexus to help us all serve our residents better.”

What Portland is working on: Portland’s current engagement in broadband Internet dates to 2010, when the City Council passed a resolution recognizing “high-speed, accessible and affordable broadband is now mission-critical infrastructure for job creation, education, health care, the enhancement of safe and connected communities, civic engagement, government transparency and responsiveness, reduced carbon emissions, and emergency preparedness.”

In 2011, the City of Portland launched a broadband initiative to improve access to next generation broadband Internet. Working groups consisting of a broad range of stakeholders produced a strategic plan designed to help the city invest in broadband infrastructure, eliminate broadband affordability and capacity gaps, and promote broadband adoption and literacy among citizens, businesses, and policymakers.

This plan was unanimously adopted by the City Council in 2011. Guided by the Broadband Strategic Plan, the Office for Community Technology published a report in February 2014 analyzing the benefits of a gigabit network to the city, and officials have planned a summit to craft a strategy for addressing existing gaps and shortfalls in comprehensive access to high quality Internet.

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Prestonsburg, KY

Mayor Les Stapletonmayor - les

On Prestonsburg: Prestonsburg is a very unique City. We are the center of the convergence of 5 roadways, hence our Star City designation, the 5 points of star. Located in Eastern Kentucky, we are in the middle of an economic decline due to the Coal Business downfall. Prestonsburg is, and always has been a very safe and comfortable place to live, with a lower cost of living than most areas, and the hospitality of our town is second to none. Our natural terrain and the beauty that is East Kentucky surround us and is even incorporated in the City. With many “home grown” restaurants, local shops, and our developing adventure tourism, Prestonsburg is the place to come, to relax and enjoy.

On Next Century Cities: In our efforts to become a gigabyte City, information is thrown at you from so many different avenues. We needed an opportunity to gather information and become acquainted with the process without pressure. We also wanted to be able to ask questions from someone who does not and will not have a potential financial interest in the process, so that we can receive unbiased answers and advice. Next Century Cities has provided that and more. With the availability of information to contact other administrators and Cities who have completed the process and are willing to help guide us along, I would recommend Next Century Cities to any entity interested in gigabyte service.

What Prestonsburg is working on: Prestonsburg is exploding…… We are moving in so many directions at one time it is really hard to keep up. Becoming a gigabyte City is obviously a priority of ours. We are currently working to obtain a certified Trail Town designation. We are in the process of developing more than 40 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. We also have a natural river trail on the Levisa Fork which runs through the middle of our small town. With outdoor adventure tourism on the rise and our trail developments, we believe that we are becoming a place for people to live and play! We have all of the amenities that you expect from a small town but with the addition of becoming a gigabyte City, we have the opportunity to add that “metropolis” technology. By gaining this technology, we will have the tools and resources necessary to open the doors of opportunity for economic development and job creation. We want to set the standard for the areas surrounding us and small towns alike, and become an example of progression, in spite of the current economic decline coal communities are experiencing.

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Provo, UT

Mayor John Curtis

Provo MayorOn Provo: “The availability of ultra high speed Internet access to citizens and businesses in Provo is a game-changer and will differentiate Provo from other cities who have not had the foresight to create the opportunity in their communities”

On Next Century Cities: “Provo is affiliating with Next Century Cities because communities with high speed Internet access need to be significant players in the discussion about broadband access in the United States.  Together the New Century Cities can influence national and state policies increasing access to broadband services to help the United States compete better in the global marketplace.”

What Provo is working on: Provo has been a national leader in promoting fiber to the home networks.  From the inception of the iProvo municipal fiber network in 2003 until its sale ten years later to Google Fiber, Provo has been an advocate for and investor in fiber networks.  Working now with Google Fiber, we see wonderful opportunities ahead for further increasing speed, enhancing access and bridging the digital divide in our community in ways that other communities can learn from.

Our Provo Accelerated effort in 2014-2015 has helped the Provo community envision the future and find ways to enhance our quality of life through access to broadband.  With a free basic Internet access option for every home and the opportunity to bring gig service to every home and small business in Provo, we have amazing opportunities ahead of us.

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Raleigh, NC

Raleigh-NC-Mayor-McFarlaneMayor Nancy McFarlane

On Raleigh: “Broadband is the next generation economic development infrastructure. As we strive for a healthy economy and economic growth, it is time for the country to consider those technology advances that support the collaboration of communities and the advancement of education and research.”

On Next Century Cities: “The Next Century Cities forum has allowed us to share business strategies as well as gain insight on how cities are measuring the success of these next generation networks.”

What Raleigh is working on: The City of Raleigh’s network includes a downtown fiber ring that connects major City facilities and the Raleigh Convention Center. Raleigh provides free outdoor Wi-Fi in the center city and two City parks. Through a BTOP grant, the City provided broadband access to 1,482 underserved households.

In collaboration with a traffic signal project, 125 miles of additional fiber is being added throughout Raleigh’s 142.8 square miles. This fiber backbone will serve as the foundation for the municipal network.

Four local universities and surrounding communities joined to initiate the development of ultra high-speed bandwidth at low price points to stimulate innovation, economic development, and improved access and education. This regional partnership is called North Carolina Next Generation Networks (NCNGN). The NCNGN members’ governing boards have approved master network development agreements with AT&T. AT&T was one of eight vendors that responded to the RFP issued by NCNGN. In addition to outlining the terms of AT&T’s proposal to provide 1-gig broadband connections to local residents and businesses, the agreements include initiatives to increase access to broadband.

In early 2014, Google announced it is considering 34 additional cities, including Raleigh, for Google Fiber. Raleigh has successfully completed the Google Fiber checklist.

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Richmond, CA

Mayor Tom ButtMayor Tom Butt

On Richmond:  “The City of Richmond is committed to ensuring all residents have access to reliable and high-speed Internet connectivity, which they can use to apply for jobs, access news and information, apply for government programs and services, and stay connected with family and friends. Stronger broadband services also helps strengthen the city’s local economy by accommodating Richmond’s economic development needs. In addition to enhancing broadband connectivity, Richmond is launching an open data portal to make local data more transparent and accessible for the general public. Increased accessibility and transparency will enhance civic engagement, promote stronger ties between the public and government, and make municipal services more efficient and effective.”

On Next Century Cities: “Next Century Cities affords Richmond an amazing opportunity to share our successes and engage with thought-leaders about strategies and opportunities for accomplishing our Internet connectivity goals. I have confidence that the tools and supports that Next Century Cities provides municipalities like Richmond will help communities across our nation prosper and compete. I am very excited that this network is available to cities, and I look forward to the great outcomes that will be accomplished in Richmond through our participation in Next Century Cities.”

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Richmond, KY


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River Falls, WI

Mayor Toland

Mayor TolandOn River Falls: “The City of River Falls wishes to expand its exceptional services to the area of broadband, to accommodate the City’s economic development needs as well as a provide a benefit to residents.”

On Next Century Cities: “Next Century Cities is an organization that can provide the resources the City needs to make future decisions regarding broadband.  Collaboration with other cities that have experience in this area would be invaluable.”

What River Falls is working on: The City of River Falls is researching the pros and cons of offering broadband to our commercial and residential customers, and whether it would be feasible and in the best interest of the community.  We recently joined Next Century Cities to help with our study of the issues surrounding broadband, and are looking forward to learning more about the process.

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Riverside County, CA


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Riverside, CA

Mayor Rusty Bailey

Riverside_MayorOn Riverside: “City leadership must drive our local economy by becoming a giga-city within the next five years. A gigabit fiber network will provide the speed and accessibility required by healthcare companies, data centers, high-tech businesses, and our residents. We must build on Riverside’s already-present entrepreneurial ecosystem and meet current and future demands for high-speed internet.”

On Next Century Cities: “As an internationally recognized smart city, Riverside is excited to join a growing number of forward-thinking cities who place value in the knowledge workforce and understand how high speed networks fit into their future success. In order for our cities to remain relevant, we must consider such infrastructure as a critical building block for the future.  Our partnership with Next Century Cities will help give our community a bigger voice on broadband efforts nationwide.”

What Riverside is up to: “We are actively looking at ways in which we may narrow the digital divide in our region through SmartRiverside’s digital inclusion program. We have already provided over 7,000 free computers to low income families and we continue to seek ways to get more affordable broadband services to our citizens. We are currently reviewing Riverside’s fiber readiness in an effort to position our city to attract fiber retailers. We are also creating a strategic plan to better leverage Riverside’s current fiber infrastructure for future economic development.”

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Roanoke, VA

Mayor David  A. Bowers

On Roanoke: “The City of Roanoke has joined surrounding jurisdictions to form the Roanoke Valle08-07-07 2008 City of Roanoke Councily Broadband Authority with the goal of ensuring the Roanoke Valley becomes competitive in broadband service, and can better compete with other mid- Atlantic metropolitan areas.  This is part of a continued focus on the support of a sound infrastructure with targeted investments.  The future development of broadband service will further propel the City of Roanoke forward as a regional leader and an attractive place for new business, as the area continues to experience growth in the technology and health care sectors.”

On Next Century Cities: “Roanoke is a six time All-America City and no city in America has won that prestigious and coveted award as often as Roanoke.  It is important, in this time, for our city to be competitive in economic development and we understand how important it is to have the best broadband available for our citizens and businesses.  Our citizen and business community will surely benefit as local governments work together through Next Century Cities.”

What Roanoke is up to: The City of Roanoke has consistently been ranked as a top Digital City by the Center for Digital Government and recently helped establish the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority. Working with other Authority members in the Roanoke metro area, Roanoke plans to improve affordable broadband services in the Roanoke Valley by encouraging collaboration, competition, and long term investments. With growing research in the education and technology sectors, the City has identified a need to improve fiber infrastructure through a variety of strategies focused on economic development and efficient government.  The Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority is in the process of engineering and constructing a 46 mile fiber optic network in the Valley that will serve business parks, large institutions, government facilities, and businesses. This middle mile network will be operated as an open-access network by an experienced carrier-grade operator, and is expected to be operational by early 2016.

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Rockport, ME

rockportmayorTown Manager Rick Bates

On Rockport: “Rockport has one of the prettiest harbors, village and rural countryside on the east coast. But with inferior broadband, the sharpest and most innovative entrepreneurs in the world will certainly vacation in Rockport and really enjoy the harbor and views —- but they couldn’t live here and they couldn’t start businesses here. They are all about connectivity and place. Now – with ultra-fast Internet access — they can have both.”

On Next Century Cities:  “The idea of cities and towns working in collaboration to solve mutual challenges of providing residents and businesses with fair and uniform access to the internet is one that has been needed for a long time and one that I did not think was possible until now. There is immense value from working together and learning from others who have similar views. There is no reason that we should have to reinvent the wheel, the best way is to see what works and adapt!”

What Rockport is working on: Our project, here in Rockport, is admittedly quite small at the moment. It is just over a mile of fiber with 70 potential users; however the opportunity this initiative has created is huge.

This was purely an economic development project to start with and driven largely by the desires of Maine Media College’s need for faster internet speeds, as well as to make Rockport’s small downtown village more viable. There are several buildings in the Village that are underutilized to some degree, and several new buildings that are ready to be rebuilt, all with a spectacular view of Rockport Harbor as a backdrop.

Our project was the result of a public private partnership involving the College, Maine Research and Education Network, the Town of Rockport and GWI, a local internet service provider. The Town utilized funds from Maine REN and Tax Increment Financing to construct the 1.2 miles of “dark fiber” that will be owned by the Town and used by several ISP providers.

It is our belief by providing gigabit internet speeds; in a place as beautiful as Rockport, we will encourage business growth in not only Rockport but the surrounding communities as it will act as a catalyst for other communities to do the same.

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Rome, GA


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Salisbury, NC

What Salisbury is working on: The City identified numerous areas within the city where there were no reliable communication services other than phone. Many of these “dead zones” existed within the downtown area, a potential hotbed for new business locations and economic impact. There were business sites within a block or two of the center of the city where no high-speed internet was available. This weakness in viable communications proved detrimental to acquiring new businesses. Repeated requests to incumbent providers for network upgrades and installation of a fiber-to-the-home system were consistently denied. Incumbent providers also felt it unnecessary to provide services to low-income areas that would not guarantee the yield of large profits.

To address this situation, the Salisbury City Council initiated a study to review the possibility and profitability of implementing a broadband network. The in-depth study process, which spanned more than five years of diligent evaluation, produced a positive outcome. The City of Salisbury committed to join other cities across the nation in becoming a municipal broadband provider. The City began construction of a city-wide fiber optic network in 2008 and began offering services in November 2010. With local public control, jobs and revenues would stay in the community to provide an investment in Salisbury for the future.

The fiber optic network currently offers next-generation communication services for residents and businesses of Salisbury.  We are the second city in North Carolina to offer gigabit service and offer the fastest base internet speed in the State at 50Mbps x 50Mbps, most importantly with 24 months of consistent 99.999% reliability, better than any area incumbent provider. Fibrant brings the best in high-definition TV, digital phone, and internet services straight to residents and local businesses. Fibrant’s customer service is local.  Local employees are dedicated to providing customers with the highest level of service and reliability. Unlike large corporate providers, Fibrant is part of the city’s municipal infrastructure. The City now has the ability to leverage its gigabit network to attract new businesses, create jobs, improve education, and allow our residents to connect with the world.

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Sallisaw, OK


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San Antonio, TX

sanantoniomayorMayor Ivy R. Taylor

On San Antonio: “High speed Internet service that is widely accessible and affordable connects individuals and communities to greater opportunities. But it also connects our nation to richer democratic possibilities by making broadband Internet inclusive to all of our citizens.”

On Next Century Cities: “Cities may be separate governmental entities defined by boundaries etched on maps. But we are connected by a national infrastructure. Essential to that infrastructure are high-speed broadcast networks. The exchange of ideas is a powerful stimulus to progress and Next Century Cities is a forum that will inspire creative collaborations.”

What San Antonio is working on: San Antonio Rising – An Historic City Moving at Broadband Speed

San Antonio has long been a gateway to cultural and commercial exchanges between cities, states, and nations. The King’s Highway or Camino Real first established by Spanish explorers in the 1690s connected Mexico City to San Antonio and later to communities in East Texas and beyond. This vital link between emerging countries was responsible for bringing missionaries that established five historic missions in San Antonio, including Mission Valero, better known as the Alamo. With the industrialization of cities, the historic King’s Highway gave way to railroads – the first to arrive in San Antonio in 1877 was the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad connecting San Antonio to the Port of Galveston. In the following two decades San Antonio was connected to cities throughout the country with new railroad lines. The railroads moved people and raw materials that transformed the city.

With the advent of the automobile, highways became increasingly important for commerce.

Through the efforts of the Old Spanish Trail Association, headquartered in San Antonio, the Old Spanish Trail was completed in 1929 as a transcontinental highway connecting St. Augustine, Florida along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean to San Diego, California on the Pacific coast. San Antonio lies in the center of this east-west transnational corridor. Completed in 1971, Interstate Highway 35 is an equivalent north-south transnational corridor connecting San Antonio to cities along six mid-western states culminating in Duluth, Minnesota at the doorstep of Canada to the north, and to Laredo, Texas on the Mexican border to the south. Located at the crossroads of these major national highways, San Antonio has become the commercial gateway to Mexico and an important distribution point for products coming into the United States from Latin American countries.

With the rise of the digital age, San Antonio understands from its historic experience the significance of promoting and building the information highways of the future – broadband networks. Over the last decade, San Antonio has completed the deployment of a public safety radio system covering the greater San Antonio metropolitan area anchored by wireless towers and public safety facilities which are connected by an active SONET ring. In 2007, the City of San Antonio executed a memorandum of understanding with its municipally-owned electric utility, CPS Energy, to share dark fiber owned by the utility in the development of a joint highspeed communications wide area network referred to as COSANet. Over the last seven years, the City has used utility fiber to augment its public safety network which has been integrated into COSANet. By next year, the City expects to have 29 locations connected to COSANet.

In 2012, city officials called for expanding the benefits of the COSANet to other governmental entities in the community. In pursuit of this goal, this summer, the City and CPS Energy completed negotiations on an Indefeasible Right of Use Agreement that will permanently and irrevocably grant the City the use of utility fiber. With this assurance, the City will be able to extend access to COSANet to other governmental partners that can meet certain technical and financial requirements. The City is currently in dialogue with the University of Texas System to connect its three San Antonio campuses to COSANet.

In 2013, the City began exploratory negotiations with Google Fiber regarding the potential deployment of a city-wide fiber network which resulted in the execution of a lease agreement making city property available for the installation of fiber huts. In early 2014 San Antonio was short-listed as a future Google Fiber city. We expect Google Fiber to announce by the end of the year that it will deploy a fiber network in San Antonio. Following Google Fiber’s announcement, AT&T negotiated a similar lease agreement with the City and announced that it would be augmenting its U-verse network in San Antonio to provide gigabit service by year’s end.

The City is also pursuing the development of a Master Broadband Plan which will take into account policies to promote private investment in broadband networks, equitable broadband access to all members of the community, and deployment of small cell technologies. The plan will also address the role of COSANet in the broader context of a city-wide broadband strategy, and identify regulatory and legislative policies that will aid the City’s ability to promote universal broadband access while retaining local authority over land use and revenue streams from private use of its rights-of-way.

San Antonio understands that the economic and educational success of its citizens is tied to access to the information highways of the future, and the City must play an active role in this regard.

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San Francisco, CA


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San Jose, CA

Mayor Sam LiccardoLiccardo-HeadShot2-jpg

On San Jose: “Even in Silicon Valley, we have a very significant digital divide, but we also have an opportunity to open empower an entire generation with digital technology. Our focus is on improving access to the internet, providing the necessary hardware, and helping our residents develop digital skills. In this way, we enable children to complete their homework, watch training videos or connect with tutors. This is a huge part of educational obtainment and economic opportunity – and the goal of our Smart City Vision.”

On Next Century Cities: “Cities worldwide are working on broadening internet access. Next Century Cities helps us learn from one another, as we understand the difficulties involved with implementation in new technologies and taking risks.”

What Next Century Cities is working on: San José is working on a number of projects to broaden access to free or low-cost high speed internet service in low-income communities. This includes many partnerships and ongoing discussions with several companies, including the recently announced demonstration project with Facebook, where San José will provide free, gigabit wireless internet to its downtown through the company’s new “terragraph” technology.

We have also unveiled a Smart City vision that promotes our strategy to make a more inclusive city by broadening access and creating a more robust infrastructure for our residents.

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San Leandro, CA


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Sandy, OR

sandyormayorMayor Bill King

On Sandy: “Our residents recognize the need for a gigabit connection and a state-of-the-art fiber optic network was the best way to deliver that connectivity.”

On Next Century Cities: “Our City Council has been very supportive of the concept of allowing communities to decide for themselves the best method for providing Internet connectivity. By joining Next Century Cities, we feel that we’ll be able to show the success we have had here in Sandy.

What Sandy is working on: The City of Sandy is deploying a complete fiber optic network to serve residents and businesses. With the way that the Internet is utilized now and in the future, we needed a technological jump to ensure our citizens are able to access content at speeds that could only be provided through a fiber optic connection. The project will pass all homes and businesses in the community and provide access to gigabit speeds over the new network. This will be up to 200 times faster than our current average Internet connection.

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Sanford, ME


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Santa Cruz County, CA

What Santa Cruz County is working on: Santa Cruz County has recently begun an effort to create an ecosystem for a thriving broadband infrastructure. At the core of this effort is a proposal to build out the physical infrastructure to support high-quality Internet access. In April of 2014, the California Public Utilities Commission approved funding for a 91 mile broadband fiber ‘backbone’ through Santa Cruz County. Upon completion, the backbone will help provide broadband access to nearly 12,000 unserved or underserved households in the county. As the backbone is being constructed, Santa Cruz County will work with private providers to identify regions most in need of gigabit Internet.

In addition, the County Board of Supervisors have reformed regulations governing the development and delivery of broadband Internet. County officials have approved policies to more easily allow for the installation and improvement of broadband infrastructure on County property, and integrate broadband infrastructure into other construction projects. The County’s fiber broadband initiative has been hailed by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development as a model for California.

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Santa Cruz, CA

Councilmember David Terrazas

On Santa Cruz City: 
“Santa Cruz is known for its innovation and our commitment to expanding municipal internet infrastructure is no different,” said Councilmember David Terrazas. “With more technology companies calling our city home, broadband plays a critical role not only for our economic development and the ability to attract and retain businesses but also for its importance to the many cultural and educational institutions which reside in our coastal community.”

On Next Century Cities: “Broadband is no longer a nice to have. It is becoming an essential service and we are proud to join NCC in the effort to ensure reliable and affordable internet access to both residents and businesses.”

What Santa Cruz is up to: Starting in 2016, the City of Santa Cruz and Curzio Internet have agreed to build a public-private partnership with Santa Cruz Fiber, the first gigabit fiber-to-the-home network in the greater Silicon Valley Region. Completion is expected by 2018.




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Santa Monica, CA

Mayor Tony VazquezIMG_0203 - VAZQUEZ color pix

On Santa Monica: “Investments in broadband have returned significant benefits for our community health, safety, education,  and wellbeing as well as for stimulating and sustaining our local economy.”

On Next Century Cities: “Santa Monica is proud to be a member of Next Century Cities, working with cities across the nation in developing a broadband infrastructure for our country and for the benefit of our communities.”

What Santa Monica is working on: Santa Monica CityNet is our broadband initiative committed to continuous innovation, transforming our local business community, creating a vibrant start-up and tech economy, and bridging the digital divide by offering Fiber to the Home and Digital Inclusion.  By offering fiber optic internet service to local businesses at ultra-fast 1Gbps, 10Gbps, and 100Gbps speeds, our city has retained and attracted a robust tech community built on globally competitive broadband.  This benefits healthcare and entertainment sectors, and has attracted tech startups, incubators, venture capital firms, and industry leaders to put down stakes in Santa Monica.

Our highly competitive 1Gbps and 10Gbps residential services are closing the digital divide and support programs for child development, virtual learning, telemedicine, and citizen engagement.  It is the driver for our local Youth Technology training and workforce development programs.

Santa Monica CityNet also offers broad public benefit. Our fiber optic network supports synchronization of our traffic signals, real-time parking signs and apps, traffic management and security programs, convenient pay-on foot parking stations, and free public Wi-Fi in 35 hot zones and along most commercial and transportation corridors located throughout the 8.3 square miles that make up Santa Monica.

Ultimately, CityNet has infused our local economy and community with entrepreneurial energy, optimism, and jobs. It’s the catalyst that has landed us the name of ‘Silicon Beach.’ It continues to stimulate the local economy, and enhance public safety, education, health, and wellbeing for our community. CityNet has received significant accolades, including the Information Week Government Innovators award and being named one of the Top 25 Innovations in Government by the Harvard Kennedy School.

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Saratoga Springs, NY


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Scarborough, ME


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Schenectady, NY


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Seattle, WA

Mayor Ed MurrayMayor Ed Murray, Seattle, WA

On Seattle: “As the birthplace to Microsoft, Boeing, and a thriving startup community, the City of Seattle is synonymous with technology. Broadband has become an integral part of daily life here and continues to transform health care, government services, education, commerce and industry. Like the electric grid and the interstate highway system that fueled economic growth earlier in our history, gigabit broadband internet service delivered over fiber optic cables is the critical infrastructure of the 21st century. Gigabit broadband internet service is essential for our continued economic growth and for maintaining our position as a technology leader in the future.”

On Next Century Cities: “Collaborating with the Next Century Cities members and harnessing their collective knowledge will benefit our city. Locally and nationally, our economy and democracy depend on working with other municipalities to navigate a path forward for determining our digital future. This future depends on ensuring that next generation fiber networks enhance economic growth and social advancement. I’m excited to be part of an organization committed to advancing vital broadband service.”

What Seattle is working on: Over the past decade the City of Seattle has conducted several studies to understand the social and economic benefits of broadband networks and the feasibility of constructing and operating a Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) network in Seattle. The City is focused on ensuring residents have access to competitive, affordable, and equal broadband internet options that approach a gigabit bandwidth standard. To achieve this goal, Mayor Murray has outlined a three pronged strategy:

1) Reduce regulatory barriers. Cities are competing with one another to attract high-speed broadband opportunities. To make Seattle more welcoming to these opportunities, we are increasing access to city infrastructure and simplifying our permitting processes.

2) Explore public/private partnerships. The City is investigating in ways to engage experienced commercial internet service providers that may be willing to partner with us and leverage our existing resources such as fiber and conduits to provide opportunities for improved access and increased competition.

3) Explore municipal broadband: While pursuing other options, the City is determining the feasibility of a city-operated fiber-to-the-premise municipal broadband solution that could bring high-speed access to Seattle households.

The strategy is yielding results, with two incumbent providers committing to build FTTP gigabit service to select neighborhoods. This is an important first step.  In addition, we expect to announce a new provider who will leverage the City’s existing fiber network to provide service in the near future.

The City is now working on the third step in my strategy by conducting a Broadband study designed to learn more about what it will take for the City to build and possibly operate a broadband network in the event commercial providers do not deliver competitive, affordable, and equal gigabit broadband internet service. The results of this study will be available by April 2015.

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Shaker Heights, OH

Mayor Earl M. Leiken

Mayor Earl M LeikenOn Shaker Heights: “The City of Shaker Heights has a 100-year tradition of being at the forefront of change; we are known as early adopters of innovative ideas. With the transition to a knowledge-based economy, it is more important than ever to be a leader in securing equal access to affordable, high speed Internet for our City. In the 21st century, we consider this an essential service for our residents and business owners who have come to expect exceptional City services. We know, too, it will attract a new generation of residents and ignite bold economic development initiatives that are now underway. As Mayor, I know that establishing Shaker Heights as a gigabit community will be transformational. Indeed, it is key to securing a prosperous future for the City, our residents and businesses.”

On Next Century Cities: “Joining Next Century Cities offers the City of Shaker Heights the opportunity to share ideas and expertise with communities both large and small. The shared technical assistance has sped up our learning curve. It provides us with a built in network of experts, saving us both time and money as we move our project forward.”

What Shaker Heights is working on: The City of Shaker Heights considers an accessible, affordable high-speed fiber network an essential component of the city of tomorrow’s infrastructure. What’s clear is that where these networks have already been established, it has sparked innovation, attracted investment and created new collaborations not previously envisioned. We are currently in the analysis stage of researching options for how best to move the city towards achieving this vision citywide, starting with two mixed use neighborhoods. Our goals are to be at the forefront of making affordable, very high-speed connectivity available to all our residents, institutions and businesses; to explore the difference very high-speed connectivity would make to strengthening a neighborhood, attracting new residents and increasing property values; and to demonstrate how technology can facilitate a partnership between businesses, public institutions and residents to spur innovation. We are working jointly with our schools and library systems, and OneCommunity – a non-profit provider of advanced broadband services and mission-based programming in health and wellness, connected education and economic development.

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Socorro, NM


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Sonoma County, CA

Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors Efren Carrillo

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Efren Carrillo On Sonoma County: “Internet today is without a doubt, one of most important inventions in recent history and life with broadband access seems unfathomable. Yet for Sonoma County’s rural residents and businesses the struggle to obtain high speed, high quality broadband access continues. For the agricultural community broadband means obtaining timely reports, filing permits online and connecting with regional, national and international markets on a real time basis. For residents broadband connectivity allows for online learning resources for schools and students as well as faster responses for emergencies or accidents. For business owners it allows cost effective interaction with customers, sales development and economic development.”

What Sonoma County is working on: “Access to high quality and affordable broadband remains a major issue for rural areas in the Sonoma County. In response in 2013, the Sonoma County Economic Development Board formed Access Sonoma Broadband (ASB). The ASB has advocated for rural broadband deployment by working with broadband providers, residents and businesses. Speed testing, engineering and cost analysis for fiber projects was completed for targeted priority communities including Joy Rd., Jenner, Cazadero and Dry Creek. The ASB surveyed digital skill/literacy programs and the availability of free public computer access in a report titled “Availability of and Needs for Broadband Adoption Programs in Sonoma County” The ASB continues its work on regional broadband advocacy with the North Bay North Coast Broadband Consortium which includes Marin, Napa, Mendocino and Sonoma counties.

As a result of strong community advocacy including the ASB nearly 500 households on Joy Road in Sonoma County will soon get broadband, thanks to a $7.7 million infrastructure grant from the state Public Utilities Commission’s California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). Incumbent providers in the area rejected extending their services to these households. The issue, of course, was cost. Internet service providers did not see an investment in the area as financially worthy. The only way was to get the project done was to apply for infrastructure grant money from the CASF and create a public-private infrastructure project.

Since December 2007, the state Legislature has authorized the CPUC to collect several pennies per month on Californians’ phone bills to go toward broadband infrastructure investments in unserved and underserved areas. To date, the California Advanced Services Fund has connected more than 300,000 households in the state to broadband. Without the fund, the greater Joy Road area might have been severed from our digital economy for much longer. And without the fund, Race Communications, a small California internet service provider, could not afford the cost of providing broadband infrastructure to Joy Road.”


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South Portland, ME

Mayor Patricia “Patti” SmithMayor Patricia "Patti" Smith

What South Portland is working on: The City of South Portland project is an innovative public/private partnership to deploy a fiber-optic, “gigabit-per-second” Internet network that will serve both business and residential customers within the City.

Partnering with Internet provider GWI (www.gwi.net), the winning bidder in response a Request For Proposals (RFP) that the city issued, the City will initiate a three-phase project that will bring approximately four miles of optical fiber, and ultra-high-speed Internet service, to a significant portion of the City. The first phase will connect Maine’s “3-Ring Binder” to the Mill Creek, Knightville Ocean Avenue, Highland Avenue and Evans Avenue corridors; the second phase will connect the James Baka Drive, Western Avenue, Westbrook Street and Wescott Road corridors; and a third phase will expand the network even farther, as funding becomes available.

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South San Francisco, CA


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Spanish Fork, UT

Mayor Steve Leifson

MayorSteveLeifson_image_20150316On Spanish Fork: “At the turn of the new century, Spanish Fork could have been left behind in the information age but the community decided to takes its future into its own hands and build a high- speed data network throughout the community.  Residents went from 0% access to 100% access in a few short years.  Now, Spanish Fork residents know firsthand how ubiquitous access to high speed internet makes their personal and professional lives better.”

On Next Century Cities: “Spanish Fork is a natural fit with the Next Century Cities because we know first-hand how a community can successfully chart its own future.  At the start of the 20th century our city leaders realized how important electricity would be to create a vibrant community. At the start of the 21st century, a new generation of city leaders faced a similar problem with connectivity and they chose to build a high-speed data network that would connect our small community to the world. Spanish Fork has always felt our community stretches beyond the limits of our city borders into unincorporated county and other surrounding communities. However, State laws preclude our expansion beyond city limits. We feel that collaboration with Next Century Cities can make our network better and may provide opportunities to grow beyond the limits of current state regulation.”

What Spanish Fork is up to:  Spanish Fork City continues to operate one of the most successful municipal broadband networks in the country. Data speeds and broadband capacity are increased regularly to ensure the network exceeds customer demand. Businesses have access to a robust network that offers both affordable services and highly customized fiber optic solutions.

Our planning for the future includes all relevant technologies. Our fiber network is expanding with fiber-to-the-business solutions offering incredible high speed services. We continue to expand utilization of the installed but unused fiber optic cable that spiders across the entire City.  The network of conduit that has been installed for almost two decades throughout the City will allow a seamless conversion to residential fiber-to-the-home.

We are always expanding our free WIFI access and will soon have one of the first all HD cable television systems.  Finally, we recently teamed with a CLEC that operates a Tier 1 network for our phone service, that improves reliability, provides additional customer features and will open new voice opportunities to our businesses.

Links to media coverage:

Spanish Fork named as a Smart 21 City in 2005: https://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=Smart21_2006&category=Events

Local news coverage of the Smart 21 award in 2005: http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/spanish-fork-city-named-an-intelligent-community/article_f4c4bad5-660a-5862-b708-44ff82f7030b.html

Local news coverage of the Smart 21 award in 2005: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/635165653/Spanish-Fork-recognized-for-its-tech-savvy.html?pg=all

An interview with Spanish Fork’s Broadband director discussing the history of the Community Network: http://www.muninetworks.org/content/spanish-fork-discusses-stunning-success-community-broadband-bits-podcast-60




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Stamford, CT

Mayor David Martindavid_martin2 photo

On Stamford: “The City of Stamford continues evolve by looking towards the future of the northeast region. As part of the City’s economic development strategy, it is important that the City continues to be on the leading edge of technology that helps prepare its residents for careers in the fourth economy but also allows our local businesses be on the forefront of their own markets and allow for these business to expand on an international level as well. As part of this evolution, the City continues to seek the partnerships with the private sector to help achieve these goals.”

On Next Century Cities: “The City of Stamford is looking forward to partnering and sharing its own experiences from lessons learned with other members of Next Century Cities. By having a network of communities working together from across the country, we can engage  in the right partnerships to develop a network that reaches beyond our own community and that not only strengthens the nation as a whole but continues to strength our economy on the international level.”

What Stamford is working on: The City of Stamford is home to a burgeoning tech industry with the emergence of the Stamford Innovation hub, part of a statewide ecosystem of entrepreneurial hubs, and home to the UCONN Stamford campus, Sacred Heart University Stamford campus and University of Bridgeport Stamford campus. The Stamford MSA is ranked 9th in a recent Kaufman report in startup density size (2011). Recently, Stamford has become an emerging media hub with the relocation of NBC Universal/Sports to the city, and joining other prominent companies that include World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Encompass Digital Media and Yes Network.

The City of Stamford is currently leading a group of forty-six municipalities in Connecticut that have joined together to facilitate the development of ultra-high-speed “Gig” internet networks for their communities.  A joint Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”) seeking information and dialogue with interested companies or developers, hoping to increase access to ultra-high-speed gigabit networks in their cities and throughout Connecticut while simultaneously reducing the cost of such networks for businesses, high-tech industry, universities, homeowners and other users. The RFQ has three goals: 1) Create a world-leading gigabit-capable network in targeted commercial corridors, as well as in residential areas with demonstrated demand, to foster innovation, drive job creation, and stimulate economic growth; 2) Provide free or heavily-discounted 10-100 MB (minimum) Internet service over a wired or wireless network to underserved and disadvantaged residential areas across the territories and diverse demographics of the RE; and 3) Deliver gigabit Internet service at prices comparable to other gigabit fiber communities across the nation.

As part of the RFP, the City hopes to create the Stamford Community Broadband Network (SCBN). In light of the increasing importance of affordable, high-speed broadband services, the SCBN initiative has the following goals:

  • Create an open access gigabit network in targeted commercial and industrial corridors to foster innovation, drive job creation, and stimulate economic growth;
  • Ensure that every Stamford resident or business can access advanced communications networks that will provide high-speed, high quality broadband connections to the Internet, where Stamford lives, works and plays, indoors and out of doors;
  • Ensure that areas of the City that are currently underserved are promptly served;
  • Ensure that the City is served by an open network, so no one is prevented or blocked from taking full advantage of the Internet’s capabilities;
  • Ensure that every Stamford resident can enjoy the benefits of broadband, regardless of income or the area in which they reside; and
  • Establish free wireless networks in parks and public spaces in the city.
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Starkville, MS

Mayor Parker Wiseman 

Mayor Parker WisemanOn Starkville: “Broadband is 21st Century Infrastructure. Just as water, sewer, and electric connectivity were catalysts for 20th Century economic growth and development, ultra-high speed internet connectivity will catalyze 21st Century growth and development [in Starkville].”

On Next Century Cities: “Cities have always been laboratories of innovation. Currently there are many models emerging for getting residents a direct fiber optic internet connection. As cities we have much to learn from each other to meet our ultimate objective of ensuring that every resident has an affordable opportunity to have a fiber optic connection at home.”

What Starkville is working on: The City of Starkville currently has two private gigabit internet providers. In 2013, Starkville was one of nine Mississippi cities chosen by CSpire for a pilot fiber to the home program. In 2014, CSpire made its first residential connection. To date CSpire has laid fiber optic infrastructure in 30% of the city. MaxxSouth acquired the city’s incumbent cable provider in 2014 and in 2015 announced that it would launch a citywide gigabit fiber initiative. MaxxSouth has laid fiber optic infrastructure in approximately 40% of the city and has committed to a comprehensive buildout within the next five years.


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Syracuse, NY

Mayor Stephanie A. Miner

On Syracuse: “The internet is the electricity of the twenty first century. It is important that we have solid digital infrastructure in place so businesses can grow and residents thrive.”

On Next Century Cities: “Next Century Cities is a partnership of cities ready to lead the way in digital infrastructure. I am pleased that Syracuse has joined the ranks of over 50 communities across the nation who see the great potential broadband and fiber can bring to an urban center.”

What Syracuse is working on: [This information is coming soon…]

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Thompson’s Station, TN

Mayor Corey Napiermayor corey headshot

On Thompson’s Station: “Citizens and business owners within the town of Thompson’s Station find it necessary to be at the forefront of digital connectivity. Broadband availability and speed is critical to providing families with educational and entertainment resources along with attracting industry leading companies to our town. It is also important for our community to be able to accommodate the changing workplace that now includes telecommuter and remote home offices.”

On Next Century Cities: As a smaller town with a limited amount of resources we have found that collective common voices often achieve goals quicker and with a higher success rate. The collective voice and unified vision of Next Century Cities made for an easy decision to join. The town of Thompson’s Station is excited to be part of this motivated group of municipalities.”

What [city name] is working on: “Thompson’s Station (pop. 2,688) has recently released an RFI seeking interested parties to help the town plan for broadband deployment in both rural and high density areas. Knowing that the town is ripe for future growth, special planning measures have been taken to insure it is done in a manner that is both sustainable and pedestrian centric. Part of the growth outlook will contain a broadband initiative plan that provides options to both those that currently don’t have options and those who only have a single provider. Our town has encountered challenges throughout this process. Neighboring medium and large municipalities have their own utility companies that provide another option for consumers, something unavailable in our smaller sized town.”


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Tucson, AZ


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Tullahoma, TN

Mayor Lane Curlee lanecurlee (002)

What Tullahoma is working on: Tullahoma Utilities Board (TUB) offers high-speed broadband through its LightTUBe telecommunications division. In 2006, the board saw a need for high-speed broadband services in the area—for both residents and businesses. A feasibility survey was completed in the fall of 2006, and in December of the same year, TUB’s Board of Directors approved the build of the fiber-optics system, followed by a city board approval. In June of 2008, beta testing of LightTUBe’s ultra-fast internet started with select customers, and the first bills were sent out in January of 2009.

In the summer of 2013, LightTUBe started offering Gigabit internet speeds to both residential and commercial customer and, at the time, Tullahoma was the smallest city in the U.S. to do so. Fiber has served the city well, allowing businesses, who demand such unwavering speeds, to build facilities in the area, expanding employment growth.

Since its inception, LightTUBe has offered seven internet speed upgrades for all of its speed tiers to customers at no additional charge, as well as expanding its offerings to include the gigabit capability that society now demands. Residential gigabit costs have dropped from $299.95 to $89.95 per month.

Aside from being on the forefront of broadband technology, the board and staff of LightTUBe strive to always stay ahead of the curve when it comes to customers’ needs and wants. LightTUBe is currently expanding its backhaul to allow even more bandwidth and redundancy so even more customers can enjoy and utilize this advanced speed and reliability.


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Urbana, IL

urbanamayorMayor Laurel Lunt Prussing

On Urbana: “The United States should not be behind the rest of the developed world on broadband service. For years, I couldn’t get a DSL connection to my home. The commercial operators haven’t served the entire Urbana community. They’re trying to expand now that there’s city competition. Where were they all those years when we were trying to get better service?”

On Next Century Cities: “I think cities have taken the lead on a lot of important issues, like broadband and climate change, because it’s important to our residents. That’s what we’re here for. Next Century Cities is taking the lead on promoting broadband and we’re glad to be a founding partner city.”

What Urbana is doing: UC2B (Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband), was started in 2009 as a consortium of Urbana, Champaign and the University of Illinois. In 2010. UC2B was awarded $22 million in federal grant dollars through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and also received $3.5 million in state grant money, as well as $3 million in local match contributions. By 2013, a fiber optic infrastructure, with seven backbone rings, was built throughout the two communities and Internet service was being directly provided to approximately 1,100 homes in low-income neighborhoods at a bargain rate of $19.99 a month. Broadband service is also now being provided to about 250 anchor institutions like schools, government offices, UI facilities, social service agencies and churches.

UC2B’s governmental structure was converted from a consortium to a not-for-profit corporation in October 2013, with Urbana, Champaign and the UI each making three appointments to a nine-member governing board. On May 29, 2014, UC2B announced a unique partnership with ITV-3, a privately-held Family Video company, under which the company will operate the network and work toward a full build-out of service to Champaign-Urbana residents.

Neighborhoods will be extended broadband service once at least half of the residences indicate their interest in signing up for Gigabit Internet. Urbana and Champaign are now touting UC2B and Gigabit Internet to attract economic development to the community.

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Vallejo, CA


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Vancouver, WA

Councilman Jack Burkmanburkman

On Vancouver: “Vancouver believes broadband access is critical to 21st century citizenship.  High speed connectivity for the entire community enhances communications and service delivery to our citizens, provides a platform for businesses growth, and reduces barriers to broadband access.  Our goal is to be one of the most connected cities in the region – physically, socially and digitally. We envision a Vancouver with improved opportunities for technological growth and having high speed broadband for all.”

On Next Century Cities: “Our work with broadband connectivity can only be improved by the sharing of thoughts and ideas through Next Century Cities.  The initiatives and issues surrounding broadband Internet are foundational to strong economic development, better educational opportunities, stronger democracy and improved quality of life for our citizens.”

What Vancouver is working on: The City of Vancouver has adopted a strategic objective that supports proliferation of high speed broadband throughout the city and access to the internet regardless of location and socioeconomic status.  Vancouver has been investing in fiber infrastructure since the mid-1990s and currently has approximately 55 miles of fiber connecting multiple agency locations and traffic-related infrastructure across the City, as well as free public wi-fi in public facilities and the downtown public square.  Vancouver belongs to a regional fiber sharing consortium, that coordinates deploying, tracking and sharing fiber between public agencies. There are approximately 100 miles of fiber used by local agencies for public benefit.  In addition, the State recognized Vancouver this year through establishing an Innovation Partnership Zone to grow the need and market for applied digital technologies by fostering education, research and economic partnerships.  In addition, Vancouver is committed to public/private partnerships with broadband providers that expand access to broadband across our community.

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Virginia Beach, VA


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West Hartford, CT


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West Hollywood, CA

Mayor Lauren Meister

Mayor Lauren Meister, West Hollywood, CAOn West Hollywood: “Fast and reliable internet should be available to everyone — not just a lucky few. Broadband gives people access, and that’s essential for civic participation. In West Hollywood, our community is technologically savvy. At City Hall, we see how much broadband matters when it comes to bringing our community members together. We’ve been working to develop fiber infrastructure and we’re always launching new web-based tools to help connect residents and businesses with information and services. Broadband is vital in being able to take part.”

On Next Century Cities: “I’d like to see cities across the country work together to reduce the digital divide. This is something we should all be envisioning and working to build — West Hollywood wholeheartedly supports Next Century Cities in its vision to do this.”

What West Hollywood is working on: “At the City of West Hollywood, we’re developing a fiber Infrastructure strategic plan. This plan will give us a snapshot of where we stand right now and where we can go. We’ve recently kicked off a fiber optic cable project along one of our major corridors — Santa Monica Boulevard. I’m particularly excited about this, because it means we’ll have the capacity to launch new projects such as Wi-Fi and smart sensors — and, it will help support new public safety technologies.”

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Westminster, MD

westminstermayorMayor Kevin Utz

On Westminster: “Our long term plan is to bring fiber to every home and business in the City. This project enables us to deliver a wide range of broadband services beyond simple Internet access, attracting even more businesses and residents to our City.”

On Next Century Cities: “As we embark on our fiber project here in Westminster, we are excited to be part of an even larger network to bring the next generation of broadband to cities nationwide.”

What Wesminster is doing: Westminster, Maryland is a City that strives for innovation and the promotion of technology wherever possible. Its latest venture includes pioneering a groundbreaking approach to bringing state-of-the-art broadband services to the small community. By building a municipallyfinanced and owned dark fiber network, Westminster will not only provide cutting edge service, but also lease it to service providers on an open and competitive basis.

Westminster is employing a stratified business model, where smaller markets can transform into viable business opportunities. This is accomplished by segregating the capital and operational expenses and risks into a series of operating layers. These smaller, separate layers create a more attractive market for operators. In addition, the City’s incremental approach to the network build out will minimize risk via the creation of a pilot rollout and the development of a full implementation plan following the pilot. This will limit negative cash flow and prioritize areas of implementation, focusing on areas of greatest potential for early returns of investment for both Westminster and the Operator.

The first phase of Westminster’s project is fully funded, with Henckels & McCoy breaking ground in October. Negotiations with potential operators are currently underway.

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Wilson, NC

wilsonmayorMayor Bruce Rose

On Wilson: “I have seen Wilson evolve from “the World’s Greatest Tobacco Market” to “NC’s First Gigabit City”. We have continuously re-invested in public facilities. Years ago, our City Council saw fiber optics as the public infrastructure of the future and absolutely essential to impove the economy, provide jobs and improve our quality of life. Greenlight has been a great example of the benefits that community broadband can provide for a city.”

On Next Century Cities: “The City of Wilson is proud to be a founding member of the Next Century Cities partnership. Bringing next generation broadband service to our citizens is the infrastructure challenge of the 21st century and local governments play an important role in providing infrastructure to our citizens. The Next Century Cities partnership brings together innovative municipalities from across the country so that we may learn from each other as we seek to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet.”

What Wilson is working on: In 2005 the City of Wilson needed to build a fiber optic network to improve communications between all city facilities, including police and fire stations, customer service centers, water treatment plants, etc. A Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone system dramatically cut the city’s monthly phone costs.

Wilson’s new network allowed the city to have a true, fast-as-light Internet connection. City officials began hearing from industries, schools, colleges, hospital and other agencies that were interested in tapping into this technology.

In 2006, officials began exploring the idea of expanding the fiber optic network to allow commercial and residential use, what is called a Fiber to the Home network that would run down every city street. The city asked private companies if they would be willing to build or partner in a FTTH network in Wilson. Ultimately, none of the private industries was willing to make that investment in Wilson.

After months of discussions and studies, the City Council unanimously voted in November 2006 to build a FTTH network in Wilson. The business plan and financing agreements were unanimously approved by the N.C. Local Government Commission’s executive commission in March 2007. Construction began soon afterward.

In May 2008, the city began signing up customers for the broadband services, now called Greenlight. Initial trials founds that 86 percent of customers preferred Greenlight to services they used previously.

In July of 2013 the City of Wilson became NC’s first Gigabit City by launching gigabit residential internet service. Currently, Greenlight is proud to provide service to over 7,000 members, and continues to grow, having already achieved the City Council’s initial goals.

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Windom, MN


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Winters, CA


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Winthrop, MN

What Winthrop is working on: “The RS Fiber Cooperative plans to build a gigabit enabled Active Ethernet fiber to the home/ farm/business area in a 650 square mile area in West Central Minnesota. Ten city councils and 17 township board in the project footprint have formed a Joint Powers Agency with plans to sell a $13.7 million tax obligated abatement bond. The agency would then lend the bond proceeds to the cooperative as an economic development loan.

Using those funds as a down payment for the $55 million project, the cooperative will access guaranteed loans from the USDA and HUD, as well as loan participation from a consortium of local banks to fund the project.

In addition, RS Fiber will become a US-Ignite Community to help foster economic development in the area. Application development will focus on education, health care, senior citizens and ag production.”

It is hoped financing for the project will be in place by the spring of 2015 with construction work to begin later that year.

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Yellow Springs, OH

Village Councilman Brian K. Houshyellow springs

On Yellow Springs: “A municipally owned, next generation broadband fiber network will spur economic growth in our Village and provide our citizens affordable access to the Internet, which has now become a necessary utility.  Yellow Springs is striving to be a digital-friendly community.”

On Next Century Cities: “Our affiliation with Next Century Cities is a great opportunity for our Village to communicate with cities across the country willing to share their ideas and experiences in building next generation fiber networks.  We look forward to collaborating with other progressive municipalities to gather information and gain perspective on best practices to educate our community so that Yellow Springs adopts effective strategies for infrastructure development and new technology implementation.”

What Yellow Springs is working on: Yellow Springs is in the nascent stages of developing its municipal broadband strategy.  Leveraging ownership of its electrical distribution system coupled with an existing data center in town, the Village is poised to build out its fiber network when appropriate financial and technical solutions are identified.

Recently, the Village established a “dig once” practice for its construction projects, and a partnership with a regional council of governments to provide high speed Internet to local businesses is being explored.  Our Community Access Panel, in collaboration with local experts, is planning a seminar for early 2015 to educate citizens and public officials, establish community goals and objectives, and generate recommendations.

A wireless mesh initiative is actively being discussed among various stakeholders – schools, businesses, government – that would involve a collaborative effort to bring free WIFI to downtown Yellow Springs, providing equitable access to the Internet, promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life.  This project could create a platform for building a more extensive municipal fiber backbone to generate revenues for the Village by providing Internet as a utility and reduce expenses via operational efficiencies.  Connecting to regional networks will further strengthen our position.

Visit yellow-springs.net for more about municipal broadband-related activities in the Village of Yellow Springs.

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