You can find a pdf of the press release here.

Contact: Brittany-Rae Gregory

Washington, D.C. (May 5, 2021) On Thursday, May 6, 2021, Next Century Cities’ Executive Director, Francella Ochillo, will testify before the United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Science and Technology in a hearing titled, “Broadband Equity: Addressing Disparities in Access and Affordability.” Through her testimony, she will elevate community-level perspectives from municipalities across the country, highlighting the need for broadband to be embraced as infrastructure. 

Ochillo offered the following remarks regarding the upcoming hearing: 

“Broadband equity is a living, breathing element of deployment and adoption strategies. It helps to ensure that digital infrastructure reaches every household and business, beyond areas that are profitable to serve, and recognizes that some communities face systemic barriers that require thoughtful policy interventions. Centering equity also gives communities ownership in building the digital frameworks that support a more educated, prosperous, and equal society. 

“Universal broadband access is the goal. Affordability, digital literacy, and access to devices are equally problematic and can no longer be treated as an afterthought in federal policy. Now is the time for us to ask hard questions about who is being left behind. Together, we can develop a nationwide strategy that provides every resident regardless of income or geography with a fair chance to benefit from high-speed connectivity and contribute to a digital society.”

The hearing begins at 11:30 a.m. EST on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The hearing can be viewed in its entirety via the Energy and Commerce Committee’s webpage. Next Century Cities will also chronicle the discussion in real-time via our Twitter page


Next Century Cities is a non-profit organization of over 200 communities, founded to support communities and their elected leaders. Our membership includes mayors and other officials who are working to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable internet access. For more information, visit .