Next Century Cities is a member of Broadband Connects America (“BCA”), a coalition of diverse national, state-based, and local nonprofit organizations, as well as state agencies, that advocate for policies to promote broadband access in underserved rural areas. On February 1st, 2021, NCC joined BCA allies in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) expressing serious concern with inaccurate conclusions contained in the 2021 Broadband Deployment Report. 

Key Takeaways 

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed otherwise, particularly for rural Americans, low-income communities, and communities of color that broadband is not being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion.
  2. Congress has directed the FCC to correct its mapping protocols. Data collections could be improved by including the price of residential broadband service and information about the quality of service, such as the actual speeds that customers experience and the length and breadth of outages.
  3. According to the Commission itself, households require speeds faster than 25/3 Mbps if more than one member of the household is to use a high-demand application. The benchmark has not been updated since 2015. 

Click here to review the February1st letter. Local officials and community leaders in NCC member municipalities can contact Ryan Johnston for help coordinating meetings with FCC officials.