Next Century Cities Co-hosts a Regional Convening with the City of South Bend and Pew Charitable Trusts

On March 3, 2022, Next Century Cities hosted a regional broadband convening in partnership with the City of South Bend, Indiana, and Pew Charitable Trusts. State and local leaders and broadband advocates from across Indiana joined virtually and in-person to discuss connectivity barriers and strategies to improve broadband access and adoption.

Mayor James Mueller and Denise Reidl, Chief Innovation Officer for the City of South Bend, discussed city WiFi expansion and COVID relief efforts that connected over 4000 students, enabling them to continue learning safely from home. 

Tom Bliss, Executive Director of the Southeast Nebraska Development District, shared success stories about regional collaborative efforts that started with collected broadband data. Earnie Holtrey, Program Manager for the Director of the Indiana Broadband Office, reiterated the ongoing need for relationships between local and state officials.

Bloomington CIO and Director of Information Technology Rick Dietz joined American Connection Corps Fellows Reneisha Rudder, Emma Woods, Gary Thompson, Iris O’Donnell Bellisario, and Cory Knipp in a conversation about digital inclusion efforts across the state.

Andy Berke, Special Representative for Broadband at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and former mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, closed out the event with a call for equitable broadband deployment across the United States.


Check out some highlights below from the convening. We can’t wait to see you at our next gathering!


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