Today, Next Century Cities hosted Digital Northwest: A Summit for Regional Broadband Leaders in Seattle, Washington. The event, co-hosted with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, featured national, state, and local policymakers, as well as leaders in the nonprofit and private sectors, who discussed real-world broadband successes in the Pacific Northwest and a regional approach to building critical 21st century broadband infrastructure.

The summit kicked off with a welcome by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.  Following the welcome were keynote remarks from R. David Edelman, Special Assistant to President Obama for Economic and Technology Policy, who discussed the promises of broadband next-generation Internet access in the Northwest and across the country. A conversation moderated by Michael Mattmiller, Chief Technology Officer for Seattle. The full-day event, which had over 200 attendees, also featured panel discussions with influential broadband leaders and a keynote address by Lawrence Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

“Broadband is key to unlocking further economic opportunity in the Pacific Northwest and ensuring that children and families can access the resources they need to succeed,” said Next Century Cities Executive Director Deb Socia. “By bringing leaders together to share information about increasing access to this critical infrastructure, we are to maximize the benefits of lessons learned and inspire action through stories of success.”    

Today’s regional summit also included a panel of local government leaders discussing how communities throughout the Pacific Northwest have increased digital inclusion. Another panel, featuring State Senator John McCoy, focused on the real-world impacts of high-quality broadband access in rural communities. The day-long event concluded with a panel of federal government officials who shared information about federal financing options for broadband infrastructure projects.

The regional summit was sponsored by Corning, KeyBanc Capital Markets, and Google. Video of the event will be posted in the near future.