Executive Director Deb Socia spoke on a panel, “Innovating Public School: What Makes Good Ideas Grow,” and moderated another, “What Can the Gig Do For Your City,” at Hometown Summit during Tom Tom Founders Festival in Charlottesville, VA.

“What Can the Gig Do For Your City”
Deb Socia (Executive Director, Next Century Cities), Mayor Andy Berke (Chattanooga, TN), Elliot Noss (CEO, Ting), Sheila Dugan (Senior Implementation Advisor, Cities, Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University), Aimee Meacham (Director of External Affairs, BroadbandUSA, NTIA)


On “What Can the Gig Do For Your City,” Deb was joined by Mayor Andy Berke of Chattanooga, TN as they discussed how and why cities invest in fiber internet and municipal broadband.

“I have seen first hand the incredible benefits, such as economic and job growth, better education, and telehealth opportunities, that bringing gigabit speed service has had on Next Century Cities’ member communities,” Deb Socia said. “Mayors are uniquely able to understand and execute broadband deployment plans that fit their communities’ needs, and as such should be given the tools necessary to make sure everyone is digitally included.”

During “Innovating Public School,” panelists discussed what today’s high school graduates really need to know, and how can we support educators in adapting staid institutions to the needs of today’s world.

“It is critical that we equip our students with the digital skills necessary to compete in the online, global marketplace that awaits them when they graduate,” Deb Socia said. “In order to do that, we must give local leaders the resources necessary to ensure students have the opportunity to attain the outcomes that are only possible when they have access to high-speed, affordable, reliable broadband both at school and at home.”

Learn more about the panels here.