Today, Next Century Cities Executive Director Deb Socia was a panelist at a briefing hosted by Business Forward on broadband access and economic growth in Philadelphia, PA, sharing the perspective of city leaders and Next Century Cities communities. The briefing, held during the 2016 Democratic National Convention, attracted a diverse range of broadband stakeholders, including state delegates, national policymakers, and business leaders.

U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA) gave the briefing’s opening remarks. Deb was joined on today’s panel by Sara Solow, Domestic Policy Adviser, Hillary for America, Heather Burnett Gold, President, Fiber-to-the-Home Council North America, and Amol Naik, Head of External Affairs – Southeast, Google Fiber, and the panel was moderated by Sarah Morris, Director of Open Internet Policy, Open Technology Institute.

During the event, Deb and her fellow panelists identified ways federal, state, and local policymakers can remove barriers to broadband infrastructure development. Some ideas discussed included innovative one touch make-ready pole attachment policies, and “Dig Once” policies for laying conduit, which are now prevalent nationwide. The panelists also spoke about actions that the next administration can take to spur broadband development across the country, and Deb highlighted the 2015 Next Century Cities Policy Agenda.  

Today’s panel offered an exciting opportunity for Next Century Cities to represent our communities and ensure that local voices are heard at this  high-profile discussion about broadband development during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.