On April 8, 2020, Next Century Cities met with the Office of Chairman Ajit Pai to discuss the Commission’s coronavirus (“COVID-19”) emergency response measures, minimum broadband speeds, and wireline deployment.
The ex parte cites examples of how distance learning, work-from-home, and telemedicine program mandates have put unmanageable stress on some networks as other networks thrive. We believe that Americans in Tribal, rural, and hard to reach areas deserve digital opportunities equal to their urban counterparts. Accordingly, we urged the Commission to reassess whether current minimum broadband speeds support current network demands.
During this national emergency, the Commission has been meeting with providers to get network performance updates. Next Century Cities suggested that local officials be included in network performance analysis. Finally, we stated that local leaders have been noticeably absent from the FCC’s advisory committees and urged the Commission to include them in the next round of advisory committee selections.