In February 2021, Next Century Cities (NCC) solicited feedback from local officials and community leaders on what local leaders need from the Biden-Harris Administration, Federal Communications Commission, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and other agencies to improve federal broadband policy. Their feedback was incorporated into a March 11th letter to President Biden and Vice President Harris which explains how federal leadership on a broadband strategy would set the stage for a more equitable country and more inclusive economy for decades to come.
- Local leaders nationwide called for higher broadband Internet speeds, lower prices, and improved service quality.
- Inaccurate mapping and gaps in broadband data collections are ongoing barriers that stand between communities and valuable funding opportunities.
- Nontraditional (municipal, coops, mesh, etc.) networks should be included in federal programs as they provide high quality, low-priced service options and help increase competition.
- The 25/3 Mbps broadband standard, established by the FCC’s 2015 Broadband Progress Report, is outdated.
- Local digital equity plans can inform a larger federal strategy aimed at ensuring that every resident has access to broadband access and digital tools.
- Telecommunications mergers and acquisitions have an impact on Internet prices and service quality.
- Making high speed affordable broadband for every citizen is as critical to our country’s future as making electricity available to everyone was in the 1930s.
- NCC’s network has valuable insights on how federal policies can empower community leaders, those closest to the residents they serve, with the tools they need to expand broadband access.
Read the letter in its entirety here.